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ABSN FAQs

Q:  What does ABSN stand for?
A:  ABSN stands for Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Q:  Which campuses offer the ABSN?
A:  The ABSN program is offered on three campuses:  Oakland, San Mateo and Sacramento.

Q:  What are the start terms for ABSN?
A:  The ABSN program has start terms three times a year:  Fall (November), Spring (January), and Summer (April, May and June). 

Q:  Which campus starts when?
A:  Oakland (May only); San Mateo (November, January, April and June) and Sacramento (January only).

Q:  How long is the ABSN program?
A:  The ABSN program is 12 months in length.

Q:  What degree do I get when I complete the program?
A:  The degree received is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Q:  How many spots are available in the program?
A:  The exact number varies a little per campus.  Most campuses accept 48 new students per term, so a total of approximately 288 ABSN spots per year.

Q:  When do my prerequisites have to be completed?
A:  It is highly recommended that your prerequisites be completed prior to submitting an application.  However, it is very likely we will consider applicants who have prerequisites either in progress or planned.  But the more prerequisites that are in progress or planned, the less competitive your application will be.  All prerequisites must be completed prior to the start of the program; under no circumstances can you finish prerequisites concurrently with the ABSN program.

Q:  Is there a standardized test that is required as part of the admission process?
A:  Yes.  We require the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS).  Please click here for a list of FAQs about the TEAS:  http://www.samuelmerritt.edu/nursing/teas_faq

Q:  What GPAs are used in determining admission?
A:  We calculate two GPAs.  The science GPA is calculated using the prerequisites of Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology and Chemistry.  The other GPA is calculated on your most recent 60 semester or 90 quarter units, starting with your most recent work first. 

Q:  What are the minimum GPAs required for admission?
A:  It is highly recommended that both the science GPA and the 60 unit GPA be a 3.0 or higher.  However, we do not use that has a cut off factor, as the GPA is only one component of the admission process.

Q:  Can I have my transcripts looked at to see which prerequisites have been met?
A:  Yes.  You can schedule a counseling appointment for that purpose.  Or you may electronically attach a copy of your transcripts and email them to us with that request:  admission@samuelmerritt.edu.

Q:  Can I repeat a course?
A:  Yes.  But a pattern of repeated courses may raise a red flag to the reviewers of your application.  If a course is repeated, only the most recent grade is included in the GPA.

Q:  I am confused about where I can take Pharmacology and Pathophysiology.  Can you help me?
A:  These classes are more difficult to find.  There is an approved list of courses for these two prerequisites on our website.  We are always willing to consider additions to this list, but under no circumstances should you take a class not on this list without getting it approved from us first.  Please contact eberdali@samuelmerritt.edu if there is a course you are interested in taking that is not on the approved list.

Q:  How do I find out about the Pharmacology and Pathophysiology courses taught online through Samuel Merritt?
A:  These courses are offered three times a year:  Fall, Spring and Summer and information is on the website.  These classes fill up quickly, so you will want to plan ahead.

Q:  Does SMU utilize the centralized application available through NursingCAS?
A:  No, that application did not work well for our applicant pool.

Q:  Where do I get an application for admission?
A:  Applications are available on our website, http://www.samuelmerritt.edu/admission/application.  Please be sure to use the application intended for the ABSN program.  Please read all directions carefully.

Q:  When will I be notified of a decision?
A:  It is a process for both the Admission Office and the faculty to review all of the applications.  While we make every attempt to get decisions out as soon as possible, this process generally takes about 4 months after the deadline date.

Q:  I missed the application deadline, may I still submit an application?
A:  Maybe.  You will need to work one on one with an Admission Counselor to determine that.  However, for us to even consider a late application, you must have completed the TEAS and all the prerequisites.

Q:  Can I apply to more than one campus per term?
A:  No and it is complicated.  You should apply to only one campus per term (Summer, Spring and Fall).  There is space on the application to indicate a 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice campus as applicable for the term you are applying.  Initially we will consider you for your 1st choice campus only, but eventually we may be able to accommodate you at another campus if your 1st choice campus is unavailable.

Q:  Can I apply to both ABSN and ELMSN?
A:  Yes and it is complicated.  They are different programs with a different focus and different degrees.  You really should do your research to determine which program best meets your needs.  However, if you are genuinely interested in both programs, you must complete two separate applications, submit two application fees and two completely separate supporting documents, including transcripts and letters of recommendation.  It is not possible for us to copy information from one file for another file.

Q:  I have more questions.  What do I do?
A:  It is not surprising.  It is not possible to provide the answer to every single question any student will ever have about the ABSN program.  There is a lot of information to be shared.  Please read our website carefully.  You are welcome to contact us by email, admission@samuelmerritt.edu.  You are also welcome to call to schedule a counseling appointment to sit down one-on-one with an Admission Counselor.