MSN, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Master of Science in Nursing — Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Make a Positive Impact on Well-Being in East Texas and Beyond

The United States is experiencing an unprecedented mental health crisis at a time when there is a shortage of mental healthcare and a concerning lack of access. With an MSN-PMHNP degree from The University of Texas at Tyler, you can help fill that gap.

Develop the expertise to effectively diagnose, treat and improve the quality of life for patients with mental health challenges throughout their lifespan. Prepare to take the PMHNP-BC exam, advance your career and set your sights on future doctoral studies with our top-rated online program.

Why Earn a Master’s Degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing From UT Tyler?

As an experienced nurse, you understand that a person’s physical and mental conditions determine their overall health. Through our rigorous program, you can achieve your goal of specializing in mental health nursing, preparing for advanced practice licensure and setting a foundation for further doctoral studies.

UT Tyler’s renowned program equips you to tackle new responsibilities in your career, add to your accomplishments and serve patients from childhood through adulthood experiencing various mental health challenges. What sets our MSN-PMHNP program apart?

  • Flexible, Primarily Online Format: Learn at your pace by choosing either a two-year or three-year format. Tailor the course schedule, so you can continue to fulfill work obligations. You can complete all coursework online, with the exception of one hybrid course and up to two hands-on clinical experiences at our main campus.
  • Hands-on Learning: Gain practical experience through the 500 clinical hours required to earn the degree. Work with a wide variety of demographics, including children and older adults, during practicums. Under the guidance of a preceptor, apply your skills in a capstone project focused on addressing challenges in a mental health organization.
  • Outstanding Faculty: Learn from professors who have real-world experience, are actively engaged in research and strive for teaching excellence. Receive personalized attention with small class sizes and one-on-one meetings.
  • Nationally Ranked: The UT Tyler School of Nursing has a longstanding reputation for teaching excellence. Recently, U.S. News & World Report recognized our MSN program as one of the Top 25 in the country.
  • Highly Effective: Our CCNE-accredited curriculum prepares you for the American Nurses Credentialing Center PMHNP (Across the Lifespan) Certification exam through rigorous coursework. Our most recent pass rate was 100%.
  • Affordable: Our tuition is a fraction of the cost of other comparable programs while yielding a high return on investment. Students further have the option to earn certification in other nursing specialties while enrolled in a School of Nursing master’s program.


The MSN-PMHNP program consists of 49 credit hours, 34 of which are major-specific courses focusing on pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics, neurobiology, psychopharmacology, diagnosis techniques and advanced skills in the field. Practicums with experienced preceptors provide opportunities to exercise your newfound knowledge in a mental healthcare setting.

All students develop expertise in the following topics:

  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders: Refine your evaluation techniques and use of screening tools to implement accurate treatment plans and prescribe more effective pharmaceuticals and psychotherapeutic interventions.
  • Mental Health and Illness: Explore the physical and environmental causes of mental disorders, including how they relate to genetics, injury, trauma, infection, physical disease states, neurodegeneration and developmental conditions.
  • Psychotherapeutic Theories: Grasp fundamental concepts in psychotherapy and how to use an evidence-based approach to the treatment of various mental health disorders.
  • Integrated Mental Healthcare: Examine the mind-body connection to promote better mental health practices in your community and inform the public of preventative measures.

Review All MSN-PMHNP Course Descriptions

NOTE: All clinical practicum courses must be completed at a Texas-licensed facility and be precepted by a Texas-licensed practitioner {PHMNP, MD, DO or PA (with CAQ certification)}.

Careers in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the demand for nurse practitioners to increase by 40% in the next decade. Nurse practitioners are highly valued in the healthcare industry and can often command six figures. Communities are increasingly dependent on PMHNPs to meet rising demands for mental healthcare. A 2019 study showed that NPs provided one in three mental health prescriber visits — a key finding that demonstrates their importance in delivering care.

With your degree and advanced practice license, you can expand your career in a wide variety of healthcare organizations, like:

  • Clinics
  • Community organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Private practices
  • Psychiatric facilities
  • Schools and universities
  • Substance abuse centers
  • Trauma centers
  • Veterans centers

How to Apply

To apply, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Submit a one-page personal statement.
  • Submit transcripts verifying a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 for the last 60 semester credit hours of undergraduate work*.
  • Hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from a nationally accredited nursing program.
  • Complete an undergraduate statistics course with a grade of “C" or better.
  • Show proof of current unencumbered licensure as a Registered Nurse in the state(s) where clinical practicum will occur.
  • Applicants to advanced practice degree programs are strongly encouraged to submit a CV or a resume. 
  • Applicants from countries other than the United States must also meet the admission requirements for international students seeking a graduate degree as listed in the University catalog.
  • Consideration for admission is also given to one or more of the following: the applicant’s demonstrated commitment to his or her chosen field of study; socioeconomic background; and involvement and level of responsibility related to other factors, including extracurricular activities, employment, community service, first generation of family to graduate from an undergraduate program, family responsibility for raising children, multilingual proficiency, or geographic region of residence.

