Combined BS/MS (ETP) Program
Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible for the Combined BS/MS Program (ETP)?

Applicants that have earned at least a baccalaureate degree in a non-nursing field are eligible to apply to the program.

When is the application deadline?

Please click HERE for all deadlines.

How long is the program?
The BS/MS program is divided into a pre-licensure phase (BS) and specialty phase (MS). It may take about 2.5 years of full-time course work to complete both degrees for most specialties. There are specialties such as Nurse Anesthesia that take 4 years to complete.

Is the program available part-time?
The pre-licensure phase is the first twelve months of the program. Students take 60 credits and are full time students. Student may go part-time during their specialty phase (MS). There are specialties, like Nurse Anesthesia that do not allow students to go part-time.

When does the program begin?
The program begins every summer semester, the first day of orientation is usually the Wednesday after Memorial Day.

What are the prerequisites?
An applicant to the BS/MS (ETP) Program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and the following undergraduate courses:

  • English Composition, 1 course
  • Microbiology, 1 course
  • Anatomy, 1 course
  • Physiology, 1 course Or,
  • Anatomy and Physiology I and II
  • Intro, General or Developmental Psychology, 1 course
  • Statistics, 1 Course
  • Humanities, 2 courses
  • Nutrition, 1 course
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences, 1 course

Applicants are required to have satisfactory score the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants are also required to submit three letters of recommendation, resume, and a personal goal statement that is congruent with program goals (two pages, double-spaced).

Applicants applying to the ETP - Nurse Anesthesia specialty must also take the additional courses:

  • General or Intro to Chemistry, 1 course
  • Organic Chemistry, 1 course

I have not completed the required prerequisites, am I still eligible to apply?
Yes, applicants may have prerequisite courses in progress when they submit the application, as long as the applicant completes the coursework prior to starting the program. Applicants are required to inform the Admissions Office of their intention for the fall and spring semester coursework.

Who should I ask for my recommendations?
ETP applicants vary, and so may their recommendations. The Admissions Office recommends an academic, a professional and a personal recommendation, but applicants may vary based on their experiences. Make sure that you get a recommendation from a recommender that knows you well and can discuss what you will bring to nursing and to Columbia.

Can I work while I am in the program?
It is not possible to work during the pre-licensure phase (approximately 12 months). It is possible to work as a registered nurse during the specialty phase.

How many students do you accept a year?
We usually accept a class size of 160-180 students. Even though this seems like a large class, our classes are divided into groups of 30 students each. Our lab ratio is 1:4 student/faculty and our administration is committed to no more than a 1:8 student/faculty ratio in clinical settings.

What hospitals are used for clinicals?
NewYork-Presbyterian and the Mt. Sinai Health Care System are our two major clinical affiliates. Several other sites in the New York City area are also used.

What is the NCLEX Exam?
The NCLEX is a national exam that leads to licensure as an RN. The exam is given via computer at a number of test sites in the metro New York City area. Columbia University School of Nursing has one of the highest 1st time pass rate of any nursing school in the metro New York City area and is in the top 5% of all schools in New York State.

Can I transfer credits?
Advanced standing for a course already successfully completed elsewhere may be granted on an individual basis to students as either 1) transfer credits, 2) credit by exam, or 3) course exemption. No more than nine credits of coursework will be accepted for Advanced Standing. Of these nine (9) credits, a maximum of six (6) may be transfer credits. Only courses taken before enrolling at the School of Nursing will be considered. Course exemption, not transfer credit, may be granted for coursework which has been applied to an earlier degree but is deemed similar to Columbia University School of Nursing course requirements.

What level CPR certification do I need?
All applicants must submit a copy of their CPR prior to the first day of classes. You must take the CPR for health professionals or nursing students. The Red Cross and the American Heart Association can assist you in finding a CPR class near you.

Is there campus housing?
The Office of Student Housing Services offers on campus housing for singles and couples. Space is extremely limited and not guaranteed to any student. If a student is not awarded on campus housing, the Office of Student Housing will assist them with off-campus search.

Does the School of Nursing offer financial aid?
Yes, 99% of our BS/MS Entry to Practice students this year were eligible to receive the School of Nursing scholarship of up to $32,000. This is important to note since the first year of study is full-time and outside employment is unlikely. The School’s Financial Aid Director will be able to help and guide you towards our very generous financial aid packages. Information regarding financial aid, including links to funding sources, is available at

When will I know my decision?
All BS/MS ETP applicants are informed of their decision in February.

When should my materials be received by the school?

All materials should be received by the published deadlines. We guarantee to grant a decision to all applicants with a completed application by their deadline. Incomplete applications by the deadline will be reviewed at our discretion. No refunds will be granted for incomplete applications. Please review all requirements for entry carefully.

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