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Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Online
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS)

Earn a certificate of advanced graduate study online

Nurses who earn the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) at UMass Dartmouth will have completed the required coursework and clinical experiences for certification as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP) by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). 

In this online program, you will be prepared to diagnose and treat acute and chronic mental health conditions. You will gain knowledge and competence in providing psychotherapy and prescribing medications for patients across the lifespan. This PMHNP preparation and certification greatly expands your scope of practice and role opportunities in mental health/psychiatric care.

Sample Plan of Study with a total of 18 credits and 500 practicum hours 

Year 1


  • NUR 564 Advanced Practice Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing I (2 cr)
  • NUR 565 Advanced Practice Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing I - Practicum (3 cr )


  • NUR 554 Neuropsychopharmacology and Biologically Based Treatments (3 cr)

Year 2


  • NUR 676 Advanced Practice Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing II (2 cr)
  • NUR 677 Advanced Practice Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing II - Practicum (3 cr )


  • NUR 678 Advanced Practice Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing III (2 cr)
  • NUR 679 Advanced Practice Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing III - Practicum (3 cr )

UMassD advantages

Customize your education and receive the help and guidance to finish as planned:

  • Value and affordability of a UMass education
  • One-on-one personal advising from enrollment through graduation
  • Military friendly, with leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience
  • Limited class size ensures individualized interaction with professors

Applicants to the CAGS program must: 

  • have either a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing
  • provide evidence of the following graduate level coursework
    • advanced pathophysiology
    • advanced pharmacology
    • physical assessment across the lifespan
  • submit a 1-2 page statement of purpose
  • submit resume
  • submit official college transcripts
  • Copy of active unencumbered RN license
  • RN license must be from Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, your permanent (home) residence must be in listed states, and faculty-supervised clinical hours must occur in these states as well.
  • 2 letters of recommendation. Recommenders should document competence and leadership in professional nursing practice. One reference should be from a supervisor (professional nurse who holds a DNP preferred) and one from a nurse educator. An additional supervisor reference may be submitted in place of a nurse educator if needed. Applicants will be required to provide the recommenders name and email address so they can be contacted directly for the letter of recommendation. 

Pending a review of applicants’ prior coursework and with advising, these courses also may be taken as pre-requisites to the CAGS course plan.

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

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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