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BSN Pre-Licensure Program

Nursing Students

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Pre-Licensure program prepares you to begin the practice of professional nursing. Upon graduating, you will be eligible to apply to sit for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing licensure examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN).

The BSN program conducts theory classes on the Cullowhee campus at WCU's state-of-the-art Health and Human Sciences building. Clinical nursing experiences are held at health care agencies throughout western North Carolina for both years.

Admission to the BSN program is granted twice a year. The deadline to apply for Spring 2020 is July 1 to WCU and July 15 to the BSN program. Starting with Spring 2020 applications, the BSN program will be moving to an online application process. The application is expected to be available by May 15. Undergraduate students attending WCU must apply to the nursing program in the sophomore year for junior entry, and admission is competitive. It is important for students planning to pursue the BSN to maintain a competitive GPA and to complete all prerequisites.

about the BSN Pre-Licensure Program

WCU’s undergraduate nursing program prepares students to become licensed as registered nurses who offer high-quality care to patients from children to older adults in settings from hospitals to schools. Some students go on to pursue advanced nursing degrees and may take courses toward earning their graduate degree while still an undergraduate. Students build on foundational courses that include human anatomy, chemistry, infectious disease, and psychology with classes centered on the nursing profession. During students’ junior and senior years, they participate in clinical experiences at healthcare institutions and agencies in rural and urban areas across Western North Carolina. 

admissions criteria

To be eligible for admission, students must meet the following admission requirements:

  • Applicants must have a minimum cumulative 3.00 GPA
  • Complete the Western Carolina University application (if not already accepted into WCU)
  • Complete the BSN Program Application
  • Complete three of the five required science prerequisites by the application deadline
  • Complete the liberal studies prerequisites before starting the BSN Program
  • Complete the nursing preresquisites before starting the BSN Program
  • ACT Composite Score
    • The state minimum for  ACT is 17. Official high school scores are acceptable.
    • Applicants who have never taken or wish to improve their score may take/retake the exam through the WCU Testing Center or an approved ACT test site
    • Applicants are allowed to retake the ACT once every 60 days. Scores must be available by the application deadline
  • TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) exam
  • At least 60 semester hours and all prerequisites must be completed prior to entering the program

Liberal Studies Prerequisites

  • ENGL 101 & ENGL 202: Writing and Rhetoric & Writing and Critical Inquiry
  • MAT 130 or higher: College Algebra
  • COMM 201: Foundations of Communication
  • PSY 150: General Psychology 
  • HEAL 111, HEAL 123, or HSCC 101: Nutrition, Fitness & Wellness
  • Or approved equivalents with grades of C (2.0) or higher

All additional Liberal Studies courses, including the Perspectives, must be completed prior to the senior year.

The WCU Liberal Studies Core requirements are waived for students who have received an approved bachelor's degree or an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree from a North Carolina community college. An Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) or Associate of General Education (AGE) does not waive this requirement. Courses and degrees which do not originate at a North Carolina institution will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis.

Science Prerequisites

  • CHEM 132, 139, or 140: General Chemistry with lab
  • CHEM 133: Survey of Chemistry II (Organic and BioChemistry) with lab
  • BIOL 291 & BIOL 292: Anatomy and Physiology I & II with labs
  • ENVH 260/261: Etiology of Infectious Disease (Microbiology) with lab
  • Or approved equivalents with grades of C (2.0) or higher

Three of the five sciences must be completed by the application deadline.

Nursing Prerequisites

  • NSG 101 - Introduction to Nursing
  • NSG 346 - Nursing Pathophysiology    
  • ND 338 - Normal/Therapeutic Nutrition

Students are required to earn a minimum grade of "B" or better in NSG 101 prior to admission to the program. A grade of C or higher (no C- or below) is required for NSG 346 and ND 338. Students are permitted only one repeat for NSG 101 and NSG 346 for grade replacement.


In addition to applying to WCU, students must also submit a supplemental program application for the BSN Program.
Deadlines for Spring 2020:

  • July 1, 2019 to WCU
  • July 15, 2019 to the BSN Program

Click here to go to the BSN Application Process Page

  • Please review the application process instructions well in advance of the deadline for application.
  • Meeting minimum requirements for admission does not guarantee acceptance into the BSN Program.


The suggested curriculum plan is laid out for the Freshman through Senior year


program costs

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