Nursing Student listening to heart beat

Admissions, Clinical Nurse Leader (MEO), MSN

Application Deadlines

The Master's Entry MSN, Clinical Nurse Leader program accepts applications for spring and fall admission at our San Francisco and Orange County locations. Please apply by the following deadlines for Spring and Fall admission. You must complete all required nursing courses at the campus to which you apply.

San Francisco

Spring – September 1st
Fall – February 1st

Orange County

Spring – September 1st
Fall – February 1st

Application Materials

All application materials should be uploaded through NursingCAS.

Applicants can check the status of their submitted application through NursingCAS or by contacting the School of Nursing & Health Professions, Office of Graduate Admissions at


Prerequisite courses must be completed with a letter grade of “C” or higher. We can accept applications with up to three (3) prerequisites in-progress, though we will need proof of registration for those courses by the application deadline. AP courses will count toward fulfilling these prerequisite course requirements, as long as you received college credit for the course. The CLEP exam is not accepted as a substitute for these prerequisites.

We are able to accept eligible online prerequisites courses, including virtual labs, towards prerequisite requirements.

The following prerequisites are required to be considered for admission:

  • Completion of any Baccalaureate degree or higher; plus:
  • 16 Semester or 24 Quarter credits of natural, behavioral, and/or social sciences*: Includes Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, and Psychology
  • Human Anatomy - 4 credits: Each lab science prerequisite must be 4 units or greater, completed within 7 years of the application term. Lecture and lab sections are required for each. 
  • Physiology - 4 credits: Each lab science prerequisite must be 4 units or greater, completed within 7 years of the application term. Lecture and lab sections are required for each.
  • Microbiology - 4 credits: Each lab science prerequisite must be 4 units or greater, completed within 7 years of the application term. Lecture and lab sections are required for each.
  • 1 Psychology course*: Any psychology course will suffice
  • 6 Semester or 9 Quarter credits of Communication*: Must include a College composition course. We can accept a combination of written, oral, and group communication. Please note that the written communication requirement must fulfill the undergraduate writing requirement for the University where you received your Bachelor’s degree.
  • 1 Statistics course

International Students

For those students seeking an F1 visa, please note that in order to receive your I-20, you must complete all admission requirements. USF is not able to issue an I-20 to a prospective student before they have met all criteria for full-admission. If you need an I-20 to apply for an F-1 visa, you will want to plan ahead and make sure you can get your I-20 and visa in time to attend the program.

*State Licensure

Please note that the California Board of Registered Nursing licensure application requires specific minimum coursework, as noted in the requirements above. Students in this program must have completed 16 semester (24 quarter) credits of natural, behavioral, and social science coursework, including a course in psychology, and 6 semester (9 quarter) credits of communications, part of which must deal with basic English writing skills.

**COVID-19 Exception

In light of COVID-19, we can accept an online science lab as long as it was originally offered in-person prior to COVID-19. Prerequisites taken during the Spring, Summer, and Fall terms of 2020 and 2021 will be accepted for all upcoming entry terms.

Application Requirements & Steps

The application process is entirely online. Please do not mail any application materials. You can simply upload all of your application items to your application account.

Applicants can check their application status online or by contacting the School of Nursing & Health Professions Office of Graduate Admissions at

An application status update will be available approximately 10 weeks after the application deadline.

Application Steps

  1. Completed application on NursingCAS
  2. Unofficial Transcripts from all colleges/universities attended:
    • For the Master's Entry MSN option, we require the proof of completion of a Bachelor’s degree (in any field) from an accredited institution.
    • Official or unofficial transcripts should be uploaded through the online application form.
    • Transcripts must reflect the name of the institution attended, degree earned, grades earned and GPA.
    • Applicants should ensure that all transcripts are readable once uploaded. Submission of official transcripts is ONLY required for all admitted students who decide to enroll.
    • We require translated transcripts for all international applicants.
  3. A preferred Bachelor’s institution GPA of 3.0 or above
    Please note that ME-MSN applicants must have a Bachelor’s institution GPA above 2.75 in order to be considered for admissions. The Bachelor’s institution GPA is the GPA of coursework taken at your Bachelor’s degree-granting institution. Please see FAQs for further details.
  4. Personal Statement:
    For our Personal Statement requirement, we require one (1) personal statement, two (2) supplemental short responses, and and one (1) optional short response. Please see below for prompt information.
    1. Personal Statement Prompt (500 word limit): Describe the factors that led to your decision to apply to the University of San Francisco (USF) School of Nursing Master’s Entry MSN. How do your personal values and professional aspirations align with USF’s mission, vision, and values? Additionally, outline your strategy to actively engage in the learning process to achieve your goals to be a Masters Prepared RN and Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)?

    2. Supplemental Question #1 (350 word limit): The Master's Entry Program in Nursing requires a great deal of adaptability, self-reflection and commitment to lifelong learning. In your experience, describe a challenging situation you encountered that required you to adopt a growth mindset. How did you approach this challenge, and what strategies did you employ to foster your own development and overcome obstacles? Reflect on how this experience has shaped your professional growth and influenced your approach as a learner and future leader?

    3. Supplemental Question #2 (350 word limit): Here at the University of San Francisco we are driven to provide education that trains the leaders of the future to Change the Health of the World from Here.  How do you feel our ME-MSN Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program will help you make an impact on the world as a future nurse leader?

    4. Optional Question (200 word limit): 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.

  5. Professional resumé (1-2 page limit)
  6. Two letters of recommendation:
    In the online form, enter the names and e-mail addresses for recommenders. They will receive an e-mail from USF with instructions to upload their letter.  Please note that letters of recommendation must be on letterhead and signed by the recommender.
  7. For international students only:

    For those students seeking an F1 visa, USF is not able to issue an I-20 to a prospective student before they have met all criteria for full-admission. International students are required to submit the following:

    • Certificate of Finance
    • Copy of passport
    • TOEFL, IETLS, or PTE English language proficiency exam
    • Please refer to the International Graduate Student page for test score requirements and additional information

    Please note that we are not accepting international applications for our Orange County campus at this time. 

  8. TEAS or GRE test is NOT required
  9. The University reserves the right to cancel cohorts due to unforeseen circumstances or low enrollment.