MEPN Frequently asked questions
Q: What degree will I earn?
A: M.S.N – Master of Science in Nursing.
Q: How long is the program?
A: Full time for 18 months (six consecutive quarters including two summers) beginning in June.
Q: When does the program begin?
A: Admitted students begin in late June of each year. Applicants must submit their applications approximately eight months in advance.
Q: I want to be a family nurse practitioner but I am not a registered nurse. Can I attend the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis?
A: Prospective students first need to be a registered nurse before applying to the family nurse practitioner program. One option for students is to complete the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing. Graduates are eligible to apply to the family nurse practitioner program upon licensure. Applicants are all treated equally — no preference is made for alumni of UC Davis or the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis.
Q: Does the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing prepare students to become a licensed registered nurse?
A: Yes, the program provides California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) approved coursework and clinical experiences needed in preparation for the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) to practice as a registered nurse. Upon completion of the entire M.S.N. program, students are eligible to take the NCLEX to become licensed registered nurses.
Q: Can students complete the prelicensure portion of the program only?
A: No, eligibility for the NCLEX will only be provided for a student who successfully completes all of the required coursework.
Q: What is the difference between the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing?
A: The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is an undergraduate program that allows students to complete a bachelor’s degree as they prepare to become registered nurses. The Master’s Entry Program in Nursing is a graduate program designed for individuals who already earned a bachelor’s degree in a different field and seek to transition into clinical nursing and leadership roles.
Q: What is the difference between an M.S.N. program and the entry-level M.S.N. program?
A: Both programs are graduate nursing programs; however, Master of Science in Nursing programs are designed for students who already earned bachelor’s degrees in Nursing and seek to further their nursing education. The Master’s Entry Program in Nursing is designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline who seek to transition into nursing.
Q: How is this program unique?
A: The curriculum for the program was developed based on best practices as identified through nursing education research. Some of the highlights of this approach are the program’s use of case-based and problem-based learning. Clinical and academic boundaries are blurred and the teaching prioritizes a strong interprofessional approach. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, entry-level Master of Science in Nursing graduates are in the highest demand of all nursing programs and also earn the highest salaries upon graduation. Click here to read other unique aspects of this program. Click here to learn more statistics about this degree program.
Q: When are applicants notified if they are accepted?
A: The School of Nursing begins reviewing applications in November and applicants are contacted by mid-December if they are invited to apply to the UC Davis Graduate Studies Application. Final decisions are announced in February of the following year.
Q: Are applicants required to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing (B.S.N.) before enrolling in the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing?
A: No, this program is intended for those who obtained a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field. Applicants, however, are required to complete all program prerequisites and admission requirements to be eligible for the entry-level master’s-degree program. For a list of prerequisites please click here.
Q: Can I apply with my degree still in progress?
A: Yes, as long as your prerequisites are complete before you submit your application and your degree is complete before matriculation in June, you are eligible to apply.
Q: Must applicants complete hospital or health care experience before they can apply to the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing?
A: Some exposure to hospital or health-care settings is highly recommended, but not required.
Q: Do I need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) to apply to this program?
A: No standardized tests are required.
Q: How can I stay up to date on upcoming admissions requirement changes?
A: We recommend applicants watch this website and sign up for our email list.
Q: When does the application cycle open and close?
A: Applications open by mid-August and close Nov. 1.
Q: What application status should I have by the deadline?
A: Applications must have a “complete” (all materials received and pending verification) or “verified” status by the Nov. 1 deadline. Please see the application requirements webpage for more information.
Q: If I purchased the Professional Transcript Entry (PTE) service, does my application still need to have a “Complete” status by the Nov. 1 deadline?
A: Yes. PTE does not begin until the application and all documents have been received and may take up to 10 business days to complete. Applications are not given a “complete” status until the PTE is completed and approved. It is not recommended to use this service if submitting an application in October. Please visit NursingCAS' Help Center for more information.
Q: Is the application online?
A: Students applying for the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing must complete a NursingCAS application and meet selection criteria. Following that process, a select pool of qualified applicants are invited to apply to the UC Davis Graduate Studies Application. For more details on how to apply, see the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing admissions page on the website.
