Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Master of Science in Nursing

Application Deadline: November 1 for fall admission
Application Available: September 1
Program Start: Fall, once a year only
Length of Program: 1.5 - 2 years full-time
Degree Awarded: Master of Science in Nursing
Part-Time Study Available? YES
Distance Learning Available? Not at this time


About the MSN

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is designed to provide the opportunity for advanced study in select areas of nursing science, professional foundations, related sciences, and modes of systematic inquiry related to advanced and specialized professional nursing practice. This program requires students to have a current Registered Nurse license and hold either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, or a non-nursing baccalaureate degree and an Associate Degree in Nursing or Nursing Diploma. If you do not meet this requirement, please review the Alternate Entry MSN program information.


MSN Concentration Areas

MSN students can choose from one of the following concentration areas on which to focus:

Adult - Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG CNS)

The Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist includes perspectives of both health-restoration and health-promotion, while developing skills in case management. This concentration area focuses on physiological and psychosocial theories, concepts, and research underlying self-care and growth needs of individuals. Other commonly emphasized themes include: holism of clients, family relationships, environmental influences, conceptual thinking, and independent nursing actions. Faculty assist students in individualizing their education by facilitating work in hospital or non-hospital clinical areas in the specialization courses. Practicum experiences provide opportunities for testing new approaches and developing advanced skills.

Graduates are eligible to take the national certification examination offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for recognition as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. The curriculum also includes coursework required by the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners (TxBON) to be qualified as an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN). Additional requirements and experience for APN status are available from the TxBON.

Degree Plans

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

The Family Nurse Practitioner concentration is a 48-credit hour program that combines skills in primary care with community assessment, intervention, and management skills of community health nursing. It emphasizes health promotion, disease prevention, and the management of common acute an chronic illness across the lifespan. Students complete 645 hours of supervised clinical practice with nurse practitioners and primary care physicians and is tailored to the individual student's goals and program objectives.

Graduates are eligible to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) exam and American Academy for Nurse Practitioner (AANP) certification examinations for the family nurse practitioner. The program meets the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty's curriculum guidelines. The curriculum also includes coursework required by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) to be qualified as an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN). Additional requirements and experiences for APN status are available from the BON.

Applicants to the Family Nurse Practitioner program must be graduates of either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, or a non-nursing baccalaureate degree and an Associate Degree in Nursing or Nursing Diploma and have at least two years of full-time clinical experience as a registered nurse within the last five years by the November 1 application deadline.

Degree Plans

Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PCPNP)

The Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner concentration focuses on the delivery of primary care to children from newborns to 21 years of age in a variety of settings. Emphases include child development, parenting, health promotion, disease prevention, and the management of common illnesses in children. Nurse practitioner skills are combined with community assessment, intervention, and management skills to broaden the scope of the clinical practice experiences. The graduate is prepared to assume leadership positions in pediatric-based health care agencies.

The Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner concentration at The University of Texas at Austin is the first nursing program in the country to offer Touchpoints training. Touchpoints is an interdisciplinary, relational, and developmental model of providing health care. Anticipatory guidance is tailored to the child's temperament and developmental level and a supportive relationship is nurtured between the practitioner and the parent.

Graduates are eligible to take the Primary Care Pediatric Nursing Certification Board examination and/or the American Nurses Credentialing Center exam for Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. The curriculum also includes coursework required by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) to be qualified as an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN). Additional requirements and experiences for APN status and prescriptive authority are available from the BON.

Applicants to the Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program must be graduates of either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, or a non-nursing baccalaureate degree and an Associate Degree in Nursing or Nursing Diploma and have at least one year of full-time Registered Nurse experience with children/adolescents within the last five years by the November 1st application deadline.

Degree Plans

Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program (PMHNP)

The PMHNP concentration is a 49-credit hour program that prepares graduates to provide primary psychiatric-mental health care at an advanced level to individuals of all ages and their families. Graduates will be prepared to assume responsibilities including differential diagnosis and management of psychiatric and mental health disorders through medication management and psychotherapeutic interventions including individual, group and family therapies. Graduates will also engage in health promotion and illness prevention strategies with their population. Graduates will participate in and utilize research to improve patient care and patient care systems. Graduates are prepared to work in both inpatient and community based psychiatric/mental health settings and may work in a variety of health care settings providing psychiatric-mental health care and consultation.

