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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nursing the correct major if I want to eventually become a doctor and attend Medical School?

The courses needed for a career in Nursing are completely different than the coursework needed to enter Medical School. If you want to become a doctor and attend Medical School after graduating with a Bachelor's Degree, we encourage you to pursue to one of the science majors: Majors in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Kinesiology.

Please consult the online University Catalog for a list of courses for such majors.

I only want to pursue Nursing. What are my options?

  • Apply to the Nursing major in high school as a freshman student.
  • Attend the community college and apply to the Nursing major as a transfer student. Follow the transfer articulation for the nursing major using
  • Pursue an RN degree at the community college and apply to an RN to BSN program.
  • Receive your Bachelor's Degree in another major and take pre-nursing core courses through a Community College or Extended Learning. Once completed, apply to the Accelerated BSN program offered through CSUSM Extended Learning.

What are the Pre-Nursing core courses needed to apply to a Nursing Program?

Transfer students and other majors, must complete 8 core courses to apply to a Nursing program. 

CSU "Golden Four" Basic Skills Courses

  • A1 Oral Communication
  • A2 English
  • A3 Critical Thinking
  • B4 Statistics

Pre-Nursing Core Science Courses              

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Integrated Chemistry 

What are my options if not accepted into the Nursing major?

  • Take the opportunity to learn about other health related careers and/or majors that involve helping people.
  • Explore other majors that have a health focus, such as Human Development (HD).
  • Consider other majors that lead to 'helping' professions, such as Liberal Studies (teaching), Sociology, or Speech Language Pathology (SLP).
  • Keep your options open. Learn about your aptitudes, interests, and career values to find an alternate career in which you will find fulfillment.
  • Visit the Career Center where you can do a career assessment and explore other major options. 

Can I attend the university under one major and then apply to nursing?

No, while we would like to offer admission to every CSU-eligible applicant at CSU San Marcos, our enrollment capacity and resources do not permit this. The TBSN Nursing major has a limited number of seats and uses impaction criteria for admission. Eligible local area applicants are admitted either as a first year student or a transfer student.