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RN-MSN FAQ

Advising Options

Do students need to meet with an academic advisor? 
No; Academic Partnership students are required to submit a signed advising syllabus prior to enrolling in their first session of academic work.  Advising holds will be removed after this document is received by the College of Nursing.  Information about advising procedures is listed on the College of Nursing website, Advising page. Most advisement is handled via e-mail.  However, a student may schedule a phone or face-to-face appointment by calling 817-272-2776 during business hours and selecting option 2. 

Program Information

What other MSN programs does UT Arlington’s College of Nursing offer?
In addition to the Academic Partnership Online RN to MSN program, UT Arlington also offers Campus-Based MSN programs.

Do all College of Nursing graduate programs require a BSN and two (2) years RN experience?   
In order to attend graduate programs in nursing, a student must possess a BSN. Two years clinical experience is strongly recommended for BSN to MSN programs.  RN to MSN programs require two years of experience working as a licensed RN.  UT Arlington’s Campus-Based graduate nursing programs options are as follows:
Master of Science in Nursing: Various options available; visit the MSN website.  
Doctoral Options: Two options are available:

How long is the online campus program?
In total, 150 credit hours are needed to complete the RN to MSN degree at UTA.  There are a total of 28 ADN credits, 54 prerequisite general education courses; 32 upper-division BSN courses; 6 graduate level nursing electives; and 30 graduate level nursing courses.

Each student will have an individualized course map determined by the number of transfer credit hours accepted.  It takes approximately 36 months to complete the program following the recommended course load.

How does a student map out degree requirements?
The RN to MSN program is designed to be flexible and there is no concrete path to progress through the program. The link below displays our suggested course load. We do not recommend students take more than the suggested course load.  Please note that students are allowed to take two nursing courses concurrently (excluding NURSU 3345 and NURSU 4685), however, this is not recommended for most students.

How many credit hours must be taken each semester to be considered full time?
Students must enroll in at least 6 credit hours each semester in order to be considered a full time undergraduate student.

What is the difference between an academic semester and session?
Spring, summer and fall are considered academic semesters.  Online courses are offered on several start dates, or sessions, during each semester. 

What is the difference between a nursing and general education session?
Nursing courses are offered in 5 week sessions (exception: NURSU 4685 Capstone which is 7 weeks). General education courses are offered in 8 week sessions (exception: MATH 1301/1302 and 1308 are offered once a semester in a 15 week format).

Can students work while in the nursing program?
Yes; many RN to MSN students are full and part time working nursing. 

Prerequisites, Transfer Credit, & Academic Standing

 Is there a time limit on any prerequisite nursing or general education courses?
No; however, once a student completes the RN to BSN portion of the program, they must begin the MSN program within one year.  Students beginning the MSN program after one year will be required to reapply and retake their graduate level elective requirements.

Can prerequisites be waived because of a previous degree?
No; a previous degree does not waive or exclude missing prerequisite coursework. UT Arlington’s Office of Admissions evaluates coursework from submitted official transcripts. The College of Nursing applies the transferred credit to the required lower-division prerequisites as appropriate.

What do students need to know about the Texas Success Initiative (TSI)?
The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) has been developed by the state legislature to ensure student success at institutions of higher education.

To have the TSI Liable hold removed, contact the TSI Advisor at tsi@uta.edu.

Can a student CLEP out of prerequisites?
Yes; visit the testing website for further information about credit by examination. Course credit offered by UT Arlington’s Testing Office that is eligible to be claimed will be accepted by the College of Nursing in fulfillment of the prerequisite courses, such as: English, Government, History, Math, Psychology, and Sociology.

Do all prerequisite general education courses need to be completed before applying? 
No; prerequisite general education courses may be taken along with nursing courses.  However, students must complete English Composition I, Composition II, and Technical Writing before enrolling in Professional Nursing.  Students are permitted to take Technical Writing and Professional Nursing simultaneously.  Statistics is a prerequisite requirement for Nursing Research.

Must I be connected to the Internet to complete the courses?
Yes; Internet access is required to download an individual course and online readings onto a computer and to submit and receive feedback on assignments, assessments and participate in online discussions.

Campus-Based courses use the internet and the Blackboard system to varying degrees depending on Instructor preference and course structure. Blackboard System Requirements are as follows:

Internet Connection
A stable DSL, cable or satellite connection is required to use Blackboard. Direct connections to the router are preferred over wireless or satellite connections.

