Master of Science (MS) Program Admission Process

Application Schedule and Deadlines

Master of Science (MS) Program Admission Process and Deadlines

We are pleased that you are considering UCSF for your master’s studies. On this page, you will find detailed information on application deadlines and how to apply to our program. If you have questions, you may refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.

For more general information about our Master of Science program, please visit the Master of Science Application Overview pages on this site.

Application Deadlines

Applications for the Master of Science program open each year in July for Fall Quarter admission in the following calendar year. Visit the website to create and monitor the progress of your application. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Master of Science Admissions Annual Schedule
 Action or Activity
2018 Cycle
 Web Application Opens -
July 2017
 Early Deadline
November 1, 2017
 Regular Deadline
February 1, 2018
 Final Deadline
June 1, 2018
 Classes Begin
September 2018

    Early Deadline

    Applicants requiring early review because of special funding deadlines (e.g., members of the military) should submit their applications no later than the early deadline for expedited processing. Applicants seeking early review should submit a request to Steven Johnson no later than November 1.

    Regular Deadline

    The first working day in February is the regular deadline for applications to the Master of Science program. Screening of completed applications begins immediately after the regular deadline. Completed applications, other factors being equal, are most likely to have success applying to their first-choice specialty areas.

    Applicants seeking admission to (for example) the Family NP, Adult NP, Acute Care NP, Midwifery, or Pediatrics specialty areas should make a particular effort to meet the regular deadline, as demand for these specialty options far exceeds available capacity. It is likely that many or all of these specialty areas will be the ones which exhaust available space immediately after the regular deadline.

    Note: New applications will be accepted after the regular deadline only by those specialties which still have available space in the current annual admissions cycle. Availability and capacity will differ among specialty areas, and will fluctuate from one year to the next.

    As of February 1, the below specialties are no longer open to new applications:
    As of April 6th, the PMHNP specialty will no longer be open to new applications

    As of April 25th, the PNP specialty will no longer be open to new applications

    As of May 1st, the AGPCNP specialty will no longer be open to new applications

    Final Deadline

    For those specialty areas ONLY which still have available space remaining, the last and final date to submit an application (completed and locked on-line application form, transcript, all letters of reference, etc.) is June 1 for all applicants. At this final deadline, all existing applications will be locked and further submissions/uploads to your application will be impossible. New applications cannot be started after the final deadline; all applications should be initiated well before the published deadline dates. Only those applications completed, locked, and paid by the deadline may be further finalized with any missing documentation from third parties (i.e. letters of recommendation, test scores, and transcript) and received at the Nursing Student Affairs Office.

    Please be reminded that incomplete applications will not be reviewed; no exceptions can be made.

    The School of Nursing reserves the right to process and admit applicants after the published deadlines.

    Calendar variations from year to year may cause deadlines to be enforced on the next regular working day, e.g., Monday instead of Sunday.

    Ordering Official Transcript/Non-US Transcript Evaluation

    In your application, identify each post-secondary (after high school) institution you have attended. We prefer receiving an official transcript. However, if there is a hardship or difficulty that makes this difficult, we will accept an (unofficial) copy of a transcript to use only for screening. To expedite screening, you may scan and upload unofficial copies of your transcripts from your institutions into your application.

    However, after admission, to be registered and enrolled in our programs you must provide an official transcript for verification. The official transcript must be sent directly from each institution's registrar (or equivalent office) to:

    MS Admissions
    Nursing Student Affairs
    UCSF Box 0602
    2 Koret Way, N-319X
    San Francisco CA 94143-0602

    Your application cannot be reviewed until a transcript is received at UCSF. Also, non-English transcripts must be translated, and non-US transcripts must be sent to an evaluation service to be reported with US-formatted details. Please see below for more details.

    A preliminary transcript should show coursework in progress. If necessary and/or appropriate, a transcript may be individually downloaded (as a PDF) from a password-protected web site, should this be the policy of your institution.

    Non-US Transcript Evaluation

    The School of Nursing requires all applicants who have completed degrees and/or coursework outside of the United States to submit their transcript for validation and evaluation before they may be considered for admission. Start this process as soon as possible. The evaluation process can take several weeks up to several months. Non-English transcripts must be translated into English by a certified translator, and then evaluated.

    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) for the Bachelor's, Master's, or their equivalents 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 our criteria and can perform an evaluation meeting the four points as mentioned above.

