Applying To Drexel's Accelerated Career Entry (ACE) BSN Program

Drexel's second-degree Accelerated Nursing program is one of our most competitive undergraduate programs at the University. It is a fast-paced, BSN degree for students who already have a bachelor's degree in another field of study and have now realized their true passion is nursing. I was able to chat virtually with my colleague, Ashley McManus, assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions. She works with our Accelerated Nursing (ACE) applicants during the admission process, and I spoke with her to learn more about application tips and helpful hints in this process!

Jennifer: What is ACE?

Ashley: ACE stands for Accelerated Career Entry — this is in reference to our accelerated second degree: the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, but that's a mouthful so we just say ACE!

I highly recommend any student who is interested in applying to the ACE program join one of our information sessions!

Jennifer: What is your favorite part of working with ACE students?

Ashley: There are a lot of great aspects of working with ACE students, but I think my favorite is the questions they ask! Since ACE is a second-degree program, all the students who are applying either graduated from their first degree already or are just about to graduate. This means they all have been through an application process and a degree program already so they have amazing questions! It keeps me on my toes.

Jennifer: What does the Admissions Committee look for when admitting someone to the ACE program?

Ashley: The Admissions Committee reviews all students on a holistic basis, so everything is taken into consideration when making a decision. One of the main focuses of review is on the prerequisite courses, so competitive applicants will have a majority of these courses completed at the time of application. Competitive applicants will also have a B or higher in their prerequisite coursework and a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate degree GPA in their most recent 60-credits GPA.

Jennifer: What do you mean by most recent 60-credits GPA?

Ashley: Well, the Admissions Committee certainly understands that people can change and grow over the course of their first degree and/or in their time as a working professional. We have students applying to the ACE program who graduated from their first degree over 10 years ago and maybe their undergraduate GPA isn't as high as they would have hoped. These are students we typically see going back to school to complete the prerequisite requirements and, if their grades are better, we want to honor that growth.

Jennifer: Is there anything specific that students need to submit when applying?

Ashley: Yes! First and foremost, students must submit their application with official transcripts from every school they attended. Sometimes, students think we only need transcripts from where they took their prerequisite courses, but this is not correct and could result in a delay in receiving a decision. Students will also need to have the completed anatomy and physiology sequence and either microbiology or chemistry, all with labs, at time of application. All other prerequisite requirements will need to be completed by the prerequisite deadline of August 1 for the fall term or January 15 for the spring term.

Jennifer: What advice would you give students applying to the ACE program?

Ashley: I highly recommend any student who is interested in applying to the ACE program join one of our information sessions! I understand that applying to a new program can be confusing and there is a lot of information out there. Our information sessions break down the application process with one of our admissions representatives and we always have a member of the Nursing Department there to talk more about the opportunities available in the program.

If you can't attend one of our information sessions, we do have a recording available on our website as well.

Jennifer: And what about students who have been admitted? Any advice?

Ashley: First, take a moment to celebrate! This is a highly competitive program — you deserve to take a moment to appreciate all the hard work you put in up to this point.

And second, please take the time to read your acceptance letter in its entirety. This letter will stay in your Discover Drexel portal until the term begins. There is a lot of information in it, and I understand this can feel overwhelming, but it is all very important. You will need to know the information that is listed in your letter if you are interested in continuing with your acceptance. To help with confusion, the letter is broken down into categories. You can view your letter on the Discover Drexel portal by selecting the "View Decision Letter" link once you log in.

Jennifer: Thank you, Ashley!

If you've found that nursing is your calling, and you are looking to complete a second bachelor's degree in as little time as possible, check out Drexel's program! Our admissions office is here to help you through the application process. You can reach out to our office with any questions at You can also learn more about Ashley McManus, our assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions, here.

Finally, to ensure you don't miss any upcoming ACE events or application deadlines, check out our helpful Nursing Accelerated Career Entry BSN website.