Direct Master’s Entry

Graduates of the Direct Master's Entry program change their careers and make an immediate impact as nurse practitioners in Boston and across the country.

Intended for students with bachelor’s degrees in disciplines other than nursing, the Connell School’s accelerated Direct Master’s Entry (MSE) program prepares students for fulfilling careers with the full array of benefits of our traditional master’s program: exceptional academics, invaluable clinical experiences, mentorship from prominent scholars and clinicians, and a range of resources that strengthen students’ knowledge and expand their professional horizons.

CSON was one of the first schools to offer an accelerated master’s program, which allows graduates to enter advanced practice nursing more quickly—saving them time and tuition costs. Students can complete the degree in as few as two years:

  • Summer: The program begins in July with a three-week summer session.

  • Year 1: Throughout the first year of intensive, full-time study, students prepare to take the NCLEX exam and become licensed RNs.

  • Year 2: During the second year, students complete courses in their specialties and take classes with both Connell School traditional MS students and other MSE students.

Application deadline:

  • November 15 (for fall enrollment)


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Ready for a rewarding challenge that will change your life—and the lives of others?

How to apply

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Five nurse practitioner specialties help you identify your ideal career path and excel in your practice. Direct Master’s Entry students may choose from adult-gerontology primary care, family health, pediatric primary care, psychiatric/mental health, and women’s health.

Learn about our specialities

Our Curriculum

Pre-Licensure Year (47 Credits)

Summer Session 

Course Course Title Credits
NURS 6397 Foundations of Nursing Practice 2


Fall Semester 1

Course Course Title Credits
NURS 2204 Pharmacology /Nutrition  3
NURS 6400 Nursing Practice and Public Health in the Community  2
NURS 6398 MSE Adult Health Theory 6
NURS 6399 MSE Adult and Population Health Nursing Clinical 4
NURS 7672 Advanced Pathophysiology Across the Life Span 3


Spring Semester 1

Course Course Title Credits
NURS 6460 MSE Childbearing Nursing Theory 3
NURS 6470 MSE Child Health Nursing Theory 3
NURS 6468 MSE Psych-Mental Health Nursing Theory 3
NURS 6461 MSE Childbearing Nursing Clinical 2
NURS 6471 MSE Child Health Nursing Clinical 2
NURS 6469 MSE Psych-Mental Health Nursing Clinical 2
NURS 7420 Advanced Pharmacology Across the Lifespan 3


Summer Session (Includes Sessions I and II)

Course Course Title Credits
NURS 6411 Nursing Synthesis Practicum (Clinical) 3
NURS 7430 Advanced Health Assessment Across the Lifespan (Includes Clinical) 3
NURS 7520 Research Methods for Advanced Practice Nursing 3

July/August—RN Licensure NCLEX Exam

Nurse Practitioner Year (30 Credits)

Fall Semester II (MS Specialty Year)

Course Course Title Credits
NURS 7415 Conceptual Basis for Advanced Practice Nursing  3
NURS 7416 Ethical Issues in Advanced Practice Nursing  3
NURS XXXX* Advanced Specialty Theory I Course 3
NURS XXXX* Advanced Specialty Clinical I Course 6


Spring Semester II (MS Specialty Year Graduation Term)

Course Course Title Credits
NURS 7417 Role of Advanced Practice Nurses 3
XXXX Graduate Elective (PMH students take NURS 7426) 3
NURS XXXX* Advanced Specialty Theory II Course 3
NURS XXXX* Advanced Specialty Clinical II Course 6

*XXXX–course numbers differ per specialty

Direct master’s entry students are required to complete prerequisite courses prior to the start of the program. All prerequisite coursework must be completed by June 30.  Students must receive a minimum grade of B- (80) in each of the prerequisite courses and AP credit is not accepted as fulfilling prerequisite coursework. The prerequisite courses include:

  • Social Science 
    Course may be in the area of sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, or political science.
  • Human Development, Lifespan Development, or Developmental Psychology
    A course that covers the lifespan (infancy to older adulthood) is preferred; child development (infancy through late adolescence) will be accepted. A course that only covers a single phase (e.g., infant development or adolescent development) is not acceptable.
  • Statistics 
    An introductory course is acceptable.
  • Anatomy and Physiology I and II with Lab (Human)
    If taken separately, one semester of anatomy and one semester of physiology are acceptable. Must focus exclusively on human anatomy and physiology (not comparative or mammalian). Courses must include lab and must have been taken within five years of application.
  • General Chemistry I with Lab
    Course must include lab and must have been taken within five years of application.
  • Microbiology (Biology of Microbes) with Lab
  • Course must include lab and must have been taken within five years of application.
  • Pathophysiology
    Course must have been taken within five years of application. Course may be waived for students with biology/neuroscience degrees in good academic standing.


It is preferred that applicants have at least 4 of the following 5 science prerequisites completed or in process at the time of application: General Chemistry with Lab, Microbiology with Lab, Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab, Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab and Pathophysiology. 

For coursework completed before applying, please submit transcripts as part of your application.

For coursework that you plan to complete after applying, but prior to starting the program, please indicate this on the application and submit transcripts following course completion. 


  • Applicants are responsible for ensuring that coursework they have completed satisfies the prerequisite requirements. The graduate program staff will not contact applicants during the admissions process to verify prerequisite coursework.
  • Prerequisite courses may be taken at any accredited college or university. This includes in-person and online courses with virtual labs, and also those available at community colleges. Please call if you have any questions.


Boston College Direct Master's Entry NCLEX Pass Rate in 2016

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