Degree Requirements and Academic Regulations (SON)

Fountain in front of Dahlgren Chapel
  1. Degree Requirements
  2. School of Nursing Core Requirements
  3. Student Advisement
  4. Academic Regulations
  5. International Experiences Abroad
  6. Honors Programs and R.O.T.C.
  7. Application for the Degree

1. Degree Requirements

Candidates for the bachelor’s degree in the School of Nursing must complete the following graduation requirements:

  1. Successful completion of 126 credits for the classes of 2024-2026 / 123 credits for class of 2027;
  2. Completion of the Georgetown Core Curriculum;
  3. Completion of the School of Nursing Core requirements;
  4. Completion of the major’s listed requirements;
  5. Achieve a final cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better.

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2. School of Nursing Core Requirements

The SON core provides the framework for a career in health by using the scientific method of inquiry.  It requires all students to be fluent in health terminology, have an in-depth understanding of anatomy and physiology, and the global issues affecting health. Students in the SON will understand how to use data and evidence to inform clinical practice, and participate in scholarship and research.  The core consists of colloquium, human biology, pathophysiology, health promotion/disease prevention, probability and statistics, research, and clinicals.

The colloquium goals are to develop critical approaches to the study of a health issue, gain the skills necessary for academic and personal success, promote interaction and camaraderie among students and professors, examine the characteristics of a Jesuit education, and develop reflection as a way to put meaning to learning.

The goal of human biology is to understand the scientific underpinning of health and disease. Students become conversant with the medical terminology essential in understanding health and disease, the feedback mechanisms that govern health and disease, and what interventions are possible to promote wellness for individuals and populations.

Health promotion/disease prevention looks at the global and domestic health agendas from the World Health Organization and Healthy People 2030.  It looks at the leading causes of preventable diseases such as obesity and tobacco abuse from an environmental and cultural perspective.

Probability and statistics is foundational to understanding data generated in research.  This allows students to draw the appropriate conclusions from their field studies and generate scholarship that advances health and well-being.

Throughout the program, students develop a framework for research and evidence-based practices to ask and answer a question based on literature review, data collection, and critical thinking.  Research can be done in a variety of settings including the clinic, the laboratory, international arenas, and health systems. All students will produce a scholarly project with a paper and a poster presentation to their peers and SON faculty and administration.

Clinical classes require the student to apply their learning in a hands-on approach and culminates in an oral and written communication that summarizes their skills and modes of thinking and their dispositions and values.

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3. Student Advisement

In addition to the general counseling services provided by the University, the School of Nursing maintains an academic advisement program. It is designed to facilitate the student’s adjustment to academic life and to succeed in his/her program of study.

Upon arrival to campus, each student is assigned a faculty advisor, an academic advisor and a peer advisor. Student advisement is rooted in the Jesuit philosophy of “cura personalis,” which encourages the development of the complete person with respect for human dignity. The relationship between faculty, staff, and students should be viewed as reciprocal, with rewards and responsibilities for both parties. This team advises students regarding academic, professional, and other matters that may affect academic success.

Through the academic advisement program, students are assisted in orienting themselves to the University, in resolving problems which may interfere with the academic experience, and in making decisions concerning educational goals. Students requiring help beyond the scope of the advisor’s practice are referred to appropriate University support services. All first-year students will meet with their advisors during Orientation Week and are expected to maintain close contact throughout each semester.

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4. Academic Regulations

The School of Nursing requires of its students the standards set forth under Academic Regulations in this Bulletin.

Regulations particular to SON are as follows:

  1. Students must be full-time and in residence for four years. Transfer students must have a minimum of two years of residency and 60 credits at this University. Transfers into the BSN program typically are required to be enrolled at Georgetown for six semesters to fulfill program requirements. Any course that fulfills major, minor, or a Georgetown core requirement must be taken for a letter grade.
  2. SON major courses may not be used for a minor program.
  3. No more than four courses or 12 credits may be taken in summer school away from Georgetown over the four-year period. Prior approval for such courses must be obtained from the SON Office of Student Affairs.
  4. Students on a leave of absence should not expect to transfer credits for courses taken elsewhere during their leave. In rare circumstances and with expressed written approval from the SON Office of Student Affairs prior to the leave, students may be allowed to transfer a limited number of courses. In no instance will more than four courses be transferred to the Georgetown record, and all transfers will count against the “summer school” limit noted above.
  5. Any student with more than one incomplete in a given term who is unable to complete his or her work by the start of the next term may not begin new courses without formal review and consent of the SON Office of Student Affairs.

