Second Degree Option in Nursing

University of Detroit Mercy's Second Degree Option (SDO) in nursing allows individuals with a bachelor's degree in another major to earn a bachelor of science in Nursing (BSN) degree.  The SDO program incorporates the same philosophy, conceptual framework, and program objectives as the traditional BSN program with a sequence of courses that meets the unique need of the accelerated student.

The program consists of three and a half semesters of coursework and includes a summer break.  This schedule allows the student to earn the BSN degree in 16 months.  This intensive program has a cohort model where all students benefit by taking courses together.  Students attend classes full time beginning in January or August.

Application and submission of all supplemental application materials are strongly encouraged 5-6 months ahead of planned entry term. All prospective and current applicants are encouraged to attend an information session. 

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    Admission Requirements

    A minimum baccalaureate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is highly recommended. Prospective applicants are encouraged to submit their completed application and all supplemental application materials 5 to 6 months prior to the term to which they wish to be considered for entry.

    The SDO program is designed as an immersion experience. The program requires enrolling in approximately 20 credits a semester, while also completing clinical practice of 16-24 hours each week.

    We are now accepting applications for Fall 2020 (August).  Complete applications will be reviewed and considered on a rolling basis starting March 1, 2020. We encourage students to apply early to ensure we are able to provide feedback regarding missing coursework and/or documents. Apply now and send official transcripts to receive a transcript evaluation and next steps.  Students are encouraged to complete their application no later than May 1, 2020.  

    For consideration to the Winter 2021 (January) semester, the deadline is July 31, 2020.  Only completed applications, including submission of all supplemental documents and official transcripts will be reviewed.  

    Eleven prerequisite courses must be completed prior to the start of the program (for self-determination of prerequisite completion, see the "Nursing Transfer Equivalency Table").

    • English Composition II
    • Intermediate Algebra
    • Introduction to Psychology
    • Developmental (Lifespan) Psychology
    • Introduction to Sociology
    • Health Care Ethics
    • General Organic and Biological Chemistry
    • Anatomy  
    • Physiology  
    • Microbiology
    • Nutrition

    All science prerequisite courses, including mathematics, must have been completed within the last 7 years with grades of C or higher on each.  If courses have been repeated, a grade of B or higher is expected.  Substitutions are limited to upper-division mathematics (not statistics) and full-sequence chemistry with achieved grades of C or higher on each without repeat attempts (General/Inorganic Chemistry I & II with Laboratory and Organic Chemistry I & II with Laboratory).

    The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Second Degree Option (SDO) selections committee reserves the right to modify prerequisites.


    Application and Supplement Application Materials

    Supplemental Application Materials 

    • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
      • If you have prerequisite courses in progress, please provide a printed copy of your current registration/course schedule.
      • Including conferred Bachelor's degree posted on your home institution's final transcript.
      • Applicants are responsible for forwarding updated transcripts, upon conclusion of each term/semester, posting results of recently completed academic course work.
    • An Autobiographical Statement of Personal Goals and Objectives ("Letter of Intent"/Essay) - This is your first personal introduction to any member of the selection committee. Include some personal information (what makes you, you; challenges faced and overcome; personal achievements; why you have selected this particular career-path).  Most individuals submit a 1-2 page document.
    • Letters of recommendation - a minimum of two are required.  Please limit your references to a maximum of three.  All letters ought to appear on official business or institutional letterhead, contain an original signature and the reference's professional title with contact information.
    • CV/Resume.
    • All international applicants
      • For whom English is not their native language or the primary language spoken in the home, must demonstrate a working knowledge of the English language by obtaining a score of not less than 83 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL IBT) administered by the Educational Testing Service.
      • All program prerequisites must be completed at an accredited U.S. college/university.
      • An overseas Bachelor's degree will be considered IF determined completed as U.S. equivalent on an official, course-by-course/detailed evaluation report prepared by Educational Credential Evaluators or World Education Services.


    You can apply to the BSN Second Degree Option (SDO) program through our online application  (select "TRANSFER" as your application type and "Nursing Second Degree" as the Major). Be certain to select an entry term in which you will have completed all above-mentioned prerequisite courses. For questions or assistance regarding the application process, contact: Lisa Fox at or (313) 993-1932. If you are currently attending or have previously attended University of Detroit Mercy as an undergraduate student, please complete the online application, selecting "Readmission" as the application type.

    • Nursing Transfer Equivalency Table
      • If the course you have completed is not listed in the Nursing Transfer Equivalency Table, you may utilize the University's electronic Transfer Credit System to search for your course.  If the course you have completed is not listed within the Nursing Transfer Equivalency Table or within the University's electronic Transfer Credit System and you feel it meets the requirements for admission, please contact the Registrar’s Office to have it reviewed by the Transfer Team at or 313-993-1940.

    Costs & Financial Aid

    All applicants are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early-within the application process, ensuring the University of Detroit Mercy's school code is indicated (002323).  This will help to ensure timely processing of a financial aid award at the appropriate time.

    For additional information regarding program costs and financial aid, please visit the following links.  Questions may be directed to the Office of Financial Aid (Ms. Denise Morabito).

    Cost of Attendance

    Financial Aid Information for Transfer Students



    Upon program completion, BSN students are expected to meet the following program outcomes:

    1. Provide compassionate care with a commitment to social justice.
    2. Evaluate culturally sensitive person-centered care practices in health promotion, risk reduction, disease prevention and illness management for the health of people across the lifespan.
    3. Manage the delivery of person-centered care through effective delegation, prioritization and leadership practices.
    4. Use transparent person-centered nursing interventions in assessing the client’s environment, prioritizing care and following established health care (institution/agency) policies and procedures.
    5. Use quality improvement models to analyze health care delivery systems and policies that affect the health of people.
    6. Implement knowledge driven actions in professional nursing practice derived from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

    Sample Program