University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst)

The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers classroom-based education on campus and online for the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral nursing degree levels from the College of Nursing in two western Massachusetts locations, Amherst and Springfield. Students Schools Scholarships

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  • Accreditations CCNE Accredited
  • Location Amherst, Massachusetts
  • Programs BSN, DNP, MSN, RN-to-MSN, RN-to-BSN, Entry-Level BSN, MSN-to-DNP, MSN to PhD, CNL, NP, PhD, BSN-to-PhD, BSN-to-DNP, Accelerated BSN, Post-grad Certificate, Other
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The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is a public institution that was founded in 1863.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Admission Criteria (not all inclusive)

  • 3.5 GPA minimum
  • 1200 SAT - critical reading/math
  • Top 10% of class
  • Science concentration in High School

Accelerated BS in Nursing 

The rigorous accelerated BS in Nursing program is designed for students who want to become RNs and already have a non-nursing bachelor's degree. This 17-month program is offered on the Springfield campus.

Prerequisites and Admission Criteria (not all inclusive)

  • Bachelor's degree from accredited institution in a field other than nursing
  • Complete prerequisite courses with a grade of 'C' or better in each course / cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (may be completed at community college or online courses/labs)

Frequently Asked Questions

What course and simulation facilities are available at the UMass Amherst College of Nursing?

Skinner Hall offers five simulation rooms, a 16-hospital bed/exam lab area, and two clinical exam rooms within the lab. The simulation includes real-life clinical scenarios using mannequins. iPads are utilized to help hone the skills necessary as students enter into the healthcare environment.

Where will I do my clinicals?

Local health care facilities offer clinical opportunities under the guidance of faculty and preceptors.

RN to BS (Online)

The online RN to BSN offers nurses who have a current RN license, the ability to complete the program in 1 to 2 years.

Prerequisites and Admission Criteria (not all inclusive)

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Current RN licensure
  • Completion of 60 non-nursing credits with 'C' or better in all seven nursing prerequisites


Master of Science (Online)

  • Clinical Nurse Leader Concentration
  • Nursing Education Concentration 
Clinical Nurse Leader Highlights

Become an advanced clinician prepared as a leader and diligent member of interdisciplinary health care teams

Be able to develop competencies and knowledge specified by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for Master's Education and for the specific Clinical Nurse Leader role focus

Be prepared to sit for the CNL certification examination offered by Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC) through AACN

MS in Nursing Education

A 33-credit program, this course is online with an exception of the final practicum.


Official score reports must come directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Most graduate programs require the GRE General Test and a few require a Subject Test in addition to the General Test.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) (Online)

Post-Baccalaureate Role Concentrations

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
  • Public Health Nurse Leader (PHNL)

Post-MS DNP Completion

The student who wishes to enter the DNP program must be an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) who is currently certified as: FNP, AGPCNP, AGACNP, ANP, PNP, GNP, ACNP, Nurse Midwife, Nurse Anesthetist, or CNS.

The DNP Program is 100% online.  Students will gain their knowledge through experiential learning through clinical internships to be arranged in the student's area.

Prerequisites / Admission Criteria (not all inclusive)

  • A baccalaureate or master's degree in nursing or an associate's degree in nursing and a non-Nursing baccalaureate degree from nationally accredited school or college of nursing
  • Current RN license / documentation of certifications
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • 3.0 GPA ('B') or higher
  • Scholarly writing sample
  • Statement of professional goals
  • Resume or CV
  • Undergraduate statistics and health assessment courses or equivalent (if required)
  • Two letters of recommendation

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)

The PhD program requires a minimum of 57 credits for master's-prepared students and 78 credits for baccalaureate students. 

Admission Criteria (not all inclusive)

The PhD program has post-baccalaureate, post-Master's and post-DNP options. 

  • BSN from accredited nursing program
  • Official transcripts from previous colleges/universities
  • Master's degree from nationally accredited program and minimum cumulative GPA 3.0 and/or BSN/ minimum 3.2 GPA
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Two scholarly writing examples
  • Interview
  • CV or resume

Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education (GCNE)

This is offered to students in the Clinical Nurse Leader (MS-CNL), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PhD programs who elect to complete the GCNE in addition to the requirements of their programs; offered to nurses and nursing faculty who wish to develop and enhance their teaching skills. 

Students who complete the GCNE program and have a master's or doctoral degree in nursing will qualify to take the National League of Nursing (NLN) Certification for Nurse Educators. 

This is a 15-credit, 5-course program with most courses offered online; includes a capstone teaching practicum.

Accreditation and Approval

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the baccalaureate degree in nursing, the master's degree in nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.

The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

The Nursing programs are approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.


US News & World Report (2020)

  • #70 (tie) in National Universities
  • #37 (tie) in Best Colleges for Veterans
  • #79 in Best Value Schools
  • #26 (tie) in Top Public Schools
  • #20 (tie) in Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #35 (tie) in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs
  • #15 (tie) in Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans
  • #61 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Master's
  • #30 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • #119 (tie) in Best Global Universities 

Forbes (2019)

  • #183 Top Colleges
  • #54 in Public Colleges
  • #96 in Research Universities
  • #86 in the Northeast
  • #207 America's Best Value Colleges

NICHE (2019)

  • Best Big Colleges in America #38 of 131
  • Top Public Universities in America #39 of 672
  • Best Colleges for Nursing in America #62 of 599
  • Colleges with the Best Student Life in America #77 of 1,542
  • Best College Campuses in America #82 of 1,408
  • Best Colleges in America #135 of 1,647
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in America #169 of 1,591
  • Most Liberal Colleges in America #172 of 687
  • Best Value Colleges in America #220 of 1,590
  • Best College Locations in America #465 of 1,553
  • Best College Dorms in America #571 of 1,370
  • Top Public Universities in Massachusetts #1 of 13
  • Best College Campuses in Massachusetts #3 of 60
  • Best Colleges for Nursing in Massachusetts #4 of 20
  • Colleges with the Best Student Life in Massachusetts #6 of 60
  • Best Colleges in Massachusetts #16 of 61
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in Massachusetts #17 of 61
  • Best College Dorms in Massachusetts #19 of 59
  • Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts #21 of 61
  • Most Diverse Colleges in Massachusetts #21 of 57
  • Best College Locations in Massachusetts #22 of 59
  • Best Value Colleges in Springfield, MA Area #3 of 11
  • Best Colleges in Springfield, MA Area #4 of 11

The Princeton Review (2019)

  • The Best 384 Colleges
  • Best Northeastern
  • Best Value Colleges
  • Green Colleges

MONEY Magazine ranked UMass Amherst #87 Best Colleges For Your Money (2018-2019).

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