Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The Duke University School of Nursing is aware of the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to students, as well as colleges and universities around the world. To ensure equity throughout our holistic application review process, transcripts and other admissions documents relating to the Spring 2020 term that have been impacted by COVID-19 will be considered. Specifically, regardless of whether the decision was made by student or institution, there will be no penalty to applicants with transcripts showing a grade of Pass/Fail, or other similar grading options that differ from traditional grading scale.

2021 Best Graduate Nursing School graphicOur Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program offers eight advanced practice registered nurse majors and three non-clinical majors. You also have the option of adding a specialty to your course of study.

The master's degree in nursing at the Duke University School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


All of the following majors are offered as distance-based or online programs. All majors will have required on-campus activities for a few of their courses. In these courses, students will be required to come to campus at least once every semester for two- to five-day intensives with faculty and other experts where face-to-face interactions, simulation and hands-on activities will be conducted.

Clinical Core Courses and Clinical Residency

Each major requires you to complete 11 credit hours of clinical core courses. As a final synthesis experience, students are required to complete a final clinical residency under the mentorship of an experienced clinician in their respective area of expertise. The minimum number of credit hours required for completion of the MSN degree varies by major, ranging from 42 to 49 credit hours.

Clinical experience requirements for the MSN degree in all majors meet or exceed the requirements of national credentialing organizations such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP), American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), National Certification Corporation (NCC) and Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB). Upon graduation, students are qualified to sit for the appropriate certification examination.

Specialty Certificates

Groupings of courses pertaining to an advanced practice specialty are available within certain majors. If you wish to include a specialty in your course of study, you should consult your advisor in order to determine if the specialty is appropriate for and available in your major. The following specialties are currently available:

Pathway to a DNP Degree

Apply to the Duke MSN program today.


Embracing Diversity For An Engaged Community

Embracing diversity is a crucial component for engaging with students, faculty, and the world. We think of it as diversity with a global perspective. Creating a learning climate where creativity, robust yet respectful debate, and a genuine respect for others can flourish. Fostering international research collaborations, developing global health initiatives, and coordinating access to health care for under-served populations. Educating next-generation nurses for leadership and service in the global community.

Diversity with a global perspective assures a warm welcome—not mere tolerance—for differences in national origin, race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or veteran status.

We provide a safe haven where diversity can spawn intellectual engagement and collaborative partnerships.

Scroll back to top automatically