Allen College
Accelerated Option of the BSN Program
Frequently Asked Questions

(Printable version of FAQ )

The BSN Program and the Accelerated Option

  1. How is it possible to complete the Accelerated Option and earn the BSN degree in only 15 months?
    Students in the Accelerated Option either already have a four-year degree or have achieved junior status before enrolling in the Accelerated Option.  In addition, Accelerated Option students have completed all of the BSN program prerequisite courses, so they take only nursing courses in the Accelerated Option. Because Accelerated Option students are academically talented, mature and highly motivated, they can successfully complete the degree requirements in four consecutive semesters—summer I, fall, spring, and summer II.  

  2. Is the BSN Accelerated Option accredited?
    Yes. The BSN program and its options are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.  All nursing programs of Allen College are approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing.

  3. Am I eligible to take the state licensure examination to become a registered nurse when I complete the Accelerated Option of the BSN Program?
    Yes, all graduates of Allen College’s BSN program are eligible to sit for the RN licensure examination, known as the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), in Iowa or any other state.  In the past few years, Allen College’s BSN graduates have passed the NCLEX-RN at rates that exceed state and national average pass rates.

  4. What degree will I earn?
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

  5. How many nursing credits are required in the program?
    Students complete 62 semester hours of nursing coursework.

  6. When do classes for the Accelerated Option start?
    The first group of Accelerated Option students started classes in May 2007.  A new group of Accelerated Option students will begin classes every May.

  7. Can I enter at other times?
    No, students begin the program in May.

  8. When do students complete the Accelerated Option?
    The 15 month Option is completed in August, fifteen months following initial enrollment.

  9. Where is the Accelerated Option offered?
    All courses are taught on the Allen College campus, 1825 Logan Avenue, Waterloo, Iowa.

  10. Where will clinical study be conducted?
    Most of the clinical study will be held in hospital and community settings in Waterloo/Cedar Falls.  Students will need to provide their own transportation to these sites.  Students are likely to be in clinical settings three days per week in some semesters.

  11. How do the clinical study requirements in the Accelerated Option compare to that of the Traditional Option?
    You complete approximately the same number of clinical hours as a traditional student, but clinical experiences will be arranged differently to maximize reflective practice opportunities and professional role transition. 

  12. Are any courses in the program offered online?
    At least one course is offered online.  In addition, most professors provide the syllabus and related course materials in the College’s course organization system, WebCT.

  13. Is there a "less accelerated" plan to complete a BSN?
    If you wish to complete the BSN degree at a slower pace, you may apply as a transfer student to the Traditional Option of the BSN program  You may complete the program over two-and-a-half  academic years (or four semesters and one or more summer sessions) following completion of the required non-nursing (general education) coursework.  You can obtain additional information and an application at this Website or by contacting the Office of Admissions.

  14. Since I already have a baccalaureate degree in another field, I really want to earn a master’s degree in nursing. When could I apply for admission to Allen College's MSN Program?
    You may apply for admission to the MSN program while enrolled in the Accelerated Option or after graduation from the BSN Program. However, if you enroll in the MSN program immediately following completion of the BSN program,  you will need to work while taking graduate-level non-clinical courses.  The MSN program requires one year of clinical experience prior to enrolling in graduate level clinical courses.  You may enroll in the MSN program on a full-time or part-time basis.

  15. Is campus housing available?
    Yes, campus housing is available for Accelerated Option students. Please contact the Colleges’ Financial Aid Coordinator, Molly Cordes, at 319-226-2091 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Applying for Admission

  1. How do I get started?
    You should complete the “Admission Application to an IHS College” and check the box labeled “Accelerated BSN.”  This application may be found at the Allen College Website in the “Future Students” category.

  2. When is the application deadline?
    You must apply for admission to the Accelerated Option no later than December 1. It is possible that applications after that date will be considered if space is available.

  3. Where should I send my application?
    You send your completed application to: Admissions, Allen College, 1825 Logan Avenue, Waterloo, IA  50703.

  4. Do I need official transcripts?
    Yes.  You need to request that every college you have attended send transcripts of your grades to the Admissions Office of Allen College.

  5. What grade point average do applicants need to be considered for admission?
    Applicants without a bachelor’s degree must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 to be considered for admission.  Applicants with a bachelor’s degree must have a GPA of 3.0 to be considered for admission.

  6. Will you look at the cumulative GPA or science GPA?
    Your GPA is calculated by taking into account all undergraduate courses you have completed.  The science GPA is not calculated separately.

  7. What grades are not acceptable when I am being considered for admission?
    All required courses must have been completed with a grade of C or higher.  If you have received a grade of C- or lower in three or more required courses, you will not be considered for admission.

