UCSF School of Nursing Program Review

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing has a rich history of providing various nursing programs to aspiring healthcare workers in the state and country. As part of the world-renowned health sciences institution, the university fosters excellence, innovation and diversity. The faculty and staff have years of experience in their fields of specialization and have gained leadership roles in health care delivery, policy, clinical, and translation research. Students work in close collaboration with the staff of UCSF Health Nursing in several joint research, patient care, as well as education initiatives. The university’s programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the state Board of Nursing, allowing graduates to become eligible for licensing exams and certification programs.

Master of Science (MS)

The Master of Science in Nursing program of the University of California, San Francisco prepares BSN degree students in advanced practice roles as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, administrators, clinical nurse specialists, teachers, and consultants. The nursing and non-nursing courses provide a more advanced theoretical knowledge, leadership development, assessment skills, and clinical practice in a particular specialty. Students will have an opportunity to critique and utilize nursing theory and research for clinical practice.

Upon completing the Master of Science program, graduates will have gained a solid knowledge in a particular area of the nursing profession and be capable of participating in research activities and theory formulation. The degree can be completed in two long years, and most of students take it on a full-time basis.


The core curriculum of the Master of Science in Nursing program serves students from various specialties. It provides advanced preparation in theory, research, and clinical judgment in health care economics, nursing practice, leadership, policy, and the scientific basis for different concepts. The program has two clinical cores for the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) students and the primary healthcare students. Students in the CNS program will undergo courses in health assessment, case management, program management, and outcome evaluation. Students in the primary health care will have core courses in clinical care management, health maintenance and promotion, and health assessment.

Specialty Areas

The University of California San Francisco School of Nursing offers various MS specialty areas from which Registered Nurses can choose:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with Oncology Focus
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist in Critical Care or Trauma
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist in Oncology
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Advanced Public Health Nursing
  • Health Policy Nursing
  • Neonatal Nursing
  • Certified Nurse-Midwife or Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Occupational & Environmental Health Nursing
  • Psychiatric / Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner


Admission Requirements

The Master of Science in Nursing has certain admission requirements that must be completed prior to the enrollment process. Students are screened and selected based on the documents presented and the number of available seats currently in the program. Among the requirements of the MS program are transcripts of record from the previous school attended, completed prerequisites, a goal statement, completed application form and corresponding fee and letters of reference. Applicants should hold a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and a valid or unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse in the United States.

Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN)

The Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) is a three-year program leading to a Master of Science in Nursing. The program is offered to individuals with a bachelor’s degree in a different field wanting to complete a Baccalaureate in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing. Graduates of the Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) will be prepared and equipped as “masters prepared nurses” who are Registered Nurses with academic credentials and advanced clinical skills that make them experts in a particular area of knowledge or nursing practice.

Individuals planning to enter a Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) must decide which special area to take. This will be the primary focus of the criteria used in the application screening process. Once a student is admitted, he or she will start the program with four quarters of general courses in nursing, followed by the core subjects in MEPN that make him or her eligible for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).


The first year of the Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) is composed of didactic and clinical nursing study. It includes 30 to 37 hours of classroom instruction and clinical work per week, other than the time required for studying. Students are not encouraged to engage in paid employment or additional coursework in their first year of the Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) to stay focused. However, they can start working part-time in the final two years of study since it is more individually paced.

The clinical sites of the program are situated in the major medical centers of greater San Francisco Bay Area, usually within a 50-mile radius of the UCSF School of Nursing. Each student has an assigned rotations at three or more sites done through a lottery system. Getting to and from the assigned clinical site is the student’s responsibility.

The tuition fees in the first twelve months of the Masters Entry Program in Nursing are usually higher than the standard university rate. In the next two years of the program, fees follow the standard university types. It is important to take note that fees do not include transportation, housing, meals, textbooks, supplies, and other living expenses.