Hardware
These are the minimum system requirements for using Blackboard

  • 1G RAM
  • 166 MHz processor/508 Power PC
  • screen resolution of 600×800
  • Broadband internet connection
  • Windows XP or higher or
  • Mac OS 10.5 or higher

Software
Use the browser test which detects which programs work and which need to be updated.

Visit Blackboard’s list of Supported Browsers and Operating Systems.

Regular monitoring of your UT Arlington Mavs e-mail address is required. The Mavs e-mail address is the official means of communication and information regarding your coursework, degree, and correspondence.

Are transfer credits accepted? 
Yes; if the credits are accepted by UT Arlington’s Office of Admissions and fulfill the College of Nursing lower-division prerequisite requirements. Visit our Equivalency Charts regarding how pre-approved credit transfers in from other Texas institutions.

All transfer courses must have a grade of “C” or higher in order to receive credit.

Are grades from transfer credit looked at in the admission process?
Yes; while UT Arlington does not use transferred grades to calculate a student’s overall GPA, the College of Nursing uses transferred grades for admission into the program.  Students must possess a 3.0 GPA in courses in which a grade was earned in order to be eligible for the RN to MSN program.  Students must retain a 3.0 GPA throughout the duration of the program in order to remain eligible for transition into MSN coursework.

What if a student has already completed part of a RN to BSN program at another institution?
A transfer nursing student must submit official course syllabi to the Assistant Dean for all upper division nursing courses they wish to appeal for course credit.  Introduction to Professional Nursing and Capstone must be taken at UT Arlington.

All students must complete 30 residency credit hours at UTA in order to receive their BSN.

Why would the Degree Progress Report/UMAP on MyMav appear to be incorrect?
If utilizing the Degree Progress Report/UMAP on the MyMav system, note it is not updated with transfer coursework until a UT Arlington graduation application has been submitted and processed.  In the meantime, use the degree plan provided by your Academic Advisor.

How does UT Arlington academic probation and suspension work?
While it is anticipated that each student will succeed in taking the required lower-division prerequisite courses, sometimes this is not the case.  Students are expected to adhere to both UT Arlington Undergraduate Catalog policies and the College of Nursing policies. It is imperative that every UT Arlington student reads, understands, and complies with the required academic standards. 

With respect to academic probation, visit Undergraduate Catalog Academic Regulations section.

RN to MSN Application & Admission Processes

Where is the RN to MSN application located?
Apply and submit official transcripts from courses taken at outside institutions to the Office of Admissions and Records.  Admission to UT Arlington is dependent on receipt of all official transcripts from outside institutions.  Allow at least four weeks for the admission process. 

Does acceptance into UT Arlington mean a student is accepted into the College of Nursing?
No; although there is only one application, students must go through a three step process after they submit their official application with the university.

  • Step One:  The Office of Admissions will notify applicants once all required documents have been received. 
  • Step Two:  An official transcript evaluation is conducted by the Office of Admissions after all official transcripts are submitted—course credits will be visible under “Transfer Credit Report” in the MyMav Student Center.  Students will be notified via their UTA student email once the transfer credit evaluation is complete. The completion of this process does not indicate that you have been accepted into the College of Nursing.
  • Step Three: After steps one and two are complete, all students are sent to the College of Nursing (in the order in which they are received) for final application processing and acceptance into the RN to MSN program.

What are the admissions requirements for RN to MSN applicants?
To be considered for admission, a student must have:

  • A current RN license (United States)
  • Two years of experience as a RN in the United States at admission
  • Admission GPA of 3.0 or higher on nursing prerequisite courses

How often does the College of Nursing accept applicants to the RN to MSN nursing program?
The Academic Partnership Online RN to MSN program continually admits students throughout the year.  If a student is not processed in time to start coursework on their desired start date, they will automatically roll over to be processed for the next start date.

If the TOEFL is required, what are the minimum score requirements?
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for the College of Nursing is more stringent than for UT Arlington. Visit the College of Nursing Policies and speak to your Academic Advisor. A high school diploma and/or a bachelor’s degree or higher earned in the United States exempts the TOEFL requirement.

Tuition & Financial Aid

What other costs besides tuition will I have?

