RN-BSN Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to the RN-BSN program? How often are applicants accepted to the RN-BSN program?

 The RN-BSN program admits twice a year: Fall and Spring.

Applicants must create and submit a completed account through Cal State Apply by the application deadline. If you do not submit your application, your application will not be considered for admission for that term. 

When is the application open for the RN-BSN program?

Fall Application Period
Cal State Apply Application: October 1 – January 15

Spring Application Period
Cal State Apply Application: August 1 – August 31

Can I apply for both formats (campus and distance)? Can I switch to the other format once admitted into the program?

 No, you must select either Campus or Distance on your application. Make sure to select the correct format for you.  If space is permitted, you may be able to switch once you complete a semester of the program. The Distance format is currently impacted! Applicants who are interested in the Distance format, should apply directly. 

How many students are admitted into the RN-BSN program?

Historically, the RN-BSN program has not been impacted so all applicants who met the minimum admission requirements have been admitted. 

How does an applicant know if the School of Nursing received the application?

 Once you submit your Cal State Apply application, the University should send you a confirmation email, along with your Campus-Wide ID (CWID). This does take some time - it does not send automatically after you submit your application. When you receive this email, please log into your Student Portal and create your CSUF email address. 

In the meantime, the Pre-Enrollment Advisor will review all applications submitted during the application period. Please do not email about the status of your application as the review process does take time.

It is recommended that you check your personal and CSUF email address on a daily basis. You will receive emails, espeically the admission decision, through both email address. 

Do you need to be a California resident to be eligible for the RN-BSN program?

No, an applicant may apply to the RN-BSN program as a non-resident; however, applicants must be licensed as an RN in the State of California prior to the second semester of the program. In addition, there are lab components in which the student must attend in person. The labs are located within a 50 miles radius of the California State University, Fullerton main campus.

Do I need to submit my official transcripts to the university and the School of Nursing?

 Please refer to the Apply Now tab for more information about the official transcripts and AP scores. 

Can I be admitted in to the Nursing program without or before being admitted to the university?

 No, the School of Nursing and the Office of Admissions work closely together when reviewing your application. You must meet both the University and the School of Nursing requirements to be eligible for the RN-BSN program. 

When will an applicant be notified of admission?

Applications for the RN-BSN program are processed after the deadline has passed. The Pre-Enrollment Advisor will review all complete applications. A review cannot take place until all official transcripts have been received. 

General admission decision dates are as follows:

Admission Decision Date

  • Applying for Fall: April
  • Applying for Spring: October

Must all prerequisites be complete by the application deadline?

An applicant for the RN-BSN program can apply with prerequisite requirements in-progress; however, all prerequisite requirements are required to be completed prior to starting the program. 

Prerequisites Completed By

  • Applying for Fall: Summer
  • Applying for Spring: Fall 

An applicant can be conditionally admitted upon submission of proof of enrollment in any pending prerequisites. All final grades must be on file for prerequisites courses before an admitted student will be able to register for the first semester.

What needs to be completed prior to applying to the RN-BSN program?

Prospective applicant must complete 60 semester/90 quarter transferable units from a regionally accredited institution. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution is also acceptable. In addition, applicants must complete the 8 required prerequisite coursework prior to starting the RN-BSN program.

Am I required to have my RN license prior to staring the program?

Applicants do not need an RN license at the time of application; however, to be eligible for the Full-Time (2 semesters) Study Plan, students must obtain a CA RN license within the first semester of the program.

Am I eligible to apply to the RN-BSN program with a foreign degree or coursework?

Yes, an applicant may apply with a foreign degree and/or foreign coursework. Applicants with foreign degrees/coursework must meet the same admission criteria. In addition, prospective students with foreign degrees/coursework must have their foreign transcripts evaluated by a foreign transcript evaluation agency to ensure they meet the degree, GPA and prerequisite course requirements prior to applying. For more information, please see the list of Foreign Transcript Evaluation Agencies.PDF File Opens in new window

Will a degree or any coursework completed at a nationally accredited institution transfer to CSUF?

