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Masters Direct Entry (MDE, MDE/DNP, MDE/PhD)

For Non-Nursing College Graduates

Online Application

All materials must be uploaded to our online application (unless specifically stated otherwise) following our guidelines:

Bachelor's Degree

  • Degree awarded by a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Columbia Nursing does not have a minimum GPA requirement, all factors of an application are considered equally.


  • All transcripts from colleges, universities, or post-secondary schools attended or in which credit was received must be uploaded to your online application.
  • Do not mail in any paper transcripts at the time of application. Official transcripts are only required if accepted.
  • Clear and legible unofficial or student copies of transcripts must be uploaded to your application.
  • If you have attended school outside the United States, you must upload a course-by-course transcript evaluation condicted by a NACES-accredited organization by the application deadline. 


  • Columbia Nursing does not have a minimum GRE score requirement. All factors of an application are considered equally – applicants are neither accepted nor denied solely based on test scores.
  • Applicants may retake the GRE. The Office of Admissions will select the highest from each section to give you the most competitive score.
  • Scores must be sent to school code 2142.
  • The exam must be taken by the deadline although it is highly recommended that the exam be completed one month prior to the deadline.
  • Exemption for applicants that have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or higher.  This must be the GPA from the school that conferred the undergraduate degree (B.A., B.F.A., B.S., etc).
  • Exemption for graduate/advanced degree holders: Applicants with a conferred graduate or professional advanced degree (certificates do not qualify) at the time of the application deadline are exempt from the GRE requirement. Currently enrolled graduate/professional students (without a degree) must submit GRE scores to complete their application.


The essay section is comprised of two essays. The topics are listed on the online application, but please adhere to the following format:
  • Essay 1: 2 pages / double spaced / 12pt font / 1" margins
  • Essay 2: 1 page / double spaced / 12pt font / 1" margins
  • To ensure proper formatting, please be sure to save your documents as PDFs prior to uploading to the online application.

Video Essay (REQUIRED-NEW)

You will submit a video essay (in addition to the other essays). The video essay will be comprised of one question, and you will have 2 minutes to answer the question. This video essay is an opportunity to supplement your application and to display your enthusiasm and passion for the program. In the video essay, you will address the following prompt: Please tell us about a time that you have overcome an obstacle in your life, how you dealt with it, and what you learned from the experience. 
Please note that to record your video, you will need a directly-attached webcam, and you will need to use a browser that supports Flash; you will not be able to upload a pre-recorded answer.  The video essay will be recorded live within the application.

Timed Writing (REQUIRED-NEW)

You will submit a timed writing sample.  In this process, you will be given a random topic through the application.  Upon viewing your random question, you will have 2 minutes to think about your response and then the system will allow you 10 minutes to provide an answer.  This question will be evaluated on the content and structure of your response.  

Three Letters of Recommendation

  • Your references should be able to attest to your skill level in mastering coursework and/or practical experience.
  • We recommend that at least one reference come from your current employer or academic advisor.
  • At least two references should be written by individuals with whom you have worked (or taken a course) in the past 6 months. 
  • Choose recommenders that offer diverse perspectives (especially if you have little work experience or are far-removed from academia). Your recommenders should know you well.
  • Please note: The Office of Admissions requires all application materials be submitted online, including recommendations. Recommenders have the ability to upload a word or PDF reference letter through the application system.
    • The following information is required from the recommender: name, email, telephone, organization, position title, and relationship to applicant.
    • Use your recommender's institutional or corporate email address. Submissions from personal email addresses (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo) may be subject to additional review. 

Resume/Curriculum Vitae

  • There is no page limit to your resume or CV (assuming the professional experience listed is relevant to your application and nursing goals).
  • Applicants are encouraged to include interests, hobbies, honors, awards, and travel experience on your resume. This type of information gives us a broader perspective of the applicant.
  • To ensure proper formatting, please be sure to save your document as a PDF prior to uploading to the online application.


  • Must be taken at an accredited college or university (online and community colleges are acceptable).
  • A letter grade of B is required for all prerequisites.
  • Labs are not required for any prerequisites.
  • Advanced Placement courses are acceptable if listed on transcript.
  • Prerequisites do not have to be completed by the deadline. Rather, all required courses are to be completed by the start of the program. With the exception of statistics, which must have been completed no later than 5 years prior to the start of the term for which you are applying, there is no expiration date for any of the other pre-requisites:
    • English Composition or a course listed as Writing Intensive
    • Psychology (Intro, Developmental, or Life Span)
    • Statistics completed within the past 5 years (for all applicants: MDE, MDE/DNP, and MDE/PhD)
    • Human Anatomy or Human Anatomy & Physiology I
    • Human Physiology or Human Anatomy & Physiology II
    • Microbiology
    • Nutrition

Application Fee

  • $75 nonrefundable fee paid through the online application system (after application submission).
  • For fee waivers, please complete the Fee Waiver Request Form and submit it to the Office of Admissions at least 2 weeks prior to the deadline. Fee waivers are granted to veterans, students in the military, students in the Peace Corps, Columbia School of Nursing alumni, and students who can demonstrate financial hardship. Documentation of eligibility is required for all fee waiver requests.

International Students

  • The TOEFL is required for applicants that have not graduated from a college or university in which all instruction is conducted in English. Score must be sent to school code 9828.
  • International transcripts must be evaluated by a professional agency accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Evaluations should include a course-by-course analysis indicating the type of degree received, the U.S. equivalency of the degree, the graduation date and a cumulative grade point average. Please be sure to upload all evaluations to your online application.
  • Read more about the international student application process here.
*All materials should be received by the published deadlines unless otherwise stated. We guarantee to grant a decision to all applicants with a completed application by their deadline. Incomplete applications by the deadline will be reviewed at our discretion. No refunds will be granted for incomplete applications. Please review all requirements for entry carefully.
**Please note that Nurse Anesthesia is not a specialty option for the MDE/DNP program (it is available as an MS degree - please see the MS requirements for more information). All other specialties are available for the MDE/DNP program.