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William Paterson University Admissions Essay

General Admissions Requirements

All William Paterson University graduate applicants are required to submit the documentation listed below. Please refer to the Our Programs page for additional program specific requirements. Applications that do not have all required documentation will be considered incomplete until all documentation is received. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission. Any application for a program with a deadline date must be complete prior to the deadline to be considered.

  • Completed application
  • $50 application fee
  • Official transcripts from all previous colleges/universities
  • Proof of Bachelor’s degree (Master’s where required)

Prior to applying, review our listing of graduate programs for specific program requirements. Be advised that some programs have application deadlines. International students should visit our International Students page for instructions and helpful resources.

Please note: Application to the master’s program in Communication Disorders and Sciences should be submitted through the Communication Disorders and Science Centralized Application Services (CSDCAS)

Supplemental documentation should be mailed to:
Office of Graduate Admissions and Enrollment Services
Morrison Hall 102
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ 07470

Application Options

William Paterson University offers several options for admission. These include degree, certification, endorsement, non-degree and post-master’s.

Degree, Certification and Endorsement:

You may apply for admission into a degree, certification, or endorsement program and are considered a matriculated student if you are formally accepted into one of those programs. As a matriculated student, you may pursue your studies on a full or part-time basis.

Full-time status: Enrolled in 9-15 graduate credits per semester. (MS in Biology/Biotechnology - 8 or more credits.)

Part-time status: Enrolled in up to 8 graduate credits per semester. (MS in Biology/Biotechnology - 7 credits or less.)


You may apply as a non-degree seeking student for most programs. As a non-degree student, you must possess a bachelor’s degree and may enroll for up to nine (9) graduate credits or three (3) graduate courses. After nine credits, in order to continue, you must file an application for matriculation to be accepted into a degree, certification, or endorsement program. If at any time a non-degree student wishes to apply for admission to the University, formal application must be made and complete credentials must be submitted.

Some programs may not accept non-degree students or may require special permission, based on availability of seats. Additionally, some programs that allow non-degree study, may only allow students to take three to six non-degree credits before requiring matriculation. Please check with the program director to determine the non-degree policy that is applicable to your program of interest.

Students who pursue non-degree study are not eligible for financial aid or application of unemployment waivers. Additionally, individuals who have completed a certificate or endorsement program at William Paterson University must obtain special permission before applying for non-degree status. Please contact us for further information.

Please note:

  • New and currently enrolled non-degree seeking students are required to re-apply each subsequent term.
  • The nine credit limitation does not apply to senior citizens or to students taking undergraduate courses needed for eligibility for matriculation into a graduate program.


A post-master's student (one who has previously earned a master's degree) may earn up to 30 credits in courses designated as open to non-matriculated students. Admission on a non-degree or post master's basis does not imply eligibility for matriculation in any degree program or acceptance into a certification or endorsement program.

Additional Information:

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report [pdf]

Generic Program Admission Requirements

Students can be admitted to the program as freshmen, transfers, readmit, second degree, or as an internal change of major. Freshman students are only matriculated for the Fall Semester. The admissions committee advises students that the admission process is academically competitive and a high GPA may enhance their chances for selection.

Freshmen Applicants

All required material must be received .

  • Application, high school transcripts and SAT/ACT scores. A written essay and recommendations are optional.
  • Prospective Freshman Nursing majors must have completed high school biology/lab and chemistry/lab, in which they attained minimum grades of "B" or better.
  • Students are required to have a minimum SAT score of 1130 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and Math.  A minimum EBRW score of 550.  Equivalent ACT scores are accepted.  Students' must rank in the top 25 percent of their class. If the high school does not rank, overall GPA and course selection will be substituted.
  • Students who are admissible may be placed on a wait-list depending on space availability.

Freshmen who meet University requirements for admission, but do not meet the nursing major requirements noted above, will be accepted to the University as Undeclared.

