If you’re looking to earn a master of science in nursing, but didn’t earn a high undergraduate GPA, don’t worry! There are many low GPA nursing schools that are looking for applicants just like you.
The master’s degree in nursing can prepare a registered nurse for advanced practice patient care or leadership roles in patient care, administration or education. Explore the list of partner schools below for online, hybrid, and on-campus MSN options that accept candidates with a low undergraduate GPA and can be low gpa nursing schools.
The University of Southern California is a private research university in Los Angeles with a Health Sciences campus known for specialized care and research in:
The online Masters in Nursing program at USC nursing degree teaches comprehensive nursing skills, aspects of research and policy, and social work concepts to help students build a strong foundation in social factors related to health.
Cumberland University is a private, independent, liberal arts institution located 30 miles outside Nashville, Tennessee and offering seven graduate degree programs.
The online master’s in nursing program at Cumberland University teaches communication, critical-thinking, and decision-making skills to nurses who aspire to management roles or are looking to advance their career and teach other nurses.
Students applying to nursing grad programs with a low GPA are welcome at Cumberland, as the minimum requirement is 2.5, with lower GPA accepted in some cases. For instance, students with less than 2.5 GPA may complete two courses of graduate coursework with B or higher to earn final acceptance
Saint Xavier University of Chicago is one of the top universities in the Midwest, and one of the five largest nursing schools in Illinois. It has been designated a Center of Excellence in Nurse Education by the National League for Nursing.
The Master of Science in Nursing programs from Saint Xavier University aim to teach students how to improve patient care with the most up-to-date evidence-based practices, new technologies and effective communication strategies.
With the business, management, and clinical skills taught in the MSN programs at SXU, students may be prepared to pursue leadership roles in their department or unit. For prospective students looking to get into nursing with a low GPA, the Executive Nurse Leadership program requires only a 2.75, and SXU’s other programs will consider a low GPA.
Grand Canyon University offers over 200 academic programs across nine colleges and various online learning platforms. GCU is Arizona’s premier private Christian university earning regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and its predecessor since 1968.
GCU expects to grow to 25,000 students within the next five years and have invested approximately $1 billion in campus and academic infrastructure.
The MSN program at Grand Canyon University prepares one to creatively respond to changes in nursing, direct care and healthcare administration fields.
Available Nursing School Concentrations
Benedictine University is an inclusive academic community aspiring to be a thought leader in Catholic higher education.
The MSN program at Benedictine University is designed to teach nurses to rise to the challenges of today’s complex health care environment and to help them advance their careers.
Offering a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, Liberty University teaches the values, knowledge, and skills you’ll need for success in every aspect of life. In addition, Liberty has been a pioneer in distance education since 1985 and offers exceptional resources to online students.
The accelerated MSN degree at Liberty is designed for RNs who are looking to jumpstart their career. 100% online, this program also allows you to transfer up to 75 hours of previous college credit..
Sacred Heart University is rooted in the liberal arts and Catholic intellectual traditions. Their mission is to educate the whole person while preparing students to lead and serve others, respect the dignity of every person, and promote the common good. SHU welcomes students from all faiths and cultures.
Sacred Heart University Online is the online division of the independent, Catholic institution, Sacred Heart University. Founded in 1963, SHU is the second-largest Catholic university in New England and offers over 70 academic programs, including undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs.
Sacred Heart’s goal is to foster academic opportunities for students of potential, ability, and promise – whether that’s on campus, in Fairfield, Connecticut, or online.
Sacred Heart University's Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) provides leadership skills to succeed in a clinical, managerial, and educational level to thrive as a nurse leader, educator, or manager.
Walden University in an online learning community made up of students from all 50 U.S. states and over 150 countries, plus faculty, alumni, national experts and visiting scholars. Their mission is to produce graduates who are committed to effecting positive social change.
The online master’s in nursing program at Walden University aims to prepare students for patient care in advanced practice nursing and a variety of leadership roles within the healthcare system. Walden’s programs have entry paths for registered nurses with a BSN, those with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, and those with just a high school diploma, all with minimum GPA requirement.
