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Doctor of Nursing Practice FAQs

What DNP specializations do you offer within the College of Nursing?

Students may choose between: Family Nurse Practitioner, Public Health Nurse Leader, Post-MS DNP Completion, and Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

How long will it take me to complete the DNP program?

A student who enters the DNP program with a bachelor’s degree will choose either a 4 or 5 year plan of study to complete the required 82-83 credits.  A student entering the program with a master’s degree will have an individual plan of study created for them, based on their master’s degree courses taken.  The minimum a master’s degree student can expect is 36 credits (for someone already holding either FNP certification, or has an MPH degree).  So, a student with a master’s degree will take all remaining courses required of our program if they did not complete these courses in their master’s degree.

The best way for a master’s degree student to get a rough idea of what would be required of them is to review the DNP Flier and look at our list of required courses.  If you have already completed some, “cross them off” the list, and the remaining courses would roughly make up your required course plan of study.  All students can provide course outlines or course descriptions to challenge courses.

When are courses offered?

All courses are offered online.

What kind of credential will I receive when I finish the program?

You will receive a Doctorate of Nursing Practice Degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. For Family and Nurse Practitioner students, you will also qualify to sit for national certification examinations. 

Do I need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to apply?

Not necessarily. GRE’s are no longer required of all applicants. Applicants must demonstrate evidence of high scholastic achievement. The College of Nursing uses the degree-granting institution GPA as one measure of an applicant's academic potential. A successful applicant will typically have a GPA of 3.00 or above (on a 4.00 scale). If the GPA is lower than 3.00, applicant may still apply and be considered for admission, but might wish to submit a GRE score if they feel that the GPA does not accurately reflect their abilities. The final admission decision is based upon the complete file. You can have the scores forwarded to the Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts when you apply. If you need information on taking the GRE, you can visit the Web page, or call 1-800-537-3160. On campus you can call (413) 545-0333 for information.

Do I need to apply to the Nursing Program?

NO, you only have to apply to the graduate school. Here is the link to graduate school

Can I take courses before I am accepted into the program?

Yes. You can take up to 2 courses (6 credits) as a Non-Degree student. Once you are accepted into the program, you can transfer credits can be applied to your degree. You can also transfer in 6 other credits from another institution if those courses fulfill the requirements of the program in which you will be enrolled (transfer credits are up to the discretion of the Program Director and have to be approved).

How much does it cost to attend DNP programs?

Students pay per credit through Continuing & Professional Education. Current Costs per credit vary from school to school. Please visit and click under the current semester classes to see price.