Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN)


MEPN, a three-year program leading to a Master of Science degree in nursing, is for persons without previous nursing preparation but who hold a baccalaureate (bachelor's) degree in another field. For Graduates holding specialized bachelor's degrees (e.g., Bachelor of Fine Arts--B.F.A.) please visit this page to determine if you will meet UCSF's MEPN admissions baccalaureate requirements.

Graduates of this program are prepared as “advanced practice nurses,” which is a registered nurse with graduate academic preparation and advanced clinical skills that qualify her/him as an expert in a defined area of knowledge and practice. The advanced practice nurse's role incorporates the functions of clinician, educator, consultant, and/or researcher.

The difference between the MEPN path and the traditional Master of Science path to advanced practice nursing is that MEPN students begin their program with four quarters of generalist foundation training in nursing. Upon successful completion of the MEPN first year, students are eligible to take (in the summer after completing their first year) the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)-RN as approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN).



The first year of study in MEPN includes all the didactic and clinical nursing study usually distributed over two years. It entails 30-37 clock hours of class and clinical work per week in addition to study time. Consequently, it is not advisable and students are discouraged from engaging in paid employment or taking additional coursework during their first year in MEPN. The final two years of the program are more individually paced and, therefore, it may be feasible for students to work part time.

All of the information in the website section "Master of Science Program," and the website section listing Master's Specialties is relevant to the last two years of study of this (MEPN) program.

Clinical Sites

Clinical teaching sites are located at major medical centers throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area, within an approximate 50-mile radius of the School of Nursing. By lottery system each student is assigned rotations at three or more different sites, affording broad exposure to renowned centers of patient care and research.

Students are expected to provide their own transportation to all clinical site locations. It is strongly recommended that students must have access to a vehicle or personal transportation, as most clinical sites are not accessible by public transportation.

MEPN First Year Sample Curriculum




Summer Session



N141 Pharmacology and Nursing Care



N142 Intro to Professional Nursing



N145 Pathophysiology



Fall Quarter


N143 Effective Communication



N144 Adult Med.-Surg./Geriatric Nrsg.



Winter Quarter


N146 Parent-Child Nursing



N148 Socio-Cultural Issues in Health, Illness



N149 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing



Spring Quarter


N147 Childbearing Families



N150 Community Health Nursing



N151 Issues in Nursing







This listing of courses is subject to change. Students must successfully complete each quarter to progress to the next quarter. After completing their first year (pre-licensure year), MEPN students must take and pass the required examination for their nursing license ("R.N."). After obtaining California licensure, students continue into the regular Master of Science program (specialty area curriculum) for their second and third years.

LVN Non-Degree Option

California legislation requires that pre-licensure programs offer a 45-quarter unit option. This program is offered on a space-available basis to licensed vocational nurses to assist in preparation for the RN licensure exam. This would be done through the 45-quarter unit LVN Non-Degree Option Program (see "Post-Masters/Special Studies") at the same cost as the first twelve months of MEPN.


Approximate fees (subject to change) for the first twelve months of this program are $55,000.00. After this first year, fees are set at the standard University rates for students in the regular Master of Science (M.S.) program.

Additional student fee information is available from the UCSF Registrar. Note that MEPN fees for Year One are shown at the end of the web page linked above.

Fees do not include housing, meals, transportation, supplies, or other living expenses. All listed fees are subject to change without notice.

Financial Aid, MEPN

Students admitted to this program can apply for financial aid and for federal and private loans. Aid information is available from the UCSF Financial Aid Office website--be sure to identify yourself as admitted to the “Nursing MEPN” program.