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Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN

Curriculum Design | Eligibility and Prerequisites Guideline

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2nd Accelerated Degree BSN

Who can apply?

  • Individuals with a baccalaureate or graduate degree in another discipline
  • Senior baccalaureate students

The Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN enables students to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) in three consecutive terms. The curriculum is fast-paced and designed to build upon the individual’s previous education while providing the science and nursing content.  At the completion, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become Registered Nurses (RN). 

Curriculum Design 

Prerequisites Guidelines

Admission to the Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN is highly competitive and is based upon proven academic achievement and grades earned in prerequisite courses.

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in the previous undergraduate or graduate degree.

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 will be evaluated for equivalency to University of Pittsburgh courses only courses that are judged to be equivalent will be accepted as prerequisites. (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:

  • General & Bio-Organic Chemistry *+(includes a lab) -  4 credits
  • English Composition — 3 cr.
  • Human Growth & Development+ (birth to death) — 3 cr.
  • Psychology — 3 cr.
  • Sociology — 3 cr.  
  • Statistics (descriptive, probability & inferential) — 3 cr.
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology*+ (includes a lab) — 6-8 cr.
  • Human Genetics *+ — 3 cr.
  • Microbiology*+ (includes a lab) — 4 cr.
  • Pathophysiology *+ — 4 cr.

*Should have been completed within past 8 years.
+ Should have achieved a grade of “B-” or better.
Course Equivalents

NOTE: Credits listed are term credits. Courses taken as quarter classes will be individually evaluated.


Early submission of an application is recommended. Accelerated 2nd degree BSN applications are reviewed as per the following deadlines below. Applicants should apply online, directly to the School of Nursing

Application items include:

  1. Completed application (available online)
  2. Deadlines: Fall Term: Feb.. 15
                    Spring Term: June 1
                    Summer Term: Oct. 1     
  3. Official transcripts of all course work taken at any university or college
  4. Official copy of GRE score sent to the University of Pittsburgh (Institution code)- 2927)
  5. Two (2) letters of professional recommendation (via on-line application or mailed in signed, sealed envelopes)
  6. Resume(uploaded into the online application)
  7. Personal essay explaining how the Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN will help achieve professional goals
  8. Application fee $50.00 (non-refundable and does not apply to payment of tuition) which is paid online using credit or debit card.
  9. INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: (in addition to above items)
    1. Official graduation certificate verifying degree obtained (English translation)
    2. Subject-specific international academic credential evaluation of official college transcript
    3. 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:

  • University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing
  • 239 Victoria Building
  • 3500 Victoria Street
  • Pittsburgh, PA  15261

Provisional admission may be granted after completion of 6 prerequisite credits 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.

Prospective Students convicted of any felonious act may be prohibited from licensure as a Registered Nurse by the Board of Nursing in various states. Applicants who plan to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (as well as most other states) should be advised that upon application for the Registered Nurse Licensure Examination, the Board of Nursing will inquire as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, felonious act, or crime of moral turpitude, an illegal act associated with alcohol, or an illegal act associated with substance abuse(s).

Sample section from Pennsylvania State Board Application:

Section 6. fees:

Qualifications for Licensure. No application for licensure as a registered nurse shall be considered unless accompanied by a fee determined by the Board by regulation. Every applicant, to be eligible for examination for licensure as a registered nurse, shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the Board that he or she is of good moral character, has completed work equal to a standard high school course as evaluated by the Board and has satisfactorily completed an approved program of professional nursing. Approved programs shall include baccalaureate degree, associate degree and diploma nursing programs. The Board shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant who has been convicted of a felonious act prohibited by the act of April 14, 1972 (P. L. 233, No. 64), known as "The Controlled Substance Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act," or convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States or any other state, territory or country unless:

  1. At least ten (10) years have elapsed from the date of conviction.
  2. The applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the Board that he has made significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure of the applicant should not be expected to create a substantial risk of harm to the health and safety of patients or the public or a substantial risk of further criminal violations
  3. The applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in or authorized by this act.

As used in this subsection the term "convicted" shall include a judgment, an admission of guilt or a plea of no lo contender. An applicant's statement on the application declaring the absence of a conviction shall be deemed satisfactory evidence of the absence of a conviction, unless the Board has some evidence to the contrary. (6 amended Dec. 15, 1986, P. L. 1607, No. 179) (Professional Nurse Law)

Moreover, because of the mandate of the laws relating to character requirements (good moral character) (Sections 13, 14 and 15.1 of the Professional Nursing Law), the Board has the duty and the right to ask for this information.

If you have a criminal conviction, you are advised to contact:

State Board of Nursing
P. O. Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
(717) 783-7142

All undergraduate, pre-licensure students are required by the clinical site agencies to obtain and maintain valid Pennsylvania Act 33/34 (child abuse and criminal record check) and ACT 73 (fingerprinting background check). Clearances will be reviewed by the clinical sites where students are scheduled to do clinical. In the event of a positive clearance, the clinical site will determine if the student can do clinical at their site.

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