Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) Admission Requirements

Please read through the admissions requirements carefully, and review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for greater detail.


  • Completion, no later than the application deadline, of intro- or higher-level courses with passing grades and worth at least two semester units or three quarter units in each of the following:
    1. Microbiology, with a lab component
    2. Physiology, with a lab component
    3. Anatomy, with a lab component
      • Note: combined anatomy and physiology courses are acceptable as long as they comprise a comprehensive systems overview totaling at least four semester units or six quarter units.
    4. Psychology
    5. Statistics
      • Note: course completion at college-level within three years of UCSF application date. For example, for June 2018 entry, statistics courses completed prior to spring 2016 does not meet this requirement. Transcript must reflect statistics course grade and credits earned at an accredited college, university, or online institution. See FAQ for more information.
    6. Nutrition

Be aware that in your application this list above is recorded as nine prerequisite courses: six subject areas and three labs. If your institution combines labs and lecture in the same course number, enter the same course information again. Until all nine prerequisite course fields are completed, your application cannot be locked for submission.

Bachelor’s degree

  • Completion in a general discipline other than nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and conferred no later than the September 1 application deadline as verified by an official transcript.
  • Note: If you feel that you merit review despite failing to meet the minimum GPA requirement, submit a petition to Steven Johnson outlining the evidence of your capacity for academic success. Your petition will not be reviewed until you have submitted a completed application.
  • Caution: certain highly-specialized bachelor's degrees (e.g., BArch, BEng, BFA, BMus) may not meet UCSF general education requirements, see Specialized Bachelor’s Degrees for details.


As of April 1, 2018, the GRE is no longer an admissions requirement for the MEPN program

Official transcripts

  • Applications will not be considered complete until all educational institutions listed have corresponding official transcripts uploaded or mailed to the Office of Student Affairs.
  • Note: for courses still in progress at time application, unofficial transcripts may be uploaded to your application. However, official transcripts are required for final admission if you are accepted
  • All non-English transcripts must be translated by a certified translator for evaluation. Non-U.S. transcripts must be submitted for evaluation.
    • Applicants may send their transcripts and credentials to any evaluation agency which requires submission of original transcripts and/or certificates directly from the education institution to the evaluation agency. The purpose of the evaluation is to verify that your degree/coursework is the equivalent to that of a U.S. Bachelor or Master's degree.
    • Evaluation agencies provide a variety of services. Be sure to request an evaluation that provides the following:
      • Lists all subjects/courses completed at the post-secondary level
      • Provides a U.S. semester credit and grade equivalent for each course
      • Provides a U.S. grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale, and
      • Designates the level (upper or lower) of each undergraduate course
  • In our experience, World Education Services (415) 677-9378; (212) 966-6311; [email protected]) provides the information we need in a format that is useful for the admissions decision. However, applicants may choose to use any agency which meets the criteria above and can perform an evaluation meeting the four points mentioned above.

Goal Statement

  • Explain how your goals align with the program's goals and resources.
  • A written goal statement is required, which is to be PDF-formatted and submitted on-line via the UCSF web application system.
  • Within the on-line application are detailed instructions on the format and content of this essay; make sure your name appears at the top. 


  • Nominate four to five recommenders who can assess your performance and judgment in the area of study.
  • All recommendations should be from individuals—not relatives—who are acquainted with the applicant's work or community experience.
  • Recommendations should address the following areas: [a] relationships with work (paid or voluntary) associates, [b] work competence, [c] communication and interpersonal skills with persons of diverse backgrounds, [d] leadership skills or potential, and [e] values, ethical standards, responsibility, and initiative.
  • Recommenders are also asked for an overall rating (from zero to six) of the applicant.
  • Each identified recommender receives at least one email (repeated if necessary) asking for their written recommendation. This email specifies a private web site for that recommender, to be used to submit/upload their letter/recommendation in PDF format.
  • With this system, applicants can verify when each of their specified recommenders has actually responded and which recommenders may still require a follow-up email request.
  • This email/web oriented system has simplified and sped the process of collecting references/recommendations. On-line submission allows for applicants and recommenders to avoid the delays and uncertainties of the previous postal-based process.


  • Evidence of personal qualification and capacity for graduate study, as reflected in the application, goal statement, references, and baccalaureate GPA. Past academic performance and professional activity are evaluated, e.g., community, organizational, and volunteer service, and creative professional accomplishments.
  • Return to your on-line account after the September deadline to view status updates. Plan ahead and be prepared well in advance of the posted application deadline, i.e., September 1. Deadlines are strictly enforced according to local time in California, a.k.a., Pacific Daylight Time.

State Licensure

  • In addition to UCSF prerequisite courses, listed above, the California Board of Registered Nursing licensure application requires specific minimum coursework.
  • For the RN, students must have completed 24.0 quarter units of natural, behavioral, and social science coursework, including a course in psychology, and 6.0 quarter units of communications, part of which must deal with basic English writing skills.
  • Note: Ordinarily these state requirements have already been met during the student's bachelor's degree studies.

    International applicants
    Caution: MEPN is not optimal for international applicants, because of the need for language and culture familiarity, and the need for familiarity with the U.S. health care system. English proficiency for non-native English speakers as verified by one of the following:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) – minimum total score of 84 with a minimum score of 24 in both the speaking and writing sections. To report your scores, use UCSF institutional code 4840 and department code 43.
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – minimum score of 7 mailed to the Office of Student Affairs.
    • Note: test scores may take up to six weeks to reach the university.

    Please refer to the FAQ page for more details. Prospective international students should also review the following resources