Emergency Contact

When an emergency arises and a student anticipates being away from the university and unable to attend classes, the student should contact their academic advisor in the SON Office of Student Affairs.

Academic Procedures

The SON Council on Studies, composed of the Associate Dean, Academic Affairs staff and the BSN Program Director, convenes at the conclusion of the fall, spring, and summer semesters to review the grades of each student in the SON. If a student on probation from the previous term is found to be in good academic standing, they may be removed from probation. In instances where a student has incurred an academic deficiency, the Council discusses how to advise the student and may take one of three courses of action: probation, suspension or dismissal. The Council notifies the student in writing of its decision and informs the student’s academic dean and faculty advisor of the decision. Students who are either dismissed or suspended may appeal the decision to the Chair of the SON Council on Studies Appeals Committee within a time frame specified by the Council on Studies.

Members of the Appeals Committee

The members of the Appeals Committee shall consist of:

  1. Three members of the SON faculty — one from the BSN program, one from the Master’s program and one from the doctoral program. The Associate Dean will chair the Appeals Committee.
  2. Two ad hoc members of the faculty will be available to serve in case the aforementioned faculty members are unable to participate.
  3. There will be a total of three members of faculty at every appeal to ensure that there is no split decision. No member of the faculty may sit on the Appeals Committee if:
    • He or she has at any time failed the student who is appealing.
    • He or she has at any time acted as an advisor to the student.

Responsibilities of the Appeals Committee

The responsibilities of the Appeals Committee are to:

  1. Receive any appeal forwarded by the Associate Dean of the Council’s decision to suspend or dismiss a student or a grade appeal; and
  2. Conduct appeal hearings.

A student wishing to appeal a suspension or dismissal must submit a request via email to the Associate Dean and the student’s Academic Advising Dean within 48 hours of receiving notice of such a decision. Grade appeals are addressed under Academic Regulations: Grade Appeals in this Bulletin.

The student must appear for the hearing, in-person or via Zoom. When presenting his or her appeal to the Appeals Committee, the student may appear alone or may bring a member of the University community or family member for support. The student may be present for all stages of the hearing except for the final deliberation of the Appeals Committee.

The Appeals Committee may recommend upholding the Council’s decision or it may recommend a mitigation of that decision, eg., instead of dismissal, a suspension; instead of suspension, a strict probation. It cannot recommend a harsher decision or completely abrogate the original decision. The Appeals Committee’s recommendation may give explanations or comments and is signed by the members of the Appeals Committee. The Chair of the Appeals Committee communicates to the student the final disposition of the matter in writing.

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Academic Requirements for Progression

In addition to the requirements outlined in the Academic Regulations section of the Undergraduate Bulletin, students enrolled in the BSN Program must achieve a C in each required science, health studies, and nursing course in order to progress to the next level. Students who do not receive a C in these courses must repeat the course, including any applicable clinical component, and achieve a C or better in the course before they can qualify for progression to the next level. Individual departments and faculty members determine their own grading scales. Students who do not achieve the minimum passing grade may be placed on academic probation and/or suspended.

A course grade of C requires that students achieve a minimum grade of C in both the clinical and didactic portions of each required nursing course(s). The didactic grade is calculated based only on theory exam grades, meaning that a student must achieve a weighted exam average of at least C. Graded assignments and papers may be calculated into the final course grade as defined by the course syllabus. Clinical grades are based both on written assignments and skill/behaviors performed in the clinical setting. Clinical failure will be considered in any one of the following circumstances: one, when written assignments are not at or above the C average; two, when there are two or more undocumented absences; three, for unsatisfactory skill/behavior performance; and four, for any unethical or unsafe behavior in the clinical setting. 

In most cases, failure in these courses delays graduation by up to one academic year. Students who fail to achieve the minimum passing grade of C in two different clinical nursing or science courses, or who fail (below C) the same nursing or science course twice, may be dismissed from the School of Nursing.

