Frequently asked questions
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. Upon completion of that program, students may then apply to the family nurse practitioner program. 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: Can I retake classes to improve my G.P.A.?
A: Your overall bachelor’s-degree G.P.A. is final upon graduation. Taking additional courses or repeating courses after receiving your bachelor’s degree will not affect your overall G.P.A.. However, prerequisite science courses completed or repeated after graduation will be calculated into your science G.P.A..
Q: How will repeated courses be calculated into my G.P.A.?
A: Both your initial and repeated grade will be calculated into your overall bachelor’s-degree G.P.A. as long as the course was repeated prior to graduation.
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 this a distance-learning program? Are the classes offered online?
A: No, all classes take place at the UC Davis Sacramento campus.
Q: Where are classes conducted?
A: Classes are conducted at the Sacramento campus.
Q. Can I transfer into your program? Do you have a bridge program?
A. No, there are no transfer or bridge programs available.
Q. Does your school operate on a rolling admissions cycle?
A. No, please make sure your application is submitted by the deadline for consideration.
Q. How many letters of recommendation should I submit? Whom should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?
A. Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation. If possible, letters of recommendation should include:
- One letter that addresses academic performance
- One letter from a research supervisor
- One letter from an academic or professional supervisor
Letters may not be written by family members or friends. Please visit UC Davis Advising Services and the UC Davis Internship and Career Center for more information about requesting letters of recommendation.
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: 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 fastest way to receive answers about our programs and admissions process.
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.
Q: What degree will I earn?
M.H.S. — P.A.: Master of Health Services in Physician Assistant Studies.
M.S. — F.N.P.: Master of Science in Nursing Science and Health Care Leadership — Family Nurse Practitioner Track.
Q: What is the length of each program?
M.H.S. — P.A.: 27 months, including three summers.
M.S. — F.N.P.: 24 months, including two summers.
Q: When are classes offered?
A: First-year students are in class approximately four days per week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This schedule is subject to change. Second-year students are in classes about one week per month on campus. The other weeks of the quarter students work in an assigned clinical setting.
Q. Can I apply to the family nurse practitioner or physician assistant programs with a Bachelor of Arts even if my major is non-health related?
A. Yes, the School of Nursing reviews all qualified applicants who earned a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree from an accredited institution.
Q. My overall G.P.A. is below a 3.0 or my science G.P.A. is below a 2.7; am I still eligible to apply?
A. No, all applicants must meet the minimum G.P.A. requirements listed on the website.
Q: Is preference given to California residents?
A: No, no preference is given to California residents.
Q: Can I apply to the physician assistant and family nurse practitioner programs simultaneously?
A: No, applicants are only eligible to submit a (CASPA) application for one program. Registered nurses can apply to the nurse practitioner program, and once accepted, are eligible to then apply for the dual-track option. Click here for more information about the Master of Science — Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Dual-Track Program.
Prerequisites and application requirements
Q. What are some ways that I may obtain my 1,000 hours of clinical experience?
• Certified nursing assistant (CNA)
• Clinical assistants
• Clinical lab scientist/medical technologist
• Dental assistants or dentist
• Dietitian or nutritionist
• EKG, radiology or X-Ray technician
• Health service specialist (Planned Parenthood)
• Hemodialysis technician
• Home health and personal care aide
• Hospital unit secretary coordinator (HUSC)
• International medical graduate (IMG)
• Licensed vocational nurse (LVN)
• Medical assistant (MA)
• Mental Health Aide
• Occupational therapist (OT)
• Paramedic or emergency medical technician (EMT)
• Patient advocate
• Pharmacy technician
• Physical therapist (PT)
• Physical therapy aid
• Physician’s aid
• Registered nurse (RN)
• Respiratory therapist (RT)
• Shadowing (MD, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, registered nurse, paramedic, etc.)
• Speech therapist (ST)
Q: How do you evaluate clinical experience?
A: Clinical experiences should meet the criteria of direct patient interaction and providing medical or psychological assessment and/or treatment.
Q. How many essays do I need to complete and submit in my application?
A. A statement of purpose (4,000 characters) is the required essay submission for the CASPA application process.
Q. Do I need to take the G.R.E. or M.C.A.T. to apply to these programs?
A. No standardized tests are required for these programs.
Q. What are the requirements to complete human anatomy and human physiology?
A. One course in human anatomy and one course in human physiology both with lab, completed over two quarters or two semesters.
