MSN Programs With Low GPA Requirements

MSN Programs with low GPA requirements
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Santiago Mallea

Chief of Content At Gradehacker

Find out which are the best MSN programs with low GPA requirements in our YouTube video too!

Do you want to continue your nursing career but don’t have the necessary GPA requirements?

If so, you must know that you are not the only one.

Nursing schools have a truly competitive and challenging admissions process, with some of the most well-regarded institutions only accepting nursing students with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.5.

While it’s not impossible to achieve, being a non-traditional student with a busy life, finishing a nursing program, and keeping your grades high can be both difficult and stressful. That’s why some nurse practitioners earn their Bachelor’s degree with a GPA close to 3.0 or even lower.

However, a BSN degree wasn’t enough, and now you need to know which are the best MSN programs with low GPA requirements.

Here at Gradehacker, we are the non-traditional student’s most trusted resource.

We understand how important GPAs are when looking for a graduate school to get your next nursing degree. And because some colleges have admission requirements that are hard to meet, it can be easy to feel frustrated and think of your GPA as a limiting factor in your ability to study.

To show you otherwise, we are sharing our list of MSN programs with low GPA requirements that you can take through online courses.

First of all, we have Western Governors University

We included this school as one of the best colleges to find accelerated programs, and that’s because of their competency-based approach. Here, nursing students with professional experience in the field can prove their mastery of the learning material at their own pace. 

At WGU, you receive all the required material and assignments for a class from the start and have an overall due date to take the final assessment. If you already know what the class is about, you can save time by completing this assignment whenever you want (like during the first week) and finishing the course sooner.

If you want to learn more about competency-based programs and see which other colleges have this approach, be sure to read our blog post: What is a competency-based program?

Here, you can find nursing degree programs in:

And to enroll, you’ll have to:

Their general admission requirements are simple, but depending on your chosen MSN program, there will be additional requirements.

If you choose the RN to MSN track, the admission requirements are:

These programs consist of 31 or 32 total courses, and most of its graduate students finish them within 36 – 42 months.

Tuition costs:

Plus, there is a Health Profession Student Fee of $350.

However, if you go for WGU’s BSN to MSN program, the admission requirements are to:

Their Leadership & Management, Informatics, and Education MSN programs consist of 14 or 15 total courses, and most of their graduate students complete them within 18 – 24 months.

It costs $4,367 per 6-month term plus the Health Profession Student Fee of $350.

However, the Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner programs take two and a half years to complete, consisting of 16 and 17 courses and costs between $5,925 and $6,350 per 6-month term, respectively.

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Following we have Purdue University.

While they offer online programs, Purdue’s courses focus on clinical experiences. Their Master of Science in Nursing program consists of a minimum of 60 to 90 quarter credit hours, depending on your specialty.

Accelerated Programs

Here you’ll find nursing concentration and population focus areas such as:

Purdue’s general requirements are:

To apply for its MSN program, you need to:

Additionally, if you chose the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Population focus area, you’ll also have to submit a current, professional resume or curriculum vitae that verifies you have at least one year of recent full-time practice (2,000 hours) as an RN in a critical care setting that the School of Nursing has determined addresses the basic skills and experience needed to serve as a basis for entering the online program.


Purdue University MSN program costs $420 per credit hour. In an estimated completion time of two years, which is the time you need to complete the nine terms, tuition would cost $37,800.

However, you can transfer up to 45 transfer credits to significantly lower tuition, or you can also apply for their financial aid.

To know how much your specific credits would cost, check out their tuition calculator.

Purdue has a traditional online program, but if you already have professional nursing knowledge and experience, you can go for their Excel Track. It’s a competency-based program where you can set your learning pace and deadlines and choose the resources that help you learn best.

In this case, terms last ten weeks, and instead of paying per credit, you pay a flat tuition rate of $3,200 per term. So, you can complete as many courses as you want during each term.

Check out the Purdue’s MSN program blog post we wrote to learn what each nursing concentration includes and what you’ll find in their clinical practicum hours.

MSN Programs with low GPA requirements

Next, we have another competency-based college: Walden University.

Their online MSN program has the following specializations:

MSN Programs with low GPA requirements

Learning Paths

Just like Purdue University, there are two learning tracks you can choose from at Walden.

First, you have Course-Based Learning, which is the traditional method where classes have a fixed schedule, weekly assignments, and a more direct approach from your professor.

However, you can go for Walden’s Tempo Learning if you want more flexibility. This competency-based approach lets you make progress at your pace. The bad news is that only a few of their MSN programs have this option available. These are:

Admission Requirements

Application requirements at Walden are simple and accessible:


Tuition cost is per quarter credit hour, and it changes depending on the specialization and learning track you choose.

However, if you enroll in any Tempo Learning programs, Walden charges a flat tuition rate of $3,065 for a 3-month subscription period.

If Walden University looks like the right choice, you can learn more about its program, and what its specializations are in our blog post: Walden University MSN Program | Everything You Need To Know.

MSN Programs with low GPA requirements

If you are looking for a fully online program that you can earn as soon as 18 months, then you’ll find Cumberland University’s MSN degree interesting.

MSN Programs with low GPA requirements

It is designed for full-time working nurses and consists of 36 total credit hours displayed in five semesters.

Cumberland University offers two learning tracks:

Admission Requirements

To apply for Cumberland University, you must:

Cumberland University’s tuition in 2021-2022 was 34% less than the national average of 4-year private colleges.

They charge $625 per credit hour for its MSN program, but you can pay less by applying for financial aid, which 99.7% of its students receive.

You can use their Net Price Calculator to learn more accurately how much tuition would be in your case.

MSN Programs with low GPA requirements

Benedictine University’s online MSN program focuses on organizational and system-based leadership, healthcare technologies, interprofessional collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and cultural awareness.

MSN Programs with low GPA requirements

Its program consists of 15 credit hours of foundation courses with additional courses that depend on your chosen concentration.

Regardless of your chosen specialization, your final two courses will focus on clinical practice exercises where you’ll have to put all you’ve learned into action and demonstrate your knowledge. These practicum hours are conducted on-ground in a clinical setting with an MSN nurse preceptor.

On average, you can earn your degree at Benedictine in two years.

 If you want to apply for this MSN program, you’ll have to:

Tuition at Benedictine University costs $670 per credit hour, which would be:

They also have some scholarships you can try applying for, and it’s even better if you are a military student.

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Get Your Master's Degree in Nursing Even With a Low GPA!

Following a nursing career is hard.

Most schools have competitive programs where only the best prospective students with the highest GPAs and most relevant work experiences get access to their education.

However, now you know that many graduate schools see beyond GPA and offer anyone with the desire and capabilities to pursue the nursing profession to apply for a high-quality and accredited MSN program.

We hope this post helped you find the college of nursing for you.

If, once you start with the program, you see that you need some assistance or simply want to earn that degree sooner, remember you can count on Gradehacker. We have lots of experience helping students with online nursing classes and essays, and we’ll be happy to help you too!

If you want to read more nursing-related tips, be sure to check out these related blog posts:

Picture of Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea is a curious and creative journalist who first helped many college students as a Gradehacker consultant in subjects like literature, communications, ethics, and business. Now, as a Content Creator in our blog, YouTube channel, and TikTok, he assists non-traditional students improve their college experience by sharing the best tips. You can find him on LinkedIn.