The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is approved by the Virginia State Board of Nursing (VA-BON) and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The program prepares nurses for a variety of leadership and practice roles in the healthcare system.



Applicants must meet the admission standards and application requirements specified in Graduate Admissions and must apply using the online Application for Graduate Admission. Applicants must be graduates of an accredited baccalaureate (BSN) program in nursing and must have passed a statistics course within the last five years. Applicants who have not passed a statistics course in the past five years may be provisionally admitted and must pass statistics in their first semester. In addition, applicants must have an active state-based/US license as a registered nurse (RN), a current CPR card, and documented work experience as an RN for at least one year prior to starting the program. The application process is competitive, and applications are considered for the fall and spring semesters for the traditional program, and fall, spring, summer for the Mason Online FNP program. For application deadlines and detailed application requirements, refer to the College of Public Health Admissions website.  


Transfer of Credit

Students may transfer a maximum of 9 credits into the MSN program from other institutions or taken at Mason in non-degree status. Transfer of credit is subject to university policies found in AP 6.5 Credit by Exam or Transfer and college policies. Transfer credit must be approved by the program director and the dean/director of the School of Nursing. Students who enroll initially through non-degree studies should seek course advising through the School of Nursing and should submit their application to the MSN program in their first semester of study.

Special Requirements

Additional fees and expenses related to the nursing graduate program may include: laboratory fee, standardized testing and course materials, name pin, books, CPR certification, health forms, health insurance, immunizations, and criminal background check fees. All students must provide their own personal transportation to and from clinical agencies. For a summary of all current fees and estimated expenses, see the School of Nursing website.

All MSN students are required to obtain a health clearance and complete the immunizations required by George Mason University as listed in the Student Health Services section of the catalog. Additional health and immunization requirements are imposed by clinical agency partners. The additional health requirements are included in the School of Nursing welcome letter. See the Graduate Program, School of Nursing website for the most current information. Students are not allowed into any clinical setting without the completed immunization series as prescribed by Mason’s School of Nursing. The School of Nursing will refuse admission or continued enrollment to any student who is unable to comply with these requirements. No student will attend practicum courses unless all the requirements for CPR, health exams, immunizations, and criminal background checks are met. Students must be in the process of completing a hepatitis B immunization series when they enroll for their first practicum course

All students must have CPR certification before entering their first course and maintain it through the remainder of the program. The American Heart Association Basic Life Support - Health Care Provider is required. Any cost incurred is the responsibility of the student.

All students must have current health insurance before entering the first practicum nursing course and maintain it through the remainder of the program. All students are required to have an active Mason e-mail account.

No student or faculty member will be discriminated against or denied admission to the nursing program for the sole reason that the student or faculty member has been exposed to, infected with, or diagnosed with HIV or HBV. All students are expected to practice Universal Precautions with all clients, and failure to do so will result in termination from the nursing major. In the event that a student is exposed to body fluids of a client during a clinical experience or practicum, procedures and appropriate reports are completed according to institutional and nursing policies. Information related to exposure or infection is confidential, and dissemination of such information is based on the need-to-know criteria that apply in health care situations. HIPAA and FERPA regulations apply. A complete and detailed HIV/HBV policy is available in the College of Public Health Office of Student Affairs.

MSN students are required to submit a copy of their current RN license prior to the first day of class and must maintain licensure throughout the academic program. 

Professional Conduct

All students in the School of Nursing are expected to adhere to the Professional Conduct Policy of the College of Public Health.

Appeal Process

Although faculty members in the nursing program are generally the best judges of a student's professional performance, some students may feel that the faculty member's judgment is unfair. Students in the School of Nursing wishing to appeal a grade are expected to follow the Mason guidelines for grade appeals, found in AP 3.9 Grade Appeals.

Honor System and Code

The School of Nursing supports academic integrity and follows the standards and procedures as described in the University catalog and available online.

Academic Termination

Academic termination is governed by university policy described in AP.6.6.2 Academic Termination. Additionally, a failing grade of "F" in a practicum course may result in termination from the program. Any graduate course in which a student earns a C grade or below must be repeated to earn a grade of B or better in order to progress. A course may be repeated only once. A student may also be terminated from the program due to a finding of violation of the university Honor Code or after demonstrating a significant lack of progress.


Throughout the semester, students are assessed on how well they have met curricular outcomes. Consistent with the university, the MSN in Nursing program does not provide a D grade. Final grades for all MSN in Nursing courses are submitted to the university as letter grades.

Grade Quality Points Graduate Courses
A (90-100%) 4.00 Passing
B (80-89%) 3.00 Passing
C (70-79%) 2.00 Failing
F (69% or lower) 0.00 Failing

A graduate course in which a grade of C or below is earned must be repeated to earn a grade of B or better in order to progress, and a course may be repeated only once. Graduate students (both master’s and doctoral) may repeat no more than two courses in their total program of study. 


The master’s program in nursing requires 49 graduate credits. Of these, a 15-credit core consists of coursework in the theoretical and ethical foundations of nursing, nursing research and biostatistics, nursing informatics, public health foundations, and the organization of nursing and health care delivery systems. The remaining 34 credits are satisfied in the concentration.

Actual practicum course hours may exceed those listed in the catalog. Actual practicum hours will meet the requirements for certification purposes. Requirements in the catalog reflect the minimum number of credits or practicum hours.

Banner Code: PH-MSN-NURS

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 49

Students must complete all Level I courses and the requirements for one concentration.

MSN Level I Core Courses (Required of all students)

GCH 500Foundations of Public Health3
NURS 665Theoretical and Ethical Foundations Related to Nursing3
NURS 688Organization of Nursing and Health Care Delivery Systems3
NURS 715Nursing Informatics Inquiry3
NURS 757Nursing Research and Biostatistics I3
Total Credits15

Concentration in Family Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care (FNUP)

Level II Courses Core
NURS 643Community-Oriented Primary Care3
NURS 713Decision Making and Pharmacologic Management in Practice3
NURS 714Health Assessment in Clinical Practice2
NURS 724Health Assessment Practicum1
NURS 761Pharmacotherapeutics3
NURS 769Physiology and Pathophysiology in Advanced Practice3
Required Courses
NURS 738Family Primary Care I2
NURS 742Family Primary Care Practicum I2
NURS 739Family Primary Care II4
NURS 744Family Primary Care Practicum II4
NURS 741Family Primary Care III3
NURS 749Family Primary Care Practicum III4
Total Credits34