Q: When do I submit a supplemental or secondary application?
A: A select group of applicants is invited to submit a UC Davis Graduate Studies in December once NursingCAS applications are reviewed. Please do not submit a UC Davis Graduate Studies application unless invited by the School of Nursing.
Q: How often are applications accepted?
A: The School of Nursing accepts applications once a year and offers one start date per year in late June.
Q: How does one distinguish her or himself as a strong applicant?
A: Given the competitive applicant pool, the School of Nursing recommends each applicant submits a thorough and complete application prior to the deadline. An applicant’s ability to articulate why he or she wants to be a nurse weighs heavily in the evaluation process. This should be clearly communicated in the essay. Volunteer or work experience in a hospital, health care facility or in community-based settings, along with demonstrated leadership and commitment to health equity, provide an added advantage.
Q: For a strong application, how many letters of recommendation are required and from whom? Can letters of recommendation be sent directly to the school?
A: We require three letters of recommendation. Please use recommenders who can speak to your academic performance or your professional performance. Letters of recommendation must be submitted (uploading a PDF, Word document or pasting text) through NursingCAS, and applicants can track letters of recommendation through their online accounts. Hard copy letters are not accepted and references should be current, from within the last two years. Letters of recommendation for the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing should describe the applicant’s strengths and potential, as well as major weaknesses, for completing the program and moving forward with a successful career in nursing.
Q: What should be included in the essays?
A: These essays provide an applicant the opportunity to describe his or her reasons for pursuing a master's degree and for choosing the graduate nursing program at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. The statements should relate past experiences to a career in nursing, understanding of the profession and future career goals. Visit the admissions webpage for more information on how to apply.
Q: What is the minimum GPA requirement?
A: The minimum overall bachelor’s degree GPA requirement is 3.0. The minimum science prerequisite GPA requirement is 2.7. The prerequisite science GPA requirement is expected to increase to a 3.0 minimum in the near future.
Q: How do you calculate an applicant’s bachelor’s degree GPA? Do you use the NursingCAS calculation?
A: We use the overall GPA listed on an applicant’s degree granting institution transcript.
Q: My overall GPA is below a 3.0 or my science prerequisite GPA is below a 2.7; am I still eligible to apply?
A: No, all applicants must meet the minimum GPA requirements listed on the website.
Q: Can I retake classes to improve my GPA?
A: An applicant’s overall bachelor’s degree GPA is final upon graduation. Taking additional courses or repeating courses after receiving a bachelor’s degree does not affect a bachelor’s degree GPA. However, prerequisite science courses completed or repeated after graduation are calculated into the science prerequisite GPA.
Q: How will repeated courses be calculated into my GPA?
A: If the course was repeated at the degree-granting institution prior to graduation, the GPA calculation is determined by the school’s grade-forgiveness policy. For prerequisite science courses, only the highest grade is used to calculate an applicant’s science prerequisite GPA. Initial and repeated grades are not averaged.
Q: How is the science GPA calculated?
A: The school calculates a science prerequisite GPA in lieu of a traditional science GPA. Please see the website for the prerequisite science courses that are required.
Q: What courses are used to calculate the prerequisite science GPA?
A: Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Chemistry and Microbiology with their associated labs are used to calculate the prerequisite science GPA
Q: Does the School of Nursing look at the entire undergraduate transcript or just the last 60 units of the undergraduate GPA?
A: The entire undergraduate transcript is reviewed. A bachelor’s degree GPA is reviewed using the GPA listed on an applicant’s degree-granting institution transcript.
Q: Is prerequisite coursework from community colleges accepted?
A: Yes, however the college must be accredited.
Q: Do all prerequisites have to be completed within a specific timeframe?
A: At this time, no;, however, it is desired that all prerequisite courses (in particular, the human anatomy and human physiology prerequisites) are completed within the past seven years of when applicants plan to apply. Completion of human anatomy and human physiology within five years of application are expected as required in the near future. Applicants should plan accordingly.
Q: Can the prerequisite communication courses be substituted?
