Nursing School GPA Requirements: What You Need to Know

April 26, 2024
5 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 4/25/24

Curious about whether your GPA for nursing school is enough to make you a competitive candidate? This article covers the ins and outs of nursing school GPA requirements and what you need to get into your dream nursing school!

If you’re hoping to become a nurse and are gearing up to apply for nursing school, you’ll already know that you’ll have a lot to prep, from gaining healthcare experience through volunteer work to getting letters of recommendation and deciding which program is best for you. 

It’s a no-brainer that you’ll also need to achieve and maintain good marks and a high GPA. Here we cover nursing school GPA requirements and what you need to get in. We’ll discuss the average GPA to get into nursing school applicants and accepted students and what GPA the top 20 nursing schools expect from their students. 

Let’s jump in!

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Average GPA for Getting Into Nursing School

If you’re hoping to find a clear answer to what the average GPA for nursing school is, you’ll be disappointed to hear that there is no single answer. 

With the nursing field being a vast one, there are different types of nursing programs available depending on your interests, educational level, and professional goals within the field. 

Luckily, we’ll go over the different types of post-secondary nursing programs out there and cover exactly what GPA you need to increase your chances of acceptance. 

Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) GPA Requirements

Receiving an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) is a fast pass into the nursing field. An ADN allows you to complete your degree in 18 months to two years degree at a community or state college. It is also a better option for your nursing education if the cost of nursing school is a limitation. 

The average GPA for ADN programs is typically 2.75 or higher, making it a good option for students hoping to get into nursing school with a lower GPA. 

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) GPA Requirements

If you’re hoping to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), you’ll generally want to aim for a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and higher for a competitive GPA. 

In comparison to ADN programs, BSN programs take four years to complete and provide a more comprehensive curriculum. Nurses graduating with a BSN generally receive more opportunities to move up within the field and are able to pursue postgraduate degrees with ease—hence the higher GPA requirements.

GPA Requirements for Other Nursing School Programs

In addition to pursuing an ADN and a BSN, there are other roles within the nursing field straight out of high school. Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and a Certified Nurses’ Assistance (CNA) are great options to break into the field of nursing.

These programs are much shorter than ADN and BSN programs. Those working as LPNs and CNAs are supervised by RNs in the workplace. They also offer opportunities to bridge your education to pursue an ADN or BSN in the future. 

These nursing programs have lower GPA requirements, with some having no minimum requirement for admission. Admitted students generally will want to aim for a 2.5 or higher, depending on the specific program you’d like to take.

GPA Requirements for the Top 20 Nursing Schools

Now that we’ve covered general nursing school requirements, we’ll go over the GPA requirements for the top 20 nursing schools in the country. We’ll primarily cover BSN programs here as they are generally more competitive than ADN, LPN, and CNA programs and have higher GPA requirements. 

Nursing School Minimum GPA Requirement
University of Pennsylvania Cumulative: n/a
Science/Math: n/a
Emory University Cumulative: 3.0
Science/Math: 2.8
Duke University Cumulative: 3.0
Science/Math: n/a
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Cumulative: n/a
Science/Math: n/a
Case Western Reserve University Cumulative: 3.0
Science/Math: 3.0
The Ohio State University Cumulative: 3.2
Science/Math: 3.0
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Cumulative: 2.8
Science/Math: n/a
University of Washington Cumulative: 2.8
Science/Math: n/a
New York University Cumulative: 3.0
Science/Math: 3.0
Oregon Health and Science University Cumulative: 3.0
Science/Math: n/a
University of Alabama at Birmingham Cumulative: 2.75
Science/Math: n/a
University of Illinois - Chicago Cumulative: 2.75
Science/Math: n/a
University of Iowa Cumulative: 3.0
Science/Math: 3.0
University of Maryland, Baltimore Cumulative: 3.0
Science/Math: 3.0
University of California, Los Angeles Cumulative: 3.5
Science/Math: n/a
University of Kentucky Cumulative: 3.4
Science/Math: n/a
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Cumulative: 3.0
Science/Math: 3.0
University of Nebraska Medical Center Cumulative: 3.8
Science/Math: 3.0
University of Pittsburgh Cumulative: 3.0
Science/Math: n/a
University of Texas at Austin Cumulative: 3.0
Science/Math: n/a

As you go through the nursing school GPA requirements for the country’s top 20 schools, remember that these are the program’s minimum requirements. 

This means that while some programs have lower requirements or simply have no minimum requirements, admission rates remain extremely competitive, so be sure to aim much higher to be considered a competitive applicant!

FAQs: Nursing School GPA Requirements

Now that we’ve covered what nursing school GPA requirements you need to get into nursing school, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions to answer any questions you may still have.

1. What Is Considered a Low GPA for Nursing School?

Generally speaking, a low GPA for nursing school would be anything from a 3.0 and lower. While many nursing schools state that their minimum GPA requirement is a 3.0, remember that it is not necessarily a competitive score and will not guarantee admission. 

2. What Is a Good GPA for Nursing School?

A good GPA for nursing school will depend on the program that you’re applying for. Schools like UPenn and University of Michigan Ann Arbor’s average admitted GPA is between 3.8-3.9, while some schools average closer to 3.5 or 3.6. 

Generally speaking, a good GPA stands at a 3.7 or higher. Remember to do research on your program of choice to determine what you need to be a competitive candidate.

3. Is a 3.5 GPA Good for Nursing School?

Achieving a 3.5 GPA for nursing school is considered good, but aiming higher will help you stand out during the application process!

4. Is It Possible to Get Into Nursing School With a Low GPA?

It is possible to get into nursing school with a low GPA, though you may have to take a few additional steps or consider a school with lower GPA requirements

If you’re hoping to get into nursing school with a low GPA, you can consider a gap year to improve your GPA and gain more clinical experience. You can also take other nursing programs with less rigorous GPA requirements, such as a CNA certification or an LPN degree, and bridge to a BSN from there!

5. Does Your GPA Matter for Nursing Schools?

Your GPA does matter to get into nursing schools–especially if you’re aiming for the top schools in the country. These institutions want to know that you have a strong academic foundation that prepares you for the rigorous curriculum that nursing school provides. 

With this said, nursing schools have been taking a more holistic approach to applications. While your GPA is important, it’s also essential to present a complete picture of who you are as a candidate. 

Remember to put your best foot forward by building a well-rounded portfolio. Working on extracurriculars, volunteering, getting meaningful letters of recommendation, and presenting stellar supplementary materials such as personal statements and essays required by your program of choice. 

Working on all aspects of your application can put you on the right track for an interview.

Final Thoughts

The road to a fruitful nursing career will ultimately take hard work and dedication. Presenting yourself as a competitive and passionate candidate is essential for your success in the admissions process. 

Remember that your GPA is just one aspect of your application, so ensure you deliver on all fronts to get into your dream program. 

Best of luck!

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