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Eligibility and Requirements

The program accepts applications from registered nurses who meet the admission requirements set forth by the Council on Accreditation and the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists, the KU Department of Nurse Anesthesia Education, and the University of Kansas. These requirements are subject to change based on the recommendations of the admissions committee.

KU seeks a culturally diverse student body and does not discriminate against any group protected by law.

Standard vs. "early decision" application option for in-state students

Students living in Kansas may apply using the early decision process. This provides applicants the opportunity to interview in mid-summer rather than during the fall semester. Learn more about the early decision application option.

Admission requirements

Please carefully review the requirements below. Before proceeding to the application, please review the frequently asked questions, which include a special section with details about admission to the program.

  1. Experience as Registered Nurse
    To be eligible to enter the program applicants must be a registered nurse and have two years' work experience as a licensed RN, including a minimum one year of recent (within the past 2-3 years), full-time experience in an intensive care setting. Experience as an LPN does not meet this requirement.

  2. Critical Care Experience
    Applicants must have at least one year of recent (within the past 2-3 years), full-time experience in an intensive-care unit. This year of ICU experience must be completed prior to the official enrollment date. The admissions committee has found that the most successful applicants have experience in adult ICU, such as cardiac ICU, surgical ICU or medical ICU. Pediatric ICU is acceptable, but neonatal ICU is not accepted. Applicants should have experience with the following:

    • continuous hemodynamic monitoring (PA catheters, Swan-Ganz)
    • ventilators
    • EKG interpretation
    • pharmacological monitoring (instituting, regulating and maintaining patients on drugs related to cardio pulmonary status or life-death situations)
    • independent decision-making necessary in the ongoing care of unstable patients

      Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certification is strongly recommended. Participation in professional and/or voluntary organizations or committees (e.g., hospital, alumni, nonprofits) is considered an advantage in the application evaluation.

  3. License as RN in States Where Training Will Take Place
    All applicants are required to be a licensed professional registered nurse. Upon acceptance into the program, the applicant will be required to obtain RN licenses for Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma prior to the start of the program (end of May each year). Any license with restrictions will not be accepted.

  4. Four-Year Undergraduate Degree
    A bachelor's degree in nursing is not required. A bachelor’s degree is required but can be in any appropriate discipline. Appropriate alternate degrees might be in respiratory care, biological sciences, health care administration, pharmacology, psychology, sociology, etc. Regardless of the specific degree held, RN license and critical care experience remain as requirements.

  5. Prerequisite Courses
    Applicants should complete the prerequisite review form PDF document (image) as early as possible to help determine if prerequisite course work has been fulfilled. Preference in the selection process will be given to those students having completed all prerequisites by the application deadline. *All prerequisites must be completed by August 1 of the year in which the applicant is applying to the program.

    Proof of enrollment in a prerequisite course may be included in the application.

    All prerequisite courses must be taken at an accredited college/university and be eligible for transfer to the University of Kansas. Classes may be taken at an accredited two-year college. Courses cannot be credit by examination. A Pass grade will not be accepted unless the applicant provides written verification from the institution that the Pass designation is equivalent to a grade of C or higher.

    Basic Sciences – the following five science classes are required.

    Applicants must possess an overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the following classes:

    • Chemistry – Two semesters of college-level chemistry are required with a grade of C of higher. These two chemistry classes should have included some elements of inorganic, organic and biochemistry. For example, a chemistry I & II sequence would meet this requirement.

      If applicants have only taken one semester of chemistry (see note below), he or she should look for a second chemistry class which would extend knowledge beyond material learned in the first chemistry course and ensure all three areas of chemistry (inorganic, organic and biochemistry) have been covered. A course in organic and/or biochemistry would be a good choice for a second chemistry course.

      Important note: please see examples of eligible and ineligible chemistry courses.

    • Microbiology – One class with a grade of C or higher is required.

    • Human Anatomy – One class with a grade of C or higher is required.*

    • Human Physiology – One class with a grade of B or higher is required.*
      If less than a B grade in human physiology was earned, or the class was taken more than 10 years ago, a human physiology course must be retaken. Pathophysiology does not meet the human physiology requirement.

      Note: Instead of separate human anatomy and human physiology courses, applicants may also take two semesters of a combined human anatomy/human physiology course, such as A&P I and A&P II.
      If taking A&P I and A&P II, students must obtain a grade of B or higher in both courses and both semesters must be completed within 10 years entering the nurse anesthesia program. If only one semester of a combined A&P course has been completed, students may take one semester of physiology to meet the requirement for physiology and anatomy.

      *** When completing the prerequisite courses section of the application, please click the "Not Applicable" box for courses you have not taken. ***

    Statistics – one class is required.
    The class must contain both parametric and nonparametric content; these are covered in most basic statistics courses. (Note: a nursing research class does not fulfill this requirement.)

  6. 3.0 Overall Grade Point Average
    A minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required. The applicant's overall GPA will be calculated including every class at every college/university attended. All college course work must be documented by official transcript sent from each academic institution directly to KU.

  7. 3.0 Grade Point Average on Science Prerequisites
    A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required for the science prerequisite classes: chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology.

  8. Graduate-level Writing Ability
    Writing skills appropriate to graduate level education are required. This will be evaluated by the statement of purpose submitted with the application (see more information below).

  9. ACLS/BLS/PALS Certification
    Students are required to have completed certifications in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Basic Life Support (BLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) prior to starting the program. Certifications must be maintained while in the program and are the responsibility of the student.

  10. Technical Standards
    Technical standards define physical and other attributes required to be successful in this profession. Applicants must review the program’s technical standards and acknowledge having reviewed them during the application process. Upon admission, applicants will be asked to verify they can meet the standards or request consideration in meeting the standards.

  11. Background Check
    The Joint Commission requires all incoming students to request a background check. This one-time fee must be paid directly to the company performing the background investigation. Students will be asked to provide information and make the payment after being accepted into the program. For more information, please see the School of Health Professions background check and drug screening information.

Additional important information for applicants

NOTE: Obtaining the doctorate in nurse anesthesia practice from the University of Kansas does not guarantee licensure in any state, including Kansas. Information regarding grounds for disciplinary action pertaining to a Kansas license is addressed in regulation KSA 65-1120 (PDF).

Students in this program are required to have a computer that meets the minimum software and hardware requirements.

Additional information on the admission requirements can be found in the frequently asked questions. Please review this additional information before submitting an application.

All applicants to the program must meet the requirements to be a registered nurse and have experience as an RN in the intensive care unit.

KU reserves the right to make changes in policy, requirements, tuition, financial aid, and fee structure as the needs of its administration, faculty, students, and conducting or affiliating institutions change. These changes may occur without prior notification. For any questions, and to assure applicants have the most current information available, please contact the program offices.

International students

An applicant is considered an international student if they require a visa, or currently reside in the U.S. with non-immigrant status, or currently reside in the U.S. while applying for permanent residency. Additional requirements and documentation, such as proof of English language proficiency, are required for international students to become eligible for KU programs. Please review this additional information for international students before applying.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University's programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785) 864-6414, 711 TTY.

Last modified: Mar 16, 2021

The application window for the class beginning study in summer term 2022 opened March 15.

Standard application deadline: July 15

Early-decision application deadline: May 15

Students begin the program each year on the Tuesday after Memorial Day.

Questions? Before contacting the office please review the frequently asked questions.

Due to the events surrounding COVID-19, the office staff are minimally on campus and mostly working remotely at this time. After reviewing the website and FAQs, please send additional inquiries to

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