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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
  • Submit two references that document competence and leadership in professional nursing practice. If possible, one reference should be from a supervisor who is a professional nurse that holds a DNP and one from a nurse educator.

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 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, 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. The Duolingo test is not accepted for the following programs: Art Education, Biology/Marine Biology, Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies & Theory, Marine Science and Technology (MS, PSM, PhD), Nursing (MS, DNP, PhD), Portuguese Studies, Professional Writing and Communication, Psychology (ABA, Clinical, Research), and Public Policy.

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.