International Students

Applicants from countries other than the United States must also meet the admission requirements for international students seeking a graduate degree. Review all admission requirements for international students.

Applicants must submit evidence of English proficiency before UT Tyler grants admission. Applicants whose primary language is not English (the undergraduate degree is from a foreign institution) must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language, Pearson Test of English or the International English Language Testing System. The minimum score requirements are as follows:

  • 79 TOEFL iBT (internet-based test)
  • 550 TOEFL PBT (paper-based test)
  • 53 PTE
  • 6.5 overall band score and 6.0 in each subsection IELTS

Other Admissions Considerations

UT Tyler also gives consideration for admission to one or more of the following:

  • The applicant's demonstrated commitment to their chosen field of study.
  • Socioeconomic background.
  • The involvement and level of responsibility in other matters, including extracurricular activities, employment and community service.
  • First generation of family to graduate from an undergraduate program.
  • Family responsibility or raising children.
  • Multilingual proficiency.
  • Geographic region of residence.

Levels of admissions:

  • Full Acceptance Status: Applicants who have met all admission requirements.
  • Conditional Acceptance Status: UT Tyler may accept MSN applicants who have met some but not all of the requirements listed above into the graduate program on a conditional basis following review by the Graduate Studies Committee. After the successful completion of designated coursework from the student's degree plan, the university grants full acceptance status.
  • Provisional Acceptance Status: Students may be admitted provisionally to the MSN-PMHNP program. Refer to the Provisional Admission section for more information: Graduate School FAQs.

STEP 1: Apply to the University

All applicants must apply to the university prior to applying to the nursing program. Go to The Graduate School to complete the application.

Current or previous UT Tyler students must complete a new application if applying for a higher level of degree (i.e., BSN to MSN, MSN to PhD, MSN to DNP, MSN to post-master’s certificate).

How Much Does It Cost to Apply?

The application cost is $50 for domestic students; $75 for international students. The fee is nonrefundable and required before your application is processed. Make credit card payments at the time of application by Visa or MasterCard only.

The university waives fees for all UT Tyler alumni. Please select the “Pay by Check” option. The fee is waived once your application is processed. Please do NOT send a check, as no refunds are given.

STEP 2: Submit Official Transcripts

MSN Domestic Applicants: The university requires an official transcript showing a baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited institution. Previous institutions should send official copies directly to UT Tyler through UT Tyler transcripts are available from the Registrar's Office; applicants need not forward them.
If your BSN transcript does not contain at least 60 credit hours of coursework, you are required to submit community or junior college transcripts directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

MSN International Applicants: Please send an official transcript showing a four-year baccalaureate degree in nursing or its U.S. equivalent from an accredited institution of higher learning and official transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions, TOEFL scores, entrance exams scores (GRE or GMAT for MBA) and evidence of financial support (Affidavit of Support) to:

Office of Graduate Admissions HPR 248
The University of Texas at Tyler
3900 University Blvd.
Tyler, TX 75799

For details and a list of forms, visit the International Students page.

Transfer Students: You must submit an official letter from your previous institution’s nursing department stating you are in good standing and eligible to return to their program. To review individual transfer course eligibility, you must also submit course syllabi from the time of enrollment. The maximum allowed transfer credit hours is nine, subject to review for equivalency. Submit both the letter of eligibility and any syllabi to with the subject line “Transfer Student Application Documents.”

STEP 3: Submit Nursing Documents

  • Submit via the Nursing Document link.
  • Submit a personal statement via the above link. View prompts by selecting the program of choice on the nursing application page.
  • Submit a résumé/CV including your academic history, work history (with particular attention to nursing experience), certifications and any other service or activities you wish to include.
  • Show proof of one year of full-time work experience in the last four years as a nurse prior to application. This experience should be direct patient care involving patient assessment and medication administration.
  • Show proof of current unencumbered Texas or Compact licensure as a Registered Nurse.
  • Complete an undergraduate statistics course with a grade of “C" or better.
  • Submit transcripts verifying a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 for the last 60 semester credit hours of undergraduate work. The university may grant Conditional admission to students who do not meet the GPA requirement for full admission based on other criteria.
  • Applicants from countries other than the United States must also meet the admission requirements for international students seeking a graduate degree. Review international admission requirements.

The UT Tyler School of Nursing offers programs year-round with multiple start dates. Applications are accepted throughout the year, and prospective students need to be admitted two weeks before the session start date. In case of non-admission by that date, the start date will be deferred to the next session. For inquiries about the application process, please contact an enrollment advisor.

Applicants offered acceptance into a graduate nursing program may be assessed a nonrefundable seat deposit of $200 by the date indicated in the acceptance letter. Failure to pay the deposit will result in forfeiture of the acceptance. The university applies the $200 toward the first semester’s tuition. Applicants who accept an offer of admission but later decide not to attend forfeit the seat deposit.

Post-MSN Psychiatric Mental Health Certificates

Online Certificate Options


Next Steps

The next phase of your career starts here. Discover how a master’s degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing from UT Tyler will equip you to improve the mental health and well-being of those in your care.