Graduate Application Instructions

Email Communication from the University

The University of San Francisco will use the email address you supplied to apply online for communicating with you throughout the application process. Please be aware that in order to receive prompt application updates you are required to check your email for correspondence from the university. Email messages include pertinent time-sensitive information regarding your status and failure to reply could result in cancelation of your application.

Also note that your email service may direct messages from the university to your spam folder. Please check your spam folder often in order to ensure you are receiving all vital communications.

Application Form and Fee

Submit the form and the $55 application fee online.


Upload a copy of your transcripts from each college or university attended. Please ensure that any unofficial transcripts include the name of the institution.

Please note: If admitted to the program, you will be required to submit official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.

A Professional Résumé

Include a professional résumé of your work experience, educational background, and professional activities, as well as any outside interests you would like to have considered.

Letters of Recommendation

Please follow the instructions on the online application for submitting your recommenders' contact information. Your recommenders will receive an email requesting that they log in and submit their letter of recommendation. You will be able to log back into your account to send a reminder at any time.* 

Programs Requiring 2 Letters of Recommendation:

  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Science in Behavioral Health 
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics 
  • Master of Science in Healthcare Simulation

Programs Requiring 3 Letters of Recommendation:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice**
  • Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)***

*You can easily remind your recommenders to submit their letters through your online application. To do so, log in to your application and choose the View Application button. Next, under Important Links, choose Recommendation Letters, and then Recommendation Provider List. Next to each provider is a Resend button. Once clicking the resend button a prompt will automatically be sent to your recommender's email address.

Who should write your letters of recommendation? Letters from scholastic and professional recommenders are preferred; e.g. professor or work supervisor. The recommendation letter should ideally come from someone who can speak to your ability to succeed in a graduate program.

**The Post-Doctoral Certificate Programs for the FNP & PMHNP do not require letters of recommendation.

***The PsyD program has specific requirements for the writers of the recommendation letters. Three letters of recommendation are required, two must be from faculty members, and one from a professional/work supervisor. 

A Personal Statement

  • Master of Science in Nursing for the Non-Nurse (entry level) – The personal statement is your opportunity to tell us more about yourself, and should cover the following topics:
    • Why do you wish to become a nurse, and why is the nursing profession a good fit for you given your past experience and future goals?
    • Why do you wish to pursue your studies at USF, and in this program in particular? How does the CNL role fit into your future plans and goals?

    You may also explain any discrepancies with your grades, including any difficult circumstances that may have affected your GPA and what has changed since then. The format should be 2 pages, double spaced with 10-12 font size.

  • Master of Science in Nursing (RN to MSN)– Upload a 1 to 3 page document that describes your reasons for pursuing a master's degree and for choosing the graduate nursing program at the University of San Francisco. The statement should relate your past experiences to a career in nursing.
  • Master of Public Health – Upload a 1 to 3 page document that describes your interests and professional goals as they relate to public health, and how you plan to use the MPH in your career. Furthermore, describe your reasons for pursuing a master's degree in public health at the University of San Francisco. Finally, please be sure to identify and explain any international educational experience that you may have fielded during your undergraduate studies.
  • Master of Science in Behavioral Health – This writing prompt has two (2) parts. Please respond to both.
    Part 1: What do you consider the most pressing concern in health care today? Why? Please present at least 3 reasons to support your claim.
    Part 2: Tell us about your interest in working in behavioral health with underserved populations. Please include relevant information about your values, work history, life experience and education that have led you to pursue this degree. What do you hope to learn from the MS in Behavioral Health program?
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics – Upload a 1 to 3 page document that describes reasons for pursuing a Master's degree in Health Informatics and career goals
  • Master of Science in Healthcare Simulation – Upload a 1 to 3 page document that describes reasons for pursuing a Master's degree in Healthcare Simulation and career goals
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice – Upload a 1 to 3 page document that describes your reasons for pursuing a doctoral degree, and specifically why you are applying to the DNP program at the University of San Francisco. The statement should describe your future plans for application of graduate-level knowledge and skills.
  • Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) – Upload 4 to 5 page document. The first section of the statement, approximately two pages in length, should include a description of the applicant and his/her background. The second section, approximately 3 pages in length, should consist of short paragraphs responding to the following:
    • What has led to your interest in pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology?
    • Have you considered other master's and doctoral degrees in psychology and counseling?
    • What interests you in focusing on behavioral health and working with underserved populations?
    • What is unique about you that will contribute to your success as a professional psychologist?
    • Is this a good time for you to assume the financial commitment of five full time years of academic training, during which you will be able to work no more than part-time?
    • Is this a good time for you to assume the time commitment of 5 full years of academic training, including the 5th year full-time clinical internship, which is often in a different geographic area?
    • What is your ultimate goal as a licensed psychologist?

Supplemental Applications

Many programs require additional information as a requirement for the program application. Please complete all sections as directed in the application.

Other Information

  • Master of Public Health – please identify your language proficiency (fluent or conversational) with regard to any other languages spoken or studied other than English. Identify how many years you have studied these languages.
  • Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) – Submit official scores of the GRE General Test and GRE Psychology Test, taken within three years of application.

Financial Assistance

For information concerning financial assistance programs available to applicants to the School of Nursing and Health Professions, please refer to our webpage, Financing Your Education. You many also contact the USF One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services Office: University of San Francisco, One Stop Services, 2130 Fulton Street, LM 251, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080, (415) 422-2020, web:, email:

International Students

(Not a Citizen or Permanent Resident of the U.S.)
Non-immigrant students must include a foreign mailing address. In addition to the documents listed under "Application Instructions," International Students need to submit the following:

Official Academic Records

Submit official records from all university-level institutions attended.

English Proficiency Examination

Submit official TOEFL examination scores. A minimum score of 600 (Paper Test), 100 (IBT), or 7.0 (IELTS) is required. USF will also accept the Pearson Test of English (PTE).

Certification of Finances

Please Read Carefully
International applicants who require an F-1 student visa must demonstrate that they (and/or other sponsors) can fund all or a significant amount of their educational and living expenses in the United States. To do this, the Certification of Finances form must be completed and submitted along with bank statements. if you cannot complete the Certification, then please do not apply to this graduate program.
Please Note: If funding from your sponsor(s) requires that you first be admitted to the university's graduate program, then your application will be considered if you attach a note to your application indicating that your Certification of Finance is to come. After you receive your admission decision letter, you will want to complete and send your verified Certification of Finances to USF.

Fo more information about financial requirements for each program, visit our international admission financial requirements webpage.


Please upload a copy of your passport.

State Authorization

USF is not currently accepting applications from online students who reside in Alabama*, Arkansas*, Delaware, Iowa*, Kentucky, Maryland*, Minnesota, New Mexico (DNP, MPH, MSIM, MSN), North Carolina*, Ohio (MPH, MSIM), Oregon and Wisconsin*. Additionally, USF is not currently accepting applications for online students for the MSN and DNP online programs who reside in Louisiana, Maine, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee. Note, residents of states where USF is not authorized for online education may attend USF courses and programs at any of our California based campuses. *States with asterisks (*) are states where USF does not intend on seeking authorization. Please check back for changes in status for all other states, or learn more about state authorization here.

Contact Info

School of Nursing & Health Professions

Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-3627