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University of Pittsburgh    
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jul 14, 2024
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

School of Nursing

The School of Nursing, as an integral part of the University of Pittsburgh, subscribes to the University’s commitment to teaching, research, and service. Through these major functions, the school strives to have a positive impact on the quality of health care for all people.

The school offers baccalaureate (BSN), master’s (MSN), and doctoral programs in philosophy (PhD) or nursing practice (DNP) that anticipate and reflect health care needs locally, nationally, and internationally. It prepares graduates to function effectively in multifaceted, roles in a variety of settings to promote the health and well-being of people. It strives to instill a spirit of inquiry, encourage academic excellence, and foster lifelong learning in all students. The school seeks to enroll highly qualified students who represent racial, cultural, and geographic diversity and to prepare students for employment in a multicultural society. In keeping with the University’s emphasis on excellence in undergraduate education, the school is committed to providing an undergraduate program with a strong clinical focus that builds upon a background in the liberal arts and sciences and provides the foundation for its graduates to become outstanding clinicians.

The knowledge, skill, teaching effectiveness, and diversity of the faculty are important factors in the success of our graduates. The school is committed to fostering excellence in teaching through the faculty’s clinical expertise and practice, instructional competency, and development of state-of-the-art knowledge through research. State-of-the-art technology is used to enhance student access and learning. The school supports an environment conducive to research, encourages interdisciplinary collaboration, and seeks to make research an integral part of the learning environment. The success of the school’s research agenda continues to determine its national recognition and realm of influence.

The school believes that faculty and students should engage in public, professional, and community services as a way for them to share their knowledge, positively influence patient care delivery, and enhance their own and their peers’ professional growth. Such involvement provides leadership for societal change, helps develop effective health care policies, and enhances health care for all people. Service is reflected in leadership and volunteer responsibilities related to the political process, professional organizations, and community service agencies.

Nursing Living Learning Center (NLLC)

The NLLC is an on-campus residency/learning community for nursing students. NLLC expresses the School of Nursing’s commitment to giving a small campus experience at a large institution. Students are provided with a well-rounded approach to their studies as well as University life, while allowing students to be housed together on one floor, in a group setting. Situated in Lothrop Hall, the NLLC is adjacent to the Victoria Building, which houses the School of Nursing. This proximity to the Nursing School provides and added element of convenience for the student. The resident assistant for the NLLC is a Junior or Senior nursing student who works closely with the faculty and staff in the School of Nursing. One of the goals for the NLLC is to provide students with educational experiences that are not normally afforded to incoming freshmen. Students who participate in the NLLC are given an early opportunity to develop their leadership skills by attending the prestigious Emerging Leaders Program. The NLLC also schedules and facilitates study group sessions, nursing presentations, and social gatherings for the nursing residents.

Admission to the NLLC is by application only and is limited to incoming freshman in the traditional undergraduate baccalaureate program. Applications will also be considered from Sophomores, Juniors and transfer students, according to University guidelines and space availability.

Contact Information

University of Pittsburgh
School of Nursing
Student Affairs & Alumni Relations
239 Victoria Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-624-4587 or 1-888-747-0794

Admission Information

The School of Nursing will accept applications for the Undergraduate Baccalaureate Program from prospective students who have had the following educational preparation:

  • High school graduates
  • Students transferring from the regional campuses and other schools of the University of Pittsburgh
  • Students transferring from other colleges and universities
  • Graduates from a baccalaureate program in any field of study (Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN Program)

All students who wish to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree must apply and be accepted into the School of Nursing. Admission to other schools within the university, or to regional campuses does not guarantee admission to the School of Nursing. In general, the student’s educational background will determine the most appropriate curriculum plan and program track in which to earn a BSN.

Individual State Boards of Nursing may prohibit a person convicted of any felonious act from licensure as a registered nurse (RN) Prospective students in that situation should contact the Board of Nursing in the state where they plan to practice following graduation.

High School Graduates

Applicants may obtain application information from the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid’s Web site: Online application is also available on the OAFA web site

Additional information regarding the application process and eligibility criteria is available on the School of Nursing Web site:

All high school applicants must meet the requirements for admission to the University of Pittsburgh as well as those specifically for the School of Nursing. High school courses required of all applicants are:

Course Units*
English 4
Mathematics 4
Social Studies 3
Science with a related laboratory or the equivalent (one unit must be in chemistry) 3
Academic Electives** 5
Total 19

*A unit is equivalent to one year of successful completion of acceptable coursework.

**Two units of second language as an elective are highly recommended.

Each high school applicant is required to submit results of the SAT or ACT. The Admissions Office may request additional information, examinations, or measures for determining eligibility.

