Yale School of Nursing, Yale University's Graduate Nursing Programs

Yale School of Nursing


Frequently Asked Questions


General Questions

Does YSN offer a BSN or other undergraduate degree in nursing?
No. YSN does not offer a BSN or other undergraduate degree in nursing because we are strictly a graduate school.

Does YSN offer a bridge RN-to-BSN program?
No. However, you are eligible to apply directly to the MSN program if you already hold (or will soon hold) a bachelor's level degree plus RN certification.

Does YSN offer a PhD in Nursing?
Yes. Students in the Nursing PhD program receive full tuition funding plus a generous annual stipend and healthcare coverage. Our PhD program is a traditional full-time and on-campus program. Find additional information and frequently asked questions associted with the PhD program please click here.

Does YSN offer a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) program? Yes. We enrolled our first Post-MSN DNP class in the fall of 2012.  The DNP program is a part-time program. 

Does YSN offer any distance learning/online programs?
Yes. YSN offers a hybrid/online curriculum in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. This unique programs combines online coursework with monthly visits to campus (one Fri per month during the school year), as well as five intensive in residence courses throughout the program (2-5 days each). The program is designed to enhance the ability of nurses to think and act strategically & collaboratively, engage in management, participate in policy decision-making, and lead agencies through health care change, with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program does not lead to lincensure as an advanced practice nurse.

Do I have to choose a clinical specialty when I apply to the GEPN program?
Yes, all students must select a specialty area at the time of application. All students are admitted into this specialty when accepted into the GEPN program. Specialty area changes are rare, so we encourage all prospective applicants to carefully consider their options.

How long are the academic programs at Yale School of Nursing?
The GEPN program is a 3 year, full-time program. The MSN for RNs can be done on a full-time (2 years) or part-time basis (3-4 years) depending on the specialty area. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program is completed over three years of part-time study. 

Does YSN offer joint degree programs with other professional schools at Yale?
Yes, two separate joint degree programs are offered:

Nursing and Divinity School (MAR or M.DIV)

Nursing and School of Public Health (MPH)

Students must apply separately to, and be admitted by, both the Schools during the same application cycle. Applicants to the Certified Nurse Midwife/Women's Health Nurse Practitioner program are not eligible for joint degree programs.

Graduate Entry Pre-Specialty in Nursing Program Questions

What are the course prerequisites for the GEPN program?
The Yale School of Nursing does not require any pre-requisite courses for entrance into the GEPN program. Applicants who feel their background in the life sciences is deficient are often encouraged to consider taking an anatomy and physiology course or a human biology course. 

What is the GEPN program?
The Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing (GEPN) is a three-year full-time* course of study designed for students with a "non-nursing" bachelor's degree. It combines basic nursing preparation with training in an advanced practice nursing clinical specialty area. Students become Registered Nurses halfway through the program and NPs/CNMs upon graduation.

The first year of the program provides a solid foundation in basic nursing theory/processes and clinical experiences in medical-surgical, pediatric, psychiatric-mental health, maternal-newborn, and community health nursing settings. During the 2nd & 3rd years, students move into a clinical specialty area and continue with the study of relevant nursing theory, practice, and research.

Do I have to choose a clinical specialty when I apply to the GEPN program?

Yes, all students must select a specialty area at the time of application. All students are admitted into this specialty when accepted into the GEPN program. Specialty area changes are rare, so candidates are encouraged to careful consider their options.

Master of Science in Nursing for bachelor prepared nurses and Post-Master Certificate Program Questions

As a Registered Nurse, do I need to have professional nursing experience before I apply?

Although nursing experience is not required for admission, RNs are encouraged to complete one year of professional work prior to entering graduate school.

Do I have to be an APRN or Nurse midwife in order to apply to the Post-Master Certificate Program?

Yes.  All candidates to the Post-MSN Certificate must already be a licensed advanced practice nurse or certified nurse midwife.

Application Questions

What are the application deadlines?
GEPN = November 1
MSN for RNs = February 1
Post-MSN Cert = February 1
DNP = February 1

PhD = January 2 (all materials must be sent to the Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences; not YSN admissions)

All material (including the GRE) must be received by these deadlines. Applicants are encouraged to submit all materials well before these dates.

Should I send my admissions materials in one packet or piece-by-piece?
Nearly all materials will now be uploaded to the online application system.  However, official transcripts can be submitted in several ways: either collected by the applicant and submitted in one packet to the admissions office (please be sure letters remain in their signed, sealed envelopes); sent directly to the admissions office by the institutions; if your college or university has an online transcript service, YSN may also receive the transcript through that medium. 

Do I need to send transcripts from every college I've attended?

