Skip to Content

College of Nursing

Faculty and student

Certificates of Graduate Studies

If you have already earned an MSN degree, earning a Certificate of Graduate Studies from the College of Nursing allows you to gain certification in another clinical specialty, nursing administration or informatics.

Application Deadlines

 Fall admission, November 1 – March 1

 

Advanced practice nurses are in high demand, and you can expand your scope of practice or change your practice focus with additional training from the College of Nursing. Choose one of three concentrations: family nurse practitioner, adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. 

As the health care field rapidly grows and becomes more complex, master’s-prepared nurses with specialized training in leadership or informatics are also sought after to improve team management and care delivery on a systemic level.  

The certificate programs’ online course format allows you to earn while you learn and study on your own schedule. If you are enrolled in an APRN specialty, you may be required to travel to the Columbia campus at least twice per semester during clinical rotations.

Upon graduation, you will be eligible to apply for national certification exams in your specialty area of study.

Each certificate program has separate application deadlines and program start dates.

  • Clinical specialty programs (FNP, AGACNP and PMHNP): Applications may be submitted April 1 – Aug. 1. Classes start in the spring semester.
  • Nursing Administration program: Applications may be submitted Nov. 1 – March 1, April 1 – Aug. 1, and Aug. 1 – Nov. 1. Classes start during the fall, spring and summer semesters.
  • Nursing Informatics program: Applications may be submitted Aug. 1 – Nov. 1. Classes start during the summer semester.

Apply to Graduate School

The Graduate School coordinates online applications to our master's and doctoral programs. There may be supporting materials that are required along with your online application for graduate admission, so be sure to review the requirements before you apply.

When completing your application, please make sure to select the correct program name. Program names listed through the Graduate School and corresponding CON programs: Advanced Practice Nursing - Certificate (These include the concentrations of):

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) – spring semester admission only
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) – spring semester admission only
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) – spring semester admission, summer admission for ARPNs
  • Nursing Administration – CGS (This corresponds with the Nursing Administration – Organizational Leadership (NA) Program) – fall, spring and summer semester admission
  • Nursing Informatics – summer semester admission

Applicants for the FNP, PMHNP and AGACNP program should apply for spring admission. If, after application review, the candidate qualifies for the 18-hour certificate program, the student will matriculate in the summer rather than the spring. All candidates qualifying for the 27-hour program will matriculate in the spring.

Accreditation

The Master of Science in Nursing Degree programs at the University of South Carolina are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education through 2021. Our programs also meet the standards for American Nurses Association Credentialing Center, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing.

State Authorization

Although the University of South Carolina is a member of SARA, some state Boards of Nursing or state higher education commissions have recently started imposing restrictions for offering distance education courses within their state. Check to see if our online programs are open to residents in your state.

For the most up-to-date cost information, visit the Bursar’s Office Tuition and Fees website.

To be eligible for graduation, a candidate must

  • complete an approved program of study
  • have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and earn a 3.0 or better in all required classes and courses number 700 or higher
  • complete clinical hours

Financial aid is available through the university’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and the College of Nursing. You must complete the FAFSA form to be eligible for financial aid.

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation. The Graduate School provides these details about the College of Nursing’s Certificate of Graduate Studies programs.

 

