A.S. Program Admission Information

Program transition announced

A.S. program in Nursing transitioning to B.S. program in Nursing

The national picture of nursing education is changing. As a leader in the field, Penn State is transitioning the associate of science (A.S.) degree to a baccalaureate of science (B.S.) degree in Nursing at the Altoona, Erie, Fayette, Mont Alto, and Worthington Scranton campuses. This transition aligns with the future of nursing practice and projected employment patterns.

An application for the B.S. program at Altoona, Erie (Behrend), Fayette, Mont Alto, and Worthington Scranton campuses will be posted by September 1, 2014. If accepted into the Nursing program, students will spend all four years at the campus to which they are admitted. Beginning in fall 2015, the campus program will be open to current or previous Penn State students or those transferring from another college or university.

The B.S. program in Nursing at University Park will continue to admit only high school students or adults with fewer than 18 college credits. Beginning in fall 2014, all students accepted to this program will begin at University Park campus. Current or previous Penn State students as well as those transferring from another college or university are not eligible for this program.


Students may be admitted directly into the A.S. in Nursing major (2NURS) in the fall semester only. A.S. in Nursing applications are due November 30 for the following fall; applications received after that date are considered on a space-available basis only. (Note: Application form works with Safari, Explorer, and Chrome browsers only.) Individuals who have never been admitted to Penn State should apply through the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

All applicants must have a minimum of the following high school course work:

  • 2 years of math (algebra and one additional math)
  • 2 years of science (one each of chemistry and biology)
  • 4 years of English (including composition and literature)
  • 5 years in any combination of world languages/social studies/arts/humanities

First-year, change of major, and transfer (advanced standing) students are considered at the same time. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) must meet the same academic criteria as other candidates, but may be eligible for spring admission on a space-available basis. All students will be notified of the admission decision by mid-February.

The School of Nursing requires state and federal criminal background checks for all students in the program. A criminal record may restrict clinical site availability, delay progress in the program, and/or delay approval to sit for the licensing exam. Students may not sit for the NCLEX if they have a felony conviction within the past ten years.

Campuses may be contacted directly for more information. The associate degree program is offered at:

High school students or adults with fewer than 18 college credits completed

High school and adult applicants with fewer than 18 college credits must have all high school courses completed as stated above.

High school GPA is a primary factor for selection; the SAT or ACT is required for nonadult applicants. The A.S. program takes two years to complete, regardless of the number of transfer or Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate/Dual Enrollment credits. Please submit a Penn State application. (See chart below for application steps.)

Transfer (advanced standing) students

Advanced standing students (transferring 18 or more credits) must submit a Penn State application by November 30 (see chart below for application steps). Applications received after that date are considered on a space-available basis.

To understand the requirements and the process, it is important to discuss options with an admissions counselor. In addition to the high school course work stated above, applicants must have:

  • a 100-level or higher lab science (anatomy and physiology or chemistry preferred)
  • a social/behavioral class (psychology, human development and family studies, or sociology preferred)
  • 6 other nonremedial credits, preferably including math

School of Nursing advisers can verify whether the courses will fulfill the requirements. Completing these requirements does not guarantee entrance into the 2NURS program.

Applicants are directed to the campus of their choice for further information (see A.S. Program for a list of campuses and contact information).

First-Year Admits (high school or adult with fewer than 18 credits) Transfers From Another University (advanced standing with 18 or more credits)
Application Deadline November 30 November 30
Penn State Admissions application needed? Yes Yes
A.S. degree (2NURS) application needed? No No
Can I apply more than once? Yes Yes
Guaranteed admission? No No

Current Penn State students

Penn State students have just one opportunity for consideration for the associate degree Nursing program and must be enrolled in 2NRCM* (A.S. premajor), DUS (Division of Undergraduate Studies), NURS (Nursing), NDEG (Nondegree), or Prov (Provisional) status at the time of application and review. This category also includes NDEG students who are taking Penn State classes but have never applied to Penn State. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with a Nursing adviser prior to application.

*If you are not enrolled in DUS, NURS, NDEG, or Prov status, request a change of major to 2NRCM. If you are enrolled in another selected or controlled major, please see an adviser. Maximum time in 2NRCM is two semesters, excluding summers. (A Change of Major form requesting 2NRCM should be sent to the Registrar at your current campus; please see the chart below.)

Penn State students who apply by November 30, have the appropriate high school course work, meet the following criteria at Penn State, and have a 3.40 or higher cumulative GPA at the end of the fall semester are guaranteed admission into 2NURS:

  • 3–4 credits of 100-level science course with lab, with a grade of C or higher: BIOL 129, BIOL 141 and 142, MICRB 106 and 107, and CHEM 101 preferred
  • 3 credits of social science with a grade of C or higher: HD FS 129, PSYCH 100, and SOC 001 or 005 preferred
  • 6 additional nonremedial credits with a grade of C or higher, preferably including 3 credits of math

Penn State students who apply late or lack the course work or GPA will be considered on a space-available basis. You may apply to the program only once. If, after applying, you decide not to be considered for enrollment, you must withdraw your application by December 31. (See chart below for application steps.) Campuses may be contacted directly for more information (see A.S. Program for a list of campuses and contact information).

Previous Penn State students

Students who were previously enrolled in a degree program at Penn State have just one opportunity for consideration for the Nursing associate degree program and should submit an application for 2NURS before November 30. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with a nursing adviser prior to application.

Previous Penn State students who apply by November 30, have the appropriate high school course work, meet the following criteria at Penn State, and have a 3.40 or higher cumulative GPA at the end of the fall semester are guaranteed admission into 2NURS:

  • 3–4 credits of 100-level science course with lab, with a grade of C or higher: BIOL 129, BIOL 141 and 142, MIRB 106 and 107, and CHEM 101 preferred
  • 3 credits of social science with a grade of C or higher: HD FS 129, PSYCH 100, and SOC 001 or 005 preferred
  • 6 additional nonremedial credits with a grade of C or higher, preferably including 3 credits of math

Students who apply late or lack the specific course work or GPA will be considered on a space-available basis. You may apply to the program only once. If, after applying, you decide not to be considered for enrollment, you must withdraw your application by December 31. (See chart below for application steps.) Campuses may be contacted directly for more information (see A.S. Program for a list of campuses and contact information).

Current Penn State Students (includes DUS, NDEG, NURS, 2NRCM) Previous Penn State Students (previously enrolled in a Penn State degree program) Provisional (never attended any college; accepted by Penn State with this status) Nondegree (NDEG) (never applied to Penn State but taking Penn State classes)

Application Deadline

November 30 November 30 November 30 November 30
A.S. Degree (2NURS) Application Needed? Yes Yes Yes Yes
How Many Times Can I Apply? One Time One Time One Time One Time
Guaranteed Admission? (with 3.40 cumulative grade-point average and 12–13 specific credits) Yes (see required course list*) Yes (see required course list*) Yes (see required course list*) Yes (see required course list*)
Initial Penn State Admission Application Needed? No No No Yes
Penn State Reenrollment Needed? No Yes No No
Penn State Provisional-to-Degree Application Needed? No No Yes No
Penn State Change of Major to 2NRCM Needed? **Only required for Penn State students outside of DUS, NURS, or NDEG status. Please read 2NRCM information mentioned above. No **Yes
Please read 2NRCM information mentioned above or speak with a School of Nursing adviser.
No