Frequently Asked Questions about WWU School of Nursing - Portland Campus

When is the application deadline?
The application deadline for the Portland campus entry is February 1 of each year. Portland campus classes begin in June each year.The application deadline for the College Place, Washington, campus is April 15 for the fall term that begins in late September.

If I don't have all my prerequisite classes completed by June, can I still apply?
Yes, apply anyway. If you are accepted, you will need to complete your prerequisite cognate classes with a minimal grade of C and your prerequisite general studies classes with a minimal grade of D- by June. We call this being accepted on a "classes pending" basis.

What do I need to do to have a completed application file?
The Admissions Committee will not consider an application that is not complete. Application files are compiled in the Enrollment Office on the College Place, Washington campus. A complete file consists of ALL of the following:

  1. DO THIS FIRST: You must apply to the university itself on-line at The application fee is $40 and can be paid by credit card or check. This application must be submitted before the School of Nursing application or admission tests can be taken (see #2 and #5). For application fee refunds or credit card issues call Enrollment Office 800-541-8900 ext. 2327.
  2. You must submit an application to the School of Nursing on-line. There isn't any fee for the nursing application.
  3. You must submit all official college transcripts. Please send these and all other submissions to the Office of Enrollment on the main campus in College Place, Washington, not to the Portland campus, unless specifically requested to do so. If you are already a four-year college graduate or of junior status or higher (90 hours of credit), you will not need to submit an official high school transcript. Otherwise, you will need to do this no matter how old it is. If you took a GED or exam or advanced placement credit, you will need to submit an official score. Please submit the most recent college transcript available. For example, the fall transcript should be available before the February 1 application deadline, so send that in.
  4. You will need 3 letters of reference. These forms can be printed or you can have your reference submit the letter via on-line. Please note that nursing applicants must submit three, not one letter of reference. Letters can be faxed to the Enrollment Office 509-527-2397.
  5. You must pass three admission tests. These are the Accuplacer on-line Reading Comprehension Test, the Accuplacer on-line Arithmetic Test, and the on-line Health Sciences Reasoning Test. These tests ($30 for all) must be paid for at the time of testing, cash or check only. If taken together, one after another, they take about 2 1/2 hours to complete. These tests are required of every applicant, even if a college graduate. They must be passed by the minimal score standard set by the School of Nursing. Practice questions can be found on our website.

Can I check to make sure my application is complete?
Yes, when you complete an application to WWU you should receive a student number and correspondence from the Office of Enrollment describing how you can track your own application file on our myWWU system at If you do not receive this information, please call the Office of Enrollment at 800-541-8900 ext. 2327. The Enrollment Office routinely sends out letters to applicants indicating missing items.

How long will it take for me to find out if I am accepted?
It takes about 8 weeks after the close of applications to review all applications and process them.

If I can't get into the summer program at the Portland campus, can I apply for the fall?
Yes. Although June is the entry date for transfer students to the Portland campus, sophomore nursing classes begin in September on the main campus in College Place, Washington. Since the sophomore year takes nine months to complete on the College Place campus, the nursing classes are not as intense as the summer program in Portland. If you feel this slower pace is what you want, then the College Place campus is a better choice. The minimum GPA for admission is 2.75. Because of the strenuous academic nature of the summer program, the Portland campus requires a GPA of 3.25 or above. There is no fall entry on the Portland campus.

Where is the WWU main campus?
It is in the town of College Place in eastern Washington, very close to the city of Walla Walla, Washington. From Portland, this is approximately four hours by car traveling east and then proceeding northeast from Pendleton, Oregon.

How many students are admitted each year into the Portland summer program?
We can accommodate 70 students in our junior class. These students come from both the Portland area and beyond (transfer students) and from WWU's main campus. Historically, freshman and sophomore classes were completed on the main campus and then students transferred to the extension campus in Portland for their junior and senior years. However, in the late 1980's the school's enrollment dropped; so to support our enrollment the idea of a summer entry program was born. Transfer students from the local Portland area were admitted into an intense summer program consisting of the sophomore nursing classes that were usually completed on the main campus in College Place, Washington. This qualifies the summer students to join the other junior students coming to the Portland campus in September. Since the College Place campus' sophomore nursing students have already been accepted into the professional program, their numbers diminish the number of transfer students that can be admitted for the summer program each June. For example, if 50 students come to the Portland campus in September, then only 20 transfer students can be accepted in June for a total of 70.