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing degrees from a nationally accredited program and evidence of credentialing within the applicant’s specialty
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for graduate coursework (official transcripts for all graduate coursework are required). Applicants who attend(ed) a graduate program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework (official transcripts for all nursing coursework are required). Applicants who attended a BSN or MSN program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Minimum of one year of full-time equivalent nursing experience (1,800 hours) within the past 24 months. AGACNP and FNP applicants: preferred clinical experience in an acute care setting (ICU, critical care, medical/surgical or emergency department). PMHNP applicants:  preferred clinical experience includes psych or related field.
  • Submit a personal statement that addresses the following: Describe the advanced practice role (FNP, AGACNP, PMHNP) and scope for which you are seeking certification. Describe how this program will advance your professional goals.
  • Current CV or Resume (In addition to your education and professional experiences, include any certifications, leadership experiences, experiences with diverse or underserved population, paid or volunteer healthcare experiences.)
  • Provide evidence of completion of graduate level courses in Health/Physical Assessment (across the lifespan), Physiology/Pathophysiology (across the lifespan) and pharmacology (broad categories of drugs). These must be three separate courses that meet current criteria for content based on the Consensus Model for APRN regulation (AACN, 2008).
  • Three (3) recommendations that attest to the applicant’s academic ability, professional competency and personal character. These letters must be from master’s- or doctoral-prepared health care professionals.
  • AGACNP program applicants: current BLS and ACLS.
  • FNP and PMHNP program applicants: current BLS.
  • Copy of current APRN specialty certification.
  • Unencumbered, active advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license in state where clinical experiences will occur.
  • GRE not required.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from a nationally accredited program.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for graduate coursework (official transcripts for all graduate coursework are required). Applicants who attend a graduate program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework (official transcripts for all post-secondary school coursework are required).  Applicants who attended a BSN or MSN program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Minimum of one year of full-time equivalent nursing experience (1,800 hours) within the past 24 months. AGACNP and FNP applicants: preferred clinical experience in an acute care setting (ICU, critical care, medical/surgical or emergency department). PMHNP applicants:  preferred clinical experience includes psych or related field.
  • Submit a personal statement that addresses the following: Describe the advanced practice role (FNP, AGACNP, PMHNP) and scope for which you are seeking certification. Describe how this program will advance your professional goals.
  • Current CV or Resume (In addition to your education and professional experiences, include any certifications, leadership experiences, experiences with diverse or underserved population, paid or volunteer healthcare experiences.)
  • Three (3) recommendations that attest to the applicant’s academic ability, professional competency and personal character. These letters must be from a master’s- or doctoral- prepared health care professional.
  • AGACNP program applicants: current BLS and ACLS.
  • FNP and PMHNP program applicants: current BLS.
  • Unencumbered, active registered nurse license in state where clinical experiences will occur. This includes telehealth visits (South Carolina) for PMHNP Certificate of Graduate Studies.
  • GRE not required.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from a nationally accredited program and evidence of credentialing within the applicant’s specialty.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for graduate coursework (official transcripts for all graduate coursework are required). Applicants who attend(ed) a graduate program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework (official transcripts for all nursing coursework are required). Applicants who attended a BSN or MSN program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Submit a personal statement that addresses the following: Describe your plan for obtaining a preceptor and/or project site. In addition, describe your plan for your project.
  • Current CV or Resume (In addition to your education and professional experiences, include any certifications, leadership experiences, experiences with diverse or underserved population, paid or volunteer healthcare experiences.)
  • Three (3) recommendations that attest to the applicant’s academic ability, professional competency and personal character. These letters must be from a master’s- or doctoral- prepared health care professional.
  • Unencumbered, active registered nurse (RN) license in state where clinical experiences will occur.
  • GRE not required.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from a nationally accredited program and evidence of credentialing within the applicant’s specialty.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for graduate coursework (official transcripts for all graduate coursework are required). Applicants who attend(ed) a graduate program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Preferred cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework (official transcripts for all nursing coursework are required). Applicants who attended a BSN or MSN program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be considered competitive applicants.
  • Submit a personal statement that reflects certificate program outcomes.
  • Current CV or Resume (In addition to your education and professional experiences, include any certifications, leadership experiences, experiences with diverse or underserved population, paid or volunteer healthcare experiences.)
  • Three (3) recommendations that attest to the applicant’s academic ability, professional competency and personal character. These letters must be from a master’s- or doctoral- prepared health care professional.
  • Unencumbered, active registered nurse (RN) license in state where clinical experiences will occur.
  • GRE not required.

 

Projected Curriculum

The Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program prepares the nurse to provide health care services to acutely ill adults and gerontology patients with complex health problems.

The AGACNP CGS program is a total of 19 credits (25 for non-APRNs) and takes five semesters to complete. Program includes didactic, clinical and immersion requirements.

Spring Year 1

  • NURS 702 - Pharmacological Management of Pediatric, Adult and Gerontological Patients Across the Lifespan (non-APRNs)
  • NURS 707 - Advanced Pathophysiology for Nurses (non-APRNs)
  • NURS 720 - Clinical Application of Population Analysis (APRNs only)

Summer Year 1

  • NURS 704 - Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning+ (non-APRNs)
  • NURS 718 - Diagnostic Interpretation and Therapeutic Modalities

Fall Year 1

  • NURS 786 - Management of Acute Care Adult and Gerontological Health Problems I*

Spring Year 2

  • NURS 787 - Management of Acute Care Adult and Gerontological Health Problems II+*

Summer Year 2

  • NURS 796 - Advanced Practice Practicum: AGACNP*

+ On campus immersion
* Course requires clinical hours (672 total clinical hours required)

The Family Nurse Practitioner program prepares the nurse to provide primary health care across the lifespan.

The FNP CGS program is a total of 18 credits (30 for non-APRNs) and takes four semesters (six semesters for non-APRNs) to complete. Program includes didactic, clinical and immersion requirements.

