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Common Questions

GEP Program

1. Who is eligible to apply to the Graduate Entry Pathway (GEP) Program?

Applicants are eligible to apply to the GEP to DNP program  if they have a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in a field other than nursing.

2. When I apply to the GEP Program, do I have to choose which type of advance practice role I want or do I wait?

You need to choose a program including a nurse practitioner track during your initial application process.  We recommend that GEP to DNP applicants shadow or interview a nurse practitioner to determine which tract you would like to apply to.

3. Can I take a specialty such as cardiac care, cancer care, emergency care or nurse educator? 

Opportunities are available to consider a specialty upon completing the NP clinical course work in Year 3 of the program.  You will need to discuss this possibility with your faculty advisor.

4. Is the GEP to DNP program a full-time program or can I go part-time? 

he pre-licensure component of the GEP Program requires full-time study.

5. Does the GEP Program award a BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing)?

The GSN only awards master’s and doctoral degrees; there are no baccalaureate programs offered at UMass Medical School.  At the completion of the pre-licensure year, students are awarded a Certificate of Completion allowing them to take the National Council Licensure Exam in Nursing (NCLEX).

6. Is there financial aid or scholarship funding available?

Financial aid is available for students in the GEP Program.  The GSN does not have scholarships available for first year GEP students; however, there are scholarship monies available for the remaining years of study.


MS Program

1. What is the difference between the accelerated and traditional master’s program?

The accelerated GEP Program prepares individuals with bachelordegrees in a field other than nursing to become professional nurses for generalist entry-level practice through initial RN licensure followed by completion of an NP track area in the master’s program.

2. Can an RN with a diploma or associate’s degree in nursing apply to the master’s program?

The Pre-Graduate Pathway into the MS Program is designed for applicant’s who are RNs with an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in a field other than nursing.  This pathway offers alternative means of qualifying for admission to GSN based on transfer of academic courses and course enrollment.

3. Can an RN with non-nursing master’s degree apply to GSN? 

An RN applicant must have a master’s degree in science to apply to the program.

4. Can an RN with a master’s degree in nursing apply to be a nurse practitioner? 

An RN with a master’s degree in nursing can apply to become a nurse practitioner.


Doctoral Programs

1. What is the difference between a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP) and a PhD in nursing? 

The DNP is a practice doctorate while the PhD is a research-focused doctorate.  DNPs are committed to a career in practice and/or service leadership.  DNP students complete practice-oriented scholary projects.  PhD students complete dissertations.

2. Who is eligible to apply to the Post-Masters to DNP Program? 

Applicants are eligible to apply to the Post-MS program if they hold a master’s degree in nursing and are certified as NPs, CNSs, CRNAs, or CNMs or hold a master’s degree in nursing or a health-related field for nurse practitioners.

3. Can I take courses prior to becoming a student? 

Applicants can take up to nine credits at GSN (or transfer 9 credits from a graduate-level nursing program upon faculty approval) prior to becoming a matriculated student at GSN.