Frequently Asked Questions

What is my first step to applying?
Go to the School of Nursing website, choose either MSN or DNP and click on admission check list for step by step instructions. AU School of Nursing Graduate Programs applications are completed through the AU Graduate School. 

What computer skills are required for students in the program?
Students enrolled in graduate coursework must possess the computer skills required to complete the following technology tasks:

  • Launch and operate a web browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari.
  • Bookmark frequently used web pages.
  • Download and upload files.
  • Download and/or install software applications.
  • Operate a USB headphone and microphone.
  • Save files to hard drive or portable flash memory.
  • Access email account, send and receive emails and attachments
  • Create and save Word documents and PowerPoint presentations.
  • Conduct online research using available databases and search engines, evaluate the 
    credibility of online information, and correctly cite sources.

Am I required to take GRE or MAT?
The School of Nursing does not require the GRE or GMAT. The question is asked and is a standard question on the Graduate School's application, however they are aware that the School of Nursing does not require it. 

Can I work full-time and go to school full-time?
Many of our students continue to work while in our program, however, the clinical hours required for practicum courses do make it difficult to work on weekdays.

Will I need to be on campus during the program?
Yes. Students may be required to be on campus 1-2 times each semester. Those dates are determined by the instructors of the courses students are taking. 

Do I need years of clinical experience before I can apply?
No. You may start MSN graduate level courses right after you earn your BSN degree. You may start DNP graduate level courses right after you earn your MSN degree.

When do you admit MSN students and what is the MSN Program application deadline? 
We admit full-time students Summer Semester only and part-time students in Fall Semester and Spring Semester. The application deadline for Summer Semester is March 1, Fall Semester  - June 1, and Spring Semester - October 1.

When do you admit DNP students and what is the DNP Program application deadline?
We currently only admit full-time students in Summer Semester. The application deadline is March 1.

How do I apply?
The application for the MSN or DNP programs is available through the Auburn University Graduate School's website.

Where do I submit the references?
As part of the “Apply Yourself” application process, you will submit the references' email addresses. An email will be sent to each reference for an online recommendation form submission. Please ask the individuals from whom you request references to complete the online recommendation form.  Electronic admission is the required method. Actual letters of recommendation will not be reviewed. 

Where do I send transcripts?
Transcripts should be sent directly to the AU Graduate School, 106 Hargis Hall, Auburn University AL  36849. (Do not send transcripts to the School of Nursing.)

How much is tuition?
Please refer to our Graduate Tuition Page.

Is tuition different for out of state students?
No. Tuition is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. Please refer to our Graduate Tuition Page.

What is the DNP?
The Doctor of Nursing Practice, or DNP, is a practice doctorate degree for nurses and represents the highest level of academic preparation for nursing practice.

How does the DNP degree differ from the PhD degree?
The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Auburn University integrates course work with practice experiences to prepare practice scholars to become leaders in bringing evidence-based knowledge into clinical practice, improving healthcare outcomes, and strengthen nursing management and education.  PhD programs prepare nurses for careers as research scientists in academic, governmental, or private entities.

If I have a MSN, what is the DNP program of study at Auburn?
The Auburn DNP program is a 5 semester, full-time, post-masters program for NPs. Courses are offered in an online/distance format and designed to prepare nursing practice scholars.  Graduates have the ability to translate knowledge to benefit patient populations within the practice environment.  The program of study encompasses didactic courses, a clinical experience, and a scholarly project that synthesizes the DNP student's learning.

Are new DNP students enrolled every semester?
No.  DNP students are only admitted for enrollment in Summer Semester.  The coursework follows a defined sequence.

What is the on-campus class session?
DNP students attend on-campus classes in Auburn. During this on-campus time, students attend course orientation sessions, meet with faculty mentors and invited lecturers, and present presentations. Attendance at these on-campus sessions is mandatory. Other course work, scholarly interaction, and practice application take place online and in students' practice locations, so that relocation or change of employment is not necessary.  A variety of state-of-the-art online and distance learning technologies and techniques to facilitate the program and enrich students' learning experience are utilized.The majority of coursework will be asynchronous.  Synchronous activities will be scheduled by the faculty in advance.

Can I continue to work while seeking my practice doctorate at Auburn?
Yes. Auburn offers an online/distant curriculum format that only requires limited time on campus for face-to-face faculty mentoring and scholarly interaction.

Is a dissertation required?
No. Instead, Auburn's practice doctorate is the successful completion of a project that demonstrates the synthesis of the student's experiences.  The scholarly project will combine learning from both coursework and clinical practice application.


Background Check and Urine Drug Screen

When do I have to complete the background check and drug screen?
Both must be completed by the deadline specified, which will be sometime before students begin their first semester of the program. Students will receive detailed information concerning completion requirements as part of their initial admission steps if admitted into the Auburn University School of Nursing.

Who will pay for the background check and drug screen?
It is the student's responsibility to pay for both the criminal background check and drug screen. The cost may vary depending on the agency and the state in which the student lives.  Employment Screening Services (ESS), the School of Nursing's designated provider, will notify the student of the fees. The student will pay fees directly to ESS.  Each student must pay for services with a credit card. If you do not have a credit card, you may purchase a prepaid card from any number of sources to pay for services.

Do I have to complete another background check and drug screen if I had one completed last year?
Yes.  All students admitted to our Graduate Programs must complete both the criminal background check and drug screen per ESS instructions. 

May I have the drug screen and criminal background check completed by another agency?
No.  All screenings must be completed through ESS. 

Where will I have my drug screen completed?
The drug screen will be completed by LabCorp only, per ESS instructions. ESS will assist in identifying a facility nearest you, whether you are a local student or live outside of Alabama.

What happens if the criminal background check is not clear or the drug screen results are positive?
A student whose criminal background check is not clear will meet with the Dean in order to determine the degree to which the items entered on the criminal background check may preclude the student's ability to take the licensure or certification examination.  A student who tests positive on the urine drug screen will meet with the Dean.  A positive test will also result in the offer of admission being rescinded for newly admitted students that have not begun course work and immediate removal from all courses for the currently enrolled students.  The removal form the courses will result in a failing grade for the clinical and theory courses.

How do I find out how to register to complete the background check and drug screen?
ESS will send an email to the student's AU email address with specific instructions for completing the background check and drug screen. Students should check their AU email address on a regular basis, as that is the required method of communication.

Will I be able to see my results?
Yes. Students may log into their ESS account to view documents.