 An applicant can complete a nursing degree from a nationally accredited institution as long as the program is accredited by the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). Please note that California State University, Fullerton cannot accept the credit from a nationally accredited institution. California State University, Fullerton can only accept regionally accredited institution units.

If you receive your nursing license from a nationally accredited institution, you will still need to complete at least 60 semester/90 quarter units, along with the required (transferable) prerequisites. 

To verify the accreditation of a degree, please visit the institution’s website and search for the institution’s accreditation page. Regionally accrediting organizations include: MSCHEOpens in new window , NEASCOpens in new window , NCA-HLCOpens in new window , NWCCUOpens in new window , SACSOpens in new window and WSCUC.

Are letters of recommendation required for the RN-BSN program?

No. The School of Nursing does not require letters of recommendation for admission in to the nursing program.

If I am admitted to the RN-BSN program but am unable to attend in the semester I applied, can I defer my admission?

No, the university does not offer an option to defer admission. If an admitted student is unable to start the program, he or she will need to reapply to the RN-BSN for the next application cycle.

What are the prerequisite requirements for the RN-BSN program?

University Prerequisite Courses:

  • Oral Communication (CSU, GE: A.1)
  • English Composition (CSU, GE: A.2)
  • Critical Thinking (CSU, GE: A.3)
  • College Level Math (CSU, GE: B.4)

School of Nursing Prerequisite Courses:

  • Human Anatomy (or Human Anatomy & Physiology I) with a lab
  • Human Physiology (or Human Anatomy & Physiology II) with a lab
  • Microbiology with a lab
  • Chemistry (General or Intro)
  • Statistics

Will I be ineligible if a science prerequisite was completed more than 5 years ago?

No. The School of Nursing does not have expiration dates on any prerequisite coursework for the RN-BSN program.

How do I know if a course will fulfill the prerequisite requirement?

You can review the detailed information on the Prerequisite Courses page or visit your counselor at the community college to determine if the courses you completed will transfer and count toward the prerequisite requirements. 

Will I be ineligible if my grade point average is below the minimum 2.75 in both my last 60 semester units and cumulatively?

Yes. To be considered for admission, an applicant must have a minimum 2.75 cumulative or last 60 semester unit grade point average. Since the last 60 unit GPA calculation takes into account only an applicant's most recent coursework, applicants can continue to take additional courses to raise this GPA.


There are measures an applicant may take to recover and rehabilitate his or her cumulative grade point average if desired. One important basic principal: the more credit hours you have acquired, the more credit hours with higher grades it will take to raise your GPA.

  • REPEAT A COURSE(S): If a student received a low grade (C- or lower) in any coursework, he or she should consider repeating the course. Please consult with a counselor/advisor at the institution for more information about repeating a course for a higher grade.
  • ENROLL: Enrolling into a 3 unit course and receiving a high grade (A or B), can slowly raise your GPA.

Every institution has different policies. It’s paramount that the student discusses all options with a counselor or advisor at the institution he or she plans to raise the grade point average.

How long is the RN-BSN program?

Students can progress at their own pace in both formats of the program. The RN-BSN program can be completed in as few as 2 semesters (Fall and Spring or Spring and Fall). 

When are courses offered during the semester?

Courses are held in the morning or afternoon during the weekday. There are a limited amount of courses that are available on the weekend. These are generally lab courses.

Am I able to take a semester off or attend the RN-BSN program part-time?

Yes, an applicant is able to take a semester off or attend the RN-BSN program part-time.

Where will the NURS 402 lab course be completed?

This is the population health nursing lab, and it will be completed outside of the hospital setting; generally at a public community agency. We have partners within Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

How much is the RN-BSN program? Is financial aid available?

The School of Nursing encourages you to review the Tuition and Campus-Based FeesOpens in new window fees stated on the Student Financial Services website. Please keep in mind that all CSU listed fees are regarded as estimates that are subject to change. Tuition is based on the amount of units a student registers for that semester.

 

To review previous tuition fees, please visit: Tuition and Campus-Based FeesOpens in new window . The School of Nursing encourages students to review information on the CSUF Financial AidOpens in new window website. The first step in the university financial aid process is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)Opens in new window .