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Office of Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

What tracks do you offer for the Doctor of Nursing Practice?

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

What are the differences between your DNP tracks?

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

  • The role of the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) is to care for patients with complex, acute conditions.
  • Many AGACNPs practice in intensive care, trauma or acute care units.
  • Positions in acute care commonly require evening and weekend work hours.
  • Learn more about AGACNP from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

  • The role of the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) is to assess, diagnose and treat the health needs of adolescents (age 13 and older) to older adults.
  • AGPCNPs provide continuous medical care for patients geared toward health maintenance, promotion of healthy lifestyle, disease prevention and management of chronic illnesses.
  • AGPCNPs commonly work in community health centers, urgent care, private practices and larger health systems.
  • Learn more about AGPCNPs from the AANP.

Family Nurse Practitioner

  • A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) can provide care for patients of all ages, including infants, adolescents, adults and older adults[BJ1] .
  • FNPs provide continuous medical care for patients geared toward health maintenance, promotion of healthy lifestyle, disease prevention, and management of chronic illnesses.
  • FNPs commonly work in community center clinics, private practices and larger health care systems.
  • Learn more about FNPs from the AANP.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

  • The role of a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) is to assess, diagnose, and treat the mental health and substance use needs of individuals and families across the lifespan, and to attend to the mental health wellbeing of the larger community.
  • PMHNPs conduct diagnostic and psychosocial assessments and provide psychotherapeutic interventions and medication management across various treatment and community settings.
  • Learn more about PMHNP from the AANP or directly from the American Psychiatric Nurse Association .
  • Use older adults instead [BJ1]

What’s the difference between Family and Primary Care NPs?

FNPs care for patients across the age spectrum (newborn to older adult). Training for FNPs includes additional coursework in maternal child health with supporting clinical rotations.

AGPCNPs provide training to care for adolescents (age 13) to older adults.

Who can I contact for more information about applying to the nursing programs at UMass Chan?

Our admissions staff is available to answer any questions at

You are invited to attend our next virtual information session!

For individual guidance, an admissions counselor is available to meet with you one-on-one.

I can’t find UMass Chan or my program of interest in NursingCAS. What should I do?

·       Please contact and we will help you locate our schools and programs.

Are international students eligible to apply?

·       The only program eligible for international students is our PhD in Nursing program. Scholarship funding and financial aid is not available; therefore, students will need to provide documentation on the ability to self-fund the cost of education.

Can I take courses at UMass Chan prior to being admitted into a program?

·       RNs with a BSN or higher and DNP/PhD/MS/certificates: Yes, you can take up to nine credits of continuing education courses as a non-matriculated student. The completed courses will count toward your degree requirements once you matriculate into the program.

·       For Graduate Entry Pathway (GEP): Courses within the GEP program are not available to non-matriculated students.

Do you accept pass/fail grades or AP courses from high school?

Unfortunately, no. We are unable to accept pass/fail grades or AP credits to fulfill prerequisite requirements.

Can you take prerequisites/labs online?

·       Yes, we accept online prerequisite courses from any accredited college.

Can I check to see if a prerequisite will be accepted?

·       If you have a question about a prerequisite, please send a copy of the course description to for review.

Is there a time limit on how old a prerequisite can be?

·       All prerequisite coursework must have been completed within 5 years of the submission of application.

How important is the undergraduate GPA?

·       Review of your application is a holistic process; therefore, GPA is one of many factors reviewed. All applicants should have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. The average GPA of the entering class in 2023 was 3.49. Please review our Admissions Criteria website for more detailed information.

I submitted my NursingCAS application but have not completed my UMass Chan supplemental application. Will my application still be reviewed?

·       No. Your application will not be considered for admission until both the CAS and supplemental applications are completed. You may submit your NursingCAS application while waiting for your recommendations and transcripts to be evaluated. Please review the Admissions Criteria to see application completion requirements.

Can I defer my admission to a future term?

·       All requests to defer admission to a future term should be directed to

Do I have to find my own clinical placement?

·       The Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing is proud to secure and coordinate all clinical placements for all degree-seeking (DNP) and certificate (PGC) programs.

·       For DNP students, if you have a contact or a specific interest, you’re encouraged to share that with our clinical placement coordinator for consideration and review.

Where are the typical clinical placements? How far away will my clinical placement be?

