Pathways to Nursing

Pathways to Nursing

Two Tracks to a Nursing Degree

Carroll College is proud to offer two different tracks for students to achieve their baccalaureate degree in Nursing. The traditional track is designed for students pursuing their first undergraduate baccalaureate degree and typically takes four years to complete. The accelerated track is designed for students who have earned a baccalaureate or higher degree in a non-nursing field and are looking to build on their previous degree(s) to achieve a second bachelor’s degree that would enable them to become a Registered Nurse.

Students seeking admission to Carroll’s Nursing major have four options for entry within the two tracks, depending on their status: 1) Direct Entry, 2) Pre-Nursing Admission, 3) Running Start/Dual Enrollment/Transfer Admission, and 4) Accelerated Nursing track for post-baccalaureate students.

When applying to Carroll, a student will be considered for Direct Entry to Carroll's nursing major if the student submits a completed application by the priority deadline of November 1, indicating Nursing as the first major of interest and if the student meets the eligibility criteria outlined below. 

Direct Entry to the nursing program requires no additional application process once the student is admitted to Carroll. As a Direct Entry nursing student, students will enroll in our pre-licensure BSN nursing curriculum beginning their first semester. Direct entry students must meet all the progression criteria to progress and maintain their placement in the nursing major. (See criteria for Admission and Progression in the Nursing Major.)

Eligibility Requirements to Apply

  • Minimum 3.30 GPA
  • Completion or enrollment of two years of science (Biology and Chemistry recommended)
  • Completion of mathematics through Intermediate Algebra (Algebra II)
  • Submission and completion of application (receipt of all supporting credentials), listing NURSING as the first major of interest.
  • While not required, applicants are welcome to submit additional information such as letters of recommendations and/or updated test scores for the committee’s consideration. All supplemental information must be received by the November 1 priority deadline.

*Please note that not all candidates meeting the minimum eligibility criteria will be selected for the Direct Entry Option.


  • November 1 – Priority Application Deadline (Apply online using the Carroll College Application)
  • January 15 – Notification of application status will be made by this date if applications were received prior to the priority deadline of November 1. At this time, applicants will receive notification of one of the following:
    • Admission to the Direct Entry Nursing program
    • Eligibility to enroll in the pre-nursing curriculum with an opportunity to apply to the nursing major during the Spring semester for admission to the nursing major for the following Fall semester
    • Eligibility to enroll at Carroll College by selecting another major.
  • March 1st – Rolling Deadline (until capacity is reached)

Offers of Admission

Students accepting Carroll's offer of admission are required to demonstrate their intent to enroll by submitting the Enrollment Reservation form and returning it with the $200 enrollment reservation fee to the Office of Admission by May 1. Please note that failure to submit the required enrollment reservation fee by May 1 will result in the forfeiture of an offer for Direct Entry. 

Applications for the nursing major are accepted in the spring semester each year for consideration of admittance into the major the following fall semester.

If you are admitted into the Pre-Nursing curriculum you will have the opportunity to apply to the Nursing major during your first year at Carroll. As a Pre-Nursing student, you must be formally accepted to the Nursing major in order to register for nursing courses. If you have listed Pre-Nursing as your major you will receive notification regarding the Nursing major admission process via your Carroll College email.

Eligibility Requirements to Apply

  1. Be admitted to Carroll College as a degree-seeking student.
  2. Complete or be enrolled in the following prerequisites with a “C-” or better at the time of application: BI 201, BI 202, CH 111, CH 112, CORE 110 or ENWR 102, Oral Communication course (e.g. CO 101 or FR 101 or SP 101), PSY 105, PSY 203.
  3. BI 201, BI 202, CH 111, CH 112, and BI 214 (or the equivalent of these courses) must have been completed within 5 years of admission to the nursing program at Carroll College. Any of these courses, taken prior to the five-year limit, may be analyzed by the nursing department for possible use depending on individual circumstances.
  4. All required science classes and labs must be face-to-face (online courses will not be accepted). The nursing department may grant an exception on a case-by-case basis for CH 112, which does not require a lab.
  5. Have an overall college career Grade Point Average of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale. (This includes all attempted credits at an accredited college or university.)
  6. Repeat or withdraw from no more than two (2) courses considered a prerequisite to nursing or nursing courses taken either at Carroll or other institutions.
  7. Complete all required coursework, to include independent study or “incompletes”, by established deadlines.
  8. Students with an academic integrity violation on file at Carroll College will be evaluated individually to determine whether they will be admitted to the nursing major.
  9. If there are more applications than spaces available, the Department will use a Priority Ranking System* based on the following criteria to select students for admission. Criteria will be applied after spring grades become available. See information below on the Priority Ranking System*.


Spring semester - Notifications regarding the Nursing major admission application will be sent to your Carroll College email if you have Pre-Nursing listed as your major.

Final decisions regarding admission to the nursing major will be made after grades from the spring semester are available. Spring grades are posted by the Friday after graduation and you will have until the following Friday to notify the nursing department and/or Registrar of any grade changes.  Please note that if there are more applications than spaces available, a Priority Ranking System will be used (see below for details).

* Priority Ranking System

1. Successful completion of items listed in items 1-9 above. 
2. Overall college career Grade Point Average (this includes all attempted credits at an accredited college or university). 
3. Selected GPA from the following Carroll courses: BI 201, BI 202, CH 111, CO 101, ENWR 102, PSY 105, PSY 203. A course from another institution must be accepted at Carroll as an equivalent course to be calculated in this selected GPA. 
4. Completion of CORE or nursing prerequisites without need for repeating courses (no D’s or F’s) or withdrawals. 
5. Current enrollment and the number of credits completed at Carroll College. Students who have completed 24 or more Carroll credits by the end of the spring semester will be ranked higher on this criteria than students who have completed at least 12 Carroll credits. 
6. No academic integrity violation on file in the Registrar’s Office at Carroll College. 
7. A standardized exam to measure aptitude for nursing success, to be paid by the student, may also be required. 
8. Interviews by the Department of Nursing faculty may be required.

Carroll College may accept a select number of Running Start, Dual-Enrollment, and/or transfer students into the nursing program each year. Accepted students will enroll in classes beginning in the fall, completing a bachelor’s degree in 3 years.

Eligibility Requirements to apply

  • Completed coursework with a “C-” or better: 2 semesters of Anatomy and Physiology, General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Essentials of Chemistry, Organic and Biochemistry, English Writing, Basic Communication
  • Only two repeated courses and/or withdrawals allowed
  • Minimum cumulative collegiate GPA of 3.5
  • Students applying to Carroll College as Running Start or Dual Enrollment applicants are required to comply with the policies and expectations of all first-time, first-year students.
  • Additional requirements specifically for transfer students:
    • One semester of full-time college-level coursework within the last 3 years
    • Science coursework completed within the last 5 years
    • At least 25 credits completed by June 1

Visit our nursing transfer student site for more information or contact the Office of Admissions at (406) 447-4384 or by email at


  • May 1 – Application Deadline (Apply online using the Carroll College Application)
  • June 15 – Admitted students will be notified by this date

Accelerated Track

The Accelerated Track is the fourth option for entry in Carroll's Nursing major. Find out more.

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