CRNA Program Requirements and Costs

There are a wide variety of CRNA programs across the United States, and many things about the programs can vary. However, there are some general trends and consistencies among the various programs.


With in-state tuition, the cost of a CRNA program is typically $15,000-$70,000. This is including all of the various expenses other than tuition that the student will have to pay. For out-of-state tuition, the cost is typically $20,000-$120,000. As with all colleges and universities, private schools typically charge more than public ones.

Prior Degree

Most CRNA applicants have already completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN, but there are other bachelor degrees that may qualify you for a CRNA program if you also hold an Associate Degree in Nursing. There is no doubt, however, that a BSN is the most competitive degree to have.

Clinical Experience

Every CRNA program requires clinical experience prior to applying for the program. Applicants are expected to have spent at least a year, and sometimes more, in critical care. The more experience an applicant has, the better their chances of getting into the program. Most applicants have at least two years of experience in a critical care unit, and they will have spent even more time as a registered nurse.

Current License

All applicants are expected to be registered nurses. Their licenses must be current and up to date. It is possible for an applicant to be a registered nurse in one state and apply for a CRNA program in a different state.


Almost all CRNA programs require students to have had a GPA of 3.0 or higher. A few programs consider students with a GPA of 2.75, but that is only if there is little competition for the open spots.

GRE Score

The majority of CRNA schools look for applicants with a combined GRE score of 1,000. There are some exceptions to this though, and some accept MAT scores instead.


Most programs expect applicants to be certified in a variety of life supports, such as Basic Life Support, CPR, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support.

Other Requirements

There are a variety of other requirements that can vary amongst the various programs. Most programs expect letters of recommendation, a resumé, and an interview amongst other requirements. Criminal background checks are also typically done, and many programs require an application fee to be paid.


Once the candidates are narrowed down, a select few are often chosen for interviews. This is a way for those running the program to get a better idea as to which applicants are best for their program.

As the program requirements can vary so much among programs, it is vital for prospective applicants to look at the specific requirements for each program that they are considering. Since some requirements, such as required classes and clinical experience, can take time to complete, anyone hoping to enter a CRNA program should look into the requirements as early as possible to assure they are making themselves as competitive as possible for the application process.