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Master of Science in Nursing

Clemson University School of Nursing

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in nursing provides graduates with the ability to integrate advanced knowledge from nursing into specialized areas of advanced practice (clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, nurse administrator and nurse educator). M.S. students develop critical thinking skills, enhance their knowledge base and hone skills learned in their undergraduate programs through simulation, clinical rotations in primary care facilities and lecture content.

Many M.S. students get the opportunity to participate in an international learning experience. The nursing program offers students the opportunity every year in March to participate in a medical trip to central or South America. This international learning experience allows students to provide health care to the indigenous people of remote jungle locations. Students are able to build critical thinking skills by assessing and treating patients without the modern conveniences of laboratory access, x-ray, CT, ultrasound facilities or commonly used medications. M.S. students also get to mentor the undergraduate BSN students during the experience (“Nurse practitioner for a day”).

The Master of Science degree program in nursing is designed to build upon the first professional degree. The student may select one of four study options:

  • Family nurse practitioner (FNP): This concentration focuses on primary care of individuals and families. Students receive a concentration of clinical experiences for each age group, culminating in a final practicum where students synthesize knowledge for application across the lifespan. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible for national certification as family nurse practitioners. The post-master's option is designed for master's-prepared nurses who want to obtain knowledge, skills and certification as advanced practice nurses or family nurse practitioners to expand their options in a changing health care system.
  • Adult/Gerontological nurse practitioner (A/GNP): This concentration focuses on primary care of adults and older adults, featuring courses in mental health and nursing informatics. Students receive a concentration of clinical experiences culminating in a final practicum where students synthesize knowledge for application to adults and older adults. With new National Task Force guidelines effective in 2015, graduates will be eligible for national certification as adult nurse practitioners. Graduates will also be eligible to take the value added specialty certification as a gerontology NP. In-depth coverage of gerontology enhances NP preparation and is critical to addressing the needs of well and frail elders. Employment opportunities are diverse, e.g. primary care, internal medicine and frail elders in a variety of settings.
  • Nursing administration: This concentration is designed to meet the needs of nurses in administration and management positions in a variety of health care settings. The curriculum focuses on the knowledge and skills of leadership development; organizational development and change; social, political, ethical and economic issues; and budgetary considerations. The department revised the program recently with input from key nursing administrators in the region.
  • Nursing education: This concentration is designed to prepare nurses as college teachers of nursing and for staff development and continuing education. The courses address curriculum development, current issues and research in teaching and learning, including a variety of classroom and clinical teaching and learning styles. The educational technology course allows nurse educators to master technology in order to create an optimal learning environment. The education option is offered in conjunction with the NP clinical specialties or the administrative major.

The nurse practitioner options articulate with the baccalaureate program in the continued acquisition of advanced nursing knowledge and skills of the specialist. This specialization builds toward advanced nursing practice in selected clinical practice and role areas. Theory, research and role development are emphasized to enable the graduate to participate in the development of nursing knowledge and contribute to the advancement of the nursing profession.

The Master of Science nursing program is offered exclusively at our satellite office in Greenville, South Carolina at the University Center of Greenville.


The objectives of the Master of Science degree program with a major in nursing are to provide graduates with the ability to:

  • integrate advanced knowledge from nursing and related disciplines into a specialized area of nursing practice.
  • demonstrate competence in a selected functional role (clinical specialist, nurse practitioner, nursing administration or nursing education).
  • evaluate and apply research findings from nursing and related disciplines to advanced nursing practice.
  • participate in the development of nursing knowledge by identifying researchable nursing problems, conducting research and selectively integrating research findings in advanced nursing practice.
  • utilize leadership, management, teaching knowledge and competency to influence nursing practice.
  • participate as a leader to influence health policy and improve health care delivery systems.
  • contribute to the advancement of the nursing profession.

The following requirements need to be met for an admission application to be considered:

  • Completion of the online application for admission to the graduate school.
  • Bacalaureate Degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program.
  • Undergraduate nursing GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Official transcripts from all nursing programs (reflecting prerequisites).
  • Two letters of recommendation for graduate study. Supervisors prefer one from a nursing faculty from your undergraduate program and one to two letters of recommendation from a health care professional who is familiar with your clinical skills.
  • Professional résumé.
  • Licensure to practice nursing in the state of South Carolina and states in which student will be completing clinical hours.
  • Clinical Practice: minimum of 600-plus hours of nursing practice within the previous 12 months of application.
  • TOEFL score (may be required by applicants for whom English is not their first language).
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) – verbal reasoning (full admission 150 or higher), quantitative reasoning (full admission 140/141 or higher) and analytic writing (3.5 or higher). GRE may be repeated with the highest scores from each test accepted. The GRE requirement may be waived for a nursing GPA of 3.4 or higher. Please contact Ellen Chiles ( for GPA calculation verification.

As of January 1, 2017, applicants who graduated from program(s) that award pass/fail grades for all courses will not be considered competitive applicants.

Clinical Practice Form

Application & Admissions

Detailed application/admissions info for M.S. in Nursing.


Ellen Chiles
University Center
(864) 250-8881


Clemson University's Graduate School

Graduate Student Handbook