Post-Master's Entry to the DNP Pathway 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, but a 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 3.0. 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. 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. National certification as a certified nurse executive (i.e. NEA-BC or CENP) may substitute for 500 non-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 five years of the start of the program. Proof of enrollment is required by the application deadline, but the course may be completed up to the time of enrollment.

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 APRN or advanced nursing leadership experience

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