Admission to the School of Nursing

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School of Nursing
Health Sciences Campus, K-Wing
555 South Floyd Street
Suite 3019
Louisville, Kentucky 40202

Phone: (502) 852-8300
Web: louisville.edu/nursing

Admission Requirements

The School of Nursing offers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). There are two degree curricula available to pursue the BSN: a Traditional BSN and an RN to BSN. Students apply for a degree program based upon their previous academic background. To be eligible to apply to the RN-BSN program, students must be a licensed registered nurse.

Admission to the School of Nursing is a two-level process for the traditional degree program; lower division and upper division. Students must be admitted to the lower division of the degree program to be eligible to apply to the upper division of the degree program. Admission to the lower division does not guarantee admission to the upper division. Admission to the upper division of the degree program is competitive.

Admission to the Lower Division

Students may be admitted directly to the School of Nursing’s lower division (pre-professional) if the minimum admission standards and university deadlines are met. Admission applications must be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Applications are available on line through the university’s website. Admission to the lower division (pre-professional) does not guarantee admission to the upper division (professional curriculum).

Freshmen and transfers with fewer than 24 hours of college credit

To apply to the lower division, applicants must:

  • Submit an official high school transcript
  • Submit all official transcripts from all outside college course work, if applicable
  • Submit an ACT or SAT score.

All documents are submitted to the Office of Admissions. Mail to or request mailing to:

The Office of Admissions
Dept. AO
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292.

Admission in good standing

To be admitted to the lower division in good standing, beginning freshmen and transfer applicants with less than 24 hours of college credit must meet the following requirements:

  • graduation from an accredited high school with a grade point average of  a 2.8 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher, or have an appropriate GED score, or equivalent by petition (for example, home school education). 3.0 high school grade point average required, effective for fall 2018 admission
  • completion of the pre-college curriculum
  • composite ACT scores at or above 22
  • Math ACT sub-score of 22
  • minimum college grade point average of 2.8, if applicable

Admission in conditional standing

Students with a composite ACT score of 22 and a minimum Math sub-score of 19 that meet admission requirements A and B (above) may be admitted in conditional standing. Students in conditional standing become students in good standing if their University of Louisville grade point average is 2.8 or above after completion of their 1st semester. The University Grade Point Average is based on all college-level undergraduate courses taken at the University of Louisville. Students will be placed on academic warning according to the academic warning, probation, and suspension standards if after completion of their 1st semester their University GPA is less than 2.8.

Transfer Students with more than 24 hours of college credit

Students must meet the admissions requirements for transfer students with more than 24 hours. To apply to the lower division, applicants must:

  • Submit all official transcripts from all outside college course work to the Office of Admissions. Mail to or request mailing to:

The Office of Admissions
Dept. AO
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292.

  • Have a minimum cumulative college grade point average of 2.8 (on a 4 point scale) in all undergraduate college work.
  • There is no conditional admission for transfer students.

University of Louisville Students Changing Majors

Students who have completed at least one semester in another school of the University of Louisville and have a minimum college grade point average of 2.8 may apply to the School of Nursing. They must complete an online change of major form that can be found on the university website. Students admitted through this process must be advised before registering for courses in their first semester in the nursing program.

Admission to the Upper Division

Traditional BSN Degree

Admission to the upper division is competitive.

Students that are admitted into the upper division professional nursing curriculum will be required to meet all clinical compliance requirements prior to entering any clinical facilities.

To be considered for admission, applicants must:

  • Have completed the lower division (pre-professional) curriculum or be in the last semester of completion (see Degree Programs- Nursing).
  • Have earned a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.8. The cumulative grade point average for admission to upper division nursing is calculated based on all course work completed at accredited postsecondary institutions. Transfer credit and transfer GPA is determined by the Office of Transfer Articulation in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • Have earned a minimum lower division (pre-professional) program grade point average of 2.8. The lower division program grade point average is based on required lower division curriculum course work as determined by the nursing faculty. 3.0 minimum program GPA required, effective fall 2019.
  • Earn a C or higher in required science, nutrition, nursing and English courses. Science courses must have been completed within the last 10 years. Students must submit an application for acceptance of sciences taken prior to the last 10 years to the School of Nursing Office of Student Services. Appropriate faculty and/or administrators will review the request. Consideration will only be given to those with experience in the science in which exception is being requested. Transfer credit for science courses taken prior to the last 10 years will be evaluated on an individual basis. There can be no outstanding incompletes prior to beginning nursing courses.

Applicants to the Traditional BSN program that have completed 45 or more semester credit hours of the required lower division coursework at University of Louisville and meet the minimum criteria for admission will have 0.2 points added to their program grade point average for ranking during review of upper division applications. Last semester for implementation of this policy is Spring 2019. Effective fall 2019, bonus will be awarded based on admission status as a first time University of Louisville freshman. 

Applying to the Upper Division

To apply to the upper division, a student must:

  • Submit a University of Louisville Undergraduate Application if new to UofL or submit an online change of major form if already enrolled in a school other than the School of Nursing at UofL. 
  • Complete the Legal Questionnaire available on the School of Nursing website
  • Submit a written essay, narrative, or short story describing your personal qualities and how they fit you for a career in nursing, your perception of the nursing field and what influenced you to select nursing as a career
  • Submit a certified criminal background check. Details on the School of Nursing website.
  • Complete the interview process (if requested).
  • Applications and credentials must be received by the following deadlines:
    • May 1 for Fall admission - traditional program
    • September 15 for Spring admission - traditional program

NOTE: An unsatisfactory background check may prevent a student from being admitted into the program and/or licensed as a registered nurse. Questions regarding licensing should be addressed with the Kentucky Board of Nursing. 

