Department of Nursing

Application Process

A formal application is required for admission to the highly competitive Nursing major. 


Completed application, including completed references:

It is recommend the application be turned in at least a week before the due date

  • September 11, 2024 for spring 2025 start 
    • HESI dates October 15 and 16
  • January 15, 2025 for fall 2025 start
    • HESI dates March 11 and 12
  • September 10, 2025 for spring 2026 start
    • HESI dates October 14 and 15
  • January 14, 2026 for fall 2026 start
    • HESI dates March 10 and 11
  • September 16, 2026 for spring 2027 start
    • HESI dates October 13 and 14
  • January 13 for fall 2027 start
    • HESI dates March 9 and 10


Application Requirements

At the time of application you must meet the following requirements in order to be considered for the nursing program (eligibility does not assure admission):

  1. Accepted to St. Cloud State as an undergraduate student.
  2. Active HuskyNet E-mail by the application date.
  3. “C” or better in all pre-admission courses.
  4. Students may only be enrolled in BIO 206 and any other liberal education courses at time of application.
  5. MINIMUM 2.75 OVERALL GPA required for admission into the nursing program. ONLY SCSU COURSES count in the overall GPA. Not to be confused with SCSU Liberal Education program credit and GPA completion
  6. A minimum cumulative preadmission coursework GPA of 2.75 (based on a 4.0 scale).
  7. You are required to demonstrate English language proficiency if: (1) English is not your native language; and (2) you have lived in the US fewer than 8 years at the time of enrollment in the Department of Nursing Science (by the day of application). This is applicable to many International Students. Test scores must be submitted to the Department of Nursing Science at the time of application. Minimum scores in the following exams are required to demonstrate English language proficiency: 

    Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 240 on the computerized version, 95 on the web version (IBT), or 586 on the paper version OR an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.

  8. Submit application with unofficial academic record/transcripts, degree audit report and two reference forms; one academic and one professional by the application deadline.

Application Process

Step 1-Submit a formal application

Apply to Nursing Major

Students are required to complete an application form, include two references, an unofficial transcript from attended universities, and an up-to-date DARS report while meeting all the application requirements. Applicants can apply no more than two times to the program without successful admission.

Step 2-HESI Entrance Exam

If a student meets the application requirements above, with successful submission of their application form, along with references, unofficial transcripts and DARS, they will be granted the opportunity to take the HESI exam. Applicants will be notified regarding HESI testing dates after the application deadline.

Step 3-Final Application Review

Final review of applicants takes place. Students are offered admission based on an objective, points-based process. Applicants are eligible to earn up to 110 points in the following areas:

  • Pre-admission GPA: 35/110 points
  • Cumulative SCSU GPA: 10/110 points*
  • HESI Entrance Exam Scores: 60/110 points
  • References: 5/110 points

*Applicants who have NOT earned 12 credits at St. Cloud State prior to submitting an application will not be eligible for cumulative GPA points.

*Applicants who are applying with a previous BA/BS degree will earn cumulative GPA points based off of the cumulative GPA from the BA/BS degree-granting institution.

Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) Entrance Exam for Nursing

Students who have submitted an application and meet the minimum requirements above are eligible to take the HESI Entrance Exam.


Generally, students who are applying for a fall start date will take the HESI exam in February/March, for students who are applying for a spring start date, the HESI will be taken in September/October.

The HESI is a computerized, five-hour entrance exam covering the following areas:

  • Anatomy and Physiology: Provides coverage of general terminology and anatomical structures and systems. (30 items)
  • Grammar: Contains basic grammar, including parts of speech, important terms and their uses in grammar, commonly occurring grammatical error, etc. (55 items)
  • Reading Comprehension: Provides reading scenarios in order to measure reading comprehension, identifying the main idea, finding meaning in words in context, passage comprehension, making logical inferences, etc. (55 items)
  • Vocabulary and General Knowledge: Contains vocabulary terms that are used commonly in both general English speaking and in healthcare fields. (55 items)
  • Math: Focuses on math skills needed for healthcare fields, including basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, decimals, ratio and proportion, household measures, general math facts, etc. (55 items)

Applicants pay $60 to take the HESI.

Exam Preparation

The official study guide for the HESI is the HESI Admission Assessment Exam Manual, 5th Edition. The manual is available for purchase at the Husky Bookstore and other retail outlets. There is also a HESI A2 app available for purchase for your electronic device.

Applicants will NOT be tested on Chemistry, Physics and Biology. There is no need to study those portions of the manual.

Upon admission students will be required to:

  1. Adhere to all the policies and procedures of the Nursing Student Handbook.
  2. Complete all pre-admission coursework before the major’s January or August start date.
  3. Successfully complete a Minnesota Criminal Background Check, as required by Minnesota state law for professionals working with vulnerable populations.
  4. Obtain American Heart Associate CPR certification at health care provider level for infants through adults, and to meet other health requirements.
  5. Pass a drug and alcohol screen. 
  6. Complete a health screening at the Medical Clinic, which includes physical demand analysis, immunization history, TB test and other requirements. 

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