Prospective Student FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What courses are required to get into the nursing major?

Future Nurses

Students must have:

1) Minimum 3.0 overall GPA

2) Minimum score of 75 on the TEAS

3) Minimum 3.0 prerequisite GPA [should be minimum 3.7 to be competitive]

Completed G.E. Courses:

  • GE Area A1 - Oral Communication
  • GE Area A2 - English Composition
  • GE Area A3 - Critical Thinking (SOC 3 recommended) 
  • MATH 11 or PH 92 - Statistics
  • CHEM 3A - Introduction to Chemistry
  • BIOL 64 - Human Anatomy
  • BIOL 65 - Human Physiology
  • BIOL 20 - Microbiology

2. Is there a minimum GPA I must earn in order to get in?

The minimum GPA required on our 8 Pre-Nursing prerequisite classes is 3.0. However in order to be competitive, recent successful applicants have earned a 3.65 or better. Students are no longer allowed to repeat a course to improve their GPA if they received a "C" or better. Additionally, students must have an overall GPA of 3.0.  For more detailed information, see the pre-nursing checklist of essential information.

3. Are there any other requirements for entrance?

Students are required to take the TEAS test (Test of Essential Academic Skills) the test is available at our campus Testing Center (559.278.2457) as well as many other sites throughout the state. Students must pass the test with a score of 75% or higher, and are given three opportunities to do so. For questions regarding TEAS, please contact the Pre-Nursing Advisor Frank Castro at frankyc@csufresno.edu.

4. Is the TEAS hard? How can I improve my chances of getting at least a 75% passing score on the TEAS?

  1. The TEAS is similar to your state standardized tests. A student knows how well or not they perform on these types of tests. They can judge how much they need to prepare for a certain section on the TEAS. A student should take the TEAS after completing all four science pre-requisites as these courses serve as good review for the science section on the test.
  2. If you fail to obtain a 75%, allow a few weeks to at least one month to pass from your previous attempt before re-taking the test. Your thought process or ability to do better on the next attempt will not improve at all if you take the test again within days to a one or two weeks. Plan accordingly.
  3. Start preparing at least one month early with a daily study schedule planned out.
  4. Check out the Study Manual for the TEAS located at the first floor main circulation desk of the Henry Madden Library.
  5. Purchase the Study Manual for the TEAS.

5. When do I apply to the major?

For spring entry into the nursing major, the filing period for nursing applications is August 1-31. Prerequisite courses must be completed by mid-August. On-line applications will be available August 1-31.

For fall entry into the nursing major, the filing period for nursing applications is March 1-31. Prerequisite courses must be completed by December 20 prior to the program application. On-line application for fall available March 1-31.

For new transfer students, entry into the Nursing major requires two applications: the University application, which is submitted on-line at www.csumentor.edu and the Nursing (BSN) application. Freshman are admitted to Pre-Nursing only.

6. How do I register for classes?

Registration is done on the internet. If you applied to the University and do not yet have a Fresno State email address, go to my.fresnostate.edu to sign up for one. Once you have an email address, you can register online and then check your registration status.

Current Class Schedule

Always prepare a schedule and have alternate courses ready when you register.

7. What courses can I take before I start the nursing major?

The following courses, offered by other departments, are required in "Additional requirements to the nursing major". These courses are not required before beginning the nursing major, but may be taken prior to beginning the major:

  • Lifespan Development (CFS 38)
  • Nutrition & Health (NUTR 53)
  • Introductory/General Psychology (PSYCH 10)
  • Elementary statistics (HS 92, MATH 11, or any elementary statistics course)
  • Philosophy of ethics (PHIL 20 or 120, depending on your G.E. needs or choices)
  • Women/ethnic studies course
    • For 1998 and earlier catalogs: any course with a Women or Ethnic Studies prefix.
    • For 1999 and later catalogs: any G.E. Multicultural/International course

8. What General Education (G.E.) courses should I take? See the G.E. requirement sheet. For nursing majors only, Microbiology (Micro 20/Biol 20) satisfies the G.E. Area B2 requirement.

If you are uncertain of your catalog year or which G.E. courses to take schedule an appointment after admission is confirmed with Frank Castro our academic advisor for G.E. consultation and advising.

9. Do some of the 8 pre-nursing pre-requisite courses double count as lower division general education (G.E.) courses?

It is recommended that pre-nursing students wait to take a pre-requisite course and have it double count towards G.E. By doing so, a student saves time and avoids accumulating extra units that may later harm them with regards to obtaining sufficient financial aid. However, a student requiring 12 units to receive their full financial aid award should register in other G.E. courses to fulfill certain G.E. areas when pre-requisite courses are full/closed. In this situation, it is best not to wait to take a pre-requisite to try to double count it for G.E.

10. Are there certain G.E. areas where pre-nursing students do not need to take the courses listed?

Yes. For G.E. area B4, MATH 11 or PH 92 must be taken rather than any courses listed for area B4 on G.E. list. For G.E. area B2, pre-nursing students take Microbiology (BIOL 20) instead of the courses listed for that certain area. These are exceptions placed towards students hoping to apply to the Nursing program.

11.  What if I am a freshman pre-nursing student wanting to start the pre-requisites right away, but I can't find any open pre-requisite courses?

