Admissions Requirements Policy and FAQ

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Freshman Direct Admission 

The Freshman Direct Admission Program that is designed for currently enrolled high school students who are preparing to enter PBA after graduation.  Students who are admitted into the Freshman Direct Admission program will have an uninterrupted path to the upper division with no further application required.  Freshman Direct Admission students may take nursing courses each semester, maintaining a strong connection to the School of Nursing throughout their time at PBA.

To be eligible for this program applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • High school GPA 3.50 on a 4.0 scale
  • ACT 25 (preferred) or SAT 1220

Admissions will send qualified high school seniors a link to the web page with supplemental information that the School of Nursing requires.  If accepted by the School of Nursing, candidates must complete a background check, fingerprint, and drug test before starting clinical nursing courses (NUR 2012).


How do I apply for Freshman Direct Admission?

Simply apply to the university and indicate nursing as your major.  If you are qualified, Admissions will send you a link to the web page form. with the additional information required.  Spots are limited, so early application is encouraged. Apply Now!


Competitive Admission

Students who are not qualified for Freshman Direct (including transfer students) may enroll as Lower Division Nursing Students and apply for Competitive Admission to the Upper Division.  Competitive Application is usually made by October 1 for a Spring start and by March 1 for a Fall start. See Application Process for information on how to apply for Competitive Admission.


Who is eligible for Guaranteed Admission?

Students who are not eligible for Freshman Direct Admission, or who miss the deadline, or who change majors once at PBA are eligible for Guaranteed Admission if they started as freshman at PBA. They must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a Science/Math GPA of 3.0 or higher in required classes by October 1/March 1. They must also take the TEAS exam and receive a Total Individual Score of 74 or better by October 1/March 1. Guaranteed Admissions students must complete the same application as Competitive Admission students but do not actually compete for spots in the Upper Division. Transfer students are not eligible for Guaranteed Admission.


When do Upper Division nursing classes start?

Upper division classes start in either the spring or fall.  Upon acceptance, students will take Introduction to Nursing, Fundamentals of Nursing & Clinical and Health Assessment.


When should I apply?

To obtain the best chance of being accepted, Transfer students should apply by October 1 for the Spring Start and May 1 for the Fall Start.  If the class is not full, the Admissions Committee will review applications once a month until the class is full.  The earlier you apply, the better your chances of being accepted.  The Admissions Committee gives priority to current PBA students, who should apply by October 1 for the Spring start and by March 1 for the Fall start.

Ideal timeline for Admission to the Upper Division Nursing Major:

For Transfer Students:

  • Apply to the upper division: October 1 for Spring or May 1 for Fall
  • Acceptance letters sent:  mid-October or mid-May
  • Students confirm acceptance: within 2 weeks of acceptance notification
  • Enroll in Introduction to Nursing, Health Assessment, Fundamentals of Nursing & Clinical and finish any needed prerequisites.

For Currently Enrolled Students:

  • Apply to the upper division: October 1 for Spring or March 1 for Fall
  • Acceptance letters sent:  mid-October or mid-March
  • Students confirm acceptance: within 2 weeks of acceptance notification
  • Enroll in Introduction to Nursing, Health Assessment, Fundamentals of Nursing & Clinical and finish any needed prerequisites.


How do I become a Lower Division Nursing Student?

Admission to the Lower Division nursing major is not selective.  Any student may declare Nursing as a major by declaring it upon admission or filling out a Change of Major form. However, the required course work is rigorous and demanding. It is strongly recommended to meet with a Nursing Academic advisor when considering a change of major to Nursing.

The Upper Division is selective and competitive. You must meet the minimum requirements by October 1 of your Sophomore year for guaranteed admission. Meeting the minimum requirements later than October 1 is not a guarantee of admission to the Upper Division--at that point it becomes competitive.  Students who are not admitted to the Upper Division may not take nursing classes without special permission (classes with a "NUR" title).


How many students do you accept each year?

The School of Nursing accepts approximately 45 students into the Upper Division each semester (fall, spring). 


