Graduate Programs

Graduate Nursing Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long is the program?

MSN program courses are offered in a sequence to allow students to complete the MSN degree in two (2) years. The MSN/MBA program may be completed in two (2) years, but most students complete it in three (3) years. The School Nurse Licensure Preparation Program may be completed in four (4) semesters, and the Nursing Education Certificate in three (3) semesters. Degree planners on each program’s web page outline the sequence of the coursework.

Are any of your classes offered on-line?

All of the MSN and MSN/MBA Nursing courses are taught on-line. Courses offered by the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) or the Monte Ahuja College of Business Administration (COB) may be offered either in the classroom or on-line. This affects only one course in the MSN in Nursing Education track. In the MBA portion of the MSN/MBA track, all of the 500-level courses except GAD 515 are available on-line, and all of the 600-level courses are taught in the classroom. Registration for online sections of courses taught by COEHS and COB is first come, first served.

All of the courses in the School Nurse Licensure Preparation program are offered in the classroom.

What is the cost of the program?

Current graduate tuition rates may be found on the Office of Treasury Services website. Out-of-state students pursuing an online MSN are charged a reduced rate for the Nursing courses, instead of the full out-of-state tuition rate.

Please note that all CSU students, regardless of residency, are charged a @25 per credit hour eLearning fee for all on-line courses.

Text book selection is evaluated by faculty every semester. As of Fall 2012, textbooks for the MSN program cost approximately $1400.

When would I start if I were accepted?

MSN students begin the Nursing sequence in the Fall (August) semester each year. The MBA portion of the MSN/MBA may be started any semester. The School Nurse Licensure Preparation program may be started in Fall or Summer (May).

What grade point average (GPA) is required?

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in your BSN is required in order to be eligible to apply for the MSN , MSN/MBA, and Nursing Education Certificate programs. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in a baccalaureate degree is required in order to be eligible to apply for the School Nurse Licensure Preparation program.

Must I take the GRE?

At the present time, the GRE is not required to apply to the MSN program. However, students applying to the MSN/MBA program must have completed either the GRE or the GMAT within five (5) years of the date of application. Contact the Monte Ahuja College of Business Administration for more details.

Are there any pre-requisite courses?

You must have completed an undergraduate or graduate-level statistics course with a grade of C or better within five (5) years of the application deadline for which you are applying. CSU offers and the School of Nursing recommends EDB 572, Statistics for Health & Human Services, which is offered on-line during the Summer semester. This course is also cross-listed is EDB 472.

Students applying for the MSN/MBA program are advised to discuss the options for the statistics prerequisite with the Monte Ahuja College of Business Administration.

Students applying to the Nursing Education Certificate or the School Nurse Licensure Preparation program are not required to complete the statistics prerequisite.

I do not have a 3.0 cumulative GPA in my BSN. Do I have any other options?

If you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement, you may apply to the College of Graduate Studies as a non-degree student. Upon completion of 12 credit hours of specific graduate nursing courses, with a grade of at least a B in each, you may apply as a degree-seeking student to the College of Graduate Studies. You will also need to apply to the School of Nursing. Successful completion of these 12 credit hours of graduate nursing courses does not guarantee admission to the Graduate Nursing Program. In addition, non-degree student registration in the graduate nursing courses is by departmental permission only, on a space-available basis. Priority is given to degree-seeking MSN students.This option is not available to Nursing Education Certificate applicants.

I won’t complete my BSN before the application deadline, but I will graduate before starting the MSN or MSN/MBA program. May I still apply?

Yes, you may apply while you are still in the process of completing your BSN. However, you must complete the BSN before starting the MSN or MSN/MBA program. You also must have a current RN license by end of the first semester (Fall) of coursework.

I won’t have my RN license before the application deadline, but I will before starting the MSN or MSN/MBA program. May I still apply?

Yes, you may apply while you are still in the process of obtaining your RN. However, you must have a current RN license by the end of the first semester (Fall) of coursework.

I have a letter of reference from a previous employer. May I submit that instead of providing contact information for a reference on the School of Nursing’s Graduate Application form?

No. Letters of reference will not be considered by the Committee.

What are the components of a successful Nursing application essay?

A successful application essay clearly covers the content outlined in the essay instructions found in the School of Nursing Graduate Application. First and foremost, it demonstrates well developed writing skills, indicting an applicant is capable of graduate-level work. The essay is at least three (3) full pages long, and does not exceed five (5) pages of text. It is type-written, has no misspellings or grammatical errors, and conforms to current APA guidelines for margins, font, spacing, etc. The writer does not attempt to meet page requirements by using extra-wide margins, increased spacing, headers, signature blocks, and other similar tactics. These diminish the intended outcome of the essay and reflect poorly on the writer. A successful essay is not written hastily, but is well thought out and reflects the applicant’s potential to earn a graduate degree in nursing.

Do you offer an RN to MSN “bridge” program for nurses who do not have their BSN?

No. Students must complete a BSN prior to starting CSU’s MSN program. The School of Nursing does, however, offer an RN to BSN program which is entirely online, and may be completed in three (3) consecutive semesters.

I submitted official transcripts to CSU when I was an undergraduate student. Why does Graduate Admissions want another copy? Can they obtain a copy themselves?

You will need to obtain new copies of your official transcripts for Graduate Admissions. Your graduate record is maintained separately from your undergraduate record. It is your responsibility to obtain these transcripts from all of your previous institutions. You do not need to obtain an official CSU undergraduate transcript.

Why do I need to submit transcripts from all of my previous institutions? Some of them have nothing to do with my BSN.

Although your performance in your BSN program is very important in the admissions decision, the Graduate Nursing Admissions Committee considers your overall academic performance, not just your performance in your BSN.

I earned my baccalaureate degree from a foreign institution. What do I do?

When you apply to Cleveland State University, you will need to submit official transcripts to Admissions in order to have them evaluated. It is your responsibility to provide an official/certified translation if your transcripts are not in English. Additional information about the application process for international students may be found on the International Admissions website.

May I transfer to Cleveland State University’s School of Nursing from another accredited Nursing program?

Students from other graduate Nursing programs are welcome to apply to CSU’s graduate Nursing programs. After you have been accepted to the College of Graduate Studies and the School of Nursing, you may request that your coursework be evaluated for transfer of credit. Contact the recruiter/advisor for additional instructions.

CSU’s Graduate Nursing Program prepares graduates for general advanced practice Nursing with aggregates. Please note that CSU’s MSN program is not designed to prepare graduates to become Nurse Practitioners. However, graduates may be eligible to seek certification as Clinical Nurse Leaders or Certified Nurse Educators.

How are students selected for admission into the program?

Selection of students is based on a number of criteria including past academic performance, references, and their admissions essay. The number of spaces in the program is limited. Students not admitted due to lack of space or who do not accept an admission slot must reapply. There is no ongoing waiting list.

When should I apply? When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is March 1. You are strongly encouraged to submit all of your materials at least 2 months prior to the deadline. This will give the Recruiter/Advisor time to notify you if any materials are missing, or if there are any issues with any of the materials, and allow you time to rectify the problem. Applications received after the deadline may be considered on a space-available basis. No applications will be considered after July 1.

Are there any clinical hours required for the program?

MSN students in a non-thesis track complete a total of 400 clinical hours over the course of the program. MSN students in a thesis track complete a total of 300 clinical hours over the course of the program. MSN/MBA students complete 300 clinical hours. Nursing Education Certificate students complete 200 clinical hours.