Apply for the Pre-Licensure Major

Preparing to Apply

Students interested in applying to the WSU Pre-Licensure Nursing program should review the following information to ensure all requirements are met before applying.

Pre-nursing students must complete prerequisite courses in order to be eligible to apply to the Pre-Licensure (Generic Option) nursing major. Prerequisites include:

Natural Sciences

BIOL 211
Anatomy & Physiology I
BIOL 212
Anatomy & Physiology II
BIOL 209
Chem 210 or
General, Organic & Biochemistry
-Chem 212 and
Principles of Chemistry II
-CHEM 213
Principles of Chemistry II
HERS 205 or
Nutrition for Lifetime Wellness
-BIOL 206
Normal Nutrition

Social Sciences

PSY 210
Introduction to Psychological Science
Psy 250
Developmental Psychology
SOC 150
Introduction to Sociology
SOC 212
Sociology of Families

Additional Requirements

ENG 111
College Reading & Writing
STAT 110, STAT 210 or equivalent
Fundamentals of Statistics


See Major Map (PDF) to see how a student could complete prerequisites and General Education Program courses during the student’s first four semesters.

To be eligible to apply to the major, students must:

  • Be declared as nursing candidates (PNDA or PNHA) as of the application due date
  • Have completed at least 12 credits as a degree seeking student at WSU within 2 calendar years of starting the nursing program. This requirement can be met by enrolling for at least 12 credits during the semester of application
  • Have at least the following prerequisites completed with a grade of C or better:
    • At least 4 of 5 Natural Sciences (at least 3 lab courses, not including Nutrition). If a student chooses to complete CHEM 212 and 213, the student may apply after completing 4 of 6 natural sciences.
    • At least 3 of 4 Social Sciences
    • English 111 or equivalent
    • Statistics 110 or equivalent
    • Any remaining prerequisites must be completed before starting the major.
  • Have completed natural and social science prerequisites within the last 5 years, and English and statistics within the last 10 years.
  • Have completed at least 45 credit hours
  • Meet minimum cumulative college GPA requirement of 3.75 for Direct Admission or 3.3 for Holistic Admission.

Meeting minimum eligibility requirements for application does not guarantee admission through the Holistic Admission process.

  1. Academic Achievement
    • Cumulative college GPA
    • ACT/SAT score at time of first course as new entering first semester student at WSU (ATI TEAS if no ACT/SAT score within 5 years; to learn more about registering for TEAS, visit our FAQs)
  2. Personal Achievement
    • Volunteer/Community Service
    • Personal Statement
    • References
  3. Interview (Holistic Admission applicants may qualify for the interview process based on their scores on the Academic Achievement and Personal Achievement criteria).

See the Pre-Licensure Program Brochure (PDF) for additional information.

All Direct Admission (PNDA) and Holistic Admission (PNHA) candidates must complete at least 10 hours of volunteer service per fall and spring semester while a degree-seeking student at WSU (PNDA or PNHA) or RCTC (PNHA only). Effective Fall Semester 2021, volunteer hours must be completed in the Winona and Rochester communities.

Required volunteer hours must be documented by the last day of each semester, or by the application due date during the semester of application.

Your volunteer hours do not need to be related to healthcare. You may not count hours for which you received payment or course credit.

You may not count time you spend doing things for family or friends that you would do anyway. For example, if you rake leaves for your grandparents every year, you should still do that, but your time spent raking doesn't count as volunteer service.

Learn more about volunteer/community service hours (PDF).

If you need help identifying volunteer opportunities, some helpful resources:

When you complete volunteer hours, ask someone at the organization where you volunteered to submit verification using this link: Community Service Hours.

Holistic admission applications must have two references.

One reference must be from a professor. Your nursing advisor cannot serve as a reference for you. The other could be from an employer or someone else that knows the candidate well and can comment on the applicant's personal qualities. Your references should know you over a period of time and be able to reflect on your growth and development.

Candidates should provide references with the WSU Nursing Candidate Reference link.

All references must be submitted directly through the online reference form.

Additional requirements to be completed before a student begins the upper division nursing major:

  • Be certified as a nursing assistant, and be listed as “active” on a Nursing Assistant Registry within the United States
  • Be certified in CPR for One & Two Person, Infant, Child and Adult (only American Heart Association or American Red Cross Basic Life Support (BLS))
  • Provide a copy of CNA & CPR certifications to the Department of Undergraduate Nursing through the Student Passport system
  • Pass Minnesota and/or Wisconsin and National background checks to be eligible for clinical experiences
  • Complete Health Information forms required by the Department of Undergraduate Nursing. For specific information about health requirements, please view the Undergraduate Generic BS Nursing Student Handbook, section IV.B.1 Health information is submitted through the Student Passport system.

See CNA and CPR FAQs (PDF) for more information.

Undergraduate nursing department policies and requirements are subject to change. Updates will be posted on this website.


Online Applications Are Closed

Online applications and the link for submission of references are now closed for the Undergraduate Pre-Licensure Nursing program (Generic option).

Applications to begin the major in spring 2022 and the reference link will open in early August. Applications for Spring 2022, personal statement, community service hours, and references will be due by Oct. 1, 2021.

Holistic interview day will be Oct. 16, 2021. Holistic applicants should save the date to be available if invited to an interview. There will be no make-up days.

Prerequisite completion is verified from the student record system. Prerequisites must be shown on your Degree Audit with a grade. 

If your Degree Audit shows in-progress grades for prerequisites, you must complete an online Degree Audit & Transfer Credit Request form for classes taken at MinnState schools, or arrange to have transcripts sent from any other schools, including the University of Minnesota system.

You will not be able to apply until grades are shown on your Degree Audit for at least 4 natural science prerequisites, at least 3 social science prerequisites, English, and statistics.

Students with credits earned at other colleges or universities, including college credits earned while in high school and credits for CNA courses completed at community and technical colleges, and non-WSU courses currently in progress, must verify that all transcripts have been received by WSU and that all in progress and completed courses are reflected on the student Degree Audit as of the application due date.

Holistic Admission (PNHA) applicants, and Direct Admission (PNDA) applicants who have lost direct admission status and are applying through holistic admission must submit a written personal statement as part of their application.

Use the “Add statement” button on the application to upload your personal statement. Learn how to write a personal statement (PDF).

Holistic Admission (PNHA) applicants, and Direct Admission (PNDA) applicants who have lost direct admission status and are applying through holistic admission must also submit references. All applicants must submit documentation of completion of required volunteer/community service hours.  

Your references must submit information directly. Provide them with this link: WSU Nursing Candidate Reference. The reference link will be activated when applications open in early August.

When you complete volunteer hours, ask someone at the organization where you volunteered to submit verification using this link: Community Service Hours.

During the semester when you apply to the major only, you must complete and verify 10 hours of community service prior to the application due date. Up to five hours may be completed during the preceding break. These hours may be completed in any community. The remaining hours must be completed between the first day of the semester and the application due date, and must be completed in the Winona and Rochester communities.

To ensure your application is completed correctly, download and review the application checklist (PDF).

If you have questions, contact Beth Twiton at or 507.457.2232.