Choose the nurse practitioner track that's right for you

The Certificate of Advanced Study program is designed for licensed, registered nurses (RNs) with a Master of Science in Nursing (or higher) to expand your specialty training and become eligible for additional advance practice certification. The program:

  • Is an intensive, flexible program that you may take on either a full or part-time basis
  • Includes a minimum 500 hours of supervised clinical practicum, more if you choose a specialty for specific age groups or that requires performance in multiple health care settings
  • Offers seven advanced practice specialty options

You choose your field of specialization when you apply. Not every track is available every application cycle, see application process below for more information.

If you are unsure what track to apply for, we offer consultations with a track coordinator or program director prior to your application to ensure the best fit. Upon enrollment, you will be assigned a faculty member who is a clinical expert in your chosen field of specialization to individualize a curriculum plan that meets your interests and assures eligibility for certification in your advanced practice specialty.

Program Information

Upon completion of the program, you will be prepared to take the advanced practice certification exam for your chosen field of specialization.

This course of study will hone your critical thinking, diagnostic reasoning, assessment and decision-making skills, preparing you to become a competent, highly skilled, reflective nurse leader in an advanced practice specialty. 

The Certificate of Advanced Study program offers specialty options for both RNs with a Master of Science in Nursing (Post-MSN) with no advanced practice certification; and RNs with an MSN who are also certified as nurse practitioners (Post-NP).

Federal Loans
Please note that students must be enrolled at least halftime in order to be eligible to borrow Federal Loans.  Halftime status for graduate students is 5 credits in the fall and spring and 3 credits in the summer.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Federal loan not based on credit and awarded in compliance with federal regulation. Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 for every two semester loan period, given that federal criteria are met.  Additional information may be found on the Federal Student Aid website

GradPLUS Loan
Federal Loan that does have credit requirements. Students apply independently through the Direct Loan Program and may borrow up to their cost of attendance, which will be indicated on a student’s financial aid offer letter.  Additional information and application may be found on the Federal Student Aid website

Alternative Loans
These loans are private loans and are based on credit. Students apply independently with a lender and may borrow any amount of alternative loan up to the total cost of attendance.  


Application Process

MGH Institute welcomes applications for the Certificate of Advanced Study from licensed RNs with a Master of Science in Nursing (or higher) who seek to expand specialty training and become eligible for additional advanced practice certification.   

Our professional staff provide information and answer questions you have during the admission and financial aid process. Applicants must apply to this program through NursingCAS.

Important Application Dates:

For Program Starting: Fall 2024
The NursingCAS 2023-2024 Application Cycle is open.
Application Deadline: June 3, 2024

Apply Now

Qualified Candidates
This program accepts licensed registered nurses (RN) with a Master of Science (MS) in Nursing.*

There are two track options for CAS applicants:

  1. Those who are already advanced practice nurses (APN): nurse practitioners (NP), clinical nurse specialists (CNS), certified nurse anesthetists (CNA), and certified nurse midwives (CNM)
  2. Nurses who are not advanced practice nurses (APN).

* RNs who have a master’s degree in a related field will be required to take additional courses during the program. Pre-application advisement is required. Please rnms [at] (contact the School of Nursing) for more detailed information.

Applicants are required to choose an advanced practice specialty on the application when they apply. Not every track is available each cycle. Options for the Fall 2023 application cycle are:

  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Lifespan Nurse Practitioner
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Dual Adult-Gerontology/Women's Health


The GRE is not required for admission to this program.


The language of instruction and clinical education at the MGH Institute is English and a high level of proficiency in both written and spoken English is required.  Applicants who have not completed either an undergraduate or graduate program where English is the language of instruction must demonstrate English Language proficiency as part of your application to the MGH Institute of Health Professions.  If you have questions about the language requirements, please contact the Office of Admissions.

  • Applicants who are citizens of Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, Guyana, an Anglophone country of Africa, or an English-speaking country of the Caribbean are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.

  • Applicants who are candidates for graduation from an accredited degree-granting program in the United States or at an English-speaking school in one of the countries listed above are also not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Acceptance to the IHP will be contingent upon successful completion of this degree prior to matriculation.

Please note that in some circumstances, demonstrating English language proficiency may be required by the academic program even if you are a citizen of a country in which the (or one of the) national language(s) is English. Decisions about the need for TOEFL or IELTS scores are at the discretion of the academic program to which you are applying in coordination with the department of OES.

The IHP accepts either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The test must have been taken within two years of the application deadline and official score reports are required. The minimum TOEFL (internet-based) score accepted is 89 and the minimum IELTS score accepted is 6.5.  

  • To forward your TOEFL score please contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS).  The MGH Institute of Health Professions code is 3513.

  • For IELTS, a Test Report Form may be mailed to MGH Institute of Health Professions and score information will be verified by the IHP directly. You may designate up to 5 schools to receive Test Report Forms at the time you register for the test.  To request additional Test Report Forms, contact your test center.

Please contact the Office of Admissions if you have any questions about the MGH Institute’s English Language requirements. 

Applicants are required to submit an official transcript from each college and/or university attended directly to NursingCAS, even if a degree was not received from that institution. For transcripts to be considered official they must be in their original signed and sealed envelopes when received. Please visit our Program Page in NursingCAS for additional information and requirements.
Applicants that have earned a degree from a non-US institution are required to submit a course-by-course credential evaluation from one of the following NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) members: Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc., SpanTran: The Evaluation Company, World Education Services (WES), or the Center for Educational Documentation. If you earned your bachelor's degree outside of the U.S. this credential evaluation must document minimum equivalency of a US baccalaureate degree or higher.

Personal Statement

A personal statement is required for all applicants and must be submitted directly to NursingCAS. The personal statement should address:
What do you think is the most pressing issue in the healthcare system? In what way(s) do you envision your entry into the advanced practice nursing profession helping address this issue? Please support your answers.
Statement should be approximately three (3) pages in length, double spaced.

Diversity Statement

A Diversity Statement is required for all applicants and must be submitted directly to NursingCAS. The Diversity Statement should address:
MGH Institute of Health Professions is committed to an inclusive campus climate that welcomes students who will enrich the diversity of thought and perspectives, and therefore, enhance the learning experiences of all. In what ways might you personally contribute to improving the experience of the campus as a welcoming and inclusive place to learn?
The Diversity Statement should be approximately two (2) pages in length, double spaced.

Recommendation Letters

Applicants are required to provide two (2) recommendation letters directly to NursingCAS. Recommendation letters should come from individuals who are able to address your academic ability, character, and integrity, as well as your potential for post-baccalaureate study. At least one letter should come from an academic reference and one should come from a professional reference. No more than three (3) recommendation letters will be reviewed as part of your application. 

Resume or CV

Applicants are required to submit a current resume or CV.

Who do I contact for more information about the academic program, curriculum, or requirements?

Please contact the School of Nursing directly.

Who do I contact for more information about the application process, my application status, or what documents to submit?

You may email or call the admission office.

What is your mailing address?

MGH Institute of Health Professions
Office of Enrollment Services
36 1st Ave.
Charlestown Navy Yard
Boston, MA  02129

Are there other Conditions of Admission?

Yes. If applicable, final transcripts and test scores must be submitted to satisfy the conditions of admission.

I’m an international student. Can I receive an F-1 Visa?

Please see General Information for Prospective International Students.


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