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BSN Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions

Admission to the College of Nursing via the Direct Admission process or the Standard Admission process is competitive; thus, meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not guarantee admission. A cohort of up to 80 students will be selected from the pool of qualified applicants for study beginning each fall and spring session. The number and the quality of the applicants will determine the competitiveness of the applicant pool. Historically, students who have built a solid science foundation, who demonstrate the ability to communicate clearly, who have an understanding of professional nursing practice, and who have excelled in the prerequisite course work have had the highest probability of earning admission.

No. Faculty are concerned that students have established the foundation that is essential for success in our program.

Students apply for admission to our College of Nursing one of two ways:

Direct Admission Program applicants can apply after completion of the junior year in high school. Complete the 'College of Liberal Arts and Science' application and select 'Nursing Interest' as your major. Qualified applicants will be given access to the Supplemental Application via their Admissions Profile on MyUI.

Standard Admission
​​University of Iowa students will complete the 'Collegiate Transfer' Application and indicate 'Nursing' (not RN-BSN) as the major on the application.
Transfer students will complete a 'Transfer Student' Application and indicate 'Nursing' (not RN-BSN) as the major area of study.

Application questions? Contact the University of Iowa’s Office of Admissions. Please refer to the information posted in the 'Admissions' and 'Prerequisites' sections of our website for more details of when you would be eligible to apply.

Effective August 1, 2018, the College of Nursing will no longer accept letters of recommendation for applicants to the BSN program.

At this point in time, the University of Iowa College of Nursing does not require CNA certification. Having CNA certification will broaden your options for employment in the Iowa City area as well as increase your exposure to nursing.

Yes, please refer to limitations on what is required at the time of application and time of matriculation (enrollment) outlined on the Competitive Admission page of our website:
BSN-Competitive Admission

Yes. All prerequisites, general education requirements and elective course work must be completed prior to starting the nursing major. This includes the high school world language and physics requirements.

Yes. Students who earn admission via our Early Admission Program can complete the program of study in four years. Students who enroll in the College of Nursing via competitive admission will most likely complete the degree in 4.5 years.

No. The BSN pre-licensure program requires a full-time committment on campus to earn your BSN at Iowa.

Our curriculum is built upon a two-year prerequisite and then a two-year nursing major framework. Students who have completed the required course work and earn admission to our program can complete the program in four semesters.

The College of Nursing accepts AP credit meeting the same standards as our College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with the exception of Biology and Chemistry, where a score of 5 is required. To access the AP Credit standards for credit, please visit

A maximum of 64 s.h. of community college credit is accepted toward the BSN at the University of Iowa. Most courses from an accredited four-year institution will transfer to our University. Students can access our Transfer Equivalency Database to identify if and how a course will transfer: go to and select "Courses", then select "Transfer Courses" on the right side of the screen.

Although the prerequisite courses can be completed either at The University of Iowa or another community college or university, all nursing course work must be completed at The University of Iowa.

No, we do not require an entrance exam for the pre-licensure BSN program.

This is a personal choice. A computer is a necessity for degree completion. Both operating systems are supported on our campus. We encourage students to connect with ITS for information about minimum requirements, as well as student discounts.In addition, to ensure that students are able to participate and complete College of Nursing courses, please plan to have a computer with the following capabilities:

  • Operating System: Windows 10 or higher, MacOS 10.14 to 10.12, OSX 10.11, OSX 10.10  (Chromebook is not supported).
  • Memory: Minimum of 8GB RAM recommended.
  • Processor Speed: Minimum of Intel Core i5 or equivalent.
  • Hard Drive/SSD: 256 GB or larger.
  • Wireless: Any card that supports 802.11 n/ac protocols and WPA2 Enterprise.

Yes, students will need to have transportation available in the third and fourth year of the curriculum to travel for their clinical practica and the senior internships.

True specialization in nursing takes place in graduate study. Your initial degree in nursing will prepare you as a “generalist”, eligible for entry into practice. Students in our program are encouraged to pursue graduate education.

Effective July 1, 2009, the Iowa Board of Nursing requires copies of sentencing orders with all applications for licensure. Specific requirements pertaining to a criminal record and the effect on RN licensure in Iowa can be found at: Iowa Board of Nursing: Criminal History - FAQs. Students interested in licensure in a state other than Iowa should contact that particular state's Board of Nursing to identify policies and regulations.