Students Applying for Transfer from within the University (Internal Transfer)

Students who wish to transfer from schools within the University (College of Arts and Sciences, College of General Studies, and regional campuses) to the undergraduate program in the School of Nursing must consult with their academic advisor to officially initiate the transfer process. All records must be received by the School of Nursing in order for students to be considered for admission. Admission is offered for the Fall and Spring terms. The School of Nursing makes transfer decisions through a competitive process based upon academic eligibility and seating availability. For more information refer to:

Students Applying for Transfer from Other Universities or Colleges (External Transfer)

Applicants who have completed at least 12 credits or one full-time term of study at any institution of higher education other than the University of Pittsburgh will be considered for transfer into the School of Nursing on a competitive basis. Prospective transfer students are required to complete an online Transfer Application and submit all necessary supporting materials to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. For more information refer to:

Admission to the School of Nursing as a transfer student is contingent upon vacancies in the freshman class. Competitive transfer applicants typically have a minimum GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) after completion of 24 credits at a college level and B grades or better in science classes and a SAT score of 1200 or higher (or an ACT composite score of 27 or higher). However, exceptions may be considered based upon the qualifications of the applicant. Applicants will be evaluated on their academic performance in both high school and a college or university. The following points govern the allowable advanced-standing credits:

  • Official transcripts of courses taken at other universities or colleges must be submitted.
  • Course descriptions for each course must be submitted to be considered for advanced-standing credits.
  • Course content must be comparable to that offered at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • The credit transferred for any course can be no greater than the credit given at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Only courses with letter grades of B- or better are transferable.
  • Credit for service, correspondence, or extension courses is not transferable.
  • Courses must have been completed within the past ten years. The Associate Dean for Clinical Education (or designee) must approve any exception to the ten-year guideline.


A student who has not been in attendance in the school for more than one year will be required to seek readmission through the School of Nursing. A student who has attended a different university/college while not attending the University of Pittsburgh is required to reapply through the University Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. Readmission will be contingent upon a vacancy in the class to which the student is to be readmitted. The program of studies will be based on courses completed, current curriculum, and placement considerations.

Admission of Students from Other Countries

International applicants for the traditional undergraduate BSN should apply using the International Student Undergraduate Application. For more information go to the International Student Admissions Web site:

RN Options and Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN International applicants should apply directly to the School of Nursing:

Applicants are required to submit official, original academic credentials in certified English translation. The application process should be started 9 to 12 months in advance of the intended enrollment date.

An applicant whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and submit official test results. Applicants must have a level of English proficiency reflected by a score of at least 213 or greater (computer-based test), or 550 or greater (paper-based test), or 80 or greater (Internet-based test). Applicants seeking fall term admission must take the TOEFL no later than the preceding March. The TOEFL code for the University of Pittsburgh is 2927. See the International Student Admissions section of this bulletin for more information on the TOEFL. Subject-specific international academic credential evaluation of official college transcript is required. For more information refer to:

RN Options Applicants

The University of Pittsburgh RN Options (Early Admission to MSN or DNP) curriculum is designed for registered nurses, who obtained their initial nursing education through either a CCNE, ACICS or ACEN [ NLN] accredited diploma or associate degree or diploma program and want to pursue undergraduate education with early admission to graduate nursing program. Courses are taught by nursing leaders who are experts in their field. Faculty serve as educators, role models and mentors for their students. The RN Options curriculum builds upon the individual professional nurse’s strengths and experiences to expand professional knowledge and practice skills. Graduates of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing possess critical appraisal/thinking skills, sophisticated clinical practice knowledge, and the ability to integrate the latest research findings to provide quality, safe and effective patient care.

Registered nurses who are interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree and Early Admission to the MSN or DNP track applicants should apply online directly to the School of Nursing at:

Course offerings are flexible and students may begin coursework in any term (fall/spring/summer). Upon finishing the first 84 of 96 credits in the RN Options track, students must select to complete their remaining requirements in the Early Admission to the MSN or DNP selected program or complete the BSN curriculum.

Students who pursue the Early Admission to the MSN or DNP track students must: (1) take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), (2) provide necessary documentation for desired major, and (3) complete the remaining 36 credits of which 24 will be at the graduate level. Full and part-time schedules are available.

Application Guidelines

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants must submit evidence of previous education and other required documents as listed below.

