Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The purpose of the Master of Nursing degree program is to provide an organized sequential plan of study that leads to preparation in a specialized nursing role. This purpose is fulfilled through:

  • Preparation in nursing practice in a specialized role or
  • Preparation in research methods and skills
  • Provision of a foundation for further study at the doctoral level

Program Description

This program leads to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, and varies in credits depending on the area of concentration. The program can be completed through full- or part-time study.

Students may select preparation for the Nurse Specialty Role major, which has two areas of concentration: Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), and Nursing Informatics. The Clinical Nurse Leader area of concentration are offered both onsite and online, while the Nursing Informatics option is only offered online.

The curriculum design includes core courses, specialty courses, and role development courses. Students in any of the majors may also elect to add a minor in nursing administration, nursing education, nursing informatics, nursing research, or health care genetics.

Registered nurses who do not yet have a BSN may enter the MSN program via the RN Options, early admission to the MSN program.

Registered nurses who already have a master's degree in nursing have the option of earning a second master's degree in nursing in a different area of concentration. Earning the second master's requires completing the course requirements for the specific area of concentration.

The Masters Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Integrates scientific findings from nursing, biopsychological fields, genetics, public health, quality improvement, and organizational sciences for the continual improvement of nursing care across diverse setting.
  2.  Apply organizational and systems leadership principals to a clinical setting. 
  3. Demonstrate the ability to use the steps of evidence-based practice to implement clinical practice guidelines or design projects to improve health care delivery.
  4. Applies research outcomes to resolve practice problems.
  5. Use current emerging technologies and data analytics to enhance nursing practice.
  6. Advocate for policies that improve the health of the public and the profession of nursing.
  7. Use effective communications strategies to develop, participate, and lead interprofessional teams and partnerships.
  8. Design patient-centered and culturally responsive strategies in delivery of clinical prevention and health promotion interventions.
  9. Apply the best available evidence from nursing and other sciences to advance patient education, enhance accessibility of care, analyze practice patterns, and improve health care outcomes

Graduate Academic Regulations and Student Responsibilities

International Applicants

Academic Integrity Policy for Students


The University of Pittsburgh is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. The complete Nondiscrimination Policy is available here.