Master of Science

Content: 

Program Overview

Beginning in Fall 2014, the College of Nursing (CON) implemented a revised curriculum for both the Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). The CON’s reconceptualization of graduate nursing education is evidence of our responsiveness to the changing dynamic in health care and our commitment to preparing the most sophisticated and skilled nursing professionals for today and the future. Our academic programs are consistent with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s call to produce advanced nursing clinicians who are able to address the complex care needs of this environment in direct care and specialty practice roles.

A summary of the changes to the MS degree are as follows:

Advanced Generalist Master of Science (AGMS)

  • Replaces the Master of Science curriculum for specialty practice (Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Midwife) with an advanced generalist degree (no specialty concentration)
  • 34 credit degree program and 135 clinical hours: 12 months (3 terms, full-time); 2 years (4 terms, part-time)
  • Entry points as a post-BSN (traditional) or Registered Nurse with non-nursing baccalaureate (transitional)
  • AGMS graduates are eligible to sit for Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) certification with additional clinical hours (405 clinical hours), if desired.
  • Students may also choose to add certificate courses  or electives depending on career goals.
  • 31 credit hours (10 of the 11 courses) required to earn the new AGMS will appear in the new DNP curriculum, allowing for a seamless and abbreviated transition into advanced practice specialty studies.

The AGMS admits students during the fall semester only at the Chicago, Peoria, Quad Cities, Rockford, Springfield or Urbana regional sites.

The new AGMS curriculum is offered in a web-enhanced format. Courses will entail use of the internet and other electronic software (PowerPoint, Skype, Blackboard, etc.). Some required courses may not lend themselves to an online format and will require in person attendance.

MS Transition Program

The MS transition is a route of entry to the MS in nursing for students with an RN license and a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing. 

  • Transition students are required to take an additional 1 to 4 courses (to be determined upon admission to determine which courses are necessary).
  • All transition courses are delivered online in eight-week modules, delivered through the School of Continuing Studies and taught by UIC College of Nursing faculty.
  • Course credits are applied exactly the same as graduate degree courses.
  • Students are assessed UIC Graduate Student Tuition/Fees.
  • All required transition courses are to be completed during the first Fall/Spring semesters following admission to the College of Nursing and before beginning any coursework in the AGMS degree.

The transition courses are as follows:

  • NURS 210 Health Assessment 
  • NURS 242 Concepts & Processes for Contemporary Nursing Practice 
  • NURS 385 Clinical Concepts & Processes for Population-Focused Nursing 
  • NURS 322 Introduction to Nursing Research & Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice

Frequently Asked Questions

How does an Advanced Generalist (AG) function?

The AG is a leadership role designed for nurses who want to make a difference in the clinical setting. At the point of care, the AG acts as the care coordinator for a group of clients, while providing direct care in complex cases. The AG evaluates client outcomes, assesses client risks, and promotes client and family advocacy. The AG role is not limited to the acute care settings; AG prepared nurses focus on delivering effective and efficient care in a fiscally responsible manner across the health continuum.

How does the AG differ from a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)?

While AGs complete additional education in nursing, they are not prepared as advanced practice nurses (APRNs). Advanced practice nurses (clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives) are prepared with specialist education in a defined area of practice. The AG may call on the CNS to provide consultation when a specialist area of concern arises (i.e. when a patient does not respond to nursing care or therapeutics as expected).

Why is UIC changing advanced practice education from the MS to the DNP?

The UIC College of Nursing has a reputation for excellence and vision in nursing education. UIC’s efforts to develop the DNP program are evidence of our responsiveness to the changing dynamic of heath care and our commitment to preparing the most sophisticated and skilled nursing professionals for today and the future. The DNP program is consistent with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s call to produce advanced clinicians who are able to address the complex care needs of this environment. The AACN has further stipulated that by 2015, all advanced practice education should be elevated to the DNP degree. In addition, the DNP is supported by the National Academy of Science which has advocated for the development of professional practice doctorates as a route to advanced clinical work in nursing. Employers are quickly recognizing the unique contributions these expert nurses are making in the practice arena, and the demand for DNP-prepared nurses continues to grow.

Admissions Requirements

Application Deadline: January 15

All Applicants

The following minimum admission criteria must be met for full consideration for admission into the Advanced Generalist Master of Science (MS):

  • Baccalaureate degree with an upper-division major in nursing from a CCNE or NLN accredited program OR a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in a field other than nursing plus an RN license. 
  • License to practice as a professional nurse in at least one political jurisdiction. Although an Illinois license is not required for admission, many specialties do require an Illinois license to facilitate clinical placements.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Applicants with less than a cumulative 3.25/4.00 GPA in their baccalaureate (or higher) degree are required to submit GRE scores by the application deadline. Cumulative GPA's are pulled directly from the transcripts submitted. Courses taken after a baccalaureate (or higher) degree has been earned will not be calculated into the cumulative GPA for the GRE waiver.
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00/4.00 in the last 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of the first baccalaureate degree.
  • Introductory courses in statistics and research (or equivalent) to be completed prior to beginning the MS program. Most applicants will have met this requirement while completing the BSN degree.
  • Qualified applicants may be contacted by faculty to schedule an interview (with advanced notice). Not all applicants will be chosen to interview.

