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Eligibility Requirements

Standard B.S.N. Program

Prior to applying to the nursing program, students must apply for admission to SDSU. The number of students accepted to enroll in the program may vary depending upon available clinical facilities, qualified faculty and funds. Selection is made from among the best qualified for the study and practice of nursing. Learn more about our admission process.

For students entering the university under the 2008-09 undergraduate catalog and later, the following admission criteria will apply:

To be considered for competitive admission to the standard B.S.N. program, students must have:
  • a cumulative GPA of 2.7
  • a pre-nursing GPA of 2.7
  • a grade of “C” or higher in all completed courses required for graduation
  • the following courses (both pre-nursing and general education) completed or in progress at the time of application to the program: 
    • Pre-nursing courses
      • CHEM 106/106L Chemistry Survey and lab (or CHEM 112/112L Gen Chem I and lab)
      • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology or 150 Social Problems or 240 Sociology of Rural America
      • PSYC 101 General Psychology
      • CHEM 108/108L Organic & Biochemistry and lab (or CHEM 114/114L Gen Chem II and lab)
      • BIOL 221/221L Anatomy and lab
      • HDFS 210 Lifespan Development
      • MICR 231/231L General Microbiology and lab
      • NUTR 315 Human Nutrition
      • BIOL 325/325L Physiology and lab
    • General education courses
      • MATH 102 College Algebra or higher
      • ENGL 101 Composition I
      • NURS 119 First-Year Seminar
      • SPCM 101 Fundamentals of Speech (or 215 Public Speaking)
      • System Graduation Requirement (SGR) #4: Humanities
  • Students who fail (earned a “D” or “F”) two or more of the pre-nursing science courses (CHEM 106-106L or CHEM 112-112L, or CHEM 108-108L or CHEM 114-114L; MICR 231-231L; BIOL 221-221L, BIOL 325-325L), will not be admitted to the program. Students who fail one pre-nursing course (CHEM 106-106L or CHEM 112-112L, CHEM 108-108L or CHEM 114-114L; MICR 231-231L; BIOL 221-221L, BIOL 325-325L; PSYC 101; one of the following: SOC 100, SOC 150, or SOC 240 ; NUTR 315; HDFS 210), repeated and failed the same course a second time will not be admitted to the program. If the failure is over five years old, it does not count as a failure.
  • Students who have taken Anatomy or Physiology more than seven years prior to their admission date will be required to update these courses.

Non-Native Speakers of English

As the nurse is a professional who deals with human lives, it is mandatory that a higher level of English fluency be met in order to ensure the safety of clients and students. The English as a Second Language requirement for the College of Nursing is the same as that required by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The College of Nursing requires all students who meet the definition of student with English as a Second Language to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or an accepted substitute. English as a Second Language is defined as a student who was instructed and spoke primarily in a language other than English in the K-12 grades or primary and secondary schooling. The minimum TOEFL score required for admission to the professional program is 84 (iBT), with a minimum speaking score of 26. The required IELTS band score for admission to the professional program is 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each module. The TOEFL or IELTS is required for all students for whom English is a second language, regardless of residency status. These scores are required before the student will be accepted into the professional program. The student is responsible for all testing fees.

Background Checks

All students seeking admission into a nursing program in the College of Nursing must submit federal and supplemental criminal background checks. Admission to a program is conditional based on the results of the background check. The required background check is based on requirements for licensure as a registered nurse in South Dakota (South Dakota Nurse Practice Act, SD Codified Law Chapter 36-9-97). If you have been convicted, pled guilty or no contest to, or received a suspended imposition of sentence for a felony or other criminal offence (excluding minor traffic violations), you are advised that it may not be possible for you to be accepted into the major at South Dakota State University. Students may also be prevented from taking the required licensure exam for registered nurses, and may be prevented from gaining employment in the field of nursing.

Transferring From Another Nursing Program

Transfer students who have begun but not completed a nursing program (practical, associate or baccalaureate) at another educational institution must submit a letter to the College of Nursing indicating their reason for transfer. Three letters of recommendation must be submitted to the College of Nursing: one from the dean/director of their former program and two from faculty members stating the student left in good standing. If transfer is approved, they must apply for admission to SDSU.