  • Graduate from a CCNE, ACICS or ACEN [NLN] accredited associate degree program or diploma school of nursing
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or above in previous academic work
  • Valid Registered Nurse license (all admitted students must obtain PA License)or transferable to PA)
  • Complete RN Option application
  • Application Deadline: August 1 (fall term); December 1 (spring term); and April 1 (summer term)

Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN Program Applicants

The Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN is designed to enable individuals with a Baccalaureate Degree in another discipline the ability to earn a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) in three consecutive full-time terms. The Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN requires 122 credits: 31 credits from a previous degree, 36 prerequisite credits, and 55 curriculum credits. The curriculum is fast-paced and designed to build upon the individual’s previous education while providing additional science and nursing content. At the completion, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become Registered Nurses (RN).

Admission to the Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN is competitive and is based upon proven academic achievement and grades earned in prerequisite courses. The school admits three cohorts, Fall, Spring and Summer.

The Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN requires an applicant to complete 36 prerequisite credits. These courses may be taken at any college or university. Courses from other institutions must be evaluated as equivalent to University of Pittsburgh courses. (Coursework taken at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing prior to admission may be taken as a non-degree seeking student.)

Required prerequisites include:

Course Credits
General & Bio-Organic Chemistry*+ (includes a lab) 4
English Composition (scientific/technical) 3
Directed Elective 3
Psychology 3
Sociology 3
Statistics (descriptive, probability, & inferential) 3
Human Anatomy & Physiology *+ (includes a lab) 6-8
Human Genetics *+ 3
Microbiology *+ (includes a lab) 4
Pathophysiology 4

*Should have been completed within the past ten years

+Should have achieved a grade of “B-” or better

Early submission of an application is recommended. New classes begin in the Fall, Spring and Summer term. Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN applications are reviewed, and admission decisions are made based on the application deadlines: Fall Term—February 15; Spring Term—June 1; and Summer Term—October 1. Application information and other materials are located on the web at Prospective students must apply online to the School of Nursing at

Application items include:

  1. Completed online application
  2. Official transcripts of all course work taken at any university or college
  3. Official copy of GRE score sent to the University of Pittsburgh (Institution Code-2927).
  4. Two (2) letters of professional recommendation (via online application or mailed in signed, sealed envelopes)
  5. Resume
  6. Personal essay explaining how this program will help achieve professional goals
  7. Application fee (non-refundable and does not apply to payment of tuition)
  8. INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: (in addition to above items)
    • Official graduation certificate verifying degree obtained (English translation)
    • Subject-specific international academic credential evaluation of official college transcript
    • Official TOEFL or IELTS score - exempt if native language is English or graduate of a degree program at an accredited institution in the United States

NOTE: All official documentation must be submitted in sealed envelopes from the originating institutions to the School of Nursing (3500 Victoria Street, 239 Victoria Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15261).

Provisional admission may be granted after completion of 6 credits of prerequisites if all other admission requirements are met. Undergraduate applicants who are within 12-18 credits of graduation will be considered for provisional admission. All prerequisite courses must be completed and official transcripts received by the start of the first term. Effective of the Fall Term 2016, all admitted students will be required to place a $250 as non-refundable deposit upon acceptance of admission, which will be count towards tuition in the first term of study.

Academic Standards

Students have the obligation to exhibit honesty and to respect the ethical standards of the nursing profession in carrying out their academic assignments. The academic standards of the school are:

  • A student may be placed on probation or dismissed for illegal, unsafe, or unethical professional conduct.
  • Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better throughout the program.
  • Students must fulfill the requirements for the baccalaureate degree within a period of eight years.

Students should view the School of Nursing Web site’s Student Affairs and Alumni Relations web page for current policies.

Academic Advising

For students in the traditional BSN undergraduate track, the academic advisement process begins during the University freshman orientation program (PittStart), at which time students meet with their assigned academic advisor to develop their individual plan of study. Students maintain the same advisor throughout the program of study, and continue to meet on a regular basis. This continuity permits advisors to promote academic achievements by guiding students through each level in the program, assisting in career planning and preparation, and by serving as primary educational resource, facilitator and student advocate.

Preclinical Requisites

Before beginning each school year, it is mandatory that students meet the following requirements for clinical experience (the frequency of these requirements vary by clinical site):

  • HIPAA module (completed during the Spring Term of the Freshman year for traditional licensure)
  • The American Heart Association (AHA)—BLS- Healthcare Provider Course Certification
  • Personal health insurance coverage
  • ACT 33/34 clearances (child abuse/criminal record check)
  • ACT 73 FBI fingerprinting background check
  • ACT 168 Pennsylvania Sexual Misconduct/Abuse Disclosure Release (for seniors)
  • Initial health or an updated health form to be submitted to Clinical Site Coordinator in the Office of the Dean, School of Nursing

School of Nursing Faculty

School of Nursing Faculty  

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