University of Illinois at Chicago Nursing School Review

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is among the most prestigious universities in the nation. The college can trace its roots to 1858 as the Chicago College of Pharmacy. The University of Chicago-Illinois was established in 1982 as a merger of the Medical Campus and Chicago Circle campus. More than 27,000 students are enrolled in the engineering, nursing, business and other programs offered at the university’s 15 colleges.

The university educates a large number of health professionals including doctors, nurses and pharmacists in one of the largest medical centers in the nation. The programs at the University of Illinois-Chicago are among the most competitive, and the university also offers the opportunity for students to gain research experience. The Higher Learning Commission accredits the University of Illinois-Chicago. Other campuses in the University of Illinois system include Springfield and Urbana-Champaign.

Nursing Programs

BSN and MSN programs at the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The Nurse Midwifery Program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program is accredited by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB). The College of Nursing has four regional campuses with nursing programs in Peoria, Quad Cities, Rockford and Urbana. Nursing programs at the College of Nursing are rated among the top 20 in various categories of U.S. News and World Reports’ ranking of nursing programs.

University of Illinois-Chicago Undergraduate Nursing Programs

Traditional BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)

High school graduates and students with some college credit are candidates for the BSN program at the University of Illinois-Chicago. This program prepares students to take the licensing exam for Registered Nurses (RNs), the NCLEX-RN and awards the BSN qualification. The BSN nursing program at the University of Illinois is selective and competitive; admission criteria include a minimum 2.75 GPA. The BSN program is an upper division program, which admits students upon completion of 57 credits including general education and nursing course pre-requisites. The BSN program can be completed in 2 years, and is only available for students who can pursue full-time study.

RN-BSN Completion Option

The RN-BSN (Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing) Completion Option is for students with an RN who seek advanced career opportunities by earning a BSN. Offered through the School of Continuing Studies, the RN-BSN program is delivered entirely online. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a BSN through the School of Nursing.

University of Illinois-Chicago Graduate Nursing Programs

Traditional MS (also known as MSN-Master of Science in Nursing)

Students with a BSN may pursue a variety of areas of study leading to an MSN as a Nurse Practitioner (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), or Advanced Practice Nurse (APN; also known as APRN-Advanced Practice Registered Nurse). The MSN programs offer many opportunities for interdisciplinary study through joint-degree programs. Students can choose from numerous specializations, many linked with other departments.

MSN Areas of Specialization

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Administrative Studies in Nursing

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Advanced Community Health Nurse

Family Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

Occupational Health/Advanced Community Health Nurse

Occupational Health/Family Nurse Practitioner

Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

School/Advanced Community Health Nurse

School/Family Nurse Practitioner

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

MSN Joint Degree Programs

All joint degree programs award an MSN, Administrative Studies specialization along with the degree listed.

MS/MBA (Master of Business Administration joint degree)

MS/MSHI (MS in Health Informatics)

MS/MPH (Master of Public Health)

MS Transition Program

RNs with a bachelor’s degree outside the nursing field may complete the MSN Transition program which requires up to 4 additional courses (in an online format) in addition to the Traditional MSN program.

Graduate Entry Program (GEP)

The Graduate Entry Program (GEP) is for students with a degree in a field other than nursing and without a nursing license who would like to pursue an MSN. As part of the course, students take the NCLEX-RN and earn an MSN. The same options for the Traditional MS are available for the GEP.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

MSN-PhD (Master of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing)

The PhD program prepares students for a career as a scholar and researcher through mentoring, individualized study programs and courses taught by highly qualified faculty researchers. The program requires 64 additional credits from the 32 earned in the master’s degree for a total of 96 credits. Students should consult with an advisor to determine the credits required for their individual program of study.

BSN-PhD (Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing)

The BSN-PhD program requires 96 credits of study after the BSN degree. Students have the option of pursuing only the PhD without an MSN qualification.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

All courses for the MSN-DNP are taught online. Students may choose from the specialties listed for the MSN program as well as an additional specialty as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (open to all DNP tracks). A specialization in Executive Leadership is available only to nurses holding an MSN with management experience. The program can be completed in 90-96 credits.


As with the BSN-PhD course, students may choose to earn the DNP without an MSN. In this case, the student’s may choose from the specializations offered for the MSN. The program requires approximately 90-103 credits. The program is delivered in a hybrid format.

Transition DNP

RNs with a degree in a field other than nursing are eligible to apply for the Transition DNP program. Students in this program will take up to 4 additional courses. The Transition DNP has the same study and specialization options as the MSN-DNP and BSN-DNP.

University of Illinois-Chicago Nursing Certificate Programs

Administrative Nursing Leadership

Advanced Practice Cardiometabolic Nursing

Advanced Practice Forensic Nursing

Advanced Practice Palliative Care Nursing

CNS and NP/Midwifery Post-master’s Certificate

School Nurse

Teaching/Learning in Nursing and Health Science

Post-Master’s Certificates

Most areas of master’s study for the MSN are also available to nurse’s with an MSN who want to specialize their degree by earning an MSN certificate. All areas listed under MSN areas of study are open to students except the following:

Occupational Health/Advanced Community Health Nurse

School/Advanced Community Health Nurse (See School Nurse Certificate)

Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health NP (See CNS and NP Certificate)

The latter two options are available in certificate form with a slightly different specialization.

University of Illinois-Chicago Health Resources and Centers

The University of Illinois-Chicago is home to various health care resources and centers, which students in healthcare and nursing programs will find useful. The Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, the Cancer Center and the Center for Cardiovascular Research are resources for nurses who would like to specialize in area of study.

University of Illinois at Chicago
1200 W Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60607

[wpgmza id=”311″]