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Admission Requirements


In addition to Onondaga Community College’s general admission requirements, the cumulative average on your most recent high school or college transcript
must be 2.6, 77, or C+ or higher. (N.B. Grades will not be rounded and better than a C is required.)

Before your application to the program can be considered, you must have the following prerequisites:

  1. High school diploma or its equivalent.
  2. Designated level on standardized nursing preadmission test. No more than two attempts will be allowed.
  3. Two mathematics requirements:
    1. Demonstrated eligibility for enrollment in MAT 114 at Onondaga within two years prior to matriculation in Nursing as determined by the Onondaga mathematics placement test or equivalent coursework
    2. After demonstration of eligibility to enroll in MAT 114, achievement of at least 80% in all sections of a Nursing Math Entrance Exam taken within two years prior to matriculation in Nursing. No more than two attempts will be allowed.
  4. Completion of one year of high school biology, or BIO 121 (preferred), 151, 152 or equivalent, within 7 years prior to matriculation in Nursing. A hands-on laboratory is a required component of these courses.
  5. Completion of one year of high school chemistry or CHE 151, general chemistry or equivalent within seven years prior to matriculation in Nursing. A laboratory is not required for these courses.
  6. Placement into college-level English and reading.

NOTE: Prerequisite courses in biology and chemistry must be completed with a C+ (college), 77 (high school) or higher.

A competitive process is used for admission to Nursing with points assigned to specific criteria. Admission will be offered to qualified students in ranked order from highest to lowest, beginning at the review deadlines until all spaces are full.

Ranking points will be awarded for:

  1. Most recent cumulative G.P.A.
  2. Courses taken within the last three years of education that meet the grade requirement (science, mathematics, English).
  3. Number of attempts on preadmission tests.
  4. Previous certification as a health care provider (EMT, CNA, LPN, etc.) with documentation.
  5. New review if student met prerequisites at previous admission cycle but the program was full.

Application deadlines for prerequisites complete with supporting documentation:

  1. Summer/fall admission and readmission: March 1
  2. Spring admission and readmission: November 1

Advanced Standing Options

Students seeking advanced standing must start the sequence of nursing courses with an advanced placement course which is offered once a year during the summer. Students are advised to check with the Financial Aid office to determine eligibility for financial aid.

LPN Advanced Standing

Licensed Practical Nurses may receive up to 10 hours of credit based on the equivalent education in their curriculum. Students should have an official copy of their LPN transcript sent to the College prior to acceptance into the program. At least three semesters of nursing courses will be required to complete the nursing component of the degree.

It is highly recommended that BIO 171 and 172 Anatomy and Physiology I and II, are completed prior to starting the Nursing Program.

Transfer Student Advanced Standing

A favorable letter of recommendation from a Chair of Nursing of a previous nursing program is required to be considered for admission into the program.  Without a favorable letter from the previous nursing program, a transfer student will not be admitted.

Students transferring nursing courses from another RN nursing program should send their application and official transcripts to Admissions. The Nursing department will review nursing credits and determine equivalency of coursework for courses with a grade of B or better.  Nursing courses over five years old will not be accepted.

It is highly recommended that BIO 171 and 172 Anatomy and Physiology I and II, are completed prior to starting the Nursing Program.

College-Level Science Courses

Required college-level science courses completed seven years or more before matriculation in the Nursing program, or with a grade less than C+, must be repeated.


See Scholarship section for sources.

The Program

The Nursing program consists of an arts and sciences component and a nursing component.  Graduates with an A.A.S. in Nursing will be able to utilize the nursing process to assist clients to maintain or restore an optimum level of independence in meeting fundamental needs or to achieve a peaceful death.

Arts and Sciences Component

The arts and sciences component includes 24 credits. (See program outline for list of arts and sciences courses required).

Nursing Component

The nursing courses are organized around the concepts of nursing process and human need theory.

Students learn and practice through individualized instruction materials (readings, multimedia materials, taped lecture information, etc.). Small group lectures and discussions are held to clarify and reinforce the material. There are rarely any large, lecture-style classes.

Each nursing course has an expected level of achievement stated. The student must satisfactorily demonstrate the required level of performance for each course. This is called competency-based education. The minimum standard of achievement remains constant but the amount of time the student spends to achieve it will vary.

Students determine their own learning needs and goals, and evaluate their own progress. The amount of time students will spend completing the material in each course will depend on their ability, interests, and available study time.  In order to promote student success in the program and on the licensing examination, a nationally normed standardized program of comprehensive assessment and review has been incorporated.

Clinical experience begins during the first semester that students are enrolled in nursing courses and continues until graduation. Students spend the first half semester of clinical in the Nursing department learning laboratory.During this time, students get to know each other and faculty, orient to the program and to the profession, and practice nursing skills to prepare for experience with clients in local hospitals. Among the agencies where students gain their clinical experience are Community General Hospital of Greater Syracuse, Crouse Hospital, University Hospital, VA Medical Center, and Syracuse Community Health Center.