Transfer Students

Acceptance into the nursing major is academically competitive and is limited by the number of available seats. Transfer applicants who may have been dismissed or received a grade of C- or below in any other nursing program or nursing prerequisite courses will not be accepted even if the course in question has been repeated. Applicants must follow the universities application process for review by the Nursing Department.  Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered for the major.

Students accepted into the nursing major must complete all the required prerequisite courses (or equivalents) and University Core Curriculum/General Education courses before they will be permitted to register for nursing core courses. Accepted students will be assigned a nursing advisor to assist them in planning.

The nursing prerequisites are:

  • BIO 1120 - General Anatomy & Physiology I
  • BIO 1130 - General Anatomy & Physiology II
  • BIO 1700 - Basic Microbiology
  • PSY 1100 - General Psychology
  • PSY 2110 - Lifespan Development
  • CHEM 1330 - Chemistry for Health Sciences
  • MATH 1300 - Elementary Statistics
  • NUR 3500 - Nursing Research
  • PBHL 2240 - Therapeutic Nutrition
  • BIO 3120 Advanced Anatomy & Physiology

Permission to take nursing courses is dependent on evidence of student achievement in preparatory courses and the number of available seats.

Change of Majors*

Students enrolled in the University may apply for a change of major online through WPConnect after meeting the following change of major requirements:

  • Establish a GPA at William Paterson University by completing at least twelve (12) credits.
  • Have a minimum required GPA of 3.0.
  • Complete at least one nursing prerequisite laboratory science courses at William Paterson University.
    • Recommended courses include:
    • BIO 1120, 1130, 1700, 3120 or
    • CHEM 1330

The change of major process is academically competitive and maintaining the highest GPA possible may enhance your opportunity for acceptance to the nursing major. Having completed most of the prerequisites as opposed to one places the student in better a position as well. The Nursing Departments Admissions Committee reviews all applications for matriculation into the nursing major.

*Enrolled students looking to change their major who have earned a grade of C- or below in nursing prerequisite courses are not eligible for admission even if they have repeated the course successfully. The prerequisite courses are General Psychology, Lifespan Development, Anatomy and Physiology I & II, Advanced Anatomy and Physiology, Basic Microbiology, Chemistry for Health Sciences, Elementary Statistics, Nursing Research and Therapeutic Nutrition.

Permission to take nursing core courses is dependent on evidence of student achievement in preparatory courses and the number of available seats.


It is recommended you utilize your credentials on your application to inform the Admissions Office that you are an RN to BSN applicant. Upon admission students will meet with the RN to BSN coordinator to determine which courses the student should register for. Further information may be available at RN to BSN Program.


Nursing students are required to have a yearly physical examination, criminal background check and urine drug screen completed at their own expense prior to starting any clinical course.    

Criminal background checks and a urine drug screening must be completed by the Nursing Department's vendor at the students expense prior to starting any clinical course. Results may be submitted to affiliate agencies for their interpretation in keeping with the accreditation standards of the Joint Commission Accreditation of Health Organizations (JCAHO) and the State of New Jersey.

Nursing laboratory courses are conducted both on and off campus. Automobile transportation is required for most off-campus experiences.

Students who do not maintain a 2.0 grade point average in the major and co- requisite courses or who do not achieve a grade of C or better are evaluated for retention or progression in the nursing major.

Adjustment of Degree Requirements

Students seeking an evaluation of a course(s) from another college as equivalent to a WPU course should observe the following steps identified below.

  1. For courses taken at a community college within New Jersey check the web site
  2. If NJTransfer does not offer an answer, meet and confer with your assigned faculty adviser.
  3. Upon evaluation of your request, your adviser may assist you to complete an Adjustment of Degree Requirements form.
  4. If your request is approved by the Chairperson & Dean, notification is sent to the Registrar.

Leave of Absence or Withdrawal

Students requesting a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal from the nursing major will meet with the Chairperson of the Department to explore options and/or assure a space in a future class. The student must then file an application in the Registrar's Office.