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School of Medicine Columbia

Admission and Application

Below is information regarding the application process and earning admission into our program.


Students admitted to the graduate program in nurse anesthesia (DNAP) are selected by an Admissions Committee composed of faculty from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, clinical coordinators, and nurse anesthesia students. Applicants must apply to the Graduate School of the University of South Carolina in order to be processed by the admissions committee.

The graduate program in nurse anesthesia (DNAP) does not accept transfer credits or issue advanced standing to any candidate for admission.

  • A bachelor's degree in nursing or an associate degree in nursing with a bachelor's degree in a basic science qualify for admission, if prerequisite courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology and chemistry are completed from an accredited college or university
  • A grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale is needed to be competitive. Competency-based nursing programs where curriculum does not generate a GPA will not qualify applicants for admission
  • Current licensure as a Registered Nurse in one of the 50 states; South Carolina licensure is required by matriculation if licensure is not a part of the Nurse Licensure Compact
  • The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for admittance into the Nurse Anesthesia Program and must be completed within the last 5 years.  A Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score of at least 305 is needed to be competitive. The GRE maybe waived for applicants who have both an overall cumulative undergraduate GPA AND a basic science GPA of 3.50 (without rounding) or higher.  Cumulative undergraduate GPA will be based on all related degrees earned (i.e. ADN, BSN, Chemistry, Biology, etc.), courses credited towards your BSN and additional courses taken after your BSN.  Basic science GPA must consist of at least six (6) hours of coursework in Anatomy and Physiology, three (3) hours of coursework in Microbiology and three (3) hours of coursework in Chemistry (no lab required).  If you have earned a master’s degree or higher, the undergraduate GPA requirement may be replaced with your graduate level degree GPA.

  • A minimum of one year (full-time) critical care nursing experience prior interviews. (Interviews will begin in December.) Current, ongoing intensive care unit experience is preferred (emergency room experience does not meet the ICU requirement)
  • Letters of recommendation from two healthcare professionals who have supervised your clinical experience
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Personal Statement on why you have chosen to become a CRNA.
  • May 1: Application portal opens
  • August 31: Application deadline
  • October/November: Interviews for select applicants 
  • November: Notification of acceptance or decline (applicants and interviewees)
  • January–April: Position offers to alternates (as available)

Students can request to study at either the Greenville campus or the Columbia campus. Attempts are made to assign students to their first choice site; however, due to seat availability there is no guarantee you'll be placed at your preferred site. 

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine and Prisma Health are committed to providing equal consideration to all applicants regardless of race, color, ethnic and national origin, religion, sex, age or marital status. Admission is competitive. Students are chosen on the basis of their academic record, employment history and performance, character and general fitness for the study of nurse anesthesia.


Our application process is thorough in and competitive. We accept a small number of students to help give you the one-on-one attention you need to be successful.

You can apply online through the USC Graduate School website. Our classes begin in May, so be sure you:

  • Complete your application by August 31. 
  • Specify summer semester of the calendar year you wish to attend.
  • Select Medicine Graduate Group-Nurse Anesthesia (DNAP) as your selected degree program on the application.

We will select a number of candidates for a personal interview with the Admissions Committee. If you're selected for the program, we'll let you know via a letter of acceptance. If you'd still like to attend, you'll need to send a notice of intent and a $1,000 non-refundable deposit that will be applied toward your student activity fees.

If you interviewed with us and are not initially offered a position in our program, we may let you know that you've been placed on the alternate list. If a position opens up before matriculation, you could be offered that position. This could happen as late as two months before classes start. 

If we decline your application, you can request that your application be reconsidered for admission or considered for admission to another graduate program without resubmitting your credentials. You will need to submit a completed Request for Change of Status form, which can be found on the USC Graduate School website and a $15 fee.  

If you're reapplying to our program for the next application cycle you'll need to include:

  • A revised, current resume or CV.
  • Two current professional letters of reference (faxed, emailed or mailed directly to us). 
  • Personal Statement on why you have chosen to become a CRNA..


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