Master of Science (MScN)


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Western's Master of Science in Nursing (MScN) program is the longest standing graduate nursing program in Canada and provides the basis for leadership in professional nursing and the foundation for doctoral studies.

This flexible program provides the option to fast-track into the PhD Program after the first year of full-time study. This thesis-based program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study or three to four years of part-time study. Please note that applicants to the MScN program are encouraged to contact individual faculty members to discuss their research interests and potential research projects.

Who Should Apply?

The MScN program is ideal for students with a strong interest in research, and also students who may be considering the possibility of advancing their knowledge and research through the pursuit of a doctoral degree. Individuals with a passion for scientific inquiry that aligns with the research strengths of the school are potential candidates of this program. Graduates of the MScN program are equipped to engage in opportunities, including:

  • Leadership roles in healthcare organizations (e.g., coordinator, manager, and director)
  • Faculty/education roles in college and university
  • Doctoral studies
  • Policy developments

Program Objectives

The MScN program offers baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses who are seeking a graduate degree the opportunity to advance their education, research, and scholarship. This program is offered on both a full- and part-time basis, with preference given to applicants desiring to study on a full-time basis. This program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study or three to four years of part-time study.

Students in the MScN program will work with their supervisor(s) to develop a research proposal. Information about the strategic research themes in the School of Nursing can be found at As the MScN is a 2-year program, students are strongly encouraged to consider secondary analysis of existing research data, which could be from their supervisor or others within the School of Nursing, for their thesis research. While students are permitted to collect primary data in a thesis, you should be aware that this can include extra time to clear ethics and collect data.

Program Objectives

The goals of the program are to facilitate leadership in the:

  • Development of in-depth understanding of a selected aspect of nursing science
  • Analysis and integration of theory and research from nursing and related disciplines as a basis for enhancing understanding of significant issues
  • Valuing of differing approaches to knowledge development in the nursing discipline
  • Engagement in research inquiry that is significant to the nursing discipline
  • Upholding of principles of ethical inquiry in advancing knowledge in the discipline of nursing
  • Evolution of health care and health policy through the use of research findings and the development of collaborative partnerships


The deadline to apply for the MScN program is February 1. All application documents (i.e., transcripts, letters of reference, and supplemental materials) must be received by the deadline. Review of complete application files begins after February 1 and continues until spaces in each program are filled. Late applications will only be reviewed if space remains in the program. Incomplete applications cannot be reviewed, and it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application file is complete. Detailed information for international applicants can be found below in the "Information for International Applicants" section.

Admission Requirements

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree in nursing (e.g., BScN, BSN, BN)
  • GPA of 78% (B+) or higher
    • Admission averages are based on the last two years of full-time study or the last 10 part-time credits
  • Undergraduate preparation in research and statistics
  • Canadian applicants must be registered with their provincial nursing regulatory body as a Registered Nurse (RN) with no practice restrictions
  • International applicants:
    • See below in "Information for International Applicants" section

Application Requirements

  • Two academic references
    • Referees are contacted after their names are submitted in the online application
  • Transcripts of all postsecondary coursework (including bachelor’s degree in nursing)
  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Personal essay
    • The applicant should explain their reasoning for pursuing this program of study
    • Maximum length: Four double-spaced pages
  • Supplemental Application Form (PDF)

Review of Applications and Offers of Admission

The Graduate Program Admissions Committee reviews all applications meeting the minimum academic average of 78% (B+) and determines whether to offer admission based on a number of factors, including:

  • Past academic achievement
  • Quality of referee assessments
  • Clarity and fit of the applicant’s written goals with the program goals
  • Alignment of the applicant's research interests with the School's areas of strength
  • Evidence of engagement in professional activities
  • Evidence of leadership
  • Quality of oral and/or written communication

Offers of admission are made as applications are considered, with the first offers being made in April. Successful applicants may accept their offers of admission online.

Information for International Applicants

The Government of Canada recently announced a cap on new study permits. We have been assured that this cap will not affect incoming Master’s or Doctoral applicants.

If you have any immigration-related questions, Western International’s immigration advisors are happy to help. Please visit Western International’s website, make an appointment with an advisor, or contact the advising team at

In addition to the general admissions information outlined above, international applicants to the MScN program should be aware of the following important information related to the application/admissions process and studying in Canada.

Admissions Requirements

  • Internationally educated nurses may be asked to submit a World Evaluation Services (WES) report to confirm degree equivalence to those accredited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN)
  • Meet English language proficiency requirements
  • Show proof of RN registration from home country
  • International students enrolled in the MScN program are not required to hold registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), provided they are currently qualified to practice nursing in their home country
  • Prospective students must provide this information when applying to the program
  • Students who do not hold a CNO license will not be permitted to enroll in courses that include a clinical practice component or supervise undergraduate students in clinical practice

Tuition and Cost of Living

In addition to tuition and fees, students are required to have enough funding to support their needs for housing, food and other essentials. This cost-of-living calculator provides an idea of the full cost of studying at Western as an international student.

Tuition and Fees

The annual cost of tuition and fees for the Master of Science in Nursing (MScN) program is approximately $31,000 CAD (subject to change) per year. The MScN program is a two-year program, making the total cost of tuition approximately $62,000. This does not include the cost of living expenses. Tuition payment is due in three installments throughout the academic year. Students are eligible for funding support up to approximately $7,500 CAD per academic year.


A limited number of scholarships are available for international graduate students through Western’s School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. However, these scholarships require an application and are competitive. Not all who apply will receive scholarship funding. International students coming to Western should not rely on funding from these scholarships to support their studies in Canada.

Study Permits

Information about obtaining a permit to study in Canada is available through Western’s International and Exchange Student Centre.

Program Outline

This program is offered on both a full- and part-time basis, with preference given to applicants desiring to study on a full-time basis. This program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study or four years of part-time study.

For more detailed information about graduate courses offerings in the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, visit the Course Offerings page.

Full-Time Study

Fall Term:

  • N9611: Statistical Analysis & Application
  • N9661: Foundations of Nursing Science

Winter Term:

  • N9662: Post-positivist Research Methods
  • N9663: Interpretive & Critical Research Methodologies

Summer Term:

  • Elective
  • Begin thesis work

Fall Term:

  • Continue thesis work

Winter Term:

  • Continue thesis work

Summer Term:

  • Continue thesis work

Part-Time Study

Fall Term:

  • N9661: Foundations of Nursing Science

Winter Term:

  • N9663: Interpretive & Critical Research Methodologies

Summer Term:

  • Elective

Fall Term:

  • N9611: Statistical Analysis & Application

Winter Term:

  • N9662: Post-positivist Research Methods

Summer Term:

  • Begin thesis work

Fall Term:

  • Continue thesis work until complete