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Nursing Online

Earn your master's in nursing online

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program prepares you to be a leader in nursing education and/or in global public health. Select one of two concentrations and earn your MSN completely online. Courses are asynchronous, which allows you to learn on your schedule.

Both concentrations provide the student with the foundational knowledge of healthcare systems, healthcare policy, nursing research methods, and healthcare informatics. You’ll apply your new knowledge in various practice settings, and a final capstone project prepares you for practice.


Nursing and Healthcare Education

Prepares you to become a nurse educator role in academic, clinical, or staff development setting. You’ll learn to design, implement, evaluate, and revise academic and continuing education programs for nurses. The curriculum integrates core masters-level concepts, advanced clinical foundations, and education-focused courses. It culminates in an intensive, individualized practicum of at least 126 hours. Each student collaborates with an experienced educator to grow in the role. View the Nursing and Healthcare Education program plan.

Global Public Health

Prepares you to work in the U.S. or in an international setting with diverse individuals, families, and populations, to improve healthcare outcomes through illness prevention, health promotion and health policy. The curriculum integrates core masters-level concepts, advanced clinical foundations, and global public health-focused courses. It culminates in an intensive individualized practicum of a least 126 hours. Each student collaborates with an experienced professional to grow in the role. View the Global Public Health program plan.

Degree Requirements

MS students complete 39 academic credits that include a mentored capstone project that involves the design, implementation and evaluation of an evidence-based innovation in nursing practice.

The MS in Nursing program prepares nurse leaders who:

  • Synthesize specialized and diverse knowledge for application in nursing practice.
  • Apply principles of organization and system leadership to promote high quality and safe patient care to individuals, families, groups, and populations.
  • Apply quality principles within an organization.
  • Use evidence to guide nursing practice, address patient problems, and disseminate results.
  • Interpret information from a variety of healthcare technologies to integrate and coordinate care.
  • Influence health system and health policy to shape care delivery to individuals, families, groups, and populations across the lifespan.
  • Engage in inter-professional collaboration to promote health, guide clients through the illness experience, and improve the health system.
  • Apply the principles of culturally appropriate care to plan, deliver, manage, and evaluate healthcare individuals, families, groups, and populations.
  • Influence healthcare outcomes through nursing practice by integrating advanced scientific, clinical, and systems knowledge.

Application requirements

Applicants to the MS program must:

  • Submit a statement of purpose (Minimum of 300 words)
  • Submit a resume
  • Submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless if a credential is earned or not)
  • Hold a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from a program accredited by the NLNAC or CCNE.
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate study. 
  • Registered Nurses with a bachelor degree in a related field may seek admission through the GAP program. (see below)
  • Hold a current license to practice professional nursing in the state where you live.
  • Submit 2 letters of reference that document competence, leadership and professional integrity in nursing practice.

Special Applicants

Registered nurses who hold a BS or BA degree in another field: the Graduate Admissions Program (GAP) is open to you. GAP students take NUR 503 Transitions Advancing Nursing Practice in which they complete a portfolio that documents how they attained undergraduate nursing program outcome objectives. Students will review portfolio with their academic advisor. Additional course(s) may be recommended to enrich their undergraduate preparation.

RN-BS student with GPA of 3.3 or better: With a recommendation from the RN-BS program director, you may take up to 9 graduate credits (from among the following courses: NUR 500, 511, 520, or 547) that count as undergraduate electives. If the student applies and is admitted to graduate study immediately after receiving the BS degree, the courses will also count toward the MS degree.

Program Accreditation

The master’s degree in nursing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202.887.6791.

More information

University requirements for graduate admissions

  • Submit an application via the online portal. Be sure to provide your full legal name and to capitalize the first letter of all proper nouns.
  • Pay non-refundable $60 application fee (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa) via the online portal. For Nursing applicants, the non-refundable application fee is $75.
  • Statement of Purpose, minimum 300 words. Unless otherwise indicated in the program requirement details, indicate your graduate study objectives, research interests and experience, and business or industry experience if applicable. If you are applying for a teaching or research assistantship, include any special skills or experience that would assist us in making assistantship decisions.
  • Resume
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless of whether a credential is earned or not). Unofficial transcripts are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled a final official transcript is required. International students applying with an transcript evaluation, please submit that document with your unofficial transcripts. International applicants for Data Science must submit semester-by-semester transcripts as well as consolidated transcripts. 
  • Many programs have specific recommendations/requirements, please see the additional program-specific requirements for more information.
  • International students: official TOEFL iBT, IELTS, Pearson PTE or Duolingo (if accepted by program) score. Unofficial scores are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled official scores are required and must be sent by the testing agency (copies/scans not accepted). This is required of any applicant who did not earn a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited academic institution in the U.S. or accepted English-speaking country, see exemptions for more details. We require an overall/total minimum score of 72 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.0 on the IELTS or a 52 on the Pearsons PTE Academic for entrance to any program and a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.5 on the IELTS for consideration for a teaching assistantship. Some programs require higher minimum scores (see program-specific requirements). Most programs also accept the Duolingo with a minimum score of 95. The following programs do not accept the Duolingo: Art Education, Biology/Marine Biology, Nursing (MS, DNP, PhD), Psychology: Clinical, and Public Policy. 
  • All official documents are required for enrollment, please have documents (ie. test scores) sent prior to the expiration. 

Program deadlines

Nursing faculty

Learning Style: Online

Online courses are taught by UMass Dartmouth faculty to provide high quality instruction and personal attention. Students have the flexibility to accommodate work and home responsibilities within the structure of defined assignment due dates. The majority of our online courses are taught asynchronously.

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