Continue expanding your nursing skills with a Post-Master's Certificate in the specialty area of your choice.

Our Post-Master’s Certificate Program enables nurses with a master's degree in nursing to pursue state certification in an additional specialty area, or seek a program of study that may lead to a change in role (e.g., a CNL or CNS seeking an NP specialization certificate). You'll receive a certificate upon completion and will be eligible to apply for national certification examinations.

Choosing A Specialty Area

We offer Post-Master's options for specialized study as a clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner or health policy specialist.

MS specialties become available on a year-to-year basis, depending on faculty and funding resources. For details on which MS specialties offer Post-Master's options and for specialty-specific details and requirements, visit our Master of Science Program Academic Overview webpage and review our overview document.

You may also contact the coordinator for the specialty you're interested in if you have questions.


Applicants must have completed and received a Master of Science degree in Nursing, typically MS, MSN or MN.

If accepted, applicants must be licensed by the state Board of Registered Nursing and their nursing license must be recognized as valid for practice within the State of California during the complete course of study. (If your RN is from another U.S. state, or from Canada, you may qualify for Licensure by Endorsement by the BRN.)

Curriculum and Time Needed to Earn A Certificate

The Post-Master's program does not have a single separate curriculum. Each MS specialty's webpage carries information about specific courses and curricula requirements.

The average time commitment is 4 to 8 quarters, depending on the specialty area selected. Students are typically required to attend classes at UCSF an average of two days each week and attend clinical a minimum of 1 to 2 days each week. Students are not required to find their own clinical placements.


The in-state tuition and out-of-state tuition for academic year 2018-2019 is currently $8,878 for each quarter (summer, fall, winter or spring).







Post-Master's Fee

  $ 35,512

  $ 8,878

  $ 8,878

  $ 8,878

  $ 8,878


Fees subject to change without notice

Financial aid opportunities are available to post-master's students. The fee reduction policy for UCSF employees is not applicable to the Post-Master’s Certificate Program.

Application Deadlines

The deadline to apply for our Post-Master's program is February 3, 2020. Deadlines vary by specialty. If you plan to apply after the February 3, 2020 deadline, please first confirm that the specialty you have chosen is still accepting new applications. Availability and capacity differ among the specialty areas.

Below are the remaining application deadlines for fall 2019 enrollment:


  • June 1 — Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • June 1 — Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • July 1 — Advanced Public Health Nursing
  • September 7 — Health Policy

Students admitted or accepted to a specialty's post-master's program will not be allowed to “transfer" or "change” to another specialty area.

How to Apply

To apply, complete our application form. (The online application system for the Master's Program cannot be used to apply for the Post-Master's Certificate Program.)

If you have any questions, contact Sandra Le in the Office of Academic Programs or call (415) 476-2595.