A combined human anatomy and human physiology series course with lab completed over two quarters or two semesters:
• Stand-alone lab courses or online lab courses will not be accepted
• Only human anatomy and physiology will be accepted—not animal or mammalian anatomy and physiology
• All courses must be completed in full
• It is desired that this is completed within the past five years of when you plan to apply.
Q: I am currently a practicing registered nurse; do I still need to complete all prerequisite course work within the past five years?
A: No, if all prerequisites were met previously, it is only recommended to retake the human anatomy and physiology component as a refresher course.
Q: I completed human anatomy and human physiology over five years ago. Am I still eligible to apply to the physician assistant program?
A: Yes, however it is preferred and strongly recommended that the human anatomy and human physiology prerequisite courses are completed within the past five years of when you plan to apply.
Q. Do UC Davis undergraduate or graduate students get preference in the application process?
A. No, the School of Nursing reviews equally all applications.
Q. Are prerequisites completed at community colleges or online looked at poorly or less competitive in comparison to those completed in-person at a university?
A. No, the School of Nursing reviews equally all applications regardless of whether the course was completed in-person, online, at a community college or at a university. All lab courses must be completed in-person.
Q: What is the minimum grade accepted for prerequisite course work?
A: All prerequisite courses must be completed with a solid C or better.
Q: How does repeating a course influence my chance of acceptance?
A: CASPA calculates the overall G.P.A. using all course work finished before the completed degree date. Therefore, if an applicant repeats a course BEFORE the degree date, then the new grade is averaged with all of the other course work. If the course is repeated after the undergraduate degree date, then it is not factored into the overall G.P.A.
Q. When does the application cycle open and close?
A. Applications open in April and close on July 15. After July 15, details are sent to invited applicants to complete a UC Davis supplemental application.
Q. Do all admission requirements need to be completed by the application deadline?
A. Yes, all admission requirements must be completed and submitted by the July 15 application deadline. This includes all prerequisite course work, 1,000 hours of clinical experience, transcripts and letters of recommendation. No changes can be made to the application once it is submitted in the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).
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: The fastest way to get answers about School of Nursing programs, admission requirements and the application process is to direct all questions to hs-BettyIreneMooreSON@ucdavis.edu.
Q: What degree will I earn?
A: M.S.N – Master of Science in Nursing.
Q: How long is each program?
A: Full time for 18 months (six consecutive quarters including two summers) beginning in June.
Q. Are applicants required to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing (B.S.N.) before enrolling in the Entry-Level M.S.N. program?
A. No, applicants may enter the program with a bachelor's degree in arts or science from an accredited institution. 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. Does the entry-level Master of Science in Nursing program 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 entry-level Master of Science in Nursing program 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 the M.S.N. and the Entry-Level M.S.N. program?
A. Both programs are graduate nursing programs; however, the Master of Science in Nursing program is designed for students who already earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and seek to further their nursing education. The entry-level master’s-degree program is designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline who seek to transition into nursing.
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. What does the clinical experience look like?
A. There are clinical placements every quarter, about 15 hours per week. Students have 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. 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.
Prerequisites and application requirements
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 the last five years?
A. No, but 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.
Q: Can the prerequisite communication courses be substituted?
A: No, these are requirements set by the Board of Registered Nursing and are verified when the 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.
Q: How can an applicant fulfill the Human Development across the Lifespan course requirement?
A: The course may be offered through a psychology department, but it must be a human development course. 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 mammalian 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. Mammalian or animal anatomy will not fulfill this requirement.
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. 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 click here.
Q. What is the minimum G.P.A. requirement?
A. The minimum overall bachelor’s G.P.A. requirement is 3.0. The minimum science prerequisite G.P.A. requirement is 2.7.
Q. Does the School of Nursing look at the entire undergraduate transcript or just the last 60 units of the undergraduate G.P.A.?
A. The School of Nursing looks at the cumulative G.P.A. from the applicant’s undergraduate degree, as well as G.P.A.s from all institutions attended. Prerequisite grades are evaluated separately.
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. Are the G.R.E. or T.E.A.S. tests required?
A. No, neither exam is required.
Q. Where can I find additional information about the M.E.P.N. program?
A. Prospective applicants may sign up for email updates here.
Q. Where are applications located? Are all applications 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 will receive an invitation to apply for UC Davis graduate admissions. All invited applicants must meet UC Davis graduate admissions requirements.
For more details on how to apply, see the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing admissions page on the website.
Q. How often are applications accepted?
A. The School of Nursing accepts applications once a year.
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 submit a thorough and complete application packet 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.