  8. Are courses taken after the bachelor’s degree calculated as part of a cumulative GPA?
    No. However, courses taken after an initial bachelor’s degree will contribute to our assessment, if:
    • You have earned a second Bachelor’s Degree (in which case, the higher of the GPA’s will probably be considered as contributory to your review), or
    • You have earned a Master’s Degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, or
    • You have completed 10 credits or more of coursework as part of a graduate degree program with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  9. How many spaces are available in the Accelerated Option?
    We plan to admit 24 students in May 2008.  Additional students may be admitted in future years.

  10. Is there an interview required?

  11. Are reference letters required?
    Two letters of recommendation that address your academic abilities are required.

  12. How is the class selected?
    Final selection is made a by a faculty committee that examines each application individually. 

  13. I am over 40. Is that going to be held against me?
    Life experience is valued in the Accelerated Option.  Your age is not taken into consideration in making an admission decision.  Allen College does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or handicap in its admission practices.

  14. I have not completed all of the pre-requisite courses. Can I still apply?
    Yes, you may apply but you must complete all pre-requisite courses prior to beginning classes in the Accelerated Option.

  15. When will I know my admission status?
    You will be notified no later than January 15th of the College’s decision regarding your application for admission, provided that you have submitted all required application documents.

  16. Can I transfer from another nursing program to the Accelerated Option?
    Each applicant will be considered on an individual basis.

  17. Can I transfer from the Accelerated Option to the Traditional Option of the BSN Program?
    Yes, you may, if space is available in the Traditional Option.

  18. Can I transfer from the Traditional option to the Accelerated Option?
    You will need to complete the application for the Accelerated option.  Each application will be considered individually.

  19. May I apply to the Traditional and Accelerated Options simultaneously?
    Yes, students may apply to both Options simultaneously.  All required materials must be provided for the applications.

  20. Is the application of a foreign student or a student with a degree from a foreign school, college, or university looked at the same as a student from the U.S.?
    Yes, foreign student applications are reviewed the same as students from the US. All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an acceptable U.S. Evaluation Service.

  21. Do you have a waiting list for the Accelerated Option?
    No, we do not have waiting lists. We do have an alternate list that we maintain until the start of classes.  If you are on the alternate list and an accepted student drops out before classes start, you may be offered admission on short notice.  If you apply to our Accelerated Option and do not get accepted, you may reapply in a subsequent application period.

Prerequisite Courses

  1. Why are there so many pre-requisite courses for the Accelerated Option?
    You will be earning a Bachelor’s degree in 15 months and taking 62 credits. Therefore, there simply is not enough time to take all necessary prerequisites during the program. 2) All students who do not already hold a bachelor's degree are required to complete the general education plan of study for the BSN degree.

  2. Where can I take the prerequisite courses?
    You may take prerequisite courses at any accredited college or university. However, you should check with the Admissions Office at Allen College to ensure the course(s) will meet the admission criteria. In some cases you may be able to take an Allen College course (e.g., nutrition) before enrolling in the Accelerated Option.

  3. Is there a time stipulation on when I completed the prerequisites? For example, will my chemistry class from 20 years ago satisfy the requirement?
    Required science courses must have been completed within 10 years prior to enrollment.

  4. How can I know if I have completed all the prerequisites?
    The Office of Admissions at Allen College will conduct an audit of the courses you have completed.  Once this audit has been completed, you will be informed by mail about those courses you need to complete before enrolling in the Accelerated Option.  At all times, you should contact the Office of Admission to ensure that any course you are planning to take meets the Accelerated Option requirements.  In the event that you do not successfully complete all pre-requisite coursework, you will not be able to enroll in the Accelerated Option.

  5. Is the application of a foreign student, or a student with a degree from a foreign school, college, or university evaluated the same as a student from the?
    Yes, foreign student applications are reviewed the same as students from the US.  An acceptable U.S. Evaluation Service must evaluate all foreign transcripts prior to acceptance. However, all students must be US citizens.

Cost and Financial Assistance

  1. What is the cost? 
    For students beginning in May 2007, the expected cost of tuition and fees is approximately $30,000.  Textbooks, living expenses and travel costs are in addition to this estimate.

  2. Is financial assistance available?
    Financial aid is available for students enrolled in the Accelerated BSN Option. Assistance may include scholarships, loans, and grants. Accelerated students are eligible for two years of financial aid in a 15 month period due to the high number of hours earned during each semester. The summer and fall equal one academic year and the spring and summer equal the second academic year. The 2007-08 FAFSA will apply to all terms except the second summer. You will need to complete a second FAFSA in January, 2008. For more information we encourage students to contact the Financial Aid department directly at (319) 226-2000.

  3. Will I be able to work and complete the Accelerated Option simultaneously?
    The Accelerated Option requires full-time commitment to studies due to the rigorous nature and format. During enrollment in this program, we strongly recommend you do not work.

(Printable version of FAQ)

For additional information, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call her at: (319) 226-2001.