DNP, Nursing


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program prepares clinical experts and leaders who will have roles in a complex healthcare environment. The DNP degree program supports student development of skill in applying theoretical and scientific principles to advanced nursing practice. Program participants will conceptualize and rigorously develop a scholarly project based on an area of practice inquiry. In direct consultation with faculty mentors, students will conceive, implement, evaluate and defend their scholarly work, and develop strategies for dissemination.

Participants begin their post-master's program of study with a foundation in scientific and theoretical concepts supporting advanced nursing practice. The curriculum builds leadership and practice-based skill as students evaluate and apply evidence-based practice, explore methodology relevant to clinical practice inquiry, and evaluate organizational and systems impact on practice change, health policy, patient advocacy, quality improvement and safety across diverse populations and within inter-professional care teams.

The UCSF DNP degree program supports development of leadership and practice excellence for nurses who work in a variety of practice settings. The DNP program joins other established programs in the UCSF School of Nursing including Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN), Master's of Science (MS), Master’s of Science in Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership (MS-HAIL), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing and PhD in Sociology.

DNP program faculty members have established clinical and teaching expertise, and represent advanced practice and leadership roles locally, regionally and nationally. The UCSF School of Nursing and its combined programs consistently rank within the top tier of nursing programs nationally, and our faculty and students are recognized for their research and other scholarly activities. The UCSF DNP program is the first DNP program to be established in the University of California system.

For those committed to developing practice and leadership excellence, we offer an innovative seven-quarter, cohort model, hybrid program design that applies online learning with select in-person immersions.

Applications now open for 2019 entry.



Subject to change.

Quarter 18 units (8u)
- DNP Prologue (2u, in person)
- Concepts & Contemporary Issues for the DNP (3u, online)
- Critical Appraisal of Evidence-Based Practice (3u, online)
Quarter 26-8u*
- Methods & Measurements for Translational Practice Inquiry (3u, online)
- Improving Health Outcomes Through Quality Improvements & Patient Safety (3u, online)
- *Elective (1-2u, online)
Quarter 39u
- Advanced Health Policy & Advocacy (3u, online)
- Organizational Systems & Health Economics (3u, online)
- Transforming Healthcare Through Interprofessional Collaboration (3u, online)
Quarter 48u
- Advanced Concepts in Clinical Prevention & Population Health (3u, online)
- DNP Residency (3u, project site-based)
- DNP Project I: Project Conceptualization & Planning (2u, online)
Quarter 58u
- DNP Intersession (2u, in person)
- DNP Project II: Project Proposal (1u, online)
​- DNP Residency (5u, project site-based)
Quarter 66-8u*
- DNP Project III: Project Implementation (2u, online)
- DNP Residency (4u, project site-based)
- *Elective (1-2u, online)
Quarter 78u
- DNP Epilogue (2u, in person)
- DNP Project IV: Project Evaluation (1u, online)
​- DNP Residency (5u, project site-based)
Total: 53-57u*    

Curriculum Graphic PDF. See the Curriculum Details page for course descriptions.

Frequently Asked Questions


For information regarding tuition and fees please visit the Office of the Registrar. Program costs are estimated and subject to change. Additional expenses associated with travel and lodging for in-person program immersions as well as health insurance, immunizations, and background checks are the student's responsibility. Additional requirements may include personal professional malpractice insurance.

For information on financial aid, consult with the Financial Aid Office.

See our story in the Science of Caring.

Contact us at [email protected].