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

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


All prerequisite courses must be completed with a passing grade by the application deadline. Only the Statistics prerequisite has a recency requirement, details below.

Important note regarding COVID-19 impact: Online courses and labs from accredited institutions may be taken to meet prerequisite course requirements for the 2020 application cycle due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Preferred online lab formats are synchronous instructor-led labs or participation in a virtual lab.

  • Completion 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: 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. Nutrition
    6. Statistics: Course completion at college-level within three years of UCSF application date. For example, for the September 2021 deadline, statistics must be from no earlier than summer 2018. Transcript must reflect statistics course grade and credits earned at an accredited college, university, or online institution. See our FAQ on Statistics for more information.

If you have questions about our prerequisites requirement, you can contact [email protected] in the Office of Student Affairs. 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 [email protected]u 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.


The GRE is not 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 into the UCSF web application system or mailed to the Office of Student Affairs.

Please note that we are currently processing a high volume of transcripts. If you have uploaded transcripts to your online application and completed all other parts of the application, this will suffice to have your application processed and screened. Please be sure that your transcripts are legible and accurate. Your official transcripts will be uploaded to your application and used for verification purposes. The Office of Student Affairs will contact you if further documentation is needed. 

When possible, we prefer you upload official pdf copies of your transcripts directly to your application. Due to COVID restrictions, we are not always in the office to receive hard copies, and we cannot guarantee pdf transcripts sent directly from your Institution's registrar will be downloaded before the link expires.

If you are having difficulty completing your online application due to connectivity issues resulting from an emergency disaster such as a wildfire or hurricane, please contact both Sergio Saenz and [email protected]. An application extension may be granted in certain circumstances.

Additional details regarding the official transcripts requirement:

  • For courses still in progress at the time of 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

Your goal statement is a critically important part of your application. It should be about two double-spaced typewritten pages, and submitted through the UCSF web application system. Please be as clear and precise as possible, and include your name at the top. Your goal statement should include the following information:

  • Your understanding of the nursing profession
  • Reasons for seeking advanced specialty preparation as part of a nursing program
  • Reasons for choosing the specific specialty area you seek
  • What you believe your previous academic and life experience will bring to the nursing profession
  • Your goals upon completion of the program
  • Any additional information you believe relevant to the admissions decision


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.


  • 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).

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 focus on basic English writing skills.
  • Note: Ordinarily these state requirements have already been met during the student's bachelor's degree studies.

International applicants

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. This should be mailed to the Office of Student Affairs.
  • Note: Test scores may take up to six weeks to reach the university.

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