Traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing

“I realized that health care was what I wanted to do all my life. Working in the hospital, I noticed that nurses were on the front line, interacting with patients, and I realized nursing was where I wanted to be.”

Mathew Trapp '19


Admission rate

Clinical hours

All applicants to the traditional BSN program must have completed or be in progress to complete 54 college level credits, and have at minimum a 2.75 cumulative GPA, including repeated courses.

We require seven prerequisite courses, with a maximum of three in progress during the spring term prior to enrollment.

    1. Chemistry (4/5 credits, including lab) AP/IB CHEM scores of 4/5 fulfill this prerequisite
    2. Microbiology (3 credits)
    3. Anatomy* (3 credits)
    4. Physiology* (5 credits, including lab)
    5. Psychology (3 credits) AP/IB PSYCH scores of 4/5 fulfill this prerequisite
    6. Sociology (3 credits)
    7. Human Growth and Development (3 credits)

Note: Anatomy and Physiology may be satisfied by one semester of Anatomy and one semester of Physiology or by A&P I and II

All applicants must have a 2.75 minimum GPA in the combined seven prerequisites courses and at least a C (2.0) in each of the individual seven prerequisite courses.

Current UW–Madison students with questions about prerequisites and course equivalencies should contact an advisor. Equivalency information for transfers and second-degree applicants is available on the BSN Prerequisite Course Equivalencies page.

To apply to become a pre-nursing student on-campus, submit your application to UW–Madison and list nursing as your major of interest. Visit UW–Madison’s Freshman Admissions page for more admissions information.

During the pre-nursing years, students complete all nursing admission prerequisite courses and requirements, in addition to all other degree requirements that are not built into the two-year nursing program plan. This includes the university’s General Education Requirements and course work in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, electives, and the nursing program’s math requirement.

Download the Pre-Nursing Program Plan on this page for details.

The BSN is a four-year undergraduate degree. Although the cost of attending UW-Madison will vary among all students, the university bases its financial aid awards on this budget: UW–Madison Undergraduate Cost of Attendance.

Visit the Costs & Financial Aid page for financial aid and other important information.


  • Application Period Opens: December 1
  • Application Deadline: January 16, 2023
  • Zoom Interview: March 23-25, March 30-April 1, & April 6-7, 2023 (tentative). Interview dates and times will be assigned by the School of Nursing. Reschedules will not be allowed unless there are extenuating circumstances.
  • Notification of Decisions: Mid-May

Applications are accepted once a year for a fall term start.

Review of Applications

Successful applicants have strong academic ability as well as leadership, participation in extracurricular activities, service, and healthcare experience. We also consider professional goals and diversity in experience and background. Admission is highly competitive and based on a thorough and holistic evaluation of each application.

To Apply

Applications are submitted online (only live during the annual application period). There is no fee to complete the nursing application. Students are limited to a maximum of three applications.

  • Make sure to review the Application Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions document on this page.
  • Transfers and second-degree applicants should see the Transfer & Second-Degree Admissions tab.

About the Application

The online application has four main sections:

  1. Applicant Information: Name, contact information, residency information, etc.
  2. Academic Information and Educational History: Provide a list all the colleges and universities you’ve attended to date, including dates of attendance, total credits received, and degree(s) earned (if applicable). Complete a table indicating how and where you completed the seven prerequisite courses.
  3. Work Experience and Involvement Table: List up to five of your most notable activities or accomplishments (leadership roles, community service, employment, other activities, honors, awards), with the amount of time you dedicated to each and a description of your impact, participation, or accomplishments.
  4. Personal Statements (Essays): Answers to six personal statement questions are required. A reapplication essay is required for students who have applied in the past.

