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ABSN Admission Requirements for International Students

If you completed your pre-nursing coursework at an institution outside the United States, or you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you are welcome to apply to our ABSN program here at Drake!  We admit qualified international applicants to our ABSN program using the same standards as U.S. applicants. 


Who is considered an international applicant?

You are considered an international applicant if you meet one or both of the following criteria:

  • You completed or plan to complete your pre-nursing coursework/prerequisites at a college or university outside the United States
  • You are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; you are required to hold a non-resident visa to study in the United States


Admission Requirements

International applicants must meet the same admission requirements as all other MAT applicants.  Our ABSN Admission page gives a more detailed list of admission requirements for the ABSN program.  Admission requirements for international applicants include

  • Completing at least 70 credit hours of undergraduate coursework
  • Completing (or be in the process of completing) the prerequisite coursework outlined on our ABSN Admission page
  • Earning a minimum iBT TOEFL score of 79 or IELTS score of 6.5 (students who have attended a U.S. college or university, studying in a degree program other than ESL, or have studied in an English-based program abroad, may qualify for an exemption)
  • No minimum GPA is required, although a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 U.S. GPA scale (or the equivalent) is considered competitive.


Application Process

International applicants can apply to the Drake ABSN program using the same process as all other ABSN applicants.  Our ABSN Admission page gives more detailed information about this process.  To apply, you must

  • Submit an application through the Centralized Application for Nursing programs (NursingCAS)
  • Complete the required Drake-specific questions within the NursingCAS application
  • Have an original or certified true copy of all academic records or transcripts in official form submitted directly to Drake University

Drake University's Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program operates on a rolling admission process.  We will interview and admit students until the class is full and a sufficient number of applicants have been identified for the wait list.  We recommend submitting application materials early in order to ensure your application is processed and considered in a timely manner.


Transcripts and Academic Records

Please have all official transcripts or academic records from every college or university you have attended outside the U.S. sent directly to Drake University.  Please use the following guidelines to assist you:

  • Transcripts or academic records must be original or certified by the educational institution issuing credit and must be sent in official form
  • Transcripts or academic records must be sent directly to Drake University by the educational institution issuing credit via mail or electronically
  • Any translated records should be an exact translation (not interpretive) and be accompanied by the official, original-language document


Admitted Students

International students who are admitted to the ABSN program will work with staff in our Office of Global Engagement to determine eligibility for and next steps in obtaining appropriate documentation for study in the United States and at Drake.  The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will provide information about the steps to enrollment, which include

  • Tuition deposit
  • Signed technical standards acknowledgement
  • Criminal background check and drug screen
  • Health certification and immunizations
  • Course registration and accessing online student services
  • Proof of CPR certification
  • Proof of health insurance - see our health insurance policy for international students
  • Professional Student Orientation and other important dates


Financial Certificate

All admitted international students must submit documented evidence of financial support for educational expenses.  The Office of Global Engagement will assist you with obtaining the necessary financial certificate for Drake University.  This financial certificate must be signed by you and your sponsor.  This document must also be either countersigned and sealed by your sponsor's bank, or a separate letter or statement may be issued to support the information provided on the certificate.


Questions regarding admission to the ABSN program should be directed to the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at

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