All freshmen admitted to Fresno State register for their courses during their Dog Day over the summer prior to starting their fall semester at the university. It is important for all freshman pre-nursing students to remember that by this time, most classes are full/closed, including pre-nursing pre-requisites and nursing co-requisite courses. Students attending Dog Days register for classes that are still open or that they can waitlist for. Depending on your Dog Day, if there are no open pre-requisite or co-requisite courses, then consider enrolling in the following:

  • Classes to fulfill a minor (select a health-related minor; minors are more than 12 units to complete)
  • Classes to complete a certificate (certificates are only 12 units to complete)
  • Kinesiology Activity Courses (KAC) [1 unit sport/fitness classes similar to P.E. in high school]
  • Classes you are interested in and want to explore

Most pre-nursing majors are not able to enroll or start pre-requisites or co-requisites until their second year at Fresno State so do not be discouraged if you cannot enroll in any as a freshman.

12. What is a 'pre-requisite' and why can I not enroll in a certain pre-nursing pre-requisite course?

A 'pre-requisite' means that a requirement to enroll in one course is to have completed a certain other course first. This applies to Chemistry 3A (CHEM 3A), which is a G.E. area B1 course with a pre-requisite. In order to register for CHEM 3A, MATH 11 or Public Health 92 (PH 92) must be completed first. Both Math 11 and PH 92 are statistics courses and they fulfill G.E. area B4, specifically for pre-nursing majors only. A student has the option to select either course to take to fulfill area B4. Once completed, a student can then enroll in CHEM 3A. Note: Microbiology (BIOL 20) can only be taken after CHEM 3A has been completed.

13. Would it be recommended to take more than one science pre-requisite course per semester?

No. Due to the difficulty and time it takes to study and prepare for the lecture and lab portions of a science course, it is highly suggested that students only enroll in one science course a semester. This allows a student to concentrate better and increase their chance of doing well, in order to be a competitive candidate applying for the Nursing program.

14. Does credit from AP courses taken in high school count towards the pre-requisites or co-requisites?

Yes. A score of 3 or higher on an AP test will count as college credit. Send Fresno State a copy of your score(s) through your College Board account.

A 3 or higher on AP Statistics gives a student credit for MATH 11, allowing him or her to register for CHEM 3A. A score of 3 or higher on AP Calculus AB or BC gives a student credit for GE area B4, but still requires him or her to take MATH 11 or PH 92 to fulfill one of the co-requisites. However, AP Calculus will allow a student to take CHEM 3A still.

A score of 3 or higher on AP English Language & Composition fulfills GE area A2 requirement, which is a pre-requisite for pre-nursing and allows a student to register in other GE areas that have A2 as a pre-requisite

15. Can I complete a nursing degree in four years?

Most students take more than four years to complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The nursing major is a six-semester (three-year) sequential program, with little opportunity to condense or "fast-track" the major. Most students take one and a half to two years to complete the prerequisite courses and lower division G.E. courses before starting the major.

16. Who is my advisor and how do I meet with them?

Advising for current Fresno State Pre-Nursing students is available throughout the semester; call 559.278.5027 or stop by McLane Hall, Room 194, and simply meet with the Pre-Nursing Advisor on a Walk-in basis throughout the day (mornings are generally the least busy). If your schedule does not allow for this students are welcome to email the Pre-Nursing Advisor at frankyc@csufresno.edu.

17. Are scholarships available?

Consult the Fresno State Scholarship website. Additionally, the Nursing Department posts scholarship information including specific scholarships for students enrolled in the nursing major.

18. What is the Upper Division Writing Exam?

This is a graduation requirement to be met after you attain junior standing. See Upper Division Writing Exam (UDWE) in the Catalog or contact Testing Office in FFS Bldg, room 110, or phone 559.278.2457.

For further information contact Franky Castro at frankyc@csufresno.edu.

19. Why am I listed as a 'Pre-Nursing' major, instead of a 'Nursing' major?

Until you are admitted into the Nursing program, you are listed as a pre-nursing student working on pre-requisites and trying to pass the TEAS with a 75% score. Once a pre-nursing student is admitted into the Nursing program, their major status changes to 'Nursing' major.

20. Is the nursing major impacted and what does that mean?

Yes, the nursing major is impacted (limited and competitive entry) because there are more students applying to the major than there are spaces available. At this time we are unable accept out-of-state or International applicants. Because of our impacted status, a nursing program application is required. Admission is grade based and we look strongly at the GPA in the prerequisite courses. To compute your "prerequisite GPA" click here.

21. Will I be eligible to take the registered nurse license examination?

Upon completion of the pre-licensure nursing curriculum, graduates will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

The NCLEX-RN is designed to test knowledge, skills and abilities essential to the safe and effective practice of nursing at the entry level.

22. What is the current NCLEX-RN pass rate for Fresno State graduates?

The NCLEX-RN pass rate for 2011-2012 is 91.2%.

Fresno State's NCLEX-RN pass rates

23. I was recently admitted into the Nursing program and was notified about participating in 'RNBC'. What is that and it is worth paying to attend?

Registered Nursing Boot Camp (RNBC) is a 3-day orientation event held prior to the beginning of each semester at Fresno State. It is organized by nursing students in the School of Nursing. This event offers recently admitted students an opportunity to meet nursing majors ahead of them in the program (mentors), build friendships with students in other semesters and within their own cohort, and receive informational sessions on various topics essential for nursing. Overall, students who have attended RNBC have really enjoyed the experience and state having been better prepared for their first semester before classes started. RNBC was founded at Fresno State a few years ago and was the first university to create such orientation event for a Nursing program. Many other universities have followed in Fresno State's steps by starting an orientation event also, with permission from Fresno State.