Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Admission Requirements

Prior degree in Nursing

  • Graduate of an accredited college or university with a Master’s degree in nursing documented by an official transcript. Non-English transcripts must be translated into English by a certified translator, and then evaluated. Transcripts for completed degrees and/or coursework outside of the United States must be submitted for validation and evaluation before they may be considered for admission. 
  • Applicants who hold a BSN and Master’s degree in another health-related field will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis
  • Master's transcripts are expected to demonstrate a minimum GPA of 3.4. However, if you feel that you merit review despite failing to meet the minimum GPA requirement, submit a petition to [email protected] outlining evidence of your capacity for academic success. Your petition will not be reviewed until you have submitted a completed application. An interview may be required to assess the clarity of your focus of study.


No GRE required.

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 92 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.

Practice Experience

Completion of a minimum of 240 eligible practice hours during prior master’s or post-master's coursework, as evident on transcript or submitted portfolio materials. National certification in one of the recognized APRN roles (i.e. nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist or nurse-midwife) may substitute for 500 APRN practice hours.

RN licensure

  • Applicants must be licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN) in California OR in state of residency where DNP project work will occur.
  • Non-California applicants desiring a California license should review "Licensure by Endorsement / Reciprocity" rules from the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN).
  • California BRN regulations 2729 and 2732 state that all nurses practicing in California must be licensed in California.
  • Information regarding recognition of licensure in other states, or other matters related to licensure may be obtained from the BRN at the following address:
    Ca. Board of Registered Nursing
    P.O. Box 944210
    Sacramento, CA 94244-2100


College level statistics course completed within three years of the start of the program. The course does not need to be completed by the application deadline; however, if admitted to the program, it must be completed prior to enrolling in the program.

A few statistics refresher course options: California Community College — California virtual campus, UC Berkeley Extension, UC San Diego Extension, UCLAThe University of Massachusetts OnlineUniversity of and

Please note: some of these sources may not be transferable should you want to apply the course credits to a degree program. They will satisfy our DNP statistics prerequisite requirement.

The above list is not all-inclusive. If you identify a course (from the above list or elsewhere) that you are unsure of, please email a link to the course description to [email protected].

Résumé or curriculum vitae

Resume or curriculum vitae should detail work history, professional, and volunteer activities appropriate to the advanced practice role.

Application fee (subject to change)

  • $120 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $140 for international applicants.
  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents who demonstrate financial need, or who would have significant difficulty in paying application fees, may be eligible for a fee waiver.


  • Three confidential letters of recommendation from colleagues who are able to address academic abilities, work-related experience, and leadership potential.
  • Letters in writing are preferred.

Goal statement

  • Articulating personal and professional goals and how they relate to your area of specialization.

Preferred qualifications

  • One year of experience in advanced practice role.

Please review our FAQs for more information. Ready to Apply?