Information For

How to Apply

The application deadline for the Fall 2015 Cohort application is now closed. 
The 2016 program application will be open by October 21st, 2015. Please check back to this site for updates.

Priority Application Deadline: 2/26/2016

How To Apply

You must apply to the program through this website ONLY. Instructions to apply to each type are included below. The instructions must be followed exactly to receive full consideration for admission to the MSN program. We look forward to reviewing your application and all supporting documents by the deadline.

STEP 1: Submit your application to CSUSM
Application Instructions:

A. Click the "MSN Application" link
B. Click
 the "Register" link and follow the instructions to create your account. Be sure to write down your username and password to use at a later time.
C. Click
 the "Start New Application" link and update the fields with the following information:

  • Country of Citizenship
  • Career: Graduate or Second Bachelor Degree
  • Admit Term: Fall 2016
  • Program: Graduate Program
  • Plan: Master of Science in Nursing
  • Click the Start Application button.

D. Reference Contact Information CSUSM requires each applicant to provide the Full Name and Email Address of two recommenders in this section. At least one recommender should be from an academic source and one should be from a professional source. The recommenders should be familiar with the applicant's capacity for academic and professional success. The recommender form will be available in October 2015. Once the applicant has completed this section, they can provide the form link to their recommenders. The recommenders are required to complete the form and either a) mail the form back to CSUSM at the address below or b) email the form to a designated email address (to be provided in October 2015). 


A completed application packet includes two letters of reference. Please use the provided Recommendation Form when submitting your references. 

Recommendation Form

E. Add required attachments to your application. 

  • Personal Essay
  • Resume

F. Click on Validate to confirm all required fields are complete. Fill in all required fields, then click on Validate again. Once all the fields have been validated, check the box certifying that your application is accurate and click the Submit button.

Once you have completed your application online, you will be prompted to pay a non-refundable $55 program application fee. Your application will not officially be submitted until payment has been received. Upon submission of your application, you will receive an email within 48 hours confirming receipt of your application. If you do not receive a confirmation email, log into your account and ensure the status of your application states "Posted". An application in any other status than "Posted" has not been successfully submitted to the University.

STEP 2: Submit official transcripts to CSUSM

Request and submit one official transcript from each academic institution attended. The following submission options are:

Mail: All official transcripts must be enclosed in sealed envelopes and mailed or delivered to:

Office of Admissions and Recruitment

California State University San Marcos

333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road

San Marcos, CA 92096

Electronic*: Electronic transcripts provided through external, or third party vendors (Credential Solutions, Docufile, Parchment, etc.) must email the transcripts to the following address:

*Please note all international transcripts and coursework must be submitted via postal mail.

Revised/New Transcripts: Students submitting updated transcripts or transcripts from institutions not listed on the original application should email to indicate the transcript has been sent. Please include your full name, the school from which the transcript was sent and the program name of MSN.

International students please note: You must submit academic records from foreign institutions.  The original foreign transcript must be on file and if they are not written in English, they must be accompanied by certified English translations.  In addition, all foreign transcripts must be evaluated by one of the eight approved CSUSM foreign transcript evaluation agencies.  Please see the list of the eight approved CSUSM foreign transcript evaluation agencies.

STEP 3: Satisfy English Proficiency Requirement (Applicants who have taken coursework internationally only):

All applicants, regardless of citizenship, who do not possess a bachelor's degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must satisfy the English language proficiency requirement.  Typically, applicants demonstrate the English Proficiency requirement by submitting results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.  Submission of these test scores should be sent to:

California State University San Marcos

Attn: Extended Learning / MSN

333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road

San Marcos, CA 92096

Please note: We encourage applicants to submit the documents listed above in one packet; however, we understand this may not be possible.

Please review your Student Center at MyCSUSM to ensure we have received your documents in a timely manner.

Completed Application Checklist

To better assist applicants, please view the MSN Application Checklist, which may be completed by the applicant and submitted with their application packet.

MSN Application Checklist


Note: Should you be offered admission into this program, you will be asked to pay a $150 "intent to enroll" fee upon acceptance.This fee will be credited towards your first semester's fees.

Background Check and Drug Screen Policy

1. All students are required to complete a background check upon conditional admission to the School of Nursing.1 Students who have a flagged background check will not be admitted to the nursing program. Students will be able to join a later cohort pending Space Available when their background check is unflagged.

2. Prior to the completion of Nursing 502, all students are required to complete a Nursing Consortium background check and drug screen prior to their first nursing clinical course. An additional background check and drug screen may be required by the School of Nursing at a later time during the program. Students are required to have a negative urine drug screening and background check which includes a state, county, and federal screening. This background check is accessed by the clinical agencies for approval for clinical placement. If a student receives a dilute reading on his/her drug screen results, then the student is required to go back and re-test within a twenty-four hour time period. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in dismissal from the program.

3. In addition, some clinical sites will require students to complete a Live Scan clearance. If the student does not clear the Live Scan process, then s/he may not be permitted to attend the clinical rotation. The student risks dismissal from the program should this occur.

4. The Office of Extended Learning will mail each student in the cohort a letter of conditional admission. Soon after, students will receive a letter with instructions on how to place an order for a background check/drug screen. Students will have approximately two weeks to order their background check online and complete the drug screen. If this deadline is not met, the student will not be guaranteed a seat in the cohort.

Health Insurance

All students must provide proof of current healthcare insurance to the School of Nursing by the designated deadline.  The deadline information will be provided at the School of Nursing orientation session.  This is a mandatory requirement.

Malpractice Insurance

Students in the MSN program must carry their own malpractice insurance, pass a physical health examination, and demonstrate a sufficient immunization record consistent with that required of clinical placement in local health

MSN Program Application