Master of Science in Nursing

The College of Nursing offers three ways to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), along with a number of specialties. Choose an online or hybrid (online and on-campus) program. Or, for those with a bachelor’s in an unrelated field, earn a master's degree through our Accelerated Program.

Onsite Programs

Note: Some of our onsite programs also offer several courses online.

MSN Program Objectives

  1. Integrate research, scholarship, and evidence based practice from nursing and related sciences as a framework for planning holistic care of the patient in various environmental contexts. 
  2. Demonstrate competence in providing and evaluating advanced nursing practice with an emphasis on safety and quality. 
  3. Demonstrate leadership for advanced nursing practice as a member of an interprofessional team within various environmental contexts. 
  4. Design evidence-based clinical prevention and population care and services to individuals, families, and communities.  
  5. Critically appraise evidence in the planning, delivery and evaluation of safe and effective care within various environmental contexts. 
  6. Demonstrates knowledge and skills to promote health and help shape the health delivery system through policy, processes, and advocacy. 
  7. Develop culturally sensitive, ethical, and financially sound comprehensive nursing care to individuals, aggregates, and/or communities.  

State Regulations for Online Applicants

Our MSN online programs are approved to admit students from all states, except the following:

  • District of Columbia
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee

The program meets requirements for licensure in all other states. We highly recommend that applicants who reside outside of Ohio contact the appropriate state licensing agency to seek information and guidance before beginning the program. State licensing board contact information cane be found on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing site.

The University of Cincinnati is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission to provide practice experiences in the state of Washington for Adult­ Gerontology Primary Care, FNP, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Educator Graduate Certificate, Nurse Midwifery, Psychiatric NP, Psychiatric Mental Health NP post master's certificate and Women's Health NP programs.

Ohio/Kentucky County Restrictions for Adult-Gerontological Primary Care and FNP MSN Distance Learning Programs

The University of Cincinnati College of Nursing will be restricting admission applications for local students in two of our MSN Distance Learning specialty programs, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPC-DL) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-DL). Effective March 1, 2015, we will no longer accept distance learning admission applications for the 2015 Summer term and beyond in FNP and AGPC from the following counties: Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Clermont in Ohio and Boone, Kenton, and Campbell in Kentucky. The decision to restrict admissions was in response to increased local competition for preceptors and viable regional clinical sites in primary care. Students who reside in the above counties are encouraged to apply to our onsite programs. Please refer to our website for additional information related to residential program opportunities and respective application deadlines at

MSN Degree Requirements

The requirements for conferring the master's degree in nursing are:

  • Successful completion of:
    • A) a minimum of 40 semester credit hours of required courses taken in appropriate sequence for the enrolled major;

    • B) a master's capstone project relevant to the major in which enrolled (students desiring to do a thesis have the option to do so);
  • Filing of appropriate forms with the University's Graduate School by the defined deadline;
  • Payment of all delinquent University/College obligations; and
  • Completion of program requirements within five years from matriculation date.

Reevaluation of program requirements will be necessary when the time period is not observed.

Critical Requirements

Prior to beginning course work, accepted students must provide satisfactory evidence of:

  • A current license to practice as a registered nurse in Ohio; and
  • A health history and required immunizations.

Major Requirements

The minimum number of required credit hours of study in each major varies. The majors are designed so that graduates are eligible to meet certification requirements in their chosen specialty. For information regarding requirements for each major contact the College's Office of Student Affairs. A minimum enrollment is required for a major or course to be offered.

On Campus MSN Information Session

Are you a local student interested in one of UC’s on-campus MSN programs? Join us for an information session to learn more! You’ll hear from the graduate advisor as well as the program director of your choice.

The on-campus MSN information sessions will cover the following specialties: Adult-Gero Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gero Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner and Occupational Health Nursing.

Click here if you would like to be contacted when there is an information session for your program of interest.