University of California, San Francisco Nursing School Review

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is the only school in the University of California system dedicated to health sciences, and is a leader in education in health professions and life sciences.

Nursing Programs

Master of Science (MS) in Nursing

The MS program at UCSF is geared toward students who already have a baccalaureate degree in nursing. However, Registered Nurses (RNs) who have a bachelor’s degree in another field are still able to apply.

Applicants to the MS program in nursing must provide proof of their RN license and official transcripts showing they graduated from an accredited bachelor’s program. A GPA of 3.0 is or higher is desired, as is proof of graduate study potential and personal qualifications, through personal references and their work and volunteer history. They must also have one Statistics course, a minimum of one year of work experience as an RN, and computer proficiency. In addition, foreign students for whom English is a second language will need to achieve a minimum score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

There are a number of specialty areas in the UCSF MS in nursing program. These areas are:

  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP)
  • Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (ACPNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGNP)
  • Advanced Practice Neonatal Nursing (APNN)
  • Advanced Practice Pediatric Nursing (APPN)
  • Cardiovascular Nursing
  • Critical Care Trauma
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Gerontological Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Health Policy Nursing
  • Nurse Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing and Health Systems Leadership (NHSL)
  • Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing
  • Oncology Nursing, Advanced Practice
  • Perinatal Nursing
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing
  • Public Health Nursing, Advanced Practice (PHNAP)

In addition to these specialties, students may also choose to minor in Psych/Mental Health, Genomics, HIV/AIDS, Health Policy, or Global Health.

Masters Entry Program (MEPN)

The MEPN is a program for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in a program other than nursing. This three year course of study will prepare students to become advanced practice nurses, meaning they are experts in their area of practice and knowledge.

MEPN students begin the program with four semesters of foundation nursing courses. After the first year, they are allowed to sit for the state licensing exam to become RNs. At that time they will begin their MS specialty coursework.

Applicants must complete prerequisite coursework in Statistics, Psychology, Microbiology, Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology to be able to apply to the program. In addition, applicants must submit their GRE scores (taken in the last 5 years), four recommendation letters, official transcripts for all schools after high school, proof of graduate study potential and personal qualifications, through personal references and their work and volunteer history, and a written goal statement.

Masters Pathway Program

RNs with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) but do not yet have a bachelor’s degree or higher may apply for the ADN to MS Pathway program. This program begins study at educational partner schools Golden State University (GSU) or John F. Kennedy University (JFKU). Students will earn their bachelor’s degree in approximately 18 to 24 months, and then will be eligible to start the MS program at UCSF. Pathway students will need to apply to the MS program at least nine months in advance of earning their bachelor’s degree.

To apply to the pathway program, students must apply to GSU or JFKU. Students will need to meet all the requirements for the UCSF MS program before they may begin their MS studies.

Doctoral Program – PhD in Nursing

The Doctoral program at UCSF is designed for those who wish to focus their nursing careers on being clinical researchers or academic faculty.

Students may enter the PhD program with an MS in Nursing, a BS in Nursing, or a BS in another program while enrolled in the MS program. Students who don’t have an MS degree when starting the PhD program may earn one after completing MS specialty requirements.

The PhD program offers research programs in Family Health Care Nursing, Community Health Systems, Physiological Nursing, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.2 and a graduate GPA of 3.5 (if applicable). They must have a recent (with 5 years) GRE score, and be proficient in English. They also must have taken Statistics, and a Nursing Research Methods course. They must also have a valid RN license, have one year of nursing experience, and be computer proficient.

PhD in Sociology

The PhD in Sociology program centers on the study and research of illness, health, biomedicine, and the system of health care. There are four specialty areas of study:

  • aging, chronic illness, and disability
  • health policy, organizations and economics
  • science, technology, and medicine studies
  • race, class, gender, and health/health inequalities

Students applying for the PhD in Sociology must submit a statement of purpose, official transcripts, GRE scores, two letters of recommendation, an example of scholarly writing, and a curriculum vitae.

Once admitted to the program, students must pass qualifying exams at the end of the first and second years of the program in social theory and sociology of health and illness to be considered for candidacy to continue on in the program. At that point, they will write a review of a relevant problem, that will lead to their dissertation, which will be based on their own research.

Post Master’s Options

Post Master’s options are offered when available, based on the faculty resources. Offerings will vary, but the categories generally offered are nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, health policy specialist, and nursing and health systems leadership.

Post Doctoral Options

Post Doctoral study is in specific areas of interest to the individual student, and will be arranged by student request. Students will receive no academic credit or transcript, but they will receive a certificate of study when finished.

Custom Special Studies

The Custom Special Studies program is an individualized course of study tailored to the needs of the student and does not lead to certification or a degree. Acceptance is based on department approval, availability of a faculty advisor, and English competence.

University of California – San Francisco
505 Parnassus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94122