Prerequisite coursework and admissions requirements
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. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis is new and applicants should advise their recommenders of the school’s vision and mission so that they may prepare the recommendation accordingly. Also, let recommenders know they will be submitting their recommendation through an online system and to be on the lookout for this e-mail notification. Plan to follow up with each recommender weekly to ensure the letters are completed and uploaded by the deadline. Applicants can track letters of recommendation in their account in the online application system. Letters of recommendation must be submitted by (uploading a PDF, Word document or pasting text) using the online recommendation service provided. Hard copy letters will not be accepted.
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. It is recommend that any student applying with less than a 3.0 GPA include in the personal history essay a brief explanation of past grades and why he or she has the ability to be successful in the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing at UC Davis. For more information on how to apply, click here.
Q. When are applicants be notified if they have been accepted?
A. The School of Nursing begins reviewing applications in August and applicants are contacted in September if they are invited to apply for the UC Davis Graduate Admissions.
Q. Is there any way prerequisites can be waived?
A. No, all applicants must complete all prerequisites. No substitutions are accepted.
Time commitment and class schedule
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. Can students work while enrolled in the entry-level M.S.N. 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. What are the program costs?
A. Tuition and fees for the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Degree Programs are set by the University of California Regents and are subject to change. Tuition is based on residency as well as degree type (i.e. academic or professional). We anticipate costs competitive with similar programs in the region and we plan to provide financial aid to Master’s Entry Program in Nursing students.
Q. Does the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing offer financial aid or scholarships?
A. Information about various financial aid resources (grants, scholarships, fellowships, loan programs and short-term loans) available for clinical education is provided through the UC Davis Health Financial Aid Office. There are different procedures for applying for each type of financial assistance and they are not program-specific to the School of Nursing. Both federal and state resources provide a range of flexible repayment options, including, but not limited to, income-based and income-contingent repayment plans, as well as loan-forgiveness benefits. Other forms of assistance, such as short-term loans, are also available, at no interest, to enrolled students. Click here to view a list of resources we compiled.
A member of the UC Davis Health Financial Aid Office can answer questions regarding these programs and discuss how to best meet specific financial aid needs. Students are encouraged to seek private scholarships and external funding. For more information, visit UC Davis Graduate Studies External Support Resources page. There are also several online searchable scholarship databases. One example is collegeboard.org.
Q: What degree will I earn?
A: Ph.D.: Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership.
M.S. — Leadership: Master of Science in Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership — Leadership Track.
Q: How long is each program?
A: Ph.D.: Four years
M.S. — Leadership: Five quarters
Q: When are courses offered?
A: Master’s-degree leadership and doctoral program core classes are conducted weekly Thursday afternoons and from 8 a.m. 5 p.m. Fridays. Doctoral students should expect to attend core courses and electives on campus at least three days a week. Master’s-degree students should expect to attend core courses and electives on campus at least two days a week . Elective courses for both programs may be scheduled Monday through Thursday. Elective course times vary.
Q: What is the difference between Ph.D. and D.N.P. degrees?
A: For information about whether it is best to pursue a Ph.D. degree or a D.N.P. degree based upon your career goals, please click here.
Q: I have reviewed the website, but I want to learn more about your programs. Who should I contact?
A: You can send any additional questions to BettyIreneMooreSON@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu. You can also speak with a School of Nursing representative at (916) 734-2145.
Q. Is the T.O.E.F.L. required for international students?
Q. I have lived and worked in the U.S. for years, but all of my transcripts are from another country. Is there a way to waive the T.O.E.F.L. requirement?
A. If you have completed any course work from an English-speaking university and have earned a passing grade, you can waive out of the T.O.E.F.L exam. If not, you are required to complete the T.O.E.F.L. exam. Please refer to the UC Davis International Applicant Website for additional information.
Q. What if I cannot get my international transcripts here 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 can get a notarized copy of the original transcript. Send the notarized copy and verification of notary.
Q. Do I need to complete a professional transcript evaluation?
A. Yes, the evaluation must be submitted along with your transcripts when applying.
Q: I am an international graduate. Do I still need to complete all of the prerequisite course work to be eligible to apply to the physician assistant program?
A: All applicants who are interested in applying to the physician assistant program must complete the same prerequisite course work as all other applicants. A foreign medical degree cannot currently serve in the place of prerequisite course work.
Q. I am a practicing clinician with over five years of direct patient experience. Do I still need to complete all of the prerequisite course work to be eligible to apply to the physician assistant program?
A: All physician assistant program applicants must complete the same prerequisite course work as all other applicants. Direct patient experience is considered toward the 1,000 hour clinical experience requirement; however no substitutions are provided for prerequisite coursework.