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BSN - Direct Admission

DIRECT ADMISSION OPTIONS (available for eligible high school students only)
Direct Admission Direct Admission to the College of Nursing is designed for high achieving high school students. Up to 80 Direct Admission students will be selected for study beginning each fall. Students admitted through Direct Admission will have the opportunity to complete the program in four years.

Applicants meeting all or lacking one of the published criteria listed below will be invited to submit an application for Direct Admission. Applicants are urged to meet all minimum requirements.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Minimum 28 ACT Composite score, or a minimum 1300 on the SAT score
  • Minimum 3.8 or higher cumulative GPA (can be weighted or unweighted)
  • 4 years of High School English
  • 1 year of High School Biology
  • 1 year of High School Chemistry
  • 1 year of High School Physics
  • One year of each: Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry
  • 3 years of High School Social Studies
  • Minimum 2nd-level proficiency in one world language

High School students who do not meet the eligibility requirements for Direct Admission should look at the Standard Admission process.

*All Direct Admission candidates are expected to complete high school course content deficiencies prior to enrollment at Iowa.
**If a Direct Admission candidate meets the world language requirement with the minimum two years of the same world language, the student will then be required to complete a three s.h. course from one of the following categories: Values & Culture, Diversity & Inclusion, or International & Global Issues.

For first-year students interested in applying directly to the University of Iowa College of Nursing, the first step is to apply for admission to the University of Iowa via the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and indicate Nursing Interest as the major area of study.

     First-Year Admission to Liberal Arts & Sciences

Qualified students who meet the Direct Admission eligibility requirements will see the link to the Supplemental Application on their Admission Profile within MyUI. The link should appear 24-48 hours after being admitted to the University of Iowa.

To be considered for Direct Admission, students need to submit the Supplemental Application which includes essay questions and an activities/experiences list, an official high school transcript, and official SAT/ACT test scores. Without all three of these components, an application is considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Please have official high school transcripts mailed to:

     Office of Admissions
     The University of Iowa
     107 Calvin Hall Iowa City, IA 52242-1396

Electronic transcripts can be sent to; however, for transcripts to be considered official, they must be sent directly from the student’s school.

All complete Direct Admission applications will be reviewed by the faculty admission committee. Admission is competitive, thus, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

The Supplemental Application includes several essay questions and an activities/experiences list.

The essay questions are an important part of your application and are considered by the admission committee to have equal weight to your GPA and official test scores (ACT/SAT). We recommend you prepare responses in a separate document (using Microsoft Word or a similar program) and paste them into the text boxes below. Preparing your response in a separate document will allow you to check your spelling and save your responses should you want to refer to them at a later date. Each essay question has a 1,500-character limit.

Students also have the opportunity to submit an Activities/Experiences list and can list up to three activities they have been involved in within the past 5 years that they would like to share with the faculty.

Students can apply for Direct Admission to the College of Nursing via Early Action or Regular Decision.

Early Action

  • Early Action has an application deadline of November 1
  • Up to 50 Early Action applicants will be admitted for Direct Admission to the College of Nursing
  • Students who apply via Early Action will receive an admission decision on or about December 1
  • Students who apply via Early Action who are not initially offered admission may be moved to the Direct Admission pool

Regular Decision

  • Regular Decision has an application deadline of February 1
  • All Regular Decision applications are a part of the Direct Admission pool
  • 30 applicants from the pool will be admitted for Direct Admission to the College of Nursing
  • Students in the Direct Admission pool will receive an admission decision on or about March 1

Acceptance Deadline
All students will have until May 1 to accept or decline an offer of admission

Students not initially admitted from the Direct Admission pool may be selected for Assured Admission or added to a Waitlist for Assured Admission.

Assured Admission
A small number of students will be offered Assured Admission. These students will fill vacancies created by Direct Admission admits declining offers of admission, canceling admission after acceptance, or withdrawing from the program. Assured students are guaranteed a spot to begin the nursing major in the fall or spring of their junior year. These students are expected to enroll at the University of Iowa and maintain the same criteria as a Direct Admission student in order to keep their spot on the Assured Admission List. Assured Admission students are considered College of Nursing students.

Waitlist for Assured Admission

A select number of students from the Direct Admission pool who are not initially admitted for Direct Admission and are not guaranteed Assured Admission will be placed on a ranked Waitlist for Assured Admission. After May 1 and once all seats in the Direct Admission class have been filled, any student remaining on the list will have their application to the College of Nursing cancelled.

Students who are not admitted via Direct Admission or guaranteed a spot via Assured Admission could enroll at the University of Iowa as a student in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences with a major of Nursing Interest and be part of the Standard Admission process after their second year of enrollment. Standard Admission students should anticipate a plan of study that will take 4.5 years.

The following factors are considered by the admissions committee while reviewing applications. This list is not all inclusive. It is in alphabetical order and does not designate order of importance:

  • Academic Preparation, including GPA
  • Advanced Placement/Honors/Dual Enrollment Credit
  • Commitment to service to others
  • Contribution to the College of Nursing commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Essay responses
  • Experience that develops qualities that contribute to becoming a nurse
  • Experience in caregiving
  • Military service
  • Standardized Test Scores
  • Understanding of Professional Nursing Practice

Direct Admission and Assured Admission students will be assigned an advisor in the College of Nursing and become engaged with our college through research, simulation, support and/or volunteerism while completing prerequisite courses for the nursing major. Direct Admission students have the opportunity to complete the degree in four years. Assured Admission students may have the opportunity to complete the degree in four yours and are guaranteed to the have the opportunity to complete the degree in 4.5 years.

International students who wish to enroll in the College of Nursing for either Direct Admission or Standard Admission must meet the requirements listed for that pathway. International students for whom English is not the first language also are required to complete the following:

For students (early admission or transfer) who are new to the University of Iowa and admitted directly to the College of Nursing as a pre-licensure BSN student, a score of 100 on the iBT TOEFL is required.

University of Iowa students who are interested in studying nursing at Iowa, but have not yet earned admission to the College of Nursing must present a minimum iBT of 81 with no subscore lower than 17, and complete the English Proficiency Evaluation (unless they have a TOEFL score of 100 or higher on the iBT). Students may be required to complete English as a Second Language course work if specified as a result of the English Proficiency Evaluation. If such course work is required, it must be completed prior to the start of the nursing major.

Exemptions may be granted for persons who have completed a bachelor’s degree (or higher) at an accredited university in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada (excluding French Quebec), Africa (English speaking), Australia, or New Zealand.

Please contact the college's Office of Student Services at 319-335-8216 or