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RN-BSN Frequently Asked Questions

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

The RN-BSN pathway 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 pathway?

Fall Application Period
Cal State Apply Application: October 1 – November 30

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 pathway?

No, you must select either Campus or Distance on your application. Make sure to select the correct format for you. If space is available, you may be able to petition to switch formats once you complete a semester of the pathway. 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 pathway?

Historically, the RN-BSN pathway 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, including the admission decision, through both email addresses.

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

No, an applicant may apply to the RN-BSN pathway as a non-resident. However, applicants must be licensed as an RN in the State of California prior to the second semester of the pathway. In addition, there are lab components that must be attended in person. The labs are located within a 50 miles radius of the California State University, Fullerton.

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 RN-BSN pathway 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 pathway.

When will an applicant be notified of admission?

Applications for the RN-BSN pathway 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: March
  • Applying for Spring: October

Must all prerequisites be complete by the application deadline?

Yes, all prerequisitees must be completed by the application deadline.

Prerequisites Completed By

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

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

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 pathway.

Am I eligible to apply to the RN-BSN pathway 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 submit an official copy of the original foreign transcript and an English translation.

Am I required to have my RN license prior to staring the RN-BSN pathway?

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 pathway.

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 approved 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: MSCHE, NEASC, NCA-HLC, NWCCU, SACS and WSCUC.

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

No. The School of Nursing does not require letters of recommendation for admission into the RN-BSN pathway.

If I am admitted to the RN-BSN pathway 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 pathway, he or she will need to reapply to the RN-BSN pathway for the next application cycle.

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

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 pathway.

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 steps an applicant may take to improve 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 is recommended 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 pathway?

Students can progress at their own pace in both formats of the pathway. The RN-BSN pathway 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 pathway part-time?

Yes, an applicant is able to take a semester off or attend the RN-BSN pathway 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. The course is held at a public health/community health agencies. We have partners within Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

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

The School of Nursing encourages you to review the Tuition and Campus-Based Fees 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 Fees. The School of Nursing encourages students to review information on the CSUF Financial Aid website. The first step in the university financial aid process is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).