What is this Entrance Exam?

The School of Nursing uses the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS v.6) as part of the application process.  It covers reading comprehension, math, basic English grammar and human life science.  Students may retake it after 30 days, but no more than three times. More information about the TEAS is available at


When do I take it?

Generally, you should take the TEAS as early as possible, so that you may retake it if you are not satisfied with your score.  For incoming freshman, we recommend that you take the TEAS in the summer following your Freshman year.


What score is passing?

There is no "passing" score for the TEAS; there is only more or less competitive; however, a score of 68.7 is needed for PBA to review an application Generally speaking, a score of 60th percentile (score of 74) is quite competitive.  A Total Individual score of 74 is needed for Guaranteed Admission.

You may wish to study for the TEAS.  A Study Manual is available directly from ATI or the Campus Bookstore.


What are the required courses?

General education courses with an asterisk must be completed prior to beginning nursing clinical courses.  Those without an asterisk must be completed prior to graduation.

  •  Anatomy & Physiology I & II* - 8 credits
  •  Chemistry with lab* - 4 credits
  •  English* - 6 credits
  •  Statistics*  - 3 credits
  •  Microbiology* -  4 credits
  •  Nutrition*-  3 credits
  •  Lifespan Development* - 3 credits
  •  First Year Experience*  - 1 credit
  •  Humanities I, II, III* -  9 credits
  •  Public Speaking* - 3 credits
  •  General Psychology* - 3 credits
  •  Exploring the Bible - 3 credits
  •  Art Elective - 2 credits
  •  Freedom in American Society - 3 credits
  •  Christian Values and Biblical Faith - 3 credits



Students with an A.A. degree from an accredited college or university may articulate into the nursing program.  This also applies to students with a prior bachelor's degree.  Courses with an asterisk must be completed prior to beginning clinical courses, but not necessarily prior to applying for the program.

  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II* - 8 credits
  •  Chemistry with lab* - 4 credits
  •  English* - 6 credits
  •  Statistics* - 3 credits
  •  Microbiology* - 4 credits
  •  Nutrition* - 3 credits
  •  Lifespan Development* - 3 credits
  •  General Psychology* - 3 credits
  •  Exploring the Bible - 3 credits
  •  Freedom in American Society - 3 credits
  •  Christian Values and Biblical Faith - 3 credits


Are there opportunities for Missions?

The School of Nursing sponsors an annual medical mission trip to El Salvador each year during Spring Break. We have an excellent partnership with a ministry in Santa Ana which allows students to assist the mission doctor in the clinic, go on home visits to do health assessments and referrals, teach health lessons in local schools and distribute food to those in great need.

Additionally, Palm Beach County is a very diverse geographic region with very rich clinical experiences, where you will care for patients from all over the world without ever leaving the county.  There are a number of ways for students to engage in cross-cultural service without going anywhere.  PBA and the School of Nursing encourages students to participate in active local ministries and community service. 

There are also other traditional medical missions available in partnership with the School of Pharmacy and Gregory Center for Medical Missions.  Nursing students have participated in missions to such diverse locations as Haiti, Nicaragua, Brazil, and Uganda, and the Congo.


Is there anything else I should know?

  • All nursing students must complete a background check (with fingerprints) and a drug test before clinical courses.
  • Academic dishonesty, including cheating, plagiarism, lying about patient care, and falsifying documentation are grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.
  • The first week of classes (e.g., Introduction, Health Assessment) the School of Nursing administers an additional diagnostic test.  Students failing will be dismissed.
  • The School of Nursing administers standardized tests throughout the curriculum.  Repeated failure of a standardized test may result in failure of a course.


Final Thoughts

Nursing is a very challenging but rewarding profession.  You will have the opportunity to impact your patients’ lives and the lives of their families in ways that you cannot possibly imagine.  With great power comes great responsibility.  If you are dedicated and willing to put in the time and effort, the Palm Beach Atlantic University School of Nursing can help you become a successful nurse beyond your wildest dreams.