The Catholic University of America

  Undergraduate Traditional Program of Study - Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The traditional program or curriculum plan is designed for the beginning nursing student; high school graduates or students with limited college transfer credit.  College graduates with non-nursing degrees should apply to the second degree program.

Basic Program of Study for BSN Students (PDF)

Starting Fall 2014 Basic Program of Study for BSN Students (PDF)


Nursing Exploratory/BSN Traditional Program

Effective August 2014, new baccalaureate students admitted to CUA who are considering a career in Nursing will be matriculated into the Nursing Exploratory Program housed in the School of Arts and Sciences:

  1. Students admitted to the University and matriculated into the Nursing Exploratory Program MUST meet the GPA admissions criteria previously used for admission into the BSN Program in the School of Nursing.

  2. During the two years in the Nursing Exploratory Program, students will pursue a general liberal education, take foundational science and math courses, and learn about the vocation of nursing through selected courses. The liberal arts courses that we have selected do not only meet the requirements of the School of Arts and Sciences, but also the Baccalaureate Essentials in Nursing(2008) promulgated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Nursing Exploratory students will be intensively advised by an Undergraduate Advisor from the Undergraduate Advising Center. Our aim is that all students admitted into the Nursing Exploratory Program graduate from CUA in four years.

  3. Nursing Exploratory students will be invited to participate in a variety of programs, including the Spanish for Healthcare Certificate Program, the new Public Health curriculum for nurses, and the National Student Nurses Association.

  4. Students will be reviewed at the end of their freshman year. If they do not meet the Cumulative and Science GPA requirements in #5 (below) or if they have not completed the freshman program plan (outlined below), their entire record will be evaluated to determine if they can continue in the Nursing Exploratory Program. If they cannot continue, they will be moved into the general A&S Exploratory Program.

  5. At the completion of 60 credit hours, CUA Nursing Exploratory students who meet ALL of the following criteria will be admitted into the upper division BSN program:

    1. CUA Cumulative GPA > 2.5.
    2. Overall CUA Science GPA (BIO 232, BIO 233, BIO 223, CHEM 109, CHEM 119) > 2.75. All of these courses must be attempted once at CUA. A student may repeat no more than one science course.
    3. Successful completion of HESI entrance exam during the fall semester of the sophomore year, with a minimum composite score of 75%.
  6. Students who are not admitted to the upper division BSN program will be assisted by their advisor in identifying another plan of studies at CUA.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree - Basic Program Option

Full-time and part-time study is available. All nursing students will be assigned a faculty adviser who is available for consultation on academic matters.  

The program consists of 120 credits in the following distribution.  The program course plan requirements may be modified in instances of individual academic program progression issues, which may be limited and are authorized solely by the School of Nursing. 

Advanced Placement course credits for courses taken in high school are evaluated by the School of Arts and Sciences for potential transfer as CUA college credit. 

Natural Science and Math- 22 credits

Chemistry (inorganic and organic chemistry content) 4 credits
Human anatomy and physiology  8 credits
Microbiology  3 credits
Statistics  3 credits

English - 3 credits

All students are required to take one English writing course. The particular course depends on the criteria for placement at the time of admission to the university. Transfer credit will be evaluated on an individual basis. All students for whom English is a second language must complete the English placement examination offered at the university, English 101 is part of the first year experience and learning communities (LC).

Philosophy-6 credits

All students are required to take Philosophy 201 and 202 both of which are a part of the first year experience and learning communities (LC).

Religion-9 credits

Of the three required religion courses, the first must be TRS 201, "Faith Seeking Understanding", a learning community course (LC).  The second Theology course can be any sequence of courses in the School of Theology from TRS 200 through TRS 281 OR a Nursing/Spirituality course number NURS 569 Spirituality in Nursing.  The third theology course is a biomedical ethics course, either Theology 333 or Philosophy 303. Bioethics must be taken at CUA and is not transferable from another university.  At least one of the 200 level TRS courses must be taken to progress in TRS; students of non-Christian background may take TRS 291 to fulfill this requirement.  

Humanities/Liberal Studies-9-18 credits

All students are required to take the below courses:

Psychology  3 credits
Statistics (Soc 301 or Mat 114 or NURS 465)   3 credits


9 credits

(6 credits of electives must be in humanities/social science; 3 are free electives; see below)

Nursing-73 credits

Introduction to Professional Nursing 2
Foundations of Nursing Practice  3
Health Assessment  4
Health and Wellness across the Lifespan 4
Nutrition and Health  2
Pathophysiology/Pharmacology  7 (4/3)
Community and Environmental Nursing Lecture and Clinical Applications  3 (2/1)
Nursing Applications  4
Growth and Development Concepts for Nurses  3
Mental Health Nursing Lecture and Clinical Applications  5
Evidence Based Care/Health Informatics  1
Introduction to Nursing Research 3
Children in Health and Illness Lecture and Clinical Applications  5(3/2)
Women in Health and Illness Lecture and Clinical Applications 


Management of Health Care Delivery 2
Transition to Professional Practice  2
Strategies for Professional Practice 3
Adults in Health and Illness: Clinical Applications in Medical Surgical Nursing  
Basic Clinical Applications


Intermediate Clinical Applications 


Advanced Clinical Applications


Clinical leadership  2




All undergraduate nursing students in the 4 year plan BSN program must have 9 credits in electives. Six of those credits must be in the humanities or social sciences (including American Sign Language, ASL), as defined below. Three of those credits can be “free” electives, where the student can select based on their interests. If the student desires, all 9 credits may be humanities or social science  courses (including ASL).

Humanity Social Sciences
Business & Economics