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Accelerated Master's Nursing Programs in California

Students interested in a master's in nursing can choose from several accelerated programs in California. Explore the eligibility criteria and curriculum for three accelerated programs.

An accelerated nursing master's program allows candidates without a bachelor's degree in nursing to directly enroll in a graduate program in this field. Students can choose an area of concentration in one of the programs below.

School Comparison

These three schools are all public institutions and offer in-state tuition rates to residents.

Institution Location Average Graduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)*
University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA $13,400 (in-state) / $28,502 (out-of-state)
University of California - San Francisco San Francisco, CA $12,842 (in-state) / $27,944 (out-of-state)
San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA $8,688 (in-state) / $18,192 (out-of-state)

Source: *National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)

California Accelerated Nursing Master's Programs

University of California - Irvine

The University of California - Irvine offers a Master of Science in Nursing Science with a concentration in Community and Population Health Nursing. It is a two-year program that will culminate in students taking the National Council Licensure Examination. Students will study topics such as health promotion and disease prevention, nursing systems leadership, and health policy and advocacy.

Applicants will need a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. They also need at least a grade of ''C'' in prerequisite coursework like statistics and general chemistry. The application process involves the submission of the following:

  • Statement of purpose
  • Personal history statement
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Pre-requisite form
  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcripts

University of California - San Francisco

Students can complete the three-year Master's Entry Program in Nursing at the University of California - San Francisco. They will receive training in advanced clinical skills, which will qualify them to work as advanced practiced nurses. The first year of the program consists of 30-37 hours of clinical nursing study. Courses include community health nursing, pharmacology and nursing care, and psychiatric / mental health nursing. Students will complete at least three clinical rotations in the area.

This program also stipulates that candidates hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. It should be noted that candidates who do not meet the GPA requirement can complete a petition to have it waived. Applicants will need to complete prerequisite coursework in six areas, including statistics, microbiology with a lab component, and anatomy with a lab component. They will also need to complete prerequisite coursework as outlined by the California Board of Registered Nursing, which includes classes in social science and communications. Applicants must submit their official transcripts, a goal statement, and contact information for four to five recommendations.

San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University has an Accelerated Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing. Students will complete 97 credits during the two-year, full-time program. They will complete either a master's thesis or a nursing applied research course in order to graduate. Students can choose from three areas of concentration: clinical nurse specialist, nursing administration, and public/community health.

The university requires prerequisite coursework in areas such as critical thinking, human anatomy with lab, and survey of chemistry with lab. Candidates will need a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the last 60 credits of their bachelor's degree. They will first submit an online application via Cal State Apply. Candidates will then complete a school of nursing supplemental application via NursingCAS, which includes a goal statement, official transcripts, three recommendation letters, and GRE scores. It should be noted that the GRE must be from the past five years and a score of 4 or higher is required for the analytical writing section.

Potential students will need a bachelor's degree in order to apply for an accelerated master's nursing program. All of the programs discussed here require that students complete prerequisite coursework in the sciences and statistics before enrolling.


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