A: No, these are requirements set by the Board of Registered Nursing and are verified when Master's Entry Program in Nursing graduates submit their documentation for licensing exam eligibility. Only courses titled Group Communication, Verbal Communication, Written Communication or closely related titles will be accepted. It is not enough for a course to have an “extensive writing or communication component” or be too specific in one form of writing (i.e. literature courses, women’s studies courses, scientific writing, etc.). All applicants, regardless of their academic or professional background, must complete each of the prerequisites in order to be considered for admission to the program. Please see our sample prerequisites page.
Q: Can one course satisfy multiple prerequisites?
A: No, each course may only satisfy one prerequisite, with the exception of group and verbal communication. Some communication courses such as public speaking may satisfy both prerequisites; however, applicants must still meet the six semester- or nine quarter-unit requirements.
Q: How can an applicant fulfill the Human Development across the Lifespan course requirement?
A: The course may be offered through a human development or psychology department, but must touch upon human development from birth until death. This course requirement can be fulfilled by a series of courses, as long as combined they are worth at least three quarter units or two semester units.
Q: Is animal or vertebrate physiology or anatomy an appropriate substitute for the human anatomy or physiology prerequisite?
A: You must use human physiology and human anatomy to fulfill this requirement. Animal, mammalian or vertebrate anatomy or physiology will not fulfill this requirement.
Q: Is there a certain grade requirement for the prerequisite courses?
A: Yes, applicants must receive a grade of C or better in all prerequisite coursework. For more information on prerequisites for the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing, please visit the admissions web page.
Q: Can prerequisites be waived?
A: No, applicants must complete all prerequisites, regardless of their prior academic or professional backgrounds.
Q: Can prerequisite courses be in progress?
A: All admission requirements must be completed and received by the Nov. 1 application deadline. This includes all prerequisite course work, transcripts and letters of recommendation. No changes may be made to the application once it is submitted.
IMPORTANT: Your application and materials must have a “complete” (all materials received and pending verification) or “verified” status by the Nov. 1 deadline. This also includes applications that utilize the Professional Transcript Entry Service. It is the applicants' responsibility to monitor the status of their applications and application materials on a regular basis. NursingCAS does NOT notify applicants if applications are incomplete or if documents are missing. Applications and application material with a "complete" or "verified" status by the Nov. 1 deadline are considered for admission. For more information on application status, please visit the NursingCAS’ Applicant Help Center.
Time commitment and class schedule
Q: Does UC Davis offer the Master's Entry Program in Nursing part-time or online?
A: No, this program requires a full-time commitment and classes take place at the UC Davis Sacramento campus.
Q. How often are students in class during the program?
A. Students can expect to be on campus full-time for the duration of the program in preparation for licensure. Most courses are held Monday through Friday; however, some courses and clinical experiences are held on evenings and weekends.
Q: What are clinical experiences like?
A: Clinical placements take place every quarter, about 15 hours per week. Students complete clinical experiences in acute and ambulatory care, the home and community. Students also participate in simulation (including high- and mid-fidelity patient simulators, standardized patients, task trainers and computer simulations). Over six quarters, students complete 1,080 clinical practicum hours.
Q. Can students work while enrolled in the entry-level MSN program?
A. Applicants are advised that the program requires a very intensive, full-time commitment from students. It is strongly recommended they not work or entertain other commitments outside of the program while enrolled in this program.
Q: May I contact UC Davis School of Nursing faculty with my application-related questions?
A: Faculty members are actively involved in the admissions process of each program. Therefore, they are not available to answer questions about admissions requirements or about the application process.
Q: Whom may I contact if I have questions about admission requirements or about the application process?
A: Please direct all questions to our applicant services team at hs-BettyIreneMooreSON@ucdavis.edu.
Q: May I meet with an admissions adviser?
A: Representatives may discuss questions or issues with potential applicants via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; however, formal advising appointments are not available.
Q: Do you conduct information sessions or tours?
A: The how-to-apply videos on each of the program admission pages provides information similar to an information session. Formal tours and information sessions are not offered at this time. Please visit us at the UC Davis Pre-Health Conference in October! While this event is not hosted by the School of Nursing, it is a great opportunity to meet and hear from our current students, faculty, and staff.
Q: What are the programs costs?
