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Alternate Entry Master of Science in Nursing (AE-mSn)

General Information 

**Application Deadline: October 1 for summer admission
**Application Available: August 1
Length of Program: 3 years full-time
Degree Awarded: Master of Science in Nursing
Part-Time Study Available? After the foundation (first) year

Distance Learning Available? Not at this time

If you have a bachelor's degree outside of Nursing, an Associates Degree in Nursing and you are a licensed registered nurse please visit the Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) program page.

About the AE-MSN

The Alternate Entry Master of Science in Nursing (AE-MSN) program is designed for people holding baccalaureate or graduate degrees in disciplines other than nursing and who are interested in pursuing both their Registered Nurse (RN) License and Master of Science in Nursing degree. After successfully completing the rigorous academic and clinical training, AE-MSN graduates are expected to assume entry-level positions and to advance rapidly in their nursing careers as they acquire experience in the field. AE-MSN students can choose from one of the following concentration areas on which to focus (click on the link for a program description and degree plan):

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Course of Study

  • The Foundation Year: The AE program is designed to satisfy RN licensure requirements and train students in advanced practice and specialty nursing roles. The first year of the program is an intensive, full-time series of foundation courses. The AE-MSN Foundation Year (Pre-Licensure) Courses (PDF) are accelerated, specially designed graduate courses. These courses include content and experiences that are required to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and are required for graduate-level study in nursing. All foundation courses must be completed before students are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The sequence of AE-MSN foundation courses begins in the first summer session of the program, and full-time enrollment during the foundation sequence is required.
  • Master’s Coursework: After passing the NCLEX-RN and obtaining their RN license, students are eligible to work as an RN in Texas only. The second and third years of the program focus on the coursework required for the Master of Science in Nursing degree in the student's chosen concentration area. The MSN degree is typically awarded in the spring of the third year.

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Admission Requirements for the AE-MSN Program

All students interested in applying for graduate study in Nursing at the University of Texas at Austin must meet the admission requirements established by the University’s Office of Graduate Studies and the School of Nursing. Applicants are expected to be graduates of accredited colleges or universities. Below are the minimum requirements for admission.

  1. Bachelor’s degree in an area other than Nursing
  2. A GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or comparable GPA in upper-division work (junior- and senior-level courses) and in any graduate work previously completed
  3. Completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within the past five years (School code: 6882). No exceptions apply.
  4. Completion of all AE-MSN Prerequisite Courses (PDF) at the time of summer enrollment (not the time of application)
  5. Three electronic letters of recommendation forms - at the time of application you must provide the name, position, and email address for three recommenders. Recommenders are sent instructions to complete the electronic recommendation form via email. *At minimum one reference must be from a healthcare professional, such as a nurse, physician, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist.
  6. Statement of Purpose
  7. Curriculum Vitae

*Applicants to the AE-MSN program are encouraged to have volunteer or work experience in a healthcare related field.

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Application Procedures for the AE-MSN Program

All students applying for formal admission to the Alternate Entry Master’s must submit the following application materials by the October 1 deadline.

Application for Admission

Complete online application for admissions and pay application fee at School of Nursing application is only open between August 1st and October 1st. The online application is data entry only. All supporting application documents are uploaded on the My Status Check after the application is complete.

*Note: The online application should be completed at minimum 1 week prior to the October 1 deadline to allow time for all required documents to be completed and uploaded by the deadline. Recommendation: Complete online application as early as possible to allow enough time for recommendations to be completed and submitted before the deadline.

Supporting Application Documents

  1. Official transcripts from all four-year institutions attended. Upload an official copy to the application website and if admitted the official hard copy transcripts is required.
  2. Official community college transcripts for all colleges where prerequisites were taken or currently taking.
    1. Official transcripts must be dated one year or less at the time of application. If not available, order transcript to be sent to applicant’s home, open and upload document to the My Status Check page; the opened official copy should be sent to the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) upon acceptance. Details are provided after acceptance.
  3. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores taken within five years of the intended program start date. University code 6882, no department code required. Note: GRE scores take 10-14 days to reach UT Austin.
  4. Curriculum Vitae
  5. Personal Statement:
    1. Maximum two (2) pages
    2. (Readable font, 12-point, double spaced, 1-inch margins)
  6. Three references:
    1. Provide the name, position, and email address for three recommenders on the application for admissions. Recommenders are sent an email with instructions on completing the recommendation form 48 hours after the application is completed, paid and submitted.
    2. At minimum one reference must be from a healthcare professional, such as a nurse, physician, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist.
  7. Official TOEFL scores taken within the past two years (for International Applicants only).
  8. Alternate Entry Prerequisite Checklist (PDF)
  9. Alternate Entry Transcript Evaluation Form (if applicable)

Visit the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) website for more information.

For additional details on how to prepare your graduate application materials and personal statement instructions, please view the AE-MSN Application Checklist (PDF).

Note: All materials are to be submitted electronically to the My Status Check (available approximately two days after online application submission) after completion of the application on

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Acceptance to Graduate Programs in Nursing

The School of Nursing Graduate Admissions and Progression Committee (GAPC) may begin preliminary admission reviews as soon as an applicant’s file is complete; however, admission decisions are not made until after the program’s application deadline. All application materials are required to be submitted by the program’s application deadline; files that remain incomplete will not be reviewed or acted upon by GAPC.

If admitted, applicants will be notified of the admission decision by early March and will receive two separate notices: (1) an unofficial e-letter from the School of Nursing informing you of the Committee’s decision, and (2) an official e-letter from the Graduate and International Admission Center notifying you of the admission decision of the Office of Graduate Studies. Acceptance by both the School of Nursing and the Office of Graduate Studies is necessary before enrollment is permitted. Please be aware that if admitted, you will be required to meet all compliance requirements at least one month prior to the first day of class.

NOTE: Email is the official means of communication for all university business.

If not admitted, applicants will be notified by the Graduate and International Admission Center only.

Please feel free to email Graduate Student Services Office if you have questions about the admission process.

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Important Forms/Documents

All files are in PDF format.

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