Frequently Asked Questions (MEPN)

Please refer to the following FAQs regarding the UCSF School of Nursing Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN).


Does the program confer a BSN?
No. MEPN is, from start to finish, a master’s degree program.

Does the program confer a DNP, or do you plan to transition to a DNP?
No. It will remain as a master’s degree program. If we do implement the DNP, it will be as a post-master’s option.

What is required to apply?
Completion of a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, with transcript(s) for verification.
Completion of prerequisites by the application deadline.
4-5 recommendations.
A history of work and volunteer experience.
A goal statement.
A personal history statement.

Is there any exception to the 3.0 undergraduate GPA requirement?
The most common and successful way to compensate for a low undergraduate GPA is to provide a transcript from a graduate degree program bearing a GPA above 3.0. However, starting in the 2016 application, we will accept a one-two page well-written petition from an applicant with an undergraduate GPA that does not meet our 3.0 standard. The applicant must provide strong evidence of academic success.

I am finishing my bachelor’s degree in June; can I apply this year to enter the program following my graduation?
No. Unfortunately, we require that your undergraduate degree be conferred no later than the application deadline, which is typically September 1. Students with some experience beyond college tend to be more successful in the admissions process.

Who should provide my recommendations?
They can be academic or professional. We ask the recommender to assess your general competence, your capacity for initiative and leadership, and your ability to work with coworkers and clients from diverse backgrounds, be it educationally, ethnically, or socioeconomically.

What are the prerequisites?

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology lab
  • Physiology
  • Physiology lab
  • Anatomy
  • Anatomy lab
  • Psychology or Lifespan Development
  • Nutrition
  • Statistics (taken within the past three years)

Could I apply even though my statistics classes are from 2011?
No. You will not be moved to review without fulfilling all of the requirements. Here are the details on Statistics. 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.

Are online courses acceptable?
For prerequisites that do not require lab components, online courses are acceptable if from an accredited college or university that displays college credit on a transcript. We strongly encourage you to attend lab sections in person, though online options may be approved. Please contact [email protected] for any questions about the suitability of prerequisite courses.

When do the prerequisites need to be complete?
All prerequisites must be complete by the application deadline. There is some flexibility in that if you are taking one course in a late summer term, we will accept transcripts arriving reasonably soon after the deadline.

Does “four semester units” mean that I have to take four semesters of anatomy? That is more than a year!
No, you take one or two classes to equal at least four semester credit units or six quarter credit units.

How many psychology classes must I take?
At many institutions, one psychology course is worth 2-3 semester credit units or 4-5 quarter credit units. Most of our applicants take one class. It can be introductory psychology.

Are AP exams accepted for the prerequisites?
AP exams can be accepted provided that they are posted on a college transcript with credits awarded specifically for the subject in question.

What are you looking for in my goal statement?
We would like to see you describe your path into nursing as you see it, and articulate your understanding of and commitment to nursing, the advanced practice role, and your chosen specialty.

What is the screening timeline?
The application deadline will be September 1, or the next following weekday. Invitations to interview will go out in the second week of December, and interviews will be held at the end of January. Final decisions typically go out at the end of February or early March, and the program begins in June.

What specialties are available to MEPN applicants?
Adult Gerontology CNS
Adult Gerontology CNS, Oncology
Adult Gerontology NP
Advanced Practice Public Health Nursing
Family NP
Health Policy Nursing
Nurse-Midwifery and Women’s Health NP
Adult Gerontology NP, Occupational/Environmental Health
Pediatrics NP
Psychiatric/Mental Health NP

Which specialties do not admit through MEPN?
Acute Care Adult NP
Acute Care Adult NP-Oncology Focus
Adult Gerontology Critical Care/Trauma CNS
Acute Care Pediatrics NP
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Do I have to declare a specialty at the time of application?
Yes, you will declare your specialty at the time of application. During screening you will be evaluated not only on your fit for nursing, but a large part of the evaluation is focused on your fit for the specialty and the specific advanced practice role associated with the specialty.

Can I change specialties during the application process?
No.

How many applications are received each year?
It fluctuates, but we receive roughly 350 applications each year and admit 60 for the final cohort. Generally about 120 participate in interviews.

Can I work during this program?
We strongly discourage students from working during the prelicensure year. It is an intensive, four-quarter program, requiring 8-12 hours five days a week. During the second and third years, most of our students work 60-75% time as RNs during the program, as they are only required to be on campus two or three consecutive days out of the week, depending on their specialty and scheduling.

What will the schedule look like?
MEPNs begin the summer quarter with classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, skills lab on Tuesdays, and clinicals on Thursdays and Fridays. This generally holds true throughout the year.

Where are clinicals held?
MEPN has strong clinical affiliations all over the Bay Area. Where you are placed will depend on the clinical course that you are currently taking (psych, pediatrics, community health, etc). We of course have placements at the UCSF Parnassus and Mount Zion campuses, but also at San Francisco General and Mission Bay campus. We also have placements on the Peninsula at such esteemed institutions as Stanford, the VA in Palo Alto, and Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. There are also placements in Marin and the East Bay, and we do try to accommodate our students’ preferences, though it is required that you have your own independent means of transportation in order to fulfill your clinical assignments. You will need transportation, and you cannot count on getting the clinical assignments you prefer.

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