Are you ready to apply to the professional nursing major at UW-Milwaukee, UWM at Waukesha or UW-Parkside?

These resources are available to guide pre-nursing students during and before the planning and application process. Still, we strongly encourage you to reach out to your advisor for specific questions.

Steps to Becoming a Registered Nurse

Steps to Becoming a Registered Nurse

How to Apply to the Professional Nursing Major

Students who are close to completing their prerequisites may apply to the Professional Nursing Major.

Items Considered in the Professional Nursing Application

  • Academics
  • Work/volunteer/leadership experience (No minimum hour expectation. The committee looks for consistency and a pattern of balancing volunteering with school and work. Health care experiences recommended.)
  • On-campus essay and series of short interviews


Bachelor of Science Holistic Review for Admission Composite Rubric (PDF)

Application Guidelines

Admission Application Guidelines (PDF)

Students should review the below requirements prior to applying to the professional major. Consider meeting with your advisor to discuss questions and concerns.


  • Preparatory coursework based on placement test scores
  • Math competency (Placement score of 30+ or Math 105 or equivalent with “C” or higher)
  • Must have an overall minimum GPA of 2.75 and at least 2.75 in the required sciences at the time of application and prior to starting the professional major.
  • Must have at least a “C” (2.0) in each pre-nursing prerequisite courses (see below)
  • Repeat Policy:
    • Courses with a “C-” or lower are considered a failure and need to be repeated.
    • A course may only be repeated one time.
    • No more than two required courses can be repeated.
  • Required pre-nursing courses may be taken after an application is submitted, but courses must be completed with a “C” or higher, maintain the minimum required GPAs, and be in the intended semester by the start of the professional major if admitted

Nursing Prerequisite Coursework

CourseUWM Course NumberCGS Course NumberCredits
Cultural Diversity in Healthcare/Medical AnthropologyNURS 101ANT 3503
Perspectives in HealthcareNURS 1022
Growth and Development*NURS 203PSY 2504
Genetics and GenomicsNURS 2512
Anatomy and Physiology IBIO SCI 202BIO 2024
Anatomy and Physiology IIBIO SCI 203BIO 2034
Microbiology*BIO SCI 101BIO 2514
Chemical Science*CHEM 101CHE 1255
Survey of Biochemistry*CHEM 103CHE 2045
Clinical Nutrition*BMS 3322
College Writing and ResearchENG 102ENG 1023
Intro to PsychologyPSYCH 101PSY 2023
Any SociologySOCIOLSOC3
Social Science Elective3
*This does not include prerequisites that must be completed prior to taking these classes.

The timeline for applying to the professional major includes the following items:

Fall Professional Nursing Major Start
(UWM, UWM at Waukesha, UW-Parkside)

  • November: Professional Major Application available online
  • January 2 at 5:00 p.m. CST:
    Fall Professional Major Application deadline
  • February: On-campus interviews and essay
  • March: Admission decisions rendered for Fall applicants

Spring Professional Nursing Major Start (UWM)

  • April: Professional Major Application available online
  • April 4: Application Prep Info Sessions
    • In-person: 12:00 p.m., CUN 151
    • Virtual via Teams: 3:00 p.m. (email Hillary Vara for the Teams link)
  • July 24 at 5:00 p.m. CST: 
    Spring Professional Major Application deadline
  • September: On-campus interviews and essay
  • October: Admission decisions rendered for Spring applicants

Resources are available for students applying to the professional major. This includes information sessions, application rubrics and volunteer opportunities.

Information Sessions

Information sessions are held each semester to give students an opportunity to speak with advisors and ask questions. A recorded information session is available below for students to view at any time.

Additional Resources

UWM School of Nursing Core Values
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Integrity
  • Human Dignity
  • Diversity
  • Accountability
  • Social Justice
  • Excellence
School of Nursing Affiliate Student Organizations/Volunteer Opportunities

Nursing Student Association (NSA)
Faculty Advisor: Julie Snethen

Student Nurses Association at Parkside (SNAP)
Faculty Advisor: Rochelle Nelson

Pinky Swear PACK Program (formally Love Your Melon)
Advisor: Susan Wolff

School of Nursing Volunteer Opportunities

UW-Milwaukee & UWM at Waukesha Resources

Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership and Research

Explore volunteer, leadership opportunities and service opportunities on campus and in the community.