·       We try to keep placements within a reasonable driving distance and provide placements at facilities that will provide the best learning experience possible. Please plan for placements to be in the Central Massachusetts area, or a minimum of 60 minutes driving distance from Worcester. In some cases, (especially in the Acute Care track) placements may be on the weekends, mornings or evenings, however in the Psychiatric Mental Health NP track placements are typically during business hours and weekdays. Students are not able to select their clinical placement location, and for most tracks the travel time is calculated from Worcester, not their home.

For the Psychiatric Mental Health NP track, especially the post-graduate track, closer-to-home placements are considered, including states neighboring Massachusetts.

Is there housing assistance?

·       The UMass Chan Medical School campus does not have onsite housing facilities. However, most of our students find affordable and convenient housing in the local Worcester community.

Any leases or arrangements made are at the sole discretion of the student and at their own risk. UMass Chan Medical School does not endorse any person, realtor, landlord, roommate service or company.

Are classes online, hybrid or on-campus?

·       GEP: This program includes in-person, full-time and accelerated lectures; clinicals rotations; and simulation labs.

·       DNP: Designed for employed practicing nurses, in-person and online courses are bundled on specific weekdays.

·       Post Master’s DNP: This program is entirely online, although optional in-person courses are available.

·       PhD: One day per week on-site offerings for core coursework.

·       Master of Science: Lecture courses are offered online with limited in-person group exercises to reinforce learning.

·       Post-graduate PMHNP certificate: This program is entirely online.

Can I speak to current learners to find out their experience?

·       Yes! We have many student leaders in our Graduate Student Nursing Organization and at-large class representatives who are open to sharing their experience with prospective students. Please reach out to and we can help get you connected.

What is the cost of attendance?

·       There are three tuition rates: in-state, New England Regional* and out-of-state. Please see Tuition and Financial Information for more information.

·       Estimated program costs are available to review and are updated regularly.

*New Engand Regional residents are eligible for a tuition discount through the Tuition Break Program. Qualifying states include Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

Do I qualify for in-state tuition?

·       In-state tuition is determined by Mass. General Laws as follows: “a resident shall be deemed to be a person who has resided in the commonwealth for seven consecutive years or more prior to enrollment or a person whose immediate family has resided in the commonwealth for seven consecutive years or more prior to enrollment.” Please see Residency Policy for more information.

Are financial aid and scholarships available?

Yes, financial aid is available for all degree-granting programs. All applicants should complete their applications by the priority deadlines to be considered for limited scholarship opportunities. Applicants are notified of scholarship offers shortly after acceptance by email.

For additional financial aid, such as loans and federal scholarships, please visit the Office of Financial Aid.

The PhD in Nursing program at UMass Chan Medical School is proud to provide the Nurse Faculty Loan Program. This loan program provides loans to students enrolled in advanced education nursing degree programs who are committed to becoming nurse faculty. In exchange for completing up to four years of post-graduation full-time nurse faculty employment in an accredited school of nursing, the program authorizes cancelation of up to 85 percent of any such student loan (plus interest thereon).

Please note that Post Graduate Certificates are generally not eligible for federal loan programs.

I’ve been placed on a waitlist. What now?

·       Admission to Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing is very competitive, and we cannot offer admission to all qualified candidates. A waitlist of qualified applicants is maintained, and offers of admission will continue as seats become available. We notify waitlisted students as soon as an opening is available up until the beginning of the term.

May I contact the admissions office to check on my application status?

·       Due to our limited staff and increasing volume of applicants, we respectfully ask that you refrain from calling regarding your admission status. While we understand this is a stressful time with many uncertainties, please know that if your admission status changes at any point, we will be in contact with you immediately.

How likely is it that I will receive an offer?

Unfortunately, we cannot make predictions of any specific waitlist applicant’s chances of getting an offer. By nature, the waitlist process is extremely unpredictable, as it is dependent on the decisions of admitted students.

If I receive an offer of admission, how long will I have to decide?

You will be called and emailed as soon as a space is available for you. You will be asked to make a commitment within seven days. Please be prepared to decide quickly if you are on the waitlist.

Should I submit my financial aid application while I am on the waitlist?

Yes, although it is optional. We recommend submitting your financial aid paperwork (FAFSA) to our Office of Financial Aid in advance of receiving an offer. This will allow your financial aid award letter to be delivered to you sooner.

I just received a letter saying that I’ve been released from the waitlist. What does that mean?

·       If an applicant receives a waitlist release letter, a decision was made to release their application from further consideration. This means there were no additional openings, and an offer of admission will not be extended for this application cycle.