Nursing Master’s Entry Program

Visit program website.

Degree Offered: no degree granted until completion of Masters in Nursing
Program Leadership:
Marianne Biangone, PhD, RN, PHN, Program Director
Lin Lin, PhD, RN, Assistant Director
Admissions Inquiries:


As a leading academic institution, the UCSF School of Nursing continuously evaluates how well our educational programs are meeting the contemporary needs of our students and our ability to address the demands of the ever-evolving health care environment. To meet these goals and advance our educational mission, the school is excited to expand our doctoral education opportunities in 2023 to prepare more nurses to lead innovations in health care.

The school will also pause the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) while our evaluation of our academic offerings continues. The decision to pause MEPN will be reassessed in fall 2025.

Program Description

The Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) is a three-year program leading to the Master of Science in Nursing degree; however, the MEPN program is intended for students who have no previous nursing preparation and who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. Graduates of this program go on to practice nursing at the same advanced practice level as other Nursing MS graduates. The program prepares leaders in the advanced practice roles of clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife, administrator, faculty, and consultant. Courses from nursing and other disciplines provide advanced theoretical knowledge, assessment skills, leadership development, advanced clinical practice in a selected specialization, and the opportunity to critique and apply nursing theory and research as a scientific basis for nursing practice.

During the first year of the program, you will engage in concentrated study that culminates in licensure as an RN. Students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). In the remaining two years of the program, you will matriculate into our Master’s of Science program for graduate level nursing specialty training, choosing from a comprehensive selection of specialties; and includes clinical rotations, fieldwork and residency hours at sites primarily in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. At the end of the three-year program, you will earn an RN license and an advanced master's degree in the specialty you choose.

The UCSF MEPN program offers a broader range of specialty offerings than similar programs at other institutions, and has a relatively short list of requirements, easing the burden on adult students coming from backgrounds outside of the health sciences.
The UCSF School of Nursing takes pride in both the graduate and professional programs it administers. These programs represent a century of pioneering leadership that has produced many of the country’s — and the world’s — nursing leaders. Among schools of nursing nationwide, the UCSF School of Nursing is among the top recipients of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School's graduate students have ample opportunities to capitalize on the symbiotic relationship between the Nursing PhD, MS, and MEPN programs, and the other basic, clinical, and social and populational science programs offered by the Graduate Division.


There are over 100 faculty members in the four School of Nursing departments. MEPN faculty belong to the following departments for their content speciaty areas: 1) Family Health Care Nursing; 2) Community Health Systems; and 3) Physiological Nursing.  

MEPN-MS Program Specialty Areas

The MEPN program offers nine areas of specialization. See the MS program website for details.

Career Outcomes 

Based on the specialty choice at admission, Nursing MS and MEPN graduates typically find work in California as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives or clinical nurse specialists. Others assume research, policy or leadership positions in the state and around the country.

The Nursing MEPN program is based at the Parnassus campus. Visit the program website for more information.

The Nursing MEPN program is offered by the UCSF Graduate Division, administered by the UCSF School of Nursing, and  delivered by faculty members in the UCSF School of Nursing.

Admission Requirements

Completion 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:

  • Microbiology, with a lab component
  • Physiology, with a lab component
  • 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.
  • Psychology
  • Nutrition
  • Statistics (Note: Course completion at college-level within three years of UCSF application date.)

Bachelor’s degree, completed in a general discipline other than nursing and conferred no later than the September 1 application deadline as verified by an official transcript.

Goal Statement

4-5 Letters of Recommendation

Minimum GPA 3.0. Note: If you feel that you merit review despite failing to meet the minimum GPA requirement, submit a petition to outlining the evidence of your capacity for academic success. Your petition will not be reviewed until you have submitted a completed application.

Learning Outcomes

During the first year (the MEPN pre-licensure year) of the program, students will engage in full-time concentrated study that culminates in licensure as an RN. Students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN).

In the remaining two years of the program, after successfully passing the NCLEX-RN licensure exam to become certified as a registered nurse, students matriculate into our Master’s of Science program for graduate level nursing specialty training. At the end of the three-year program, students are awarded an advanced master's degree with an RN license in the specialty you choose.

Graduates of the master's program will have:

  • Knowledge and skills in providing care that promotes health and prevents illness.
  • Knowledge concerning current and projected health care systems and the economic, political and philosophical base.
  • Knowledge of research methodologies, research critique and outcomes research.
  • Knowledge and skills to manage client care needs across the health/illness spectrum.
  • Knowledge and skills to coordinate client care needs across institutional boundaries. This may be as a generalist, a specialist or an administrator. Coordination of care must be done in partnership with client and lay caregiver.
  • Knowledge concerning health care issues for ethnically and culturally diverse populations as the basis for practicing cultural humility and provide culturally competent care.
  • Knowledge required to be proactive in the health care system. This will necessitate knowledge of the legal, legislative and regulatory issues for advanced practice nursing, consumer rights, systems management and change theory.
  • Knowledge and skills to participate in the ethical decision-making process.
  • Theoretical knowledge and some experience in role development as an advanced practice clinician, consultant, educator, administrator, researcher and coordinator.