    Application Components and Documentation

    Please remember that you can sign in and out of your UCSF application as many times as you may need to as you continue the process of completing each part of your application. We recognize that identifying and summarizing your work and academic achievements can take time and effort. * For MS students, please refer to the FAQs regarding the statistics requirement. *

    You can check your progress on the application overview page. Green check-mark symbols indicate completed sections. We advise you to plan ahead and ensure all sections have the indicative green check-mark at least two days before the regular/final deadline.

    We suggest you keep a copy of each draft as you are developing your CV/Resume, and your goal statement. We recommend that you ask another person to proofread your statement. A well-written statement of purpose is an essential component of a successful application.

    All required documents need to be uploaded in PDF format.

    Goal Statement

    A comprehensive well-written goal statement essay is an essential component of a successful application.

    Your goal statement referring specifically to your choice of specialty area, and to your experience is a critically important part of your application. This goal statement is used as a source of information and also as an example of your writing ability. Be as specific as possible and focus on your professional goals and how you envision these goals can be achieved through study at UCSF in your designated area of specialization. It should be approximately two double-spaced typewritten pages in length, and 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.

    Please be as clear and precise as possible. Your goal statement should be no more than two double-spaced typewritten pages and shows your full legal name and page number at the top of each page.

    Recommendations / Letters of Reference

    A minimum of four nominated recommendations are required (a maximum of five is permitted) from:

    • two recommendations provided by the most recent employer(s), preferably nurses;
    • a school of nursing, if you are a graduate within the past five years, and preferably from a professor who can assess your clinical performance and judgment in the area in which you wish to study; and
    • one or two from individuals (not relatives) who are well acquainted with your professional preparation and experience.

    Each recommender who you nominate is asked to address the following areas, as appropriate: [1] relationships with team members such as nurses, physicians, and others; [2] professional nursing ability, including application of theory, independent judgment where appropriate, and quality of patient care; [3] communication skills; [4] leadership skills; and [5] responsibility and initiative. An overall numeric rating is also requested.

    The applicant will initiate the referral process through their online application, by entering an email address for each recommender. Then, each identified recommender will receive an email with individualized instructions to access the application site. That recommender will have the option of uploading a reference letter or answering a short survey.  

    Within the online system, applicants can verify when each of their recommenders has submitted their reference/recommendation. If necessary, applicants may send reminders to their nominated recommenders through the UCSF application system. Recommenders will have access to submit their reference for applicants even after the applicant 'locks,' or submits their application.  The UCSF admissions committee will only review complete applications when the minimum four recommendations have been received.

    Finalizing/"Locking" Your Application

    Do not wait until the very last day to finish your application or you will not have enough time to check over and proofread your submission. Unlocking to revise or repair a submitted application is not permitted after the deadline has passed.

    When you are confident your materials are complete, final, and ready to be reviewed, you should "lock" your application which marks it as being ready for review by our faculty. There is no advantage to locking early, so plan ahead. Be sure to allow time to correct any information you intend to submit before you apply the lock.

    Note: fee payment is also required before your application will be reviewed.

    Application Fee Payment

    When your application is complete and finalized (i.e., "locked"), a fee will be collected; the web site accepts secured payments using credit cards. Alternate payment methods are available and are explained on the application site. In cases of dire financial hardship, some applicants may apply for and receive application fee relief in the form of a waiver.  Waivers can only be approved up to one full working day before the due date.

    Application Status and Admissions Notification

    We invite you to review your application status on the application web site (both before and after) the final submission deadline.

    Applicants will be contacted individually if an interview is necessary.

    When admissions decisions have been made, you will be emailed by the application system that there has been a change in your admission status. Admitted Master of Science students will have two weeks from date of notification to accept or decline our offer of admission.

    Important Notice to Undocumented Individuals & Potential Applicants

    The UCSF School of Nursing welcomes applications for admission from undocumented individuals, such as those who qualify under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and/or AB540. Please visit the UCSF and UCOP websites for more information as well as the UC Principles of Support of Undocumented Members of the UC Community.

    Nondiscrimination Policy Statement

    The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy,1 physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services.2

    The University also prohibits sexual harassment.

    This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities.

    1 Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.

    2 Service in the uniformed services includes membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation for service in the uniformed services.

    Source: Office of the Registrar, University of California, San Francisco