Program Requirements

The Master of Science (Nursing) degree program is offered in conjunction with MU Graduate Studies and is part of a long tradition in graduate education at the University of Missouri.

Students must meet the specified program criteria in order to be awarded the MS(N) degree in either the Leadership in Nursing and Healthcare System or Nurse Educator areas of study.

MS(N) Curriculum

All students pursuing the MS(N) degree must complete a minimum of 33 to 41 credit hours of graduate coursework. Credit hours vary depending upon the student’s area of study. Previous graduate-level coursework from another institution may be accepted toward the degree depending upon transcript review.

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 in order to graduate.


In addition to the Course Requirements, all Masters Students are required to complete either a Thesis or Masters Examination. The Master’s Thesis (N8090) requires independent research aimed at the discovery and/or development of elements or relationships derived from a nursing theory. A formal written report using guidelines established by MU Graduate Studies and the American Psychological Association Manual is required. This course enables the student to use the research process in a systematic inquiry of elements or relationships within nursing theory. The student may employ descriptive or experimental research methodologies.

The Master’s Thesis Project provides each student with the opportunity to:

  • generate a research question within a theory,
  • formulate and implement a research design, and
  • make recommendations for replication, revisions, or future investigations

Master’s Exam

The Master’s Examination (MS exam) consists of a paper that should reflect the graduate student’s grasp and synthesis of the clinical and theoretical knowledge gained in the course of study.

The MS exam is offered on a pass/fail basis. The student is encouraged to identify the focus for the MS exam early in the graduate program.

The overall purpose of the MS exam is to evaluate the student’s ability to

  1. apply advanced theoretical knowledge in a selected area of specialization, and
  2. to critique research as it relates to the area of specialization.

MS EXam resources

An introductory seminar about the MS exam is offered during summer orientation. A copy of this presentation is available on the MS(N) web site.

Further details about the Master’s examination process are in the Graduate Handbook.