Do you have any on-line or evening nursing classes?
No, we have no on-line/evening/weekend nursing classes.

What is the weekly class schedule like in Portland?
Fall through spring quarter: Monday and Tuesday are classroom days. Depending on individual needs, you could be in classes from 8:00am to 3:00pm or later on both of those days. Wednesday and Thursday are clinical lab days and that means six hour labs which can be either a.m. or p.m. shifts. Fridays are usually free although there are some exceptions to this--sometimes clinical lab may be Thursday and Friday or an individual instructor's schedule may allow them to teach only on Friday.Summer quarter: Monday and Tuesday are classroom days which can go from 8:30am to 5:00pm. Wednesday is practice lab and hours can vary depending on the number and difficulty of the skill being practiced/tested. Thursday and Friday are clinical lab days of six hours each, all a.m. shift.

Can I take nursing classes part-time?
Generally speaking this does not work well. All nursing classes are 8 credits per quarter and most quarters there is also one other mandatory class in addition. This means that most students must take 11-12 credits per quarter at a minimum. (Full-time ranking is 12 credits per quarter.) Also, financial aid frequently requires a student to attend on a full-time basis for full funding. Finally, taking nursing courses over too long a period of time damages the freshness of the content so state board exam success may be jeopardized.

I have some nursing school classes already and want to transfer to your school, what do I need to do?
First, we will need a letter of recommendation from your current or former school of nursing, preferably from the dean or assistant dean. This letter must show that you left in good standing and are eligible to return if you wished. We may ask you for more references. Second, we will need your official transcripts to form a plan of articulation. Some schools are very hard for us to articulate with due to a difference in philosophy and class sequence or content. This means that you may not get credit for some classes. You will need to submit syllabi to help with this process. You will also need to take our entrance exams and complete any of our prerequisites that you may not have before being admitted. Your application will go through Admissions Committee just like any other applicant. It is particularly difficult to articulate ADN nursing programs with our BS program. Transfer students with nursing courses completed are accepted only if space becomes available.

What criteria are used to accept applicants?
A committee oversees the admission of students to our program. The committee takes into consideration academics, life experience (in a healthcare field), the personal statement, letters of reference, and admission testing scores. Our nursing application doesn't specifically ask for life experience or current employment, so those things may be included in the essay or just as a side note on the application itself.Typically, the student that is accepted has: A's and B's in Anatomy & Physiology/Chemistry/Microbiology, a GPA of 3.4 or above, admission test scores well above the minimum and never had C- or below in a prerequisite course.

How do I know which classes from my current/past college(s) will apply to my WWU requirements?
You can contact the official transcript evaluator on the main campus at 800-541-8900 ext. 2360 and request an evaluation. Or, you can fax or e-mail unofficial copies of transcripts to the program advisor at 503-251-6249 or This is a preliminary evaluation. The office of the registrar does the final evaluation. Once you are a student, your previous classes will be placed on DegreeWorks and you can see how they compare toward the required courses for graduation. There is also a transfer guide available for a number of Oregon/Portland area colleges. If you are already a four-year graduate, your past coursework may lessen or eliminate many of the general studies/cognates required for graduation. Although WWU has no limit on the age of most transfer courses, key science courses such as Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology and Chemistry are not accepted if they are more than five years old. Call for more details.

I didn't get into WWU School of Nursing last year, but I want to reactivate my file for this year. How do I do that?
You will need to do two things: Go to and update your personal information by submitting a new application. You will not be charged an additional application fee. Be sure to designate Portland or College Place campus, and the month and year of your newly desired entry date. Next, send the Office of Enrollment on the College Place campus your updated transcripts. Optionally, you may retake your entry tests if you think you may do better than your last testing; you can submit a new nursing application and new letters of reference if you like. The Office of Enrollment keeps application files for approximately two years, so they have all your paperwork already. Any questions? Email Dallas Weis, Enrollment Officer at or call him at 800-541-8900 ext. 2608.

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Last update on December 1, 2014