Located in the Union room WG28 or visit their website.
UW-Parkside Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I meet with my academic advisor?
Call the Student Affairs Office at 414-229-5047 or come to Cunningham Hall 135 to schedule an appointment or ask about walk-in hours.

How long are my science credits good for?
All credit for required courses must have been earned in the 10 years preceding beginning the nursing major. Consult with your advisor to discuss your options if your classes are outside of this time frame.

Do I need to take a foreign language?
If you have successfully completed two years of the same foreign language in high school, then you have completed the UWM College of Nursing foreign language requirement. If you did not complete these two years or if English is your second language, see your advisor to discuss options for completing the UWM foreign language requirement. If you hold a prior degree or started your college coursework prior to Fall 1999, you are exempt from this requirement.

How many general education requirement courses do I need?
Art: 3 credits
Humanities: 6 credits
History: 3 credits
Electives: 4 credits
You can find a listing of the courses that fulfill the GER requirements offered each semester in the Schedule of Classes under “Courses Approved for GER Distribution.” Students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field do not need to comply with GER requirements.

Can I take pre-nursing courses at another campus and transfer them in?
Yes. Many prerequisite courses have equivalents at another school. Be sure to contact your academic advisor to ensure that you’re taking appropriate courses. Call the Student Affairs office at 414-229-5047 to schedule an appointment or e-mail your assigned advisor.

Can I repeat a course if I am not happy with my grade?
Prior to the start of the professional major, courses may be repeated only once and with no more than two total repeats. Grades of “C-” or lower MUST be replaced by grades of “C” or higher, however, repeats of courses that have been passed with a grade of “C” or higher do not count against the repeat rules. The higher grade is then calculated in your nursing GPA if done by the clinical application deadline.

Is the nursing program competitive?
Yes. We do not have enough clinical spots for every student, so you must apply to continue into the professional major. This usually occurs during the sophomore year, but you can apply any semester as long as the prerequisite courses will be completed by the beginning of the major coursework. We accept 72 students in the Fall semester and 112 students in the Spring semester with an average of 160 applications each semester. Applications are reviewed based on pre-nursing and science GPA, leadership/work/volunteer experience, a series of short interviews and an on-site essay.

What happens if I’m not accepted into the major?
You can meet with your assigned professional nursing advisor to get feedback on your application. Based on the strengths and weaknesses of your application, your advisor will discuss options for retaking courses, gaining more volunteer experience, or improving writing skills. Most students will decide to apply again the following semester, but some will decide to switch majors or transfer elsewhere.

Do I have to be CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) certified?
A CNA license is not required for acceptance into the program. It can be a useful experience for exploring the health care field and gaining familiarity with the profession. If interested, you have the opportunity to sit for CNA licensure after your junior year in the program.

UWM at Waukesha Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Pre-Nursing and the Professional Major?
Students start off in the pre-nursing program completing two to three years of prerequisite work before being eligible for the professional major. Our two-year professional major is a competitive program, which means students must apply to the major and admission is not guaranteed.

What is needed for admission to the Nursing Professional Major?
In the Fall term, we admit students to UWM at Waukesha. For admission to the professional major, a committee reviews your academics, work, volunteer and leadership experiences. There are no required number of hours for volunteer work, however, it is required and considered when reviewing students for admission. After the initial review, eligible students are invited for an essay and a series of short interviews.

What are my first steps if I’m ready to get started?

  1. Meet with an academic advisor to complete a transcript evaluation and develop a course plan outlining what classes you need and a projected timeline to graduation.
  2. Start getting experience through work, volunteering, etc. All experiences count, but health care experiences are strongly recommended. We do not require the CNA for admission.

Who can I contact for more information?
New or Future Students: UWM at Washington County Advising or 262-335-5201

UWM at Waukesha Solution Center

Current UWM Students: Log in to Navigate to schedule an advising appointment.

  • Academic Advisor - UWM at Waukesha
Hillary Vara
  • Academic Advisor
Pounce Panther in UWM Nursing Scrubs
  • Central Advising, Student Affairs
Early planning is key to ensure a smooth transition to UW-Milwaukee School of Nursing. Students looking for a change of major or official institutional transfer can learn more about credit equivalency, eligibility, and application.
View transfer information