Master of Science (MS) Program Admission Requirements

Requirements for Admission, All Students
  1. Baccalaureate / GPA.  A prior Bachelor's degree, graduates of an NLN- or CCNE-accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program are eligible. Experienced and licensed Registered Nurses who have a (U.S.) bachelor's degree in another discipline are also eligible to apply.
    Your bachelor's degree transcript must display a Grade Point Average (GPA, on a 4.0 scale) of 3.0, as verified by official transcripts. All non-English transcripts must be translated into English by a certified translator for evaluation. Non-US transcripts must be submitted for evaluation. Please refer to the Admissions Process page for more details. If you have questions, you may refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.
    For screening purposes, unofficial transcripts may be uploaded to your application, but official transcripts are preferred for review. Should you be accepted into the program, UCSF must receive official, sealed transcripts in time for registration, or any conditional admission will be cancelled.
  2. Statistics. Completion of an introductory college-level statistics course within five years of UCSF entry; a recent course is desirable. For example, for Fall 2017 entry, any statistics course taken and completed prior to Fall 2012 does not meet this requirement. A college-level statistics course taken at an accredited college or university that results in credit on the college’s transcript meets this requirement. Online courses that earn credit on an accredited college or university transcript meet this requirement. Applicants must provide evidence of completing this requirement for admission by providing the college transcript that displays the statistics course grade and credits earned. See Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
  3. Proficiency in English is mandatory. All applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, The minimum overall TOEFL score is 84 (internet-based test); 24 is the minimum score in the speaking section, and 24 is the writing section minimum score. For reporting scores, the TOEFL/ETS institution code for UCSF is 4840, and the department code is 43. For some applicants, a qualifying IELTS score (minimum score of 7) may be submitted directly to Nursing Student Affairs in lieu of the TOEFL.
    Consult with Nursing Student Affairs for any questions on examinations and scoring.
    Note: test scores can take up to six weeks to reach the university.
  4. RN License. Evidence of licensure as a registered nurse (RN) is required. Applicants must be licensed as a registered nurse in California (or in their home state of residency). While studying in California, international students must be licensed as registered nurses in their country of origin, if RN licensure is available.
    Students who will perform direct patient care activities locally while enrolled must obtain California registered nurse licensure prior to December in their first year of study. Non-California applicants should review "Licensure by Endorsement / Reciprocity" rules from the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) at the web site.
  5. A Goal Statement (essay) describing congruence of applicant’s goals with the goals and resources of the School and University must be included with the application.  Please refer to the Admissions Process page for more details.
  6. Experience. Minimum of one year's registered nurse experience, which is related to the area of
    specialization is desirable. Some specialties may require additional experience.
  7. Four recommendations/letters of reference. Nominate no less than four individual recommenders who can address your performance and judgment in the area in which you wish to study and/or your professional preparation and experience. Please refer to the Admissions Process page for more details.
  8. A résumé or curriculum vitae is required.
  9. The application fee (subject to change) is $90 for US citizens and permanent residents and $110 for international applicants. The UCSF application web site processes the fee payments (typically via credit card) as appropriate. US 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. For more information, please visit
  10. Computer literacy is assumed, especially competence in word processing skills and the internet.

Additional Information for International Applicants

The School of Nursing requires all applicants who have completed degrees and/or coursework outside of the United States to submit their transcripts for validation and evaluation before they may be considered for admission. International applicants should start this process as soon as possible. Please refer to the Admissions Process page for more details.

While studying in California, international students must be licensed as registered nurses in their country of origin, if RN licensure is available. Caution: if students will be involved in any direct patient care activities while in the U.S., they must obtain California Registered Nurse licensure prior to December of their first year of UCSF study from the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN, California BRN regulations 2729 and 2732 require licenses for all practicing nurses in the State of 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

Prospective international students should also review the following resources: