University of Texas Health Science Center (UT Health) at Houston Cizik School of Nursing

The University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) Cizik School of Nursing offers students the opportunity to study, conduct research and participate in clinical practice. The school is proud to be able to provide a variety of experiences for graduate and undergraduate students. Students Schools Scholarships

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  • Accreditations CCNE Accredited COA Accredited
  • Location Houston, Texas
  • Programs BSN, DNP, MSN, RN-to-MSN, RN-to-BSN, Entry-Level BSN, MSN-to-DNP, MSN to PhD, CRNA, NP, PhD, Post-grad Certificate, Other
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The University of Texas Health Science Center (UT Health) at Houston, established in 1972, is a public institution and Houston's leading health university.

After receiving a $25 million landmark gift from Jane and Robert Cizik, the School of Nursing received a new name in November 2017. It is now the Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth.

Affiliate Institutions

  1. The Methodist Hospital
  2. Memorial Hermann Healthcare System
  3. St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital
  4. Texas Children's Hospital
  5. St. Joseph Hospital
  6. The University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center
  7. The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Clinical preceptors and the clinical sites are largely dependent on the community affiliates for student education. The school has collaborated with over 200 clinical affiliations, including all agencies in the Texas Medical Center. The school relies on the assistance from private practice practitioners as well as outpatient clinics in a variety of community settings.


Bachelor of Science

Pacesetter BSN Program (4 semesters - 15 months)

The Pacesetter program is designed for the Freshman without a degree. This program is a full-time, four semester program which includes clinical, skills labs and theory courses. The final 16 weeks of the program are full-time clinical rotations.

Students start the program in the fall, Spring and Summer semesters.

The nursing program will only accept students who have a minimum of 60 semester hours credit or 90 quarter hours comprised of both prerequisite and elective work.

Students who complete the program successfully are awarded the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and are eligible to sit for the National Council of Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) and become licensed in their state as a Registered Nurse (RN).

Minimum Admission Requirements (not all inclusive)

  • 2.75 GPA or higher in required 60 hours nursing prerequisites
  • 3.0 GPA or higher in required science prerequisites
  • HESI A2 Entrance Exam score report

RN-BSN  (3 semesters - 12 months)

The RN-BSN program is designed for current registered nurses or students enrolled in an Associate Degree nursing program.

This rigorous RN-BSN program consists of a three-semester online program where students take 10-11 credits per semester.

The program is designed to be flexible, full or part time, therefore nurses are still able to work. It can be completed in 2 semesters or as a long as 9 semesters with the majority choosing a 3 semester option.

Effective Spring 2017, the RN-BSN Online Flex Program will include all online classes with the exception of 90 clinical hours in the Community Health Project for RNs clinical course.

Is web-enhanced the same as online?

The web-enhanced wording is used to express that there are times the student must come to the campus. It is not an exclusive online program. Students may have to come to the campus for exams presentations or just as an opportunity for face-to-face time with the UTHealth faculty and other students. 

Minimum Admission Requirements (not all inclusive)

  1. Associate's degree or diploma in nursing
  2. Active RN license
  3. 2.75 GPA or higher required 60 hours of nursing prerequisites
  4. 3.0 or higher required science prerequisites

Veteran's BSN  

This program provides an opportunity for 10 veterans per semester to receive academic credit for prior military training and experience while addressing the unique needs of veterans. Pacesetter BSN and RN-BSN students are eligible to apply.

What military branches qualify for consideration?

The VBSN program is for veterans who are active duty military with medical training and experience. Therefore, all branches qualify.

Is there a time limit during which the service must have occurred?

For the VBSN program, there is no time limit on military service.



Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

There are six clinical tracks available. Courses are available online and face-to-face allowing the opportunity to work and enjoy their family. The curriculum structure depends on the clinical concentration selected.