Graduates are eligible to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification examinations for the family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. The program meets the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty's curriculum guidelines. The curriculum also includes coursework required by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) to be qualified as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). Additional requirements and experiences for APN status and and prescriptive authority are available from the BON.

Degree Plans

Leadership in Diverse Settings (LeaDS)

The Leadership in Diverse Settings (LeaDS) program is a Master’s level curriculum designed to respond to a national and local call for nurses to assume leadership positions in diverse healthcare settings. This program will facilitate development of a robust set of competencies preparing the graduate to provide leadership in a variety of patient-centered healthcare, community, and educational settings. The graduates of the LeaDS program will be uniquely qualified to lead change in complex, dynamic, and challenging environments. Through courses and guided experiences this program will develop leaders with:

  • Advanced Competencies for Clinical Practice
  • Advocacy Skills to Meet the Needs of Diverse and Underserved Populations
  • Commitment to Stewardship of Resources
  • Communication, Collaboration, and Negotiation Skills
  • Dedication to Developing and Renewing Others
  • Organizational Change Skills
  • Project Management Skills
  • Vision for the Future of Healthcare and Nursing Education

Degree Plans

Advanced Practice Nursing (APN): Visit Advance Practice Nursing to learn about APN programs.

Gerontology Portfolio: Visit Gerontology Portfolio to learn about Gerontology Portfolio.


MSN Resources

Admission Requirements

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 Graduate School and the School of Nursing. Applicants are expected to be graduates of accredited colleges or universities. Below are the minimum requirements for admission.

  1. Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree OR Associate Degree in Nursing or Nursing Diploma AND a non-nursing bachelor’s degree (BS/BA)
  2. GPA: 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or comparable GPA in upper-division work (junior- and senior- level courses) and in any graduate work completed
  3. GRE: The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken within the last 5 years, is required for ALL applicants, there are no exceptions.
  4. Recommendations: 3 required
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6. Curriculum Vitae/resume
  7. Nursing License: Current Texas RN licensure or a license from "Nurse Licensure Compact" state, if admitted.
  8. RN Experience: Applicants to the FNP and PNP program must have two-years and one-year full-time RN experience, respectively, by the application deadline.
     
Application Procedures

All students applying for formal admission to the Master’s and PhD programs must complete the online application and submit the following application materials by the November 1 deadline.

Application for Admission

Complete online application for admissions and pay application fee at ApplyTexas.org. The application is only open between September 1st and November 1st. The online application is data entry only. All supporting application documents are uploaded on the My Status page after the application is paid and submitted.

*Recommendation: Complete online application, at minimum, 2 weeks prior to the November 1 deadline. This allows time for all required documents to be completed and uploaded by the deadline.

Supporting Documents

  1. Official transcripts, dated one year or less, from all four-year institutions attended.
  2. Official transcripts, dated one year or less, for Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN), if applicable. (See MSN Application Checklist (PDF) for transcript upload procedures.)
  3. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores taken within five years of the intended program start date. University code 6882, no department code required. (Recommendation: Complete the GRE exam by October 15 to ensure test score is uploaded by the Nov. 1st deadline.)
  4. Curriculum Vitae: Readable font, 12-point, double spaced, 1-inch margins
  5. Personal Statement: Maximum two (2) pages. Readable font, 12-point, double spaced, 1-inch margins
  6. Recommendations: 3 required / 3 maximum
    1. Using our secure, personalized form, three (3) professional recommendations that attest to the applicant's academic ability, professional competency and personal character must be submitted electronically by each recommender. 
    2. Written recommendations are not accepted.
  7. Official TOEFL scores taken within the past two years (for International Applicants only).
     

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

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

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 ApplyTexas.org.

Note: Current or returning UT Austin graduate students who wish to be considered for admission to a different graduate program must apply using the change of major application found on the Graduate School website.

Acceptance to Graduate Programs in Nursing

The School of Nursing Graduate Admissions and Progression Committee (GAPC) begin preliminary admission reviews after the November 1st 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. Decisions are communicated in the following ways:

  1. Offers of admission are sent via email by the School of Nursing.
  2. Official e-letters from the Graduate and International Admission Center notifying you of the admission decision of the Office of Graduate Studies are available on the application Status Check page.

Acceptance by both the School of Nursing and the Office of Graduate Studies are necessary before enrollment is permitted. Please be aware, if admitted, completion of all compliance requirements are required 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 GIAC only.

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

Forms/Documents

All files are in PDF format.