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BSN - Early Admission: Am I Ready?

EARLY ADMISSION OPTIONS (available for high school students only)

Application Process
The first step to apply for Early Admission to the College of Nursing is to apply for first-year students interested in nursing apply for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and indicate an interest in nursing on the application.

First-Year Admission to Liberal Arts & Sciences

Early Admission
Early Admission to the College of Nursing is designed for high achieving high school students. There are two application options available: Early Decision and Direct Admission. The detailed information for each option is listed below. Up to 72 students will be selected for study beginning each fall.

Early 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. Early Admission students have the opportunity to complete the degree in four years. 

Early Decision Admission
Early Decision is a binding application process and is an option for academically qualified candidates who know they wish to attend the University of Iowa. Students who apply for Early Decision Admission agree to refrain from pursuing any other Early Decision Schools. The deadline to apply for consideration for Early Decision Admission is January 1, with the initial class of students being selected on or about February 1. Each application receives a holistic review by our faculty committee. Faculty will select and make initial offers of admission from Early Decision Applicants. After the initial selection, all qualified applicants who have completed the supplemental application process will be considered for admission on a space available basis until May 1 (Direct Admission). 

Important Dates & Deadlines for Early Decision Admission:

  • Supplemental Application and official high school transcript due: January 1
  • Offer of Admission: Approximately February 1
  • Acceptance Deadline: Two weeks after offer of admission

Please have official high school transcripts sent to:

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

The Binding Component of Early Decision
Early Decision is the application process in which students make a commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted, they definitely will enroll. While pursuing admission under an Early Decision plan, students may apply via regular admission to other institutions, but may have only one Early Decision application pending at any time.

Direct Admission Information
After all students who have initially been offered Early Decision Admission have made their decision, ALL students who meet the criteria and have submitted the Supplemental Application will be considered for Direct Admission for any available remaining seats, regardless of when their supplemental application was submitted. Students who earn admission via the Direct Admission process will have until May 1 to accept the offer of admission. Admission will be offered on a rolling basis and all applicants meeting requirements will be considered.

Please note, that all seats could be filled with Early Decision candidates and it is possible that no seats would be available for any Direct Admission candidates. 

Students who do not earn admission directly into the College of Nursing would enroll at the University of Iowa with a major of Nursing Interest and be part of the Competitive Admission process after their second year of enrollment. Competitive Admission students should anticipate a plan of study that will take 4.5 years.

Requirements for Early Admission
To be considered for Early Admission (Early Decision or Direct Admission), students must meet minimum GPA, ACT/SAT and course requirements (listed below), and submit responses to essay questions that are provided to the student through a supplemental application. The supplemental application will be emailed to all qualifying students shortly after being admitted to the University of Iowa as Nursing Interest student. Admission is competitive, thus, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. All Early Admission applicant’s files go to a faculty review.

  • 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 Biology
  • 1 year of Chemistry
  • 1 year of Physics
  • Minimum 2nd-level proficiency in one world language
  • Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry
  • 3 years of Social Studies

*Applicants lacking one of the published criteria will be invited to submit an application for Early Admission. Applicants are urged to meet all minimum requirements.
**All Early Admission candidates are expected to complete high school course content deficiencies prior to enrollment at Iowa.
***If an Early 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.


International students who wish to enroll in the College of Nursing for either Early Admission or Competitive 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.

Additional Requirements
Students who earn admission into the College of Nursing via the Early Admission Program are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and have no incidents with the law (including, but not limited to alcohol-, drug-, assault-, or fraud related offenses). Student records will be reviewed at the end of the first year at the university and at the end of each following semester. Should a student not maintain the required cumulative GPA, and/or have an incident with the law, the privilege of having a guaranteed seat in the program will be revoked. A student would still be eligible for Competitive Admission.