The MSN application opens Sept. 15 and closes February 15th for Fall (August) enrollment. The MSN program does not admit a spring or summer class.
Qualified, complete applicants will be contacted after the application deadline to schedule interviews with graduate nursing faculty. Following interviews applications will be reviewed and decision letters mailed to all applicants.
Admission is competitive based on the number of qualified applications received and the space available. We do not admit students from all states.
The University of Kentucky works to provide distance learning courses and programs to students across the state of Kentucky, the country and abroad, but location matters when it comes to the availability of some courses and programs. Each state and territory have different requirements for distance learning. Out of state students who are interested in distance learning should read each section below and confirm that their program of interest can be offered and/or lead to licensure or certification in their state or territory.
- State Authorization is a type of consumer protection regulated by states and territories. Institutions are required to obtain state authorization when they offer online courses or programs outside of their home state. Visit the State Authorization by Program section to learn which programs are authorized in each state.
- States may have additional requirements for programs that lead to professional licensure or certification. Learn which programs can lead to licensure and certification in each state.
- Contact Distance Learning with questions or for more information.
MSN Admission Requirements:
- Undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale
- Baccalaureate degree in nursing from a CCNE or NLN accredited program
- Three references attesting to the applicant's expertise in nursing or health care. Faculty prefer professional references from a former nursing faculty member or advisor if available, one or two from a manager/director/leader from their work setting, and no more than one from a peer.
- Personal interview(s)
- Unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse in the state in which clinicals will occur (prerequisite to clinical experience)
- Goal statement: In one to three double-spaced pages, discuss your reasons for seeking graduate study, including your short- and long-term professional goals. Discuss a system or population you are interested in working with and identify/discuss a system or health problem in that population that you wish to study as a project.
- Scholarly written work: An example of scholarly written work, completed within three years of application, related to nursing that demonstrates excellent writing skills and the ability to communicate clearly and logically. Samples of scholarly work: formal research paper written in your BSN program; published article on a nursing issue; or paper written on a nursing issue of interest to you
- Current vita/resume
The Graduate School Application
ALL applicants are required to complete the Graduate School online application.
The University of Kentucky Graduate School is part of the ApplyYourself Application Network, a system used by more than 700 colleges and universities that provides the opportunity to submit all application requirements via an online system. This includes an electronic process for letters of recommendation and uploading copies of unofficial transcripts. The system allows candidates to monitor their application status and view receipt of supplemental materials.
A non-refundable fee is required for each application to the University of Kentucky Graduate School. The application cannot be submitted without payment of this fee.
ApplyYourself Application Process
Through the ApplyYourself Application Network: First you must set up a new account and establish a user name and password. Do not lose this information; you will need it if you wish to return to continue an unfinished application or review a completed application. Please be sure to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your list of approved contacts to ensure receipt of e-mails regarding your application.
Read this entire page regarding the process and requirements before you establish your new application.
This process is to be used ONLY by MSN applicants. Applicants to the DNP (clinical doctorate) program DO NOT apply through ApplyYourself.
To complete the ApplyYourself application, you will first need to gather several pieces of information, including the following:
A. Unofficial Transcripts
The ApplyYourself application requires all applicants to upload unofficial transcripts of ALL previous colleges and universities they have attended; this includes the University of Kentucky. Failure to upload unofficial transcripts will result in an inability to complete and submit the online application.
To obtain a University of Kentucky transcript (unofficial or official) go to the registrar’s website for instructions: http://www.uky.edu/registrar/transcripts
(scroll all the way down for instructions on “unofficial transcripts.”)
B. Official Transcripts
If you are offered admission and subsequently enroll in graduate school at the University of Kentucky, you will then be required to submit official transcripts to the Graduate School. Transcripts uploaded as part of the online process are NOT considered to be official. Official transcripts must be received by the University of Kentucky in a sealed envelope.
C. Test Scores
TOEFL or IELTS Scores: All applicants whose native language is not English will be asked to self-report one of these scores as part of the online application.
TOEFL scores should be sent directly to us from Educational Testing Service (ETS); the Institution Code for the TOEFL for UK Graduate School is R1837.
IELTS scores should be sent directly to us from the International English Language Testing Service specifying the University of Kentucky Graduate School, Lexington, Kentucky, as the recipient institution.
For the Graduate School and the College of Nursing, the minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 550 (paper-based) 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based). The minimum IELTS score is 6.5. Submitted scores must be no more than two years old.
D. Letters of Recommendation
You will be asked to supply contact information for the three recommendations required by the College of Nursing Three references attesting to the applicant's expertise in nursing or health care. Faculty prefer professional references from a former nursing faculty member or advisor if available, one or two from a manager/director/leader from their work setting, and no more than one from a peer.
- Once your application has been submitted, the system will automatically contact each person identified, and their recommendations will be submitted directly to the application system. You can, at any time, login to see who has submitted a recommendation.
E. College Specific Application Requirements for the MSN in Health Care Leadership
Other materials to be uploaded as part of the complete online application process:
- Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV): CV should include education, licensures, certifications, work experience, honors and awards, and any publications or presentations of which you were author or coauthor.
- Personal Statement/Goal Statement: Goal statement: In one to three double-spaced pages, discuss your reasons for seeking graduate study, including your short- and long-term professional goals. Discuss a system or population you are interested in working with and identify/discuss a system or health problem in that population that you wish to study as a project.
- An example of scholarly written work, completed within three years of application, related to nursing that demonstrates excellent writing skills and the ability to communicate clearly and logically. Samples of scholarly work: formal research paper written in your BSN program; published article on a nursing issue; or paper written on a nursing issue of interest to you
- RN licensure verification. Unencumbered RN licensure in state where clinicals will occur.
Qualified applicants will be contacted by the College of Nursing after the application deadline to schedule interview(s) with graduate faculty members once all required application materials and fees have been submitted.
Upon submission of all required application materials/credentials and completion of interviews with graduate faculty the MSN/DNP Program/Admissions Committee will review the applicant file and make an official recommendation regarding admission to the MSN program in nursing at the University of Kentucky. Admission decisions are made on a competitive basis.
All admitted students will be required to undergo background check, drug screen and submit proof of immunizations and CPR to a medical document service.
Questions? Contact NursGradAdm@uky.edu