Virginia Commonwealth University

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Program Information

The curriculum in pre-nursing offered by the College of Humanities and Sciences meets the minimum academic requirements for application to many professional programs, including the Bachelor of Science degree program in nursing offered by the VCU School of Nursing. Students intending to apply to a professional program at another institution should consult that institution’s bulletin for specific prerequisites.

Completion of courses in pre-nursing advising track  does not constitute admission to the professional program in the School of Nursing. Students apply to the professional program through the MCV campus Office of Undergraduate Admissions in the fall of the year preceding the year of desired admission. For example a student planning to start the program in fall 2013 should apply in fall 2012.

Advising Information

The pre-nursing advising track will provide guidance to students by helping them understand what courses are required to apply to a bachelor’s degree program in nursing at the VCU School of Nursing, resulting in the Bachelor of Science with a major of Nursing . (Students do not receive a BSN) The prerequisites to prepare students to enter other schools of nursing can be taken at VCU, but these requirements differ from one nursing school to another, so students should identify the specific schools to which they want to apply before choosing courses. Individual nursing school Web sites list the prerequisites for different schools. All Nursing Schools, an online guide to nursing education, provides a list of and links to all the nursing programs in the United States.

Prerequisites for the traditional nursing program

Course descriptions and information about prerequisites are at Virginia community college transfer course equivalencies are at

  • English composition – two semesters (UNIV 111 and 112)
  • Introductory Biology and lab – one semester (BIOL 101 and BIOZ 101)
  • Anatomy – one semester (BIOL 205)
  • Nutrition – one semester (BIOL 217)
  • General Psychology (PSYC 101)
  • General Sociology (SOCY 101)
  • Second Lab Science – 4 credits
    • Students must take college level chemistry (CHEM 101 and CHEZ 101) if they did not take chemistry in high school or complete the community college equivalent with a “C” or better.
    • BIOL 151, BIOZ 151 or BIOL 152, BIOZ 152 or BIOL 201, BIOZ 201; BIOL 103; PHYS 107 (any one with lab)

Students who want to take additional courses to prerequisites are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisors on recommendations. Additional courses can be the following:

  • Human physiology and Lab (PHIS 206 and PHIZ 206)
  • Medical microbiology and Lab (BIOL 209 and BIOZ 209)
  • Life span developmental psychology (PSYC 304)
  • Critical thinking about moral problems (PHIL 201)
  • Writing and Rhetoric II (UNIV 200)

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Sample schedule

Fall semester:

  • BIOL 101 Biological Concepts (3)
  • BIOZ 101L Biological Concepts Lab (1)
  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology (4)
  • UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I (3)
  • UNIV 101 (1) Intro to the University

Total 15 credits 16-17 credits

**Check the VCU Bulletin for more details on course options.

Spring semester:

  • BIOL 205 Basic Human Anatomy (4)
  • BIOL 217 Principles of Nutrition (3)
  • SOCY 101 General Sociology (3)
  • UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II (3)
  • STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics (3) (Recommended; Students must place into MATH 151 or 200, or MATH 131 or 141 to register)

**Elective Science or General Chemistry (3-4 credits)

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Standardized tests

Nursing program applicants are required to take a standardized test; both SAT and ACT scores are accepted, with the minimum acceptable SAT score being 900 with no less than 400 on both the verbal and math sections. However, successful applicants to the program have had combined Math and Verbal SAT scores of 1200 and an ACT score of 26. Students with lower scores may retake the SAT or ACT during the first semester they are completing prerequisites provided new scores are received by the January deadline. Registration for the SAT or ACT is available online.

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Application Information

Applicants apply and submit documentation electronically. The electronic portions of the application procedures (including letters of reference) must be submitted by the spring application deadline. In addition all transcripts must be received (not postmarked) in the office of Undergraduate Admissions on or before the spring application deadline.

Review and understand all information provided at School of Nursing Admissions for in-depth information on the admissions process.

A completed application must include

  • an application for undergraduate admission
  • an application fee
    • If you are a full time VCU student, you do not need to pay the fee. Instead, choose the option to pay by check when submitting your application.
  • transcripts
    • VCU students may submit unofficial VCU transcripts, we will need official transcripts from all other schools attended, including AP, dual enrollment.
  • a Supplemental Material Form
    • The form is for additional information to be submitted electronically prior to asking your references to submit a recommendation for you.
  • three personal references from your academic and professional field. Academic references are highly encouraged.

Further information on collecting letters of recommendation, transcripts and other frequently asked questions is available at and

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Information Sessions

Information sessions and tours are held at the School of Nursing for prospective applicants. These sessions are an excellent way to learn about the programs and allow for small group discussion so please bring your questions. The information sessions last about an hour. Seating is limited so we request that you register for an upcoming session by emailing us at or call (804) 828-5171.

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If you are not accepted

Don’t be discouraged. The traditional nursing program is very competitive.

Students not accepted into the nursing program have the following options:

  1. Reapply. Complete additional course work (consider suggestions from the worksheet and see a pre-health sciences advisor for more information), attempt to improve GPA and retake the SAT or ACT.
  2. Other nursing programs:
    Obtain an associate’s degree in nursing through a community college or licensure as a registered nurse (R.N.) through a hospital-based program.
    R.N. to B.S. – Students who have obtained their R.N. certification can then apply to the VCU School of Nursing degree-completion program to receive a bachelor’s degree in nursing. See the School of Nursing Web site for more information on the R.N.-B.S. program.
  3. Change your major: Explore other majors and health care programs at VCU. Schedule an appointment with a pre-health advisor for more help and information. Self-assessment and career information are available online from the VCU Career Center.
  4. Accelerated B.S. program: Students can change their major, complete their undergraduate degree in another discipline, take the necessary prerequisite courses, then apply to the accelerated B.S. program. See the School of Nursing Web site for more information.

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Helpful Links

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