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College of Nursing

Admission Information

BSN Program (Pre-licensure) Admission Requirements

Lower Division: In order to be admitted into the College of Nursing, freshmen must meet all University and College of Nursing admission requirements. Acceptance into the University with a lower-division classification does not guarantee progression into the upper-division nursing major. Students who consider studying nursing at Carolina need to be aware that all UofSC undergraduates who seek a nursing degree are first admitted into the College of Nursing’s pre-nursing lower division. This does not guarantee later admission into the upper division.¹ Students enrolled in the lower division must meet minimum upper division admission standards set forth by the College of Nursing. Once minimum criteria are met, all qualified applicants are placed into an applicant group and are evaluated, using the same criteria, by their progression grade point averages and essay and/or interview criterion for a total evaluation metric. Based on the number of available seats and available clinical sites, students are admitted based on results of the total evaluation metrics. In recent years admission to the upper division has become highly competitive as demand for the program of study has increased and therefore, the average evaluation metrics will change from cohort to cohort.

To be considered for admission into pre-nursing lower division of the BSN in Nursing generic (pre-licensure) program, transfer students must have a minimum 3.000 overall GPA in their college level coursework.  In addition, only one below C grades will be allowed in a required nursing or science course to remain eligible for the nursing major. See major specific transfer information on the admissions website.

NURS courses will not be accepted for transfer to the BSN in Nursing generic (pre-licensure).

To be eligible to apply for the upper division, transfer students² must meet the College of Nursing requirements for progression through completion of the lower-division science and nursing courses. All entering students are expected to have basic computer skills.

Effective Fall 2020 and After:
  • Prerequisite BSN science courses cannot be older than 7 years as of starting upper division coursework.
  • Once a student has begun upper division coursework, they must complete the BSN degree within 5 years.
  • Every attempt at science couses within the last 7 years will be included in the progression GPA calculation.

¹Students entering the university and meeting South Carolina Honors College (SCHC) admission criteria have a one-time opportunity, at the point of freshman admission only, to come into the Smart Start Honors College Nursing Program. Students admitted into the Smart Start Honors College Nursing Program are directly admitted into Upper Division of the Nursing Program contingent upon meeting all SCHC and College of Nursing academic standards criteria and completion of all upper division application progression requirements.

Smart Start Honors College Nursing students who are not successful with meeting upper division application requirements will lose their direct admit status but will remain eligible for admission under the competitive upper division admissions process.

² For transfer students, life GPA includes all grades from UofSC and non-UofSC collegiate coursework and constitutes an overall GPA.

RN-BSN Admission Requirements

 In order to be eligible for the RN-BSN program, students must meet all the admission requirements of the College of Nursing and University. Specific RN-BSN program admission requirements are as follows:

  • An Associate Degree in Nursing or Diploma in Nursing from an accredited ACEN (formerly NLNAC) program
  • Official Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Application
  • Application Fee
  • English Proficiency Requirement¹
  • Other Supporting Materials - Criminal Background check and drug screen
  • Current unrestricted Registered Nurse (RN) license to practice professional nursing in the United States
  • Minimum Nursing (Previous Associate or Diploma) Degree GPA of 3.02

¹International applicants must be proficient in the English language. A score of 550 or above on the paper version of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required. (A score of 210 or higher on the computerized version is required, and a minimum score of 77 on the Internet version is required.) TOEFL scores are not required for international students from countries where the primary language of instruction is English nor from graduates of high schools in the United States.

2Students with a life GPA between 2.8 - 2.99 may be conditionally admitted, provided they have not completed more than 120 hours of prior collegiate coursework and have met all other admission requirements.

Change of Major into Nursing

 Any USC-Columbia student interested in changing their major to Pre-Nursing Lower Division within the College of Nursing must participate in the following change of major process and meet minimum academic requirements for consideration. Acceptance into Pre-Nursing Lower Division does not guarantee acceptance into Nursing Upper Division. A separate, departmental, application is required for consideration into Nursing Upper Division. Students accepted as a change of major will receive additional information regarding when and how to apply to Nursing Upper Division.

Students must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements to change their major to nursing:

  • A minimum Institutional of a 3.000
  • Grade Forgiveness will not be factored into the calculations of your GPAs
  • No more than one below C grade in a BSN required science course
  • Complete a minimum of 12 graded credit hours

IMPORTANT: Due to the capacity limits of the College of Nursing, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

TIMELINE: For spring semester, all change of major applicants must submit a change of major application by October 1st. For summer/fall semesters, all change of major applicants must submit the change of major application by March 1st. Applications go live on the College of Nursing website each spring and fall semester on the first day of classes. Notifications for both acceptances and denials will be sent via email by the 15th of each of the above months.

ACCEPTED STUDENTS: All accepted change of major applicants are required to attend a College of Nursing New Major Information and Advising Session. This session will provide an overview of the BSN program, the curriculum, application process to Nursing Upper Division and will include a one-on-one advising appointment with one of the College of Nursing academic advisors. 


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