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Pre-Health vs. Pre-Nursing

Progression from the Pre-Health Science Major to the Nursing Major

All newly-admitted students interested in Nursing are designated as Pre-Health Science majors.  Students must demonstrate proficiency in what are known as the CSU 'Golden Four' courses before being allowed to register in the Pre-Nursing Core Science courses.  These 'Golden Four' courses are GEO 102 (Speech), GEW 101 (College English), any GE A3 Critical Thinking course, and a GE B4 Statistics course. 

Progression to take the Pre-Nursing Core Science courses, will be limited to the 96 Pre-Health Science Major students who have earned the highest GPA in these 'Golden Four' courses. This level of impaction for our major is described in our  Supplemental Impaction Criteria.

For those Transfer Students, entering the University as Pre-Health Science Majors, you will remain in this major until being admitted to a specific Nursing program, unless you should decide to complete a degree in another discipline, and then pursue our Accelerated BSN program. 

Students do not need to be a Pre-Health Science Major to apply for admission to the Traditional BSN program.  However, your Nursing Advisors only regularly communicate via email with students in one of the majors associated with Nursing.

Students admitted to a Nursing program:  Prior to attendance at the School of Nursing Orientation for the Nursing program, your major will be converted to the Nursing Major.

Students not admitted directly into a specific Nursing program:

  • Students who will have already completed the Pre-Nursing Core have the option of attending CSUSM and preparing to apply and enter the Nursing program. Entering students also have the option of pursuing the Accelerated BSN program, which is offered though Extended Learning at the University. See below.
  • Students who have not yet completed 1-4 of the Pre-Nursing Core science courses will not have the option of completing these science courses at CSUSM through State-support tuition.  These sciences are expected to be offered periodically through Extended Learning at a separate tuition rate.  This tuition is over and above the regular CSU tuition for other courses to be completed here. Entering students also have the option of pursuing the Accelerated BSN program, which is offered though Extended Learning at the University. See below. 

 Accelerated BSN Program

The Accelerated BSN Program provides another pathway at CSU San Marcos to students who are wanting to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing and be eligible to take the NCLEX RN license upon graduating from this program.  The Accelerated BSN program requires completion of a Bachelor's degree in another discipline and is offered via self-support tuition through Extended Learning.  The program concentrates the NURS courses into a 22-month, rear-round format of instruction. 

This becomes an excellent option to consider for students who have a Pre-Nursing Core GPA of 2.75 to 3.3 and who may not be a viable candidate for the Traditional BSN program.  Students would choose another major to pursue at CSU San Marcos, while fitting in required non-Nursing courses.  This option is especially popular for students who are missing several Pre-Nursing Core science courses, as this would allow you to spread out these science courses while you complete another degree. Summary of comparison between the Accelerated BSN and Traditional BSN Programs at CSU San Marcos.

  • For more in-depth information about the Accelerated BSN program, please visit the Accelerated BSN Nursing program link on the Extended Learning Web site, under "Degree Programs".
  • For more information about the many majors and degree programs available at CSU San Marcos, please visit the Undergraduate Advising Services Web site under Graduation Requirements, Major & Minor Worksheets.