Master's Programs

General information and requirements

Decker's Master of Science (MS) in nursing programs are organized into a four-semester sequence of courses requiring 48 credits.

Specialization options

Students will pursue a master's degree in one of these areas of specialization:

  • Adult-gerontological nursing
  • Community health nursing
  • Family health nursing
  • Family psychiatric mental health nursing (not accepting applications for family psychiatric mental health nurse educator at this time)

Functional role option

Students will pursue a master's degree in this functional role:

  • Nurse educator 

Credits and clinical hours required for degree completion 

Program  Clinical hours required Credit hours required
Adult-gerontological nursing 540 48
Community health nursing 480 48
Family health nursing 540 48

Application criteria

All students wishing to pursue a master's degree in nursing must satisfy the general conditions and procedures for admission to Binghamton University's Graduate School.

In addition, the following will be evaluated for admission:

NOTE: For complete information about application criteria, clinical practice requirements and additional requirements, applicants should review the University Bulletin (select "Nursing-Graduate" under "Graduate Fields of Study by Department"). The rules and regulations posted in the University Bulletin at the time of a student's matriculation into the University are the ones to which that student is held.

  • A baccalaureate degree in nursing from an ACEN-, CCNE- or CNEA-accredited school of nursing program
  • A descriptive statistics course with a grade of C or better
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better
  • A current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered professional nurse in the U.S.
  • Students must pass the NCLEX-RN examination prior to enrollment
  • Prior to beginning clinical experiences in a New York clinical facility, students must submit a copy of their current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in New York; this is required by the New York State Department of Education Office of the Professions
  • Two satisfactory academic or professional references
  • Submission of a 500-word personal statement that addresses: why the student is seeking advanced education in general and specifically at Binghamton University; unique aspects of the student's background that will contribute to the DSON graduate community (for example, extracurricular, work or volunteer experiences); and goals the student hopes to achieve upon completion of the program
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Graduate record examination (GRE) scores are not routinely required, but may be requested based on evaluation of official transcripts
  • For international students:
  • Notes about admissions requirements above
    • A student may consider applying for non-degree/non-matriculated status in lieu of matriculation in order to complete up to a maximum of 12 graduate nursing credits as a non-degree student; after this time, the student, may apply to be considered for regular matriculated admission. The director of graduate nursing programs provides advisement regarding appropriate courses for enrollment by non-degree students attempting to prove their ability to be successful at the graduate nursing level, and in anticipation of students applying for future matriculated status.
    • Required letters of recommendation from professional referents may not be personal friends or family members of the applicant. It is expected that a professional referent is a current or former supervisor to the applicant.
    • Any U.S. student applicant may be admitted "regular admit-additional advising" (formerly known as "conditional admission") by the Decker School. By definition, this category of admission means the applicant lacks required application criteria. 
    • U.S. students who do not advance from a regular-additional advising ("conditional") to regular admission status in a timely manner (i.e., failure to meet the department's conditional admission requirements) will find their registration blocked and possibly risk program dismissal.
    • International student applicants cannot be admitted "conditionally" based on changes to federal regulations implemented in 2016 by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
    • International student applicants who have not met minimum TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic score requirements may be recommended for an offer of admission from the Decker School of Nursing, but will be granted only provisional admission by the Graduate School.
    • A provisional admission status related to these test scores requires the applicant provide sufficient proof of English proficiency.
    • Once sufficient proof has been provided by the applicant, the Graduate School will default the admissions decision back to that assigned by the department and the student will receive a regular letter of admission and an I-20.
    • In such an admissions case, the student will be required to take an English Language Institute Program (ESI) assessment exam. Exam results assist the department in determining which ESL courses will be completed by the student preliminary to or concurrently with core graduate nursing course requirements in the first and/or subsequent semesters, and at the discretion of the graduate nursing program director.
    • U.S. students enrolling immediately after graduation from a Bachelor of Science program in nursing must pass the national licensing examination (NCLEX-RN) before beginning any clinical coursework. Students who are granted full-time admission in a fall semester are scheduled to take NURS 502: Advanced Physical Health Assessment in the first semester of study. NURS 502 has a clinical component requiring those students to pass the NCLEX-RN examination and provide proof of passing the exam by August 1 of the first fall semester of admission.
    • Students who have already completed a master's degree in nursing from an accredited program, but wish to pursue a different clinical specialty and/or advanced practice role may be admitted to the post-graduate program. (GREs are not required for the post-graduate program.)
    • Graduates of nursing schools outside the U.S. must hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing or its equivalent. World Education Services (WES) transcripts must be submitted as proof of evaluation of a baccalaureate degree. Licensure to practice in the U.S. is required.
    • One year of full-time employment as a professional registered nurse is strongly recommended prior to application for admission to a graduate nursing program of study, but it is not required. At the discretion of the director of  graduate nursing programs, students may be admitted to begin the master's degree program on a part-time basis to allow them time to gain confidence in their nursing skills while working in a hospital setting as an RN.
    • Students admitted to a graduate nursing program must be computer literate before beginning their studies. They must possess: the ability to use various software applications, use email, conduct web searches, download and upload files and communicate through instant messaging and chatting.

Application procedures

Information on admissions, financial aid, housing, program costs and visiting Binghamton University's campus (including a virtual tour) is presented on the Graduate School website.

Complete instructions for applying to Binghamton University are available on the Graduate School's how to apply webpage. If you have questions regarding application submission, contact the Graduate School at 607–777–2151 or

If you have a felony or child abuse conviction
Students who have a felony or child abuse conviction are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of the Decker School of Nursing and/or to meet licensure requirements for nursing or advanced-practice licensure. If you have concerns about this, you are advised to contact the Decker Division of Advising and Academic Excellence, the undergraduate or graduate nursing program director or the Decker College Dean's Office. You are required to report felony convictions while enrolled in the Decker School of Nursing as it may change your progression and ability to be placed in a clinical agency. To learn if felony/child abuse convictions will negatively impact your ability for licensure, check with the State Board of Nursing in the state in which you plan to practice.

Looking for a master's level NP program?

Decker no longer offers admission to master's-level nurse practitioner (NP) programs. For preparation as an NP, see our DNP programs webpage.

Can't find the curriculum info you're looking for?

If you're an existing MS-level NP student looking for curriculum information, go to the University Bulletin.

Program contacts

Graduate program director
Program coordinators for specializations