Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who can apply?

Applicants must have a current unrestricted Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or New Hampshire RN license and must have earned a baccalaureate of science in nursing (BSN) degree from a regionally accredited college or university which is nationally accredited by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA), Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), and/or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). and must submit an official transcript from each college or university attended as an undergraduate or graduate student. Applicants who have completed any college-level coursework, including a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a foreign nursing school, need to submit a course-by-course evaluation for US equivalency by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools and official transcripts from their institution(s) overseas. Please see the Admission Requirements.

Is the GRE required?

No.  However, applicants are required to possess an overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and a minimum of a 3.25 GPA in undergraduate nursing courses.

Applicants who do not meet the above criteria for undergraduate GPA may be asked to take the Miller Analogies Test.  Applicants will be considered who score in the 50th percentile or greater on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).

What else is required for admission?

Applicants must have completed a statistics course with a minimum grade of C prior to admission to the program. 

All applicants will have a personal interview with the Coordinator of the MSN program or the Nursing Department Chair.

How long is the program?

Option 1 Students complete the MSN core and concentration courses in 21 months, taking two courses per semester, including two courses in the summer semester.  Students are part of a cohort, taking all courses with the same group of students throughout the program.

Option 2 Students complete the MSN core and concentration courses in 45 months, taking one course per semester, including one course in the first and second summer semesters. 

How many courses and credits are in the FSU MSN?

The MSN curriculum consists of 10 4-credit courses for 40 credits.  All students take the six core courses and four specialty courses in either leadership, education or case management. You can find out more about the courses on the MSN website.

How often will I have classes?

Option 1 Although students take two courses every semester, students are only on campus one night per week from 5-9pm.  Students will also have online assignments each week. Students in Option 1 will have the same class night throughout the program usually Tuesday or Wednesday. 

Option 2 Students take one course per semester and are one campus one night every other week, with the exception of the summer courses when students will be on campus every week.  Students will have online assignments when not on campus.

Classes are held 5-9 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday nights.  Students usually come to school the same night for at least two semesters, if not for the entire program. 

Practicum experiences

Practicum experiences occur in the last two semesters of the program for all concentrations.  Students spend 100 hours each semester in their practicum experience with master’s-prepared nurse educators, leaders or case managers in schools or healthcare facilities throughout the region.  Students collaborate with FSU faculty to determine where they will have their practicum experiences.  The FSU faculty will contact potential preceptors for the students. 

Are there any breaks?

Classes begin after September 1.  Students have holiday time from the end of December until MLK birthday.  In addition, students have the middle two weeks of May and the last two weeks in August.  Students are encouraged to schedule any time away during these times so that no class time is missed. 

Can I work full time and be successful in the program?

The majority of the MSN students are working full time, but many have made changes in their lives to accommodate course requirements.  While the part-time program is rigorous, the hybrid/blended model allows students more flexibility in time schedules to be successful.

Will I feel out of place in the program?

Students in the program range in age from 23-65 years.  Students work in all areas of nursing with 1-40 years of nursing experience. The number of men in the program has been increasing each year.   Many students have been out of school for a significant number of years. Although experienced clinical nurses, all students are novice graduate students.

Are there any certificate programs?

There are four certificate programs.

Post-master’s Certificate in Nursing Education consists of the four education courses. 

Post-master’s Certificate in Nursing Leadership consists of the four Leadership courses. 

Graduate Certificate in Nursing Case Management has two didactic and one practicum course.  This certificate is available to nurses with a BSN. 

Graduate Certificate in Simulation for Nurse Educators has two didactic and one practicum course.  This certificate is available to nurses with a BSN.

What is Blended learning/Hybrid Classes?

All courses are offered in hybrid/blended learning format, combining online with traditional on campus classroom experiences. 

How has the pandemic affected the program?

While students have not been able to have classes on campus, they still meet on the regular day and time via Zoom. The Zoom breakout rooms allow student to have the same discussions with classmates and professors as well as doing group projects.  Students are able to share their screens and do presentations to their classmates.  Professors continue to be available to students via Starfish, Zoom, FaceTime, email, phone for any student concerns. 

Can I take courses before starting the program?

Interested applicants can take up to two graduate-level Nursing courses, with Program Director/Coordinator approval and seat availability, as a non-matriculated student prior to applying to the program. Upon successful completion of the course(s) and admission to the Master of Science in Nursing program courses will transfer as credit earned. Taking classes as a non-matriculated student does not guarantee admission in the Master of Science in Nursing program. Recommended courses are NURC 915 Advanced Technology and Nursing Informatics in the fall or NURC 905 Health and Education Resources and Policies in the spring. 

Do students have access to simulation labs?

Yes. We have a simulation lab with six manikins including medium and high fidelity human patient simulators. We incorporate simulation throughout the program and have an open lab which is accessible to all nursing students. Our students learn how to coordinate and run simulation scenarios as educators and leaders.

What is the cost of the program?

Cost of entire program for 10 four-credit courses including tuition and fees is $14,550

Price per 4-credit course $1,525

Price per credit $381.25

For breakdown of cost please see Tuition and Fees on the web.  Additional expenses can be expected for textbooks and attending conferences. 

Do you accept transfer credits from other schools of nursing?

The MSN program does not usually accept any courses for transfer credit.

Is financial aid available?

To be eligible for financial aid, students must be matriculated in a degree program and enrolled in at least two courses per semester. For more information visit the Framingham State University Financial Aid Office website or call 508-626-4534.

Is anyone eligible for discounts on tuition?

Students 60 years of age or over may qualify for a tuition waiver.  In addition, FSU will offer 10% discount to employees of many organizations.  See the list here (

When do you accept applications?

Applications are accepted for admission yearly in September in both education track and leadership track. The application deadline is July 1. Applications are reviewed when completed and students are accepted on a rolling admission. Cohorts may be filled prior to July 1 so applicants are encouraged to submit all documentations early.

How many students are accepted into the program?

Currently, three cohorts are accepted in September each year.  Twenty-five students are accepted into each concentration - leadership (25), education (25) and case management (25).

How do I apply?

Visit Graduate Admissions Information or fill out the online application and submit all required documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

What transcripts should I submit?

Please submit official transcripts for all undergraduate and/or graduate courses and programs.  Failure to submit all transcripts will delay consideration of your application. 

Is there an orientation before starting the program?

Every August, usually the 3rd Tuesday of the month an orientation is held.  Students have the opportunity to meet classmates, professors, and graduates of the program who will discuss hints for being successful in the program.  Students obtain their parking stickers, library cards, and student IDs.  All students are expected to attend. 

Are there information sessions planned?

The Program Coordinator and the Nursing Department Chair hold monthly information sessions giving an overview of the program and answering questions about the program.  Interested parties can find dates and register for the sessions by clicking on the Graduate Information Session website.

If you have any further questions regarding the MSN program please contact the Coordinator and Advisor:
Lisa Thomas PhD, RN, CNE, Coordinator MSN Program
Phone: 508-626-4997


  1. Requirements are accurate to date. However, the University reserves the right to change requirements in the future, and will notify applicants should any changes be made.
  2. Refer to appropriate catalog for Degree Requirements for prior years.

Updated February, 2022