Spring Year 1

  • NURS 702 - Pharmacological Management of Pediatric, Adult and Gerontological Patients Across the Lifespan (non-APRNs)
  • NURS 707 - Advanced Pathophysiology for Nurses (non-APRNs)
  • NURS 706 - Primary Care Nursing of Children+ (APRNs only)

Summer Year 1

  • NURS 704 - Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning+ (non-APRNs)
  • NURS 718 - Diagnostic Interpretation and Therapeutic Modalities
  • NURS 758 - Acute Problems in Primary Care for the FNP* (APRNs only)

Fall Year 1

  • NURS 706 - Primary Care Nursing of Children+ (non-APRNs)
  • NURS 759 - Management of Common Chronic Health Problems for the FNP+* (APRNs only)

Spring Year 2

  • NURS 758 - Acute Problems in Primary Care for the FNP* (non-APRNs)
  • NURS 793 - Advanced Practice Practicum for Emphasis Area: Primary Care (FNP)* (APRNs only)

Summer Year 2

  • NURS 759 - Management of Common Chronic Health Problems for the FNP+* (non-APRNs) 

Fall Year 2

  • NURS 793 - Advanced Practice Practicum for Emphasis Area: Primary Care (FNP)* (non-APRNs)

+ On campus immersion
* Course requires clinical hours (672 total hours required)

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program prepares the nurse to provide psychiatric mental health services to clients/patients across the lifespan in various settings.

The PMHNP CGS program is a total of 20 credits (30 for non-APRNs) and takes three semesters (six semesters for non-APRNs) to complete. Program includes didactic, clinical and immersion requirements.

Spring Year 1

  • NURS 702 - Pharmacological Management of Pediatric, Adult and Gerontological Patients Across the Lifespan (non-APRNs)
  • NURS 707 - Advanced Pathophysiology for Nurses (non-APRNs)

Summer Year 1

  • NURS 718 - Diagnostic Interpretation and Therapeutic Modalities
  • NURS 761 - Neurological Basis of Behavior and Psychopharmacological Treatment

Fall Year 1

  • NURS 704 - Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning+ (non-APRNs)
  • NURS 764 - Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practicum II: Management of Complex Psychiatric/Mental Health Conditions* (APRNs only)

Spring Year 2

  • NURS 763 - Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practicum I: Management of Psychiatric/Mental Health Conditions*
  • NURS 768 - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: Legal, Ethical, and Role Transition* (APRNs only)

Summer Year 2

  • NURS 764 - Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practicum II: Management of Complex Psychiatric/Mental Health Conditions* (non-APRNs)

Fall Year 2

  • NURS 798 - Advanced Practice Practicum: PMHNP Across the Lifespan* (non-APRNs)

+ On campus immersion
* Course requires clinical hours (672 total hours required)

The Nursing Administration program prepares the nurse to be a key leader in health organizations.

The program can be completed within one year, either through full-time or part-time study.

  • Full-time: two courses per seven-week term; two terms per academic semester
  • Part-time: one course per seven-week term; two terms per academic semester 

Projected Curriculum

  • NURS 734 - Conceptual Basis of Health Systems
  • NURS 738 - Financing Health Care
  • NURS 740 - Facilitative Processes in Nursing Administration (Pre-requisite to NURS 741)
  • NURS 741* - Coordinating Processes in Nursing Administration (Pre-requisite to NURS 742)
  • NURS 742* - Integrative Processes in Nursing Administration

* NURS 741 and NURS 742 require a precepted leadership experience of 112 hours each in an approved clinical or other healthcare organizational setting, for a total of 224 hours.

The Nursing Informatics program prepares the nurse to identify and manage health care data to support clinicians and patients in decision making and improve health outcomes.

The Certificate in Nursing Informatics CGS program is a total of 18 credits and takes four semesters to complete.

Fall Year 1

  • NURS 775 - Foundations in Nursing Informatics
  • ITEC 764 - Project Management for Health Information Systems

Spring Year 2

  • ITEC 770 - Health Database Systems
  • NURS 738 - Financing Health Care

Summer Year 2

  • NURS 734 - Conceptual Basis of Health Systems

Fall Year 2

  • NURS 777 - Nursing Informatics Practicum

 

Contact Us

Have additional questions about the graduate certificates programs?

Phone: 803-777-7412
Email: NURSGRAD@mailbox.sc.edu

Address: 
Williams-Brice Building, Room 208
1601 Greene St.
Columbia, SC 29208


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

©