Admission Requirements

Students who plan to take the Masters Entry Program in Nursing should meet the admission criteria of the school including a completed application form, a completed pre requisites, GRE passing scores, reference letters, official transcripts, goal statement and a proof of Baccalaureate degree completion. International students must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Online MS Healthcare Administration & Interprofessional Leadership (MS-HAIL)

The online Master of Science Healthcare Administration & Interprofessional Leadership (MS-HAIL) is an innovative graduate program that provides opportunities for students to learn from expert teachers and contribute to the healthcare organization. It allows them to collaborate with other healthcare members and develop a network of professionals committed to making health care sustainable, affordable, and accessible. The program is offered online and is designed for healthcare professionals in dentistry, medicine, gerontology, nutrition, nursing, pharmacy, social work, occupation and physical therapies, and many others. This unique program allows every student to execute an Interprofessional capstone project that meets the issue of a healthcare organization. Through the guidance of a workplace mentor and UCSF advisor, students will be able to design, implement, and even evaluate an evidence-based practice that enhances the clinical or operational systems of healthcare institutions.


The Online Master of Science Healthcare Administration & Interprofessional Leadership (MS-HAIL) will allow the students to receive new knowledge and competencies that can restructure the future of healthcare. The university’s highly esteemed and expert faculty will teach and train these individuals to become leaders and researchers in the profession. The program can be completed in four quarters or 12 months, and online interactive instruction takes place all of the time. There are a two executive weekend on-campus courses that give students the opportunity to build a new network with their colleagues.

The online program is designed for students to continue their current employment while earning an advanced degree. Some employers cover all the costs of the education, but others do not. Nevertheless, the tuition for the two courses on campus includes three meals each day, three-course instruction, and a variety of activities that promote connections with leadership colleagues, UCSF staff and experts in the field. Lodging, travel, and other additional costs are not part of the tuition. The 12-course online program is estimated to cost around $48,200. Additional fees include $90 for the application, books, and other educational resources.

Ph.D. in Nursing

The Ph.D. in Nursing of the University of California San Francisco allows graduates to become scientists who conduct nursing research and contribute to the enhancement of knowledge in the profession. The curriculum is designed to develop scholarly thinking on problems related to the nursing discipline.

The initial part of the program provides coursework in areas of nursing science, research, and theory development. The middle segment is comprised of cognates, research residencies, and independent studies that provide a foundation for the projected dissertation and program of research. The final section is preceded by a qualifying examination, a research proposal, data collection, analysis, and writing of a dissertation.


The Ph.D. in Nursing can be completed in four years. Students can study in part- or full-time study.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares students to become clinical experts and leaders in a complex healthcare environment. It supports student development of skills in utilizing theoretical and scientific principles to improve nursing practice. Participants will be able to conceptualize and rigorously create a scholarly project. They will have a direct consultation with faculty mentors to help them develop strategies, conceive, evaluate, implement, and defend their academic work.

Initially, students start their pPst-Master’s program with a solid foundation in nursing theoretical and scientific concepts. The curriculum is built on leadership and practice-based skills to allow students to apply evidence-based practice, discovery methodology, and evaluate organizational policy and improve the healthcare system. The faculty members of the DNP program have teaching and clinical expertise and have gained leadership roles in the region. As a top-tier nursing program provider, the DNP program in the University of California San Francisco offers students the opportunity to become competent and excellent healthcare professionals.

Admission Requirements

Applicants of the Doctor in Nursing Program (DNP) must meet the following admission requirements of the university to be considered. They must have a prior degree in nursing, preferably a graduate of an accredited Baccalaureate or Master’s degree in Nursing. They should present an official transcript with a GPA of 3.4 in a 4. Scale. Those who want to gain entry into the program must have a valid and unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse and a clinical experience of least 500 hours. Other requirements needed in the program are the completion of upper-division statistics, a curriculum vita, an application form and fee, letters of recommendation and a goal statement.