MEPN Admission Requirements: U.S. Students

Admission Requirements for the Masters Entry Program (MEPN) at UCSF School of Nursing.

  1. Completion, no later than the application deadline, 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 (NOTE: 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. Statistics (Note: beginning with the 2017 application cycle, statistics must be from within three years of the application deadline.) 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 FAQ for more information.
    6. Nutrition
    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, you must repeat entries. Until all nine prerequisite course fields are completed, your application cannot be locked for submission.
  2. Completion of a baccalaureate (bachelor's) degree in a general discipline other than nursing with a minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA), as verified by an official transcript received at UCSF. Transcripts must also verify the bachelor's degree was conferred NO LATER THAN the September 1 application deadline. (Note: If you feel that you merit review despite failing to meet the minimum GPA requirement, please submit a petition to [email protected] 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 requirements, see Specialized Bachelors Degrees for details.
  3. A minimum of four Recommendations/Reference Letters are required; a maximum of five recommendations will be accepted.
  4. Official Transcripts are required from all post-secondary (after high school) educational institutions. Non-English transcripts must be translated; non-US transcripts must be sent for evaluation. Allow extra time for any transcript requiring translation and/or evaluation. See below for transcript submission procedures.
  5. Congruence of the applicant's goal with the goals and resources of the School and the University. A written goal statement is required, which is to be PDF-formatted and submitted on-line via the UCSF web application system.
  6. Evidence of personal qualification and capacity for graduate study, as reflected in the application, goal statement, references, GRE, and baccalaureate GPA. Past academic performance and professional activity are evaluated, e.g., community, organizational, and volunteer service, and creative professional accomplishments.
MEPN Admission Requirements: International Students

Caution: MEPN is not optimal for international applicants, because of the need for language and culture familiarity, and the need for familiarity with the U.S. health care system.

For all applicants, proficiency in English is mandatory.

All applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language ( Some applicants may use IELTS scores in lieu of 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. Consult with Nursing Student Affairs for any questions on examinations and scoring.

MEPN Admission Deadlines

The annual application deadline is September 1 (or, in some years, the following regular business work day). Deadlines are enforced according to local time in California, a.k.a., Pacific Daylight Time. 

To meet this deadline, all required documents should be uploaded to the application, all sections (pages) completed, fees paid, and the application should be submitted (locked) by the deadline.

It is unwise to expect the UCSF web site, or any website, to be fully available in those last few hours of the deadline day. Be sure you have submitted all documents (uploads) and completed all sections (pages) before those last critical hours.

brief period after the deadline is typically allowed for third parties to complete their parts of the application; e.g., transcripts, and recommendations.

Invitations to interview and initial deny letters typically are sent in the second week of December.

Interviews are held on the final two Fridays in January.

Decisions. Final admit and deny letters are typically sent in the third or fourth week of February.

MEPN Orientation events are usually held in the second or third week of June.

For more information about the UCSF review and screening processes (after the September 1 submission deadline), please review the MEPN Application Process page on this web site.

MEPN Admission Requirements - Details

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 deal with basic English writing skills. (Ordinarily these state requirements have already been met during the student's bachelor's degree studies.)


One official original transcript must be sent directly to Nursing Student Affairs (see address below) from each college, university, and nursing school attended. Be sure to fully identify in your application each post-secondary (after high school) institution which you have attended.  If your prior transcripts use other forms for your name, be sure we have that information as well.

Transcripts must be endorsed by the proper authority ("certified") and final college transcripts should include a statement of good standing or honorable dismissal from the last college attended. 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.

In lieu of an official transcript, unofficial transcript copies may be submitted directly by the applicant solely for the purpose of screening convenience. These unofficial copies MUST be in provided in transcript format and layout. For example, grade point average should be computed and visible.

Those who elect to submit (for screening use) unofficial transcript copies, should be prepared to quickly follow up with an official transcript as our screening process continues.

Caution: Submission of official transcripts is mandatory for all admitted students. There are no exceptions to this policy. Any tentative admission decision which is based on unofficial transcripts must be fully VERIFIED by exact matching to official transcripts. If discrepancies are found, the admission decision will be voided/cancelled.

Non-English transcripts must be translated into English by a certified translator. Non-U.S. transcripts must be submitted for evaluation, as follows.

Transcript Evaluation

The UCSF 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.

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.

Recommendations / Letters of Reference

As part of completing the on-line (web) application, the names, affiliations, and emails of each of the four recommenders are provided by the applicant.

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.

This email/web oriented system has simplified and sped the process of collecting references/recommendations. On-line submission allows for applicants and recommenders to avoid the delays and uncertainties of the previous postal-based process.

Goal Statement Essay

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

To be included: congruence of the applicant's goal with the goals and resources of the School and the University. Within the on-line application are detailed instructions on the format and content of this essay; make sure your name appears at the top. 

Make sure to save draft copies as you work with individual file names, i.e., gse1, gse2, gse3.  Be sure you have allowed for extra traffic delays in the last hours before the September 1 deadline. Also, each version of your essay should be saved as a PDF document.  Use the application web site to upload that PDF document from your device to UCSF. And, if necessary, you may upload revised successor versions of your essay to your application, so long as the deadline has not passed. This means, for planning purposes, you should at least have an early essay version uploaded to your application--so that (just before the deadline) your final essay version can be uploaded in place of that early draft. This is the safest way to avoid being denied because no goal statement essay was found attached to your application.

Admissions Help

Contact the Nursing Student Affairs Office for any questions or for help in completing and submitting your application and related materials. Please also refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

UCSF Nursing Student Affairs
2 Koret Way Ste #N-319X
University of California Box 0602
San Francisco CA 94143-0602
Telephone: (415) 476-1435     Fax: (415) 476-9707

Remember that our on-line MEPN applications can be initiated only during the period beginning in July and ending in September of each year.

Return to your on-line account after the September deadline to view status updates. Plan ahead and be prepared well in advance of the posted application deadline, i.e., September 1. Deadlines are strictly enforced according to local time in California, a.k.a., Pacific Daylight Time. Like any web resource, temporary problems may interfere with your access to our servers, allow enough advance time before deadlines to insure your application is fully completed. Do not expect the application web site to remain available for submissions/uploads (continue to accept documents from you) after the deadline day/hour has passed.

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