Frequently asked questions

What are the average GPA and GRE scores for accepted students?

For the most recent cohort of admitted entry to practice students, the average GPA was 3.7 and the average total GRE score was 307. These numbers represent the average GPA and GRE scores, but it does not mean that applicants with a lower GPA and/or total GRE score were not accepted, nor that applicants with a lower GPA and/or total GRE score should not apply. Scores on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE are considered in the admissions process.

When should I take the GRE?

The GRE must be taken within 5 years of application. The GRE must be taken no later than March 14 of the year prior to matriculation (for example: March 14, 2019 if applying for entry in 2020.) Your unofficial GRE score reports must be submitted on or before the deadline.


Who can serve as a reference?

Applicants must submit three professional references, one of which must be provided by the immediate supervisor responsible for the applicant’s performance evaluations. Other professional references can be obtained from colleagues, physicians or clinical educators. References are submitted electronically through the VCU Graduate School application.


Do I need experience in an intensive care unit or would experience in other areas qualify?

Admitted students must have worked in a critical care setting for at least one year prior to admission. Experience in areas other than an intensive care unit may be acceptable for admission if the applicant can demonstrate competence in the areas outlined in the definition of critical care experience in the COA Standards. Operating room and ICU step-down unit experiences do not fulfill this requirement. An applicant’s experience and degree(s) must be completed by the time of matriculation, not the time of application submission.

How many applicants do you accept each year?

  • Richmond: 20 – 24
  • Abingdon: 6 – 8
  • Roanoke: 5 – 6
  • Northern Virginia: 5 – 6


When will I be notified of an interview?

Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted by phone or email. Notifications will be sent starting in April.


Are all applicants granted an interview?

Meeting the minimum criteria for admission does not guarantee that an applicant will be invited for an interview. The admissions committee reviews all completed applications after the deadline to determine which candidates will be invited to interview.


Do you offer preparatory courses?



Do I need a bachelor's degree in nursing to be considered?

No. A baccalaureate degree in a related science field is acceptable (e.g.: B.S. in chemistry, biology, etc). Please note, all applicants must hold a valid license as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the U.S., its territories, or protectorates.


Can I take courses from the curriculum before being accepted into the program?

No. Students cannot take courses that count toward degree requirements prior to being accepted into the program.