The appropriate undergraduate committees must evaluate applicants for acceptance to an upper division clinical cohort. The committee decision will be communicated to the applicant in writing. Admissions are contingent on successful completion of the lower division (pre-professional) curriculum. Accepted students will receive a letter of agreement stating the anticipated start date, the conditions for accepting the space, and consequences of failing to keep the space. Students are required to attend a mandatory orientation provided through the School of Nursing prior to registering for any upper division nursing courses. The letter of agreement must be signed and returned within 10 working days of receipt to assure a space in the upper division clinical cohort. All qualified students who meet admission criteria but are not accepted into the requested upper division clinical cohort due to space constraints should meet with their advisor.

Guaranteed Early Admission

The Guaranteed Early Admission (GEA) program is available to first year University of Louisville freshmen. Twenty spaces are reserved in upper division each academic year for first year, full time college freshmen, who enter the University of Louisville in the Fall semester. First year college freshmen apply upon completion of their first year of college for a guaranteed admission to a specific upper division cohort. These spaces are awarded based upon the student’s competitive application. Transfer students are not eligible.

To be considered as a first year freshman for guaranteed admission to the upper division, an applicant must:

  • Successfully complete NURS 101 (or equivalent) with a passing grade.
  • Successfully complete the first year of full time coursework with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Completion of two required science courses (CHEM 105 and BIOL 102 or their equivalent) with minimum grades of B.

Application requirements:

  • An essay of 500 words or less describing your interest in a career in nursing.
  • School of Nursing Application for GEA available on SON website or from professional advisor.
  • Deadline is May 1each year.

To maintain GEA status:

  • Accept a start date to begin upper division courses for a specific semester.
  • Maintain a cumulative college GPA of 3.0 or higher each semester of enrollment in the lower division.

Admission to RN-BSN Program

Students may be admitted directly into the RN-BSN program if the admissions requirements are met.

To apply to the program, applicants must:

  • Submit a University of Louisville undergraduate admissions application if you are a new student to UofL or submit a major change form if already enrolled in a school other than the School of Nursing at UofL.
  • Submit all official college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Mail to or request mailing to:

The Office of Admissions
Department AO
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292.

  • Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 on all college work.
  • Have a Registered Nurse license (without restrictions).
  • Earn a C or higher in required science, nursing and English courses. There can be no outstanding incompletes in courses prior to beginning nursing courses.
  • May be required to submit a certified criminal background check. Details on the School of Nursing website.
  • Undergraduate admissions deadlines may be obtained from the University of Louisville website at louisville.edu.
  • Applicants are required to be advised by the School of Nursing academic advisor prior to registering for courses.

Additional Transfer Student Information

Awarding of transfer credit

A student may earn college credit through a variety of mechanisms. Therefore, students seeking advanced standing through transfer of credit should seek advice from the Office of Student Services, School of Nursing, as soon as possible. Individual evaluations include:

  1. Courses from accredited colleges and universities.
  2. Course descriptions and outlines.
  3. CLEP examinations.
  4. Advanced Placement examinations.
  5. Portfolio documentation, RN-BSN program only. Students in the RN-BSN program will receive 30 college credits from the university after successful completion of the portfolio course.
  6. General Education Block Certifications by accredited Kentucky institutions are recognized.
  7. The School of Nursing has a ten-year limit on science courses. Transfer credit for science courses taken prior to the last 10 years will be evaluated on an individual basis.
  8. Other transfer courses are evaluated on an individual basis for currency and equivalency to required courses in the nursing curriculum. Science, English, and nursing courses taken at another college or university must have been passed with a grade of C or better in order to be transferred into the nursing curriculum. Generally, only courses equivalent to pharmacology and pathophysiology can be transferred into the School of Nursing degree program.

Transfer Policy for Students Transferring from Other Schools of Nursing

Applicants transferring from other schools of nursing will submit complete course syllabi and appropriate supporting documents to the SON Office of Student Services. These documents must be submitted at least 6 weeks prior to the application deadline. Syllabi and supporting documents will be reviewed by selected SON faculty and Office of Student Services staff for the purpose of evaluating course equivalency to University of Louisville SON courses. Course equivalency must be confirmed prior to admissions. When courses are approved, they become the course of record for that academic year. Nursing courses that have been approved for equivalency will remain equivalent for varying periods of time depending on the course. Nursing courses must be satisfactorily completed at an NLN or CCNE accredited nursing program in order to be considered as equivalent and transfer into the upper division curriculum.

If a student has a previous nursing course failure, it will be considered the first failure by the University of Louisville SON. One additional failure of a nursing course at the University of Louisville SON will result in dismissal from the program.

A student who has previously failed 2 nursing courses at any school of nursing will not be eligible for admission to the University of Louisville SON’s Traditional BSN program. RN–BSN applicants who have failed 2 previous nursing courses at any school of nursing will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Academic Bankruptcy & Forgiveness & Fresh Start

Academic Bankruptcy and Forgiveness policies allow students who are returning to college after an absence of two or more years to request the adjustment of their records for one or more entire semesters of previous college work, provided certain criteria are met. View information on Academic Bankruptcy and Forgiveness and the new Fresh Start policy.

International Student Applicants

Please refer to the university guidelines printed in this catalog regarding International Student Applicants.