Master of Science Program

Our highly ranked Master of Science program prepares registered nurses to become advanced leaders in health care delivery and health equity.

We offer many specialties that allow you to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to excel in the advanced practice roles of nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse-midwife, health policy expert, community/population health expert, administrator, teacher and consultant. Whichever specialty you choose, the coursework and residencies in this two-year program will equip you with:

  • A strong knowledge base in the specialty area you choose
  • The ability to participate in research activity and the translation of research into practice
  • The ability to formulate and apply theory to nursing practice
  • The confidence and knowledge to advocate for patient and community needs, as well as critical health care issues

Our Specialties

Visit the Master's Academic Overview page for detailed information on each of our specialties, including curriculum and certifications. We encourage you to consult with the faculty and specialty coordinators in your desired specialty to determine if your goals and experience are a good fit. Please note that you may only apply to one specialty within the Master of Science program per application cycle.

Currently during the COVID-19 pandemic, didactic classes are offered in various formats, including remote, hybrid and in-person. This practice may change in the future.

  Specialties That Require RN Experience Specialties That Do Not Require RN Experience
Nurse Practitioner
Clinical Nurse Specialist


Health Policy and Public Health  

COVID-19 Information for Applicants

Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grades

UCSF will accept pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory grades, without prejudice, for courses taken during the COVID-19 pandemic between spring 2020 through spring 2022. It has always been our practice to consider grades in the context of numerous other aspects of the application, and an international crisis certainly provides a unique and compelling context. In adopting this policy, we are cognizant of the fact that some undergraduate schools are providing an option for students to take courses either for grades or on a Pass/Fail basis. We therefore want to be explicit that applicants should not feel pressured by UCSF to choose the graded option. Students and their families are facing many challenges at the moment. The pressure for grades need not be one of them.

Online Courses/Labs

Online courses and labs may be taken to meet prerequisite course requirements for the 2022-2023 application cycle due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Online courses and labs are acceptable as long as they are from an accredited college or university that displays college credit on an official transcript. Preferred online lab formats are synchronous instructor-led labs or participation in a virtual lab. If you are uncertain about your specific plans, please call the Office of Student Affairs prior to enrolling in the course.


The Master of Science degree program with a focus in nursing at UCSF is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The nurse midwifery and nurse practitioner specialties are approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.

Applications Open

Applications Open: July 8, 2022/ Deadline: Varies by specialty