Yes. We require an official transcript of your grades from EVERY college, university, or professional school that you attended. A transcript evaluation is required only for degrees received at non-US institutions. You do not need to have your international transcript evaluated if you studied abroad for a semester.

Are the GREs required?
Yes, the GREs are required of all masters level candidates to both the GEPN program and the Master of Science in Nursing for bachelor prepared nurses.  Post-Masters Certificate and Doctor of Nursing Practice candidates are not required to take the GRE. YSN's GRE code is 3998. (For GEPN and MSN candidates) 

Can I waive the GREs?

No, all applicants to the Master of Science in Nursing program, both GEPN and licensed RNs, are required to submit valid and official scores from the GRE.

When is the last day I can take the GRE?
GEPN = Mid-October
RNs = Mid-January

What is considered a competitive GRE score?

While we have no official GRE minimums, scores in the 50th percentile or better on each section are considered competitive. Please be advised, applicants are neither accepted nor denied solely based on GRE scores. 

How many references are required?
Three letters of reference are required for the GEPN/MSN/Post-MSN/DNP/PhD. Letter writers will submit their letters of recommendation electronically through the online application system.  Please see the reference section of the application for detailed instructions.  

Applicants are advised to seek references from individuals who are or have been in a position to objectively evaluate academic or work performance. The following guidelines can be used in asking for references:

GEPN, MSN, and Post-MSN Applicants
If you have been out of school two years or less, submit two academic references and one work reference. If you have been out of school longer than two years, submit one academic reference and two work references. It is important to submit an academic reference, if at all possible. Please avoid ‘personal/character' letters from family members, close friends, co-workers, members of the clergy, personal healthcare providers, etc. These letters are not viewed favorably by the Admissions Committee.

DNP Applicants
At least one of the three letters of recommendation should be an academic reference, while another should be a clinical reference.  The third letter can be academic, clinical, or professional. 

Can a placement file be used in place of references?
A placement file (letters kept on-file at your college or university) can be used in lieu of only one reference, even if the file contains more than one letter. Applicants are encouraged to submit recent, original letters that specifically address their capabilities to pursue a health-related graduate program.

Can my letters of recommendation be submit prior to  submitting my application?
Yes, letters of recommendation, as well as GRE scores and transcripts, can be submitted prior to the application being completed.  Transcripts can be mailed at any time, and letters may be submitted as soon as the application becomes available and the requests sent.  Your application will not be considered complete, however, until all components of the application are received by the Admissions Office. You can contact Admissions at (203) 737-1793 to check on the status of your application or you may log into your account on the application web site to check the status of your documents.  Please note: the online application system cannot be updated with materials received until the application has been submitted. 

What should I do if English is not my first language?

GEPN/MSN Applicants

Individuals whose native or primary language is other than English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language System (IELTS) as one of the admission requirements. An exception will be made if the individual received one or more degree from a US institution of higher learning.

Post-MSN Certificate/DNP Applicants will not have to sit for the English language exam if they received a degree from a US institution.

TOEFL Minimum Required Score: Total = 100/120 with no section score below:
Reading = 22/30, Listening = 22/30, Writing = 22/30, Speaking = 24/30

IELTS Minimum Required Score: Band 7.0/9.0, with no section score below Band 6.5/9.0

For additional information, please consult: www.toefl.org or www.ielts.org.

If I am the graduate of a foreign nursing school, what steps must I take prior to application?

MSN/Post-MSN Applicants
Prior to enrolling in the School, graduates of foreign schools of nursing must pass the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) examination as well as the NCLEX-RN examination in order to become a registered nurse (RN) in the United States. Information on the CGFNS examination can be obtained from www.cgfns.org, the United States Embassy, or the nurses' association in the foreign country of residence. Please note: this process could take up to three-four months to complete. Additionally, you must have your international transcripts evaluated by a credentialing agency as part of the admissions application process. Two reputable agencies are www.wes.org and www.ece.org.

If I am not accepted to a program at Yale School of Nursing (GEPN, MSN, Post-MSN, or DNP), can I reapply?
Yes, applicants to the School of Nursing can apply three times to the same program. If after three applications an offer of admission has not been extended, the applicant cannot apply again to that particular program.

What do the acronyms APN and APRN represent?
APN or APRN stands for advanced practice (registered) nurse, an umbrella term given to a registered nurse who has met advanced educational and clinical practice requirements beyond the 2 to 4 years of basic nursing education

Under this umbrella fall four principal types:
Nurse Practitioner (NP) – Available at YSN
Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) – Available at YSN
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) – YSN no longer offers a CNS program
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) – YSN does not offer a CRNA program