College of Nursing

Graduate Program

Susan Wallace Raph, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Education
Montana State University | Great Falls Campus
400 15th Ave South, Suite 106 / Great Falls, MT 59405                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                406-771-4441 | Email:

Bozeman Campus                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PO Box 173560, Bozeman , MT 59717-3560

Masters of Nursing (MN)

The Masters of Nursing (MN) graduate degree program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).  Students are prepared to take certification examinations as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL).  MN graduate students are educated to be leaders at the bedside with a broad range of opportunities to influence health practices.

Associate Degree Registered Nurse (ADRN) to Masters of Nursing

The ADRN to Masters option offers a unique opportunity for licensed registered nurses prepared with an associate degree in nursing from an accredited institution to be provisionally accepted, acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to meet the Baccalaureate Essentials through two bridge courses, and then matriculate into the Masters of Nursing program.  See separate admissions criteria.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and focuses on educating nurses to the highest standards of the profession to care for people living in Montana and beyond and lead change in health care systems.  Two areas of specialty are available for the DNP degree seeking student at MSU:  Family or Psychiatric / Mental Health.

Non Degree Options

The Certificate in Nursing Education is available to graduate nursing students and nurses with a BSN or greater.

Program Synopsis

Students are admitted for either a Master in Nursing degree (MN) with a focus on Nursing Leadership or Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree (DNP).  For the DNP degree, students select a specialty area to be prepared as a Family or Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Each student completes courses in advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacotherapeutics, evidenced based practice, ethics, leadership, and finance and budgeting of health care systems. Remaining courses are determined by specialty. The graduate student’s experience culminates in a professional or scholarly paper.

The graduate program curriculum is taught by College of Nursing faculty who are recognized nationally for their broad and wide-ranging expertise, scholarship, and dedication to providing quality nursing education. Rich clinical opportunities exist in Montana for nurses seeking to expand their professional practice and outreach. Students experience an educational preparation that positions them well for exciting opportunities to practice and lead in rural and frontier areas of Montana and beyond.

Graduate courses are offered primarily through asynchronous distance delivery with occasional synchronous teleconference and video conference used to supplement content. Travel to the Bozeman campus is required at the beginning of Fall semester.  A variety of teaching methods are used in the graduate programs.  

Admission Requirements*

  1. Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  2. A baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited upper division program, which included supervised clinical practice in a variety of nursing settings, including community/public health and management.
  3. Successful completion of undergraduate courses in physical assessment, community/public health, research, statistics (which included inferential statistics), and an undergraduate psych/mental health course for the DNP (Psych/Mental Health).
  4. Current unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse.  If clinical educational experiences are to be completed in Montana, licensure in Montana is required.
  5. Favorable recommendation from the College of Nursing admissions committee.
  6. International applicants only: TOEFL score of 580 or computer equivalent, if applicable.

*Applicants must be admitted formally to The Graduate School.

Clinical Experience Preferred

In general, one year of clinical experience is preferred for DNP (Family/Individual) and DNP (Psych/Mental Health) degree applicants. There are no clinical experience preferences for MN degree..

Steps to Apply

Application Deadline February 15th

  1. Fill-out the Graduate School application (online
  2. During the online process, complete the Cumulative Undergraduate Grade Point Average and Grade Point Average for Final Two Years Undergraduate Work forms.
  3. Three recommendation forms; be prepared to provide contact information during the online process.
  4. Finally, have official transcripts and test scores mailed to:

College of Nursing, Attn: Graduate Program
PO Box 173560
Bozeman, MT 59718-3560

Further Information

For further information contact:  Graduate Program Assistant, College of Nursing, 122 Sherrick Hall, 406-994-3500


Degree Offered

ADRN to MN Distance Graduate Education (MN)  Degree

A track to a Masters in Nursing (MN) degree has been designed for experienced Associate Degree-prepared Registered Nurses (ADRNs).

Master of Nursing (MN) Graduate Degree

The focus of the MN degree is to prepare graduates with advanced leadership skills to be applied in the healthcare delivery system across a wide range of settings. Graduates of this program are also eligible to sit for the Clinical Nurse Leader certification. The professional roles of the CNL include clinician, outcomes manager, client advocate, educator, information manager, team manager, systems analyst/risk anticipator, and reflect the need for lifelong learning.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Graduate Degree

The DNP prepares advanced practice nurses who demonstrate clinical expertise, judgment, scholarship, and leadership to provide the highest level of nursing practice in the primary health care setting.

Online Certificate Program (Non-Degree Option)

The Certificate in Nursing Education program consists of four theory courses (total of 10 credits) that prepare students for careers in nursing education.  These courses are open to all graduate nursing students and also to nurses with a minimum of a BSN who are interested in taking such coursework for personal enrichment or professional advancement.