The following are fees that may change, unrelated to a student’s set tuition cost:

  • Books and required online resources
  • Proctored Exam Expenses:

MATH 1302:  For three chapter tests and the final, Proctor U is required to be used at the student’s expense.  If local in the DFW metroplex, UTA offers the testing service free of charge.   Additional information is provided in Blackboard.
Math 1308:  Beginning in the fall 2014 term, Statistics will also require a proctored exam using either Proctor U or UTA.

At the conclusion of the program, expect a graduation fee.

What about financial aid and scholarships?
Visit Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, or to speak with a Financial Aid Counselor call 817-272-3561.

Accelerated Online RN to MSN Program Information

What is the official website for the AP RN to MSN Program?
The AO RN to MSN website.

Is distance education right for me?
All nursing lower-division prerequisite and upper-division nursing courses are taught in the online format. To determine if this format is the best fit, visit Is Online Right for Me? Contact your assigned Academic Advisor to discuss this issue further. 

What is the difference between an Enrollment Specialist and an Academic Advisor?
Enrollment Specialists serve as a concierge for students interested in pursuing the AP RN to MSN program.  Their goal is to assist students in navigating the application, admission, and enrollment process.  Enrollment Specialists are assigned to students when they express interest in the program and Enrollment Specialists typically follow up with students on the same day!
Contact Enrollment Specialists for:

  • general information about the program
  • application instructions
  • registration instructions
  • if not sure who to contact

Responsibilities in the academic advising process by UT Arlington’s College of Nursing Academic Advisors include:

  • Provide a safe, respectful and confidential space to ask questions and discuss concerns
  • Assist students in making decisions regarding their degree plan, registration in courses, and application to the nursing program
  • Encourage students to move forward in their personal and professional development
  • Provide resources and referrals to other campus offices as needed
  • Understand and effectively communicate UT Arlington and College of Nursing policies and procedures

When can a student take graduate level courses?
When fewer than 12 RN to BSN hours remain, the student will submit a short form indicating the desire to continue into the graduate program to their Undergraduate Academic Advisor.  After an advisor determines a student is eligible to transition into the MSN program—students may enroll in two graduate level electives before completing Capstone.  When the final RN to BSN courses are completed, the undergraduate degree will be conferred and the student continues taking MSN courses until graduate degree completion.

What eligibility requirements determine if a student may transition into the MSN program?
Students must retain a 3.0 GPA while in the program.  To be eligible to continue in the RN to MSN program, the student must have completed the following courses with an overall GPA at or above a 3.3:
N3345             Role Transition to Professional Nursing
N3315             Holistic Health Assessment Across the Lifespan
N4325             Nursing Research

When should a student contact their MSN Academic Advisor?
The Graduate Academic Advisor will work with the student to schedule graduate courses.  Once a student has transitioned into their MSN coursework, they will be required to communicate with their Graduate Academic Advisor.

What is considered an inactive student?
Students have one year from the time of last enrollment before their account becomes inactive or if a student does not enroll, three semesters (including summer) will pass before the account becomes inactive.

Do AP RN to MSN students have to come to campus for any reason?
No; all advising and instruction is conducted online through email, Blackboard, and MyMav.  Students have the option to attend the Commencement Ceremony on-campus during graduation.

What grade is considered failing?
A grade of “D” or “F” is considered failing in undergraduate nursing courses.  A grade of “C,” “D,” or “F” is considered failing in graduate level coursework.

Is there an appeals process for failed nursing courses?
No, students will incur all grades received in nursing courses.  RN to BSN students are permitted to fail up to two nursing courses.  MSN students are permitted to fail only one nursing course.  Students are subject to be placed on probationary status.  If a student exceeds the number of permitted failures, they will not be permitted to continue in the program.

What grades must a student make in order to obtain a 3.3 GPA in NURS 3345, NURS 3315, and NURS 4325?
Below are scenarios portraying acceptable grades needed to attain a 3.3 GPA.

3.3 gpa scenarios

How many courses can a student drop?
Students may drop up to six courses that result in a grade of “W,” while in the RN to BSN portion of the program.  However, once transitioned into graduate studies, students may only drop up to three courses that result in a grade of “W.”

Are students eligible to walk in the Commencement Ceremony upon completion of their BSN degree?
Yes; all students in the RN to BSN portion of the program are permitted to apply and walk in the UTA Commencement Ceremony and College of Nursing Pinning Ceremony.

Are students required to apply for graduation if they do not intend to walk in the ceremony?
Yes; all students must apply for graduation in order to have their BSN degree conferred.