Located in the heart of Boston, Simmons College is a four-year, private, non-profit school. Its undergraduate college is a women’s school, but Simmons College Graduate School Online offers programs across disciplines, from nursing to social work to business, to both men and women.
About the MSN at Simmons College
Simmons College's Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is offered to board-certified ARPNs who have earned their MSN.
Utica College provides fully accredited online degree programs in Nursing, Health Care, Cybersecurity, Business Management, Fraud, and Economic Crime. Each is instructed by select faculty members demonstrating extensive industry experience in their respective fields.
Utica College’s online master’s degree in nursing (MSN) offers a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialization. As a FNP, you’ll be able to provide a higher level of patient care. In this role you can diagnose and treat patients, establish community programs, and complete research that changes healthcare.
The FNP specialization mandates a 2-day immersion experience and 720 practicum hours, which can be applied towards the 1,000 hours required for a DNP degree.
Nursing graduate programs are typically designed for working professionals with clinical experience. A GPA lower than 3.0 in undergraduate work is not ideal but doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker for those looking to get into nursing school.
Additionally, while traditional nursing schools require both RN licensure and a BSN degree, many programs offer accelerated MSN programs for registered nurses with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree or just a high school diploma.
Below are some ways to present yourself as a desirable candidate to nursing schools throughthe admissions process, even if you have a low GPA.
In your search for nursing graduate schools, you may discover institutions that accept a low GPA if the applicant submits optional GRE scores. If you can achieve a high score on the GRE, you’ll be showing admissions that you have what it takes to study and perform well academically—regardless of the grades you achieved in undergraduate work.
Some nursing programs request a low GPA explanation letter from candidates with less-than-ideal grades in their bachelor’s degree coursework. Even when this is not required for admission, you may choose to address the issue anyway as part of your personal statement.
If your undergraduate grades were low because you had other obligations like full-time employment or family caretaking, explain that in the letter. Without a good reason for your poor performance, you can always describe how you’ve grown up since college and why you’ll perform better in graduate school.
Most MSN programs request up to three letters of recommendation. You could increase your chances for acceptance by providing impressive references from your professional or academic life.
People in roles such as clinical supervisor, undergraduate academic advisor, or practicing advanced practice nurse mentor will have insight into what makes you a dedicated and capable nursing student who will thrive in a graduate program.
However, there are some grad schools that don’t require letters of recommendation.
MSN programs are built for students with current RN licensure, with varying amounts of clinical experience required depending on the program. If you can show via your resume, personal statement, and interview that you have a proven record of professional responsibilities in the field of nursing, this can add to your appeal as a degree candidate.
If you performed well in the undergraduate courses you were most passionate about—nursing-related subjects—this can work to your advantage. Some graduate programs have a lower GPA requirement for non-nursing courses. For those that don’t, pointing out that your low grades were mainly in courses outside of your field could help your case.
Shining a light on the high grades you achieved in courses specifically related to nursing may help admissions counselors to see that your knowledge base in nursing isn’t lacking, and you have the ability to achieve academic success in the field.
|MSN School That Accepts Low GPA||GPA Requirements||Available MSN Concentrations|
|1. University of Southern California||No Minimum GPA||MSN, FNP|
|2. Cumberland University||2.5 Minimum||Nurse Educator, Nurse Executive Leadership|
|3. Saint Xavier University||2.75 or 3.0 (Varies by Program)||CLinical Leadership, Executive Leadership, MSN/MBA|
|4. Grand Canyon University||2.8||Health Informatics, Nursing Education, MSN in Public Health, FNP|
|5. Benedictine University||2.5||MSN|
|6. Liberty University||3.0||MSN Nursing Administration, MSN Nurse Educator|
|7. Sacred Heart University||3.2||Clinical Nurse Leaders, FNP, Nursing management|
|8. Walden University||No Minimum GPA||Nursing Education, Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Informatics|
|9. Simmons College||No Minimum||Doctor of Nursing Practice, Family Nurse Practitioner|
|10. Utica College||None Listed||Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Leadership, Nursing Educator|
To learn more about getting into these nursing schools with a low GPA, click on any of the sponsored program listings on this page. You can also find online graduate nursing programs that do not require GRE scores for admissions and accelerated nursing programs.