Graduate Programs and Admissions

Admission Criteria and Application Process

Online applications and supporting documentation are due by February 15 for admission in the following September. To ensure the protection of personal information, applications cannot be viewed by the department until they are submitted. Please contact the Nursing Graduate Office if you have questions about your application.

The following criteria is required to be considered for the Master of Nursing program:

  • A baccalaureate degree in nursing with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0/4.0 or the equivalent calculated on the basis of the last 60 course weights (i.e. last two years of full time study).
  • One undergraduate course in statistics and one in research methods with a final grade of B or higher in each. Students who completed these courses more than 6 years prior to applying to the MN program are encouraged to review the content of these courses or enroll into an undergraduate statistics and/or research course prior to beginning the MN program.
  • Normally, applicants must have at least one year of clinical experience. Applicants with less than one year of experience can be considered for admission if they have an exceptional GPA.
  • MN applicants who desire to become eligible for entry-to-practice as a Nurse Practitioner require 4500 hours of registered nursing practice, appropriate to the program category (i.e. Adult of Family/All Ages), prior to entering the program and an undergraduate level Health History and Physical Assessment course with a mark of B. Students will be tested on physical assessment skills at the beginning of NURS 510 or NURS 515.
  • As required, a passing score on an English Language Examination. Applicants with degrees/qualifications in a language other than English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Although the satisfactory completion of an English language proficiency test cannot guarantee adequate language skills, a TOEFL score of at least 587 (paper-based), or a total score of 97 with a score of at least 22 on each of the individual skill areas (Internet-based), or equivalent where applicable (refer to the Language Requirement in the University of Alberta Calendar) is required by the Faculty of Nursing. In addition, the Faculty of Nursing may require applicants to successfully complete EAP 550.
  • International applicants who do not have RN work experience in Canada may consider only the following areas of focus: teaching, research, and leadership.

The following supporting documentation is required for an application to be considered:

  • A completed On-line application for Graduate Admission. Please note, unsubmitted applications are deleted 21 calendar days after you begin your application or the application deadline (whichever comes first). We suggest before you start your application, you gather the documents necessary to complete and submit your application (e.g. transcripts, degree certificates, English Language Proficiency scores, referee contact information, and other documents required by the department offering the program to which you're applying). If you require assistance or have questions regarding the application process, please email nursing.graduate@ualberta.ca or refer to the FAQ section of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research website. 
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended including any institution where the student was an Open Studies/Unclassified student and/or took only a few courses. Please read the Requirements for Acceptance of Uploaded Transcripts.
  • Three letters of reference (at least one from an academic setting and at least one from a nursing practice setting. The third letter can be academic or work-related). Students seeking admission to the program in a specific advanced practice specialty area should provide a letter of support regarding their clinical expertise in that specialty area if possible. Reference request emails (system-generated) will only be sent upon final submission of the application.
  • Curriculum Vitae: required form is also available in the Documents section of the online application.
  • MN Background Information document: required form is also available in the Documents section of the online application.

Applications are not considered until all supporting documentation has been uploaded and your application has been submitted. Each application is reviewed for: GPA in the final two years of the baccalaureate nursing program (or most recent 60 credits), grades in undergraduate research and statistics courses, grades in any graduate courses, references, nursing work experience, expecta­tions about the MN program, and career goals.

A recommendation is made by the Committee to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Nursing, who, in turn, makes a recommendation to the FGSR. The FGSR makes the final decision to accept or decline a student’s application. Although the program has minimum requirements, competition for places is high and meeting the minimum standard is not a guarantee of admission.

After acceptance into the program, the student must provide:

  • Official documents (transcripts, degree certificates, etc.) may be required upon receiving the conditional offer of admission letter. Documents must be sent directly from the post-secondary institution to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Office.
  • Written confirmation of acceptance of the admission offer (email is fine).
  • College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) registration. Students in the MN program may be required to be registered as active members of CARNA. Students who wish to work as teaching assistants must have CARNA registration. Students will be expected to provide proof of registration annually. The process of registration can take several months and students are expected to begin the application process as soon as they receive their letter of admission. 
  • Proof that immunization is up-to-date. To determine if your immunizations are current, please see the University of Alberta Health Centre website for contact information.
  • Provide evidence of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation certification (CPR) at the Basic Rescuer Level.
    Students who choose an individual focus in order to obtain licensure as a Nurse Practitioner with CARNA must provide evidence of certification in Advanced Life Support (Adult/Older Adult). Annual re-certification in CPR while in the MN program must meet the requirements of the agency(ies) with which the student is involved.