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What is the Minimum GPA to Get Into Nurse Practitioner School?


Written By: Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN

Nurse practitioner programs are very competitive graduate-level degree programs designed to ensure success in your nursing career. I mean, who wants to go through all that hard work and have nothing to show at the end of the day. Many schools will require a 3.0 GPA to get into nurse practitioner school. Based on the type of NP program you are applying for (MSN or DNP), your GPA will be calculated from your bachelorly or master’s degree coursework. Before you get all crazy about how you did in your undergraduate and graduate courses and whether or not this will affect your nurse practitioner school admission prospects, let's answer that burning question, what is the minimum GPA required to get into nurse practitioner school? Let's explore!


Why Your GPA Matters When Applying for Nurse Practitioner Schools?


A student’s GPA for nurse practitioner school is required because it has been shown to be an indicator of a student's long term potential and their performance as a student in the program. I mean, think about it, if a school just accepted anyone who walked through the door, they would not only be doing a disservice to you but a disservice to themselves. Would you want to go to an NP school that had a poor student outcome, poor student retention and career success? I know I would not. I would want to attend a program where I knew I would have a successful career in the end.


Minimum GPA You Need to Get Into Nurse Practitioner School


The minimum GPA for nurse practitioner school is usually a 3.0. Sure, there are programs out there that say that you can be accepted with a lower GPA, but this lower GPA tends to be for their non-practice advanced degrees.


Can I Get Into Nurse Practitioner School With a Low GPA?


If you have a lower GPA than required, you probably will not be accepted into the nurse practitioner program you were pursuing if this is their requirement. At the same time, you need to know that there are some prestigious programs that do not rely on GPA alone.


Minimum GPA Required for Admission Into The Top Nurse Practitioner-MSN Programs


Let’s take a look at what some of the top MSN-Nurse Practitioner programs require in terms of your GPA.

1. Duke University requires that a student have a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 GPA scale. Duke University also offers 11 different concentrations on the road to becoming a nurse practitioner.

2. Purdue University also requires that a student has a 3.0 GPA as one of their admission requirements. As with Duke University, Perdue offers different concentrations in the nurse practitioner program.

3. University of Southern California requires that those who wish to apply to their program have a GPA of 3.0 or higher regardless if you are entering with a BSN or an MSN.

4. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is also required for all applicants at Ohio State University-Main Campus. Some of the concentrations you can choose from are family nurse practitioner (FNP), neonatal nurse practitioner, or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

5. If you choose to attend Michigan State University, you will also be required to have a GPA of 3.0 to be accepted into their program. There is one small difference with this program; the 3.0 must be the total credits completed during the second half of your four-year baccalaureate nursing program.

6. The University of Rochester has some interesting wording on their eligibility criteria for their nurse practitioner program. Unlike other programs that say that a GPA is required, this school says a 3.0 is preferred. If you are interested in this program, it would be best to contact an admission counselor.

7. Another nurse practitioner program with the keyword "preferred" on their website is Catholic University of America. This school says that a GPA of 3.0 or an average GPA of 3.0 in the nursing major is preferred. An average of 3.0 in the nursing major means that the GPA is calculated on your nursing courses.

8. The University of Alabama requires that you have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in your undergraduate coursework. There is, however, a bit of a caveat to this, if you have not received a 3.2 or higher GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework or your cumulative GPA was lower than 3.2, you will be required to take the GRE exam.

9. Drexel University is home to one of the top nurse practitioner programs, and just like the other top nurse practitioner programs listed here, a 3.0 cumulative GPA is required. This required GPA is from your undergraduate BSN coursework.

10. Kent State University, like the other schools mentioned here, requires a 3.0 GPA for entrance into their program. Here is the thing with Kent State, if you have not made the 3.0 in your undergraduate coursework, you still have a chance of being admitted to their program according to their University's Graduate Student Admission Policy, you must contact them for more information.


Minimum GPA Required for Admission Into The Top Nurse Practitioner-DNP Programs


Let’s take a look at what some of the top DNP-Nurse Practitioner programs require in terms of your GPA.

1. New York University offers different pathways that you choose from to earn your DNP. For all the different pathways, the required GPA is 3.5.

2. Rush University offers different DNP programs. Unlike the CRNA focus, the nurse practitioner program does not require a GRE. The minimum GPA to pursue a DNP at Rush University is a 3.0

3. Duke University requires that prospective applicants have a 3.0 GPA to be considered for their program. Unlike other programs, an earned master’s degree is required for entry.

4. Vanderbilt University prides itself on being one of the first nurse practitioner programs in 2 separate concentrations. A 3.5 GPA is required to enter their program.

5. If you choose to attend the University of Baltimore, Maryland, it will require you to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. This school offers a BSN-DNP option as well as three other pathways to this degree.

6. Columbia University has adopted a new way of looking at DNP admission criteria. Columbia University does not have a minimum GPA for eligibility. They evaluate your academics, experience, and leadership to decide your acceptance into the program.

7. The University of Florida requires that students who wish to enter their DNP program have a GPA of 3.0. This program also requires that you have an MSN.

8. The Medical University of South Carolina is another university that states that they prefer a nursing course average of 3.0 or a cumulative average of 3.0. They will not accept applicants who went to a program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes.

9. If you want to pursue your DNP degree at East Carolina University, you would have to have a GPA of 3.2 or greater. If your GPA is a 3.4 or greater, you will not be required to take the GRE exam.

10. The University of Kentucky requires that you have a GPA of 3.3 to be considered for their program. This GPA is required for entering the program as a BSN or an MSN prepared nurse.


Conclusion


So, now you know what is required of you in terms of your GPA to get into nurse practitioner school whether it be at the master’s level or the doctorate level. Hard work in school will really pay off if you plan on advancing your nursing degree one day. So, buckle down for now and you will certainly reap the benefit later.


Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN
Jennifer Schlette is a registered nurse in pediatric critical care in New York City. She is the former Director of Undergraduate Nursing at a college located in New York. After obtaining her BSN from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, she went on to complete her MSN.