International Applicants

The UIC considers any student who currently holds a visa of any type or is seeking a visa to be international. Even if you do not require a student (F or J) visa to attend UIC, you are viewed as an international applicant. Most policies which apply to those seeking student visas will apply to holders of other types of visas. Please visit the Office of Admissions International Requirements webpage for details on all additional admission requirements and processing.

International applicants licensed in a political jurisdiction outside of the U.S. must also request the Validation of Registration/License Report from CGFNS.

After Admission

If admitted and upon submitting an enrollment deposit, all students are required to provide proof of current nursing license and documentation of immunizations, background check results, drug screenings, HIPAA training, CPR certification. Please visit the College of Nursing Practicum Requirements  webpage for specific requirements for each program. All immunization and compliance requirements must be met prior to registering for courses.  Additionally, New Student Orientation is required of all newly admitted students. Orientation information and details will be included in the admissions packets from the College of Nursing.

International applicants: The UIC requires all admitted international students to submit detailed financial statements before a Form I-20/DS-2019 can be processed. These statements should include the amounts and sources of funds available for educational expenses in the United States equivalent to their first year's tuition and living expenses. Please visit the Office of International Services webpage for more information.

Degree Requirements

For students with a BSN or a non-nursing baccalaureate degree and a RN license, the Advanced Generalist Master of Science (MS) degree requires 34 credit hours and 135 clinical hours. Graduates interested in sitting for Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) certification will need to complete a total of 405 clinical hours.

Depending on route of entry (MS traditional or MS transitional), the Advanced Generalist MS can be completed in 12 months (3 terms), full-time or 2 years (4 terms), part-time.

Please refer to the MS Program Overview page for more information.

How to Apply

Application Deadline: January 15

The Master of Science (MS) program admits for the fall semester only. Prospective students are encouraged to complete the application process early. All application materials, including unofficial transcripts, recommendations, resumés, and supplemental application forms must be submitted by deadline for full consideration. 

Please visit the Admission Requirements  page before applying to the College of Nursing.

All Applicants

  1. Complete the UIC Graduate Application online at https://admissions.uic.edu/graduate-professional/apply.
  2. Choose the appropriate application: Apply Domestic (or International) Degree Seeking
  3. Select your “Admission Term”: Fall
  4. Select your “Planned Course of Study”: MS-Nursing-Region (choose Chicago, Peoria, Quad Cities, Rockford, Springfield or Urbana)
  5. Submit the non-refundable application fee for both domestic and international students.

NOTE: Within 3-5 business days of submitting your graduate application, you will receive an email from the Office of Admissions directing you to your application login webpage where you can begin uploading required items, one at a time, as necessary. Please prepare an electronic copy of the required application materials in PDF format so that they are available when requested. All required materials must be submitted electronically through your application. DO NOT MAIL any materials at this time.

  1. (Upload) College/university transcripts.  All transcripts should be combined into a single PDF file and uploaded to your application.  No hard copy transcripts will be accepted for graduate applications.  For more information, please go here.
  2. (Upload) Current resumé or curriculum vitae.
  3. (Upload) Completed College of Nursing Supplemental application (Download here: Master’s Supplemental Application )
  4. Enter names and email addresses of three references. The references you indicate will receive email notification to upload this fillable pdf Recommendation Form. Recommendations should come from those who can speak to your professional and scholastic abilities. It is preferred to have letters of recommendation from those with a graduate level degree. Personal references from friends, relatives or co-workers will automatically be disregarded.
  5. Submit GRE scores (if required, by application deadline). Applicants with less than a cumulative 3.25/4.00 GPA in the baccalaureate (or higher) degree are required to submit GRE scores by the application deadline. Cumulative GPA’s are pulled directly from the transcripts submitted. Courses taken after the baccalaureate (or higher) degree has been earned will not be calculated into the cumulative GPA for the GRE waiver.

Official test scores (GRE, TOEFL) must be sent directly to the UIC Graduate Admissions Office from Educational Testing Service (UIC Institution Code: 1851, Department Code: 0610).

International Applicants

Additional materials are required of International applicants, including the following. Please refer to UIC’s International Admissions Requirements  for additional details.

  • TOEFL OR IELTS scores
  • University or college issued transcripts or mark sheets for all undergraduate work in the original language 
  • University or college issued transcripts or mark sheets for all post-baccalaureate work in the original language 
  • Certified English translation of all credentials 
  • Proof of all degrees awarded
  • For postsecondary coursework completed at an institution outside of the United States, applicants must request a Full Education Course-by-Course Report evaluation from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Schools CGFNS.
  • International applicants licensed in a political jurisdiction outside of the U.S. must also request the Validation of Registration/License Report from CGFNS.

Upon recommendation for admission from the College of Nursing, international applicants will be required to supply evidence of financial support for the first year of study. Visit the Office of Admissions’ International Admission Requirements for further explanation of requirements.

Admissions Decision Timeline

Applications to the MS program will not be reviewed by the Graduate Admissions and Academic Standards Committee until after the January 15th application deadline. If required, faculty interviews generally take place during the month of March with final decisions being announced in early April.