The College of Nursing admits students to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program upon satisfactory completion of pre-nursing courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Highly qualified first-year students may be admitted as nursing majors through the College of Nursing's Early Admission Program.

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.

Early Admission

Early Admission to the College of Nursing has two pathways: Early Decision and Direct Admission. The detailed information for each pathway is listed below.

Early Decision Information
Highly qualified first-year students may be admitted as nursing majors by applying for Early Decision Admission. Early Decision is a binding application process. The deadline to apply for consideration for  Early Decision  admission is January 1.

Early Decision Admission applicants will receive their admission decision by February 1, then have two weeks to accept their offer and pay the $250 acceptance fee.

Direct Admission Information
After all students who have 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 Admission 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. 

Students who are admitted for Early Admission (Early Decision or Direct Admission) will be able to complete the program in four years—two years of prerequisite course work followed by two years of nursing course work. Students who are admitted to the BSN program through Competitive Admission should anticipate a plan of study that takes 4.5 years to complete.

To be considered for Early 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
  • 4 years (fourth level proficiency) of the same world language, or two years (second level proficiency) in two different world languages, or two years of the same world language plus additional required coursework
  • 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 Admission to Nursing

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.

BSN Competitive Admission

The College of Nursing recognizes that not all students have completed the requirements for Early Admission directly out of high school, and that there are many students who change their majors, or pursue a second degree in nursing. The college is committed to offering an equal number of seats to students who follow this pathway. This program is competitive. Please note that meeting the requirements does not guarantee admission. Admission will be offered conditionally pending completion of all requirements. To be considered for admission, you must:

  • Complete the Minimum High School Course Requirements.
  • Complete the Prerequisite College Courses with a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher and a grade of C (2.00 GPA) or higher in the prerequisite college courses.
  • Applicants for whom English is not the first language also are required to present a TOEFL score of 100 or higher on the internet-based test.

Other Undergraduate Areas of Study in the College of Nursing

The College of Nursing also offers the undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program for high school students and an RN-BSN program for licensed nurses interested in obtaining the bachelor's degree.