A: Tuition and fees for all Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Degree Programs are set by the University of California Board of Regents and are subject to change. Tuition is based on residency as well as degree type (i.e. academic or professional). For the exact fee schedule, please visit: http://budget.ucdavis.edu/studentfees.
Q: Does the school determine residency?
A: The school does not determine residency. It is determined only by the Residency Officer on UC Davis Campus: http://registrar.ucdavis.edu/tuition/residence/index.cfm.
Q: Is preference given to California residents during the application process?
A: No, no preference is given to California residents.
Q: Is preference given to UC Davis undergraduate or graduate students during the application cycle?
A: No, the School of Nursing reviews all applications equally.
Q: Do you offer distance-learning programs? Are the classes offered online?
A: No, all classes take place at the UC Davis Sacramento campus.
Q: Do any of your programs accept transfer students? Do you have a bridge program?
A: No, there are no transfer opportunities or bridge programs available.
Q. Does your school operate on a rolling admissions cycle?
A: No, please make sure applications and all required materials are submitted by the deadline for consideration.
Q: Do you offer a bachelor’s degree in Nursing?
A: No, please refer here for a list of schools with BSN programs.
Q: If I am not accepted, can I receive feedback on my application?
A: If you are not accepted, you will receive an email from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing as well as an official denial letter from the Office of Graduate Studies. Due to the volume of applications received, the school does not have the resources to offer individual feedback to each applicant.
Q: Are undocumented applicants eligible for enrollment?
A: The School of Nursing seeks to provide full disclosure for individuals who are undocumented: Undocumented applicants to the school’s clinical programs (physician assistant, nurse practitioner and entry-level nursing) must apply for a Childhood Arrival (DACA) work permit and a Social Security number, which are required for licensure exams upon graduation.
At this time, regulations governing clinical practice require licensure boards to use Social Security numbers to identify exam applicants. Without a social security number, students are unable to sit for licensure exams upon graduation. A Social Security number is also required for some clinical placements.
Q: If I am offered admission, can I defer my acceptance to another semester?
A: The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing does not permit deferred admission unless there are extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control that would prevent him or her from enrolling in the term he or she is admitted. Deferment requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have a concern about your ability to start the program, please e-mail email@example.com.
Q: I have reviewed the website, but I want to learn more about your programs. Whom should I contact?
A: You can send additional questions to hs-BettyIreneMooreSON@ucdavis.edu. This is the best way to receive answers about the school’s programs and admissions process.
Q: Can you provide GPA statistics for admitted students?
A: The school does not calculate GPA statistics due to structure of the admissions process. All applicants are reviewed as a whole to determine their preparation for the graduate health care program as well as their fit for the school. Applicants should seek to exceed minimum requirements for admission when preparing for any of the graduate degree programs.
Q: What are the requirements for international applicants?
A: All international applicants, regardless of their educational or professional background, must meet each of the requirements for admission that are listed on our website. In addition, international applicants and graduates must submit a course-by-course evaluated transcript and complete a TOEFL prior to submitting an application. Please visit the international graduate requirements page for more information.
Q: I have lived and worked in the US for years, but all of my transcripts are from another country. Is there a way to waive the TOEFL or IELTS requirement?
A: Applicants must meet the English Language Requirement listed on the UC Davis Graduate Studies website. Please refer to the UC Davis International Applicant Website for information regarding the TOEFL or IELTS.
Q: What if my evaluated transcripts are not received by the deadline?
A: You will not be considered for admission.
Q: I only have one official copy of my international transcript and I cannot get another copy from my home country. What are my options for submitting my transcript for your admissions?
A: You may be able to obtain a notarized copy of the original transcript. Please contact the evaluation service directly for more information.
Q: I am an international graduate and practicing clinician. Do I still need to complete all of the prerequisites to be eligible to apply to the physician assistant program or Master’s Entry Program in Nursing?
A: All applicants interested in applying to the physician assistant program or Master’s Entry Program in Nursing must complete all required prerequisites, regardless of their academic or professional backgrounds. A foreign medical degree does not serve in the place of prerequisite course work.
Q: Do I need a U.S. R.N. license in order to apply to the Doctor of Nursing — Family Nurse Practitioner Program?