Transfer and second-degree students who meet the admission requirements may apply to enter the nursing program. Students who are actively enrolled in a Bachelor of Science-Nursing program at another institution are not eligible to apply for admission into UW–Madison’s Traditional BSN program. Given that space in the program is very limited, we prioritize enrollment in our program for students who do not already have a path to the BSN degree in our admission process. It is possible to request an exception to this policy by submitting the school’s Petition for Special Consideration. Examples of situations warranting an application eligibility exception might include military obligations, personal or family medical concerns, or other extenuating circumstances that directly affect a student’s ability to earn the BSN from the other institution. It is important to note that core nursing degree requirements do not transfer into the UW–Madison School of Nursing. Previously completed nursing coursework will not apply to the BSN degree at UW–Madison, and students will be required to complete all nursing degree requirements as part of the curriculum at UW–Madison.

Transfer students who still have requirements in process should apply to UW–Madison as pre-nursing students and then apply to the nursing program once all requirements have been fulfilled. Second-degree candidates cannot enter UW–Madison as a pre-nursing second-degree candidate.

Prerequisite Course Equivalencies

For more information about prerequisite equivalencies, see the BSN Prerequisite Course Equivalencies page.

Applying to UW–Madison

You must also apply for admission to UW–Madison as well as the nursing program. This is done through the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Complete the UW–Madison application process first before proceeding to the online nursing application form. You must have a complete application on file with the UW-Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment on/by the application deadline to be eligible for admission to the nursing program.

  • A complete application includes the online application, the application fee, and official high school and college transcripts. You can check your university application status online and also monitor receipt of your application materials.
  • Students should indicate an intended major of Nursing on the application.
  • Admission to UW–Madison does not guarantee admission into the nursing program.
  • You will receive an application acknowledgement from the UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment when your application is received. This confirmation will include your Campus ID number, which can then be used to activate your NetID. You will need your NetID to complete the application to the nursing program. Application acknowledgement and NetID activation can take up to 7 days. Plan accordingly to meet the application deadline.

See the To Apply tab for information about the nursing program application.

FAQsThe School of Nursing sends admission decisions via email in mid-May. Admitted students must accept the offer of admission and confirm intent to enroll by the deadline stated in the admission letter. Students who are not admitted are invited to meet with an academic advisor to reflect on the application and discuss next steps.

Appealing a Decision

Every application denied has already been through an extensive faculty review. For an appeal to have merit, it must bring to light new compelling academic and/or personal information, as well as details pertaining to extenuating circumstances, that were not addressed in the initial application. Essentially, the appeal must present information that clearly shows the student to be stronger than had been earlier evidenced.

While all appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, the percentage of decisions that are reversed based on an appeal is historically very low.

There is no special form. Appeals should include a letter outlining the argument for an appeal. Supporting documentation may also be included. The following rules apply:

  • Applicants can only appeal once and decisions resulting from an appeal are final.
  • Appeal letters must be written and submitted by the applicant, along with supporting documentation as appropriate, within 10 days of the deny decision.
  • Waitlist decisions cannot be appealed.

Submitting Your Appeal

Appeals must be submitted to the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs via email within 10 business days of the deny decision. It is our usual practice to respond to appeals within 10 days of the receipt date.

Email to:

Connect With an Advisor

High school and prospective transfer students should attend a VisitBucky session and/or email admissions.  On campus pre-nursing students can make an appointment via Starfish.  Nursing students can make an appointment via Starfish. Visit Studentnet for additional advising information.

Darby Sugar

Position title: Advising and Student Services Director


Phone: 608-263-5248

Pre-Nursing Advising

Molly Censky, EdD

Position title: Assistant Director for Advising and Student Success


Phone: 608-263-1058

1145 Signe Skott Cooper Hall

Leigh Arora

Position title: Academic Advising Manager


Phone: 608-264-6402

1131 Signe Skott Cooper Hall

Maisee Her

Position title: Academic Advising Manager


1135 Signe Skott Cooper Hall

Admitted Nursing Advising

Tracey Maloney

Position title: Academic Advising Manager

1137 Signe Skott Cooper Hall

Kelli Richards

Position title: Career Development & Learning Support Manager


Phone: 608-263-5163

1149 Signe Skott Cooper Hall