Nurse Practitioner Tracks

  • Adult/Gerontology Acute Care
  • Adult/Gerontology Primary Care
  • Family Nurse
  • Psych/Mental Health
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Leadership and Administration

MSN Admission Requirements (not all inclusive)

These requirements do not apply to the Nurse Anesthesia MSN or BSN-DNP.

  1. Basic statistics course
  2. Three (3) academic/professional references
  3. Curriculum vitae or resume
  4. Official transcript from each institution attended.  GPA 3.0 on 4.0 scale. MSN from an accredited school if Post-Master's applicant
  5. Documentation of minimum work experience for chosen clinical concentration:
Work Experience
Clinical Concentration Experience

Acute Care Nursing

Adult Health

Family Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

One year experience in critical care as a registered nurse

One year clinical experience as a registered nurse

One year clinical experience as a registered nurse

One year clinical experience as a psychiatric registered nurse

Post-Master's Programs

Besides the Nurse Anesthesia program, students can apply for post-master's admission for all tracks.

Additional Enrollment Options

  • Emergency/Trauma Care Concentration/Post-master's Certificate 
  • Forensic Nursing Science Concentration/Post-master's Certificate
  • Dual MSN/MPH with the UTHealth School of Public Health

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP program admits nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), nurse directors/executives, and nurses focused on informatics.

There is a BSN-DNP website offered by the UT Health Nurse Anesthesia program for those who are interested in becoming nurse anesthetists.

The Curriculum

Along with online learning, students are required to attend classes at the Houston campus for two two-day sessions per semester. The CRNA students have the option to choose between a 5-semester or 8-semester curriculum plan.  The nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse executives, and nurse informatics students will follow an 8-semester curriculum plan. 

Nurse Anesthesia

Graduates of the completed program are eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination (NCE) for Nurse Anesthetists offered by the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). 

The UT Health Cizik School of Nursing is the first and only public university in the State of Texas to offer the BSN-DNP in Nurse Anesthesia.

The program consists of 112 credits and is nine semesters, 36 months, in length.

Program Outcome Facts

  • The entire May 2016 MSN graduates passed the NCE on the first attempt.
  • The 2012-2016 graduating classes have achieved 100-percent pass rates on the first attempt of the NCE
  • NCE first-time test-taker pass rates (initial examination) for the most recent five-year MSN composite (2012-16) were 100 percent.
  • The UTHealth MSN nurse anesthesia attrition rate for the past five years (2012-2016) was eleven percent.
  • For the past five years, 100 percent of new UTHealth MSN graduates have been employed as nurse anesthetists within six months.

Minimum Admission Criteria for Nurse Anesthesia (not all inclusive)

  1. Official scores: Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) taken within five years
  2. BSN earned from an accredited program. GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  3. Statistics
  4. Organic Chemistry I or Biochemistry course within the last 6 years
  5. Current Texas nursing license
  6. At least one year clinical experience in critical care, which can include: CVICU, SICU, CCU, MICU, NICU (Level III only), PICU as well as trauma and burn intensive care units. Emergency room, PACU and cath. Clinical experience recommended:  invasive hemodynamic monitoring, vasoactive drip initiation/titration, management of ventilated patients
  7. BLS, ACLS, PALS certification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


  • 66 semester hours
  • Three electives and three cognate courses that allow the student to develop knowledge in a focused area of interest
  • Develop a dissertation that is focused on preparing a nurse scientist who will improve health and health care

PhD to DNP Program

The PhD-DNP program is an option available for a select group of highly motivated individuals who aspire to be the top nursing leaders. These two degrees are terminal degrees for nurses.


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

The Nurse Anesthesia program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificate, baccalaureate, masters, doctoral, and special professional degrees.


US News & World Report (2019)

  • #41 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Master's
  • #39 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • #8 (tie) in Nursing-Anesthesia

The University of Texas Health Science Center ranked in the top five percent of graduate nursing programs in the United States, according to the latest edition of Best Graduate Schools.

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