UC Multi-Campus Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Post-Master’s Certificate


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With California facing an urgent and growing shortage of mental health professionals, the UCSF School of Nursing, in collaboration with the UC Davis and UCLA Schools of Nursing, has launched new remote-access training that will prepare 300 psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) over five years.

The first remote-learning, post-master’s certificate of its kind in California, this training is being launched at a time when a shortfall in mental health providers has become widespread across California. Over 50% of people with mental illness in the state are not receiving psychiatric care, and many communities in the San Joaquin Valley and Inland Empire have only half as many psychiatrists as other parts of the state.

Program Format and Key Details

The Multi-Campus PMHNP Post-Master’s Certificate training is a 12-month remote-access education program with regional clinical training across California. Students can stay in their communities to complete their training.

The program aims to expand the PMHNP workforce in California to fill a critical gap in the state's mental health system, particularly in underserved areas. We aim to admit students that are dedicated to serving these populations in California. All applicants must be licensed in California. If admitted into the program, students must complete required clinical rotations that are arranged with regional partners within the state.

Upon completion of this training, students will sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center national certification to become a PMHNP.

Schedule and Application Deadline

For 2024 Entry

Application Deadline

We plan to open the application cycle in 2023 for 2024 entry. Please complete this interest form to be notified when applications open.

Classes Begin 2024

Admissions Requirements

Who Can Apply

  • Nurse practitioners
  • Clinical nurse specialists
  • Certified nurse midwives
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetists

Required Qualifications

  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) licensure in California. Nursing license must be recognized as valid for practice within the state of California during the complete course of study.
  • Official transcripts. Review our detailed guidance on official transcripts.
  • Goal statement
  • Minimum of 3 letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • English proficiency for non-native speakers (minimum TOEFL score of 92, minimum ILTS score of 7)

Required Prerequisite Coursework

Prior coursework in the following areas is required by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to be eligible for the PMHNP certification exam.

Three separate, comprehensive graduate-level courses in: 

  • Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology, including general principles that apply across the life span 
  • Advanced Health Assessment, which includes assessment of all human systems, advanced assessment techniques, concepts and approaches
  • Advanced Pharmacology, which includes pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacotherapeutics of all broad categories of agents 

In addition, applicants must have completed content in:

  • Health Promotion/Disease Prevention
  • Differential Diagnosis/Disease Management

PLEASE NOTE: Students whose previous graduate programs did not include the courses specified above must complete them before applying to sit for PMHNP board certification.  

The following external institutions offer non-matriculated courses: Purdue Global

Virtual Information Sessions

To review information from one of our recent information sessions, you can access the Powerpoint presentation. In addition, you can watch a recording of the Nov. 9, 2021 information session.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more details about the certificate program and admissions, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.


The Multi-Campus PMHNP Post-Master’s Certificate curriculum is competency based and aligned with the National Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) core and population specific competencies which include: scientific foundations, leadership, quality, practice inquiry, technology and information literacy, policy, health delivery system and ethics. The curriculum is built upon a framework which supports trainee knowledge, skills, and attitude for development of the PMHNP role. This is supported through didactic content and a workplace-based clinical internship. The curricular framework and descriptions are:

  • PMHNP role development: To build excellence in practice as a PMHNP
  • Interprofessional collaboration: To support communication and collaboration across professions
  • Structural competency: To create healthcare citizens who understand the effect of social inequity, racism and limited access to mental health care on individuals and communities
  • Self-reflective practice: To gain awareness of self, other and situation in the context of professional identity and role development

Review the curriculum plan.


Tuition and fees for the Post-Master's Certificate Program are posted on the UCSF Office of the Registrar website, under "Supplemental Studies in Advance Practice in Nursing — Distance."

The UC Multi-Campus PMHNP Post-Master’s Certificate Program is a self-supporting program, which means it does not receive any state funding. As a result, students in our program pay “program fees” which include instruction, library, Graduate Division, and campus student services, but do not pay “tuition” or a “student services fee.” Please note that the reduced fee enrollment, which offers 2/3 reduction of “tuition” and “student services fee,” does not apply to self-supporting programs.

To support you through your academic studies, the School’s Student Funding Office manages scholarships and other financial support opportunities.

Request Information

Please carefully review the admissions requirements and additional information. If you have questions, you may email Manager Shanna Abeloff