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Statement of Non-Discrimination

The UMass Chan Medical School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, national origin, covered veteran status, disability, ancestry or any other characteristic protected by law in employment, admissions, participation in its programs, services and activities, and selection of vendors who provide services or products to UMass Chan Medical School. Further, UMass Chan Medical School is firmly committed to ensuring that all who work, study, visit or seek treatment here may do so in an environment free of harassment and/or discrimination. 

Further information is available on the Diversity and Inclusion website

Questions concerning this notice can be directed to the Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion. Questions concerning Title IX may be directed to the designated campus Title IX Officer. Either can be reached at: 

UMass Chan Medical School 
55 Lake Avenue North (S1-710)   
Worcester, MA 01655 
Phone: 508 856-2179 
Fax: 508 856-1810 

Admissions Process

All students applying to the Graduate School of Nursing must complete an online application with NursingCAS.  NursingCAS is a service that allows applicants to use a single online application and one set of materials to apply to multiple nursing programs at participating schools. Application stauts notifications will be sent to the email provided by the applicant on the NursingCAS application. 

Application Requirements

Graduate Entry Pathway (GEP) Program 

  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II w/lab (taken within five years grade C or higher)
  • Microbiology course w/lab (taken within 5 years with a grade of C or higher)
  • College level statistics course (no time limit); Nutrition course (taken within 5 years grade C or higher)
  • Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan Course (taken within five years grade C or higher) 
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification for Health Care Providers by the American Heart Association (After acceptance to program and prior to June orientation)

Master’s Program

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • Evidence of unrestricted Massachusetts licensure as a registered nurse (RN)
  • BLS certification for Health Care Providers by the American Heart Association
  • College level statistics course

Post-Gradaute Certificate Program

  • Master’s degree from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited institution
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • Evidence of unrestricted Massachusetts licensure as an RN
  • BLS certification for Health Care Providers by the American Heart Association
  • Demonstrated competency of advanced health assessment through successful completion of clinical performance examination or enrollment in N615
  • Completion of advanced pathophysiology and advanced pharmacotherapeutics courses.  Advanced pharmacotherapeutics must be taken within 5 years of matriculation if the application is not a practicing nurse practitioner 

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program: BSN to DNP; Pre-Graduate Option (PGO) to DNP

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing for BSN to DNP; Associates or Diploma RN with Bachelor's in non-nursing field
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • Evidence of unrestricted Massachusetts licensure as an RN 
  • BLS certification for Health Care Providers by the American Heart Association.
  • College level statistics course

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program: Post-Graduate to DNP include:

  •  Master's degree in nursing
  • Certification as a nurse practitioner (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), or Certified Midwife (CNM) or  
  • Master’s degree in nursing or a health related field for nurse administrators
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • Evidence of unrestricted Massachusetts licensure as an RN 
  • BLS certification for Health Care Providers by the American Heart Association.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program

  • Master’s degree in Nursing or related health field (for post-graduate option) or a registered nurse with bachelor's degree (for the BS to PhD option) 
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • College level statistics course
  • Interview with 2 PhD faculty

Post-DNP to PhD Program

  • DNP degree
  • Graduate course in statistics/data analysis
  • Graduate course in Health Policy
  • Graduate course in Biomedical Informatics
  • Proficiency in SPSS or other data analysis software

Admissions Deferrals

There are no admission deferrals in the Graduate School of Nursing (GSN).

Transfer of Credits

Students in the MS, DNP and PhD programs may transfer up to 9 credits into their plan of study.  The minimum grade requirement for all transferred courses is B.  In all cases involving transfer of credits from another school, students receive credit for the transfer courses, but the grades are not calculated in the UMass Medical School GPA.

Transfer to School

Students wishing to transfer into the Graduate School of Nursing must officially apply to the Graduate School of Nursing.

Withdrawal After Acceptance

Students must follow course withdrawal policies and procedures and notify in writing their academic program coordinator, director, faculty advisor, and the registrar of their intention to withdraw from the program.  Students who withdraw without notifying the registrar of their status will be considered withdrawn as of the last recorded
date of class attendance as documented by the University.

Drug Urine Screening

Some clinical sites require a drug urine screening prior to placement at the clinical site.

Criminal Background Checks

Students are conditionally accepted, in part, pending a satisfactory background check.  If the school receives a positive response, the matter will be referred to the Committee to Review Criminal Background Checks according to the school’s “Procedure for Reviewing and Acting Upon Criminal Background Checks.”   Once enrolled, some clinical sites where students do rotations may require an updated criminal background check as a condition for doing the rotation there. 

Technical Standards for Admission & Graduation

The Technical Standards refer to the academic and clinical practice requirements that are necessary for admission to, continuation in, and graduation from the programs of the GSN. These requirements are essential for achieving the expected academic and clinical competencies of the curriculum. Candidates who are offered admission to the GSN are required to acknowledge that they understand and meet these Technical Standards.

A student must possess aptitude, functional abilities and skills in the five areas listed below:

  1. observation;
  2. communication;
  3. sensorimotor coordination and function;
  4. intellectual-conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities; and
  5. professional, behavioral, and social attributes. Students must be able to perform independently in these areas.

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.