A nursing student incurring a failure/deficiency in any required course during any academic year must repeat the failed course as soon as possible before they will be permitted to proceed in the program. Students may be permitted to continue if the failed course is not a prerequisite or parallel (co-requisite) course. All clinical nursing courses must be repeated at the Georgetown School of Nursing.

Admission to the Department does not guarantee progression in the nursing program. Additionally, successful completion of the nursing program does not guarantee licensure as a registered nurse.

Transfer to the Nursing major is selective and will vary from year to year, based on availability.

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Probationary Status and Suspension/Dismissal

See the Academic Regulations: Probation, Suspension or Dismissal section of this Bulletin.


A student who has withdrawn or has been suspended from the University must apply in writing to the Associate Dean, requesting readmission six weeks before the first day of the upcoming semester. Requests from students who have been suspended should include the reasons for past poor academic performance, interim activities, and the reasons the student believes s/he will be academically successful upon readmission. The Associate Dean will consult with the Council on Studies for consideration on readmission. The Associate Dean will notify the student if the request is granted and the conditions of readmission. If the applicant is readmitted, a plan for matriculation and progression will be outlined, which specifically addresses the circumstances and deficiencies that resulted in the student’s withdrawal or suspension.

Leaves of Absence

The regulations pertaining to leaves of absences, including leaves for personal, medical and military reasons, are described in the Academic Regulations: Leave of Absence section of this Bulletin.

Academic Integrity

See the description of the Georgetown University Undergraduate Honor System in the Academic Regulations: Honor System section of this Bulletin.

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5. International Experiences

BSN students have the opportunity to study abroad through programs offered via the Office of Global Education. These programs are generally offered during the summer, and students traditionally take non-clinical/general education or elective courses. For nursing-specific international immersion experiences, BSN rising juniors and seniors have the opportunity to apply to be part of the Lourdes Magis Immersion program, a course which culminates with an experiential trip to Lourdes, France. While in Lourdes, students work to support the pilgrims who seek a healing experience at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. Our students also have the opportunity to participate in the Tanzania Healthcare Experiential Learning Initiative, a faculty-led, short-term service-learning experience for undergraduate and graduate nursing and midwifery students in the Kilimanjaro region of rural Tanzania, Africa. Students participate in health assessment and screening (primarily for school-age children), health promotion and wellness initiatives, health education for children and the community, and professional development of Tanzanian health care providers.

6. Honors Programs & ROTC

Nursing Honors Program

The purpose of this Honors Program is to allow traditional undergraduate nursing students with academic potential to be challenged at the highest level. Participants in the Nursing Honors Program will address, through scholarly inquiry, a contemporary issue related to clinical nursing practice. The Honors Program requires that the students conduct an IRB approved research study. Each student will summarize their final project in a formal oral presentation. In the last semester of the Nursing Honors Program, students submit results of their Honors project as a manuscript prepared for submission to a peer reviewed journal.

Participants in the Honors Program are expected to complete all requirements for the nursing major, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5, and successfully complete the Honors Seminars (NURS 3340, 3341, 3342 — 6 credits total).

Traditional nursing students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible to apply; a November application deadline will be posted for students in the Fall semester of their junior year. Each applicant must submit a personal statement that presents an overview of the proposed research topic, two letters of recommendation, and a copy of their transcript. Eligible candidates will be interviewed by Nursing faculty who coordinate the Nursing Honors Program.

Students who successfully complete the requirements of the Honors Program will graduate with the notation: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Honors).


Qualified applicants may be admitted to the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) of the United States Army, which supports a unit on the Georgetown Campus. Students complete the nursing major as well as required courses in military science. Graduates serve as commissioned officers in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps for their obligation period, with consideration of choice of location and clinical assignment. Air Force and Naval units are available at neighboring institutions. For further information, please visit here:

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7. Application for the Degree

Degrees are awarded three times a year: in May, August, and December. Seniors must file an application for the degree. The last day to file for a May degree is February 1; for an August degree, August 1; for a December degree, November 1. Failure to apply for the degree may necessitate the postponement of graduation.

Those students who graduate in August may participate in the previous May Commencement, providing that they have no more than six remaining credits to complete. Those who graduate in December may participate in the following May Commencement. Diplomas are distributed via mail.

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