Master's Entry - Master of Science in Nursing (ME-MSN)

The University of San Francisco offers a Master's Entry - Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for individuals who hold a bachelor's degree in a field outside of nursing.

The Master's Entry MSN option prepares students for licensure as RNs while integrating graduate-level curriculum that prepares them for nurse-leader positions. Students complete 68 credits over the course of two (2) years of full-time continuous study at USF’s Main campus in San Francisco or in Orange County, with classroom instruction three (3) days weekly and clinical practice two (2) days weekly.

Program Features

  • Top Ranking Program: Rated among the best graduate schools in the country for training nurses in assuming leadership roles in health care facilities.
  • Two (2) Campus Locations to Choose From: Classes are offered at the following locations: San Francisco | Orange County
  • Recognizable Degree: Considered one of the most versatile and flexible MSN degrees. Our graduates are everywhere -on the frontlines of patient care, on the boards of leading health organizations, and in hospitals and governmental organizations where health policy is crafted. They will be your network - AND employers love our graduates. 

Program Details

The Master's Entry MSN option is open to individuals who have a baccalaureate degree (or higher) in any discipline. Please visit our admission page for a list of pre-requisite courses required for admission.


In order to be eligible, you must complete prerequisite coursework prior to applying. 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. Prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better prior to the start date of the semester to which you are applying. 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: Must be completed within seven (7) years of the semester to which you are applying. Lab must be in person; virtual labs will not be accepted
  • Physiology - 4 credits: Must be completed within seven (7) years of the semester to which you are applying. Lab must be in person; virtual labs will not be accepted
  • Microbiology - 4 credits: Must be completed within seven (7) years of the semester to which you are applying. Lab must be in person; virtual labs will not be accepted.
  • 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.
  • Please note that we are not accepting international applications for our Orange County campus at this time.


Semester 1

NURS601 Introductory Pathophysiology & Pharmacology - 3 credits
NURS602* Principles of Epidemiology - 3 credits
NURS613* Intro to Nurse Leader Role - 1 credit
NURS622 Health Assessment - 2 credits
NURS624 Fundamentals of Nursing: Learning and Reasoning - 2 credits
NURS661 Applied Assessment & Fundamentals Clinical Lab. - 4 credits
Semester 1 total: 15 credits

Semester 2

NURS610 Health Promotion of Families & Individuals - 4 credits
NURS637 Pediatric Nursing - 2 credits
NURS638 Pediatric Nursing - Clinical Lab - 2 credits
NURS662 Childbearing Families Clinical Lab - 2 credits
NURS664* Advanced Pathophysiology & Pharmacology - 3 credits
Semester 2 Total: 13 credits

Semester 3

NURS614* Healthcare System Leadership - 3 credits
NURS618 Medical-Surgical Nursing I - 3 credits
NURS619 Medical-Surgical Nursing I - Clinical Lab - 3 credits
NURS628* Clinical Outcomes Manager Practicum- 1 credit
NURS634* Nursing Research 3 credits
Semester 3 Total: 13 credits

Semester 4

NURS615* Educator Role - 1 credit
NURS629* Financial Resource Management - 3 credits
NURS635 Medical-Surgical Nursing II - 3 credits
NURS636 Medical-Surgical Nursing II - Clinical Lab - 3 credits
NURS640* Healthcare Informatics - 2 credits
Semester 4 Total: 12 credits

Semester 5

NURS644 Clinical Leadership in Mental Health & Community-based Practice - 3 credits
NURS645* Integration and Evaluation of the Clinical Leadership Role - 1 credit
NURS646 Clinical lab IV: Community & Mental Health - 4 credits
Semester 5 Total: 8 credits

Semester 6

NURS648* Healthcare Policy & Ethics -3 credits
NURS651 Nurse Leader Roles Synthesis - 2 credits
NURS653 Internship 2 credits
Semester 6 Total: 7 credits

Total Nursing credits: 68 total credits
Total Program Requirement credits: 93 total credits

*Not considered pre­-licensure courses

**Students are encouraged but not required to take the NCELX at the end of Semester 5.

At the completion of the program the student will demonstrate:

  1. Clinical leadership for patient-care practices and delivery, including the design, coordination, and evaluation of care for individuals, families, groups, and populations;
  2. Participation in identification and collection of health care outcomes;
  3. Accountability for evaluation and improvement of point-of-care outcomes, including the synthesis of data and other evidence to evaluate and achieve optimal outcomes;
  4. Risk anticipation for individuals and cohorts of patients;
  5. Lateral integration of care for individuals and cohorts of patients;
  6. Design and implementation of evidence-based practice(s);
  7. Team leadership, management and collaboration with other health professional team members;
  8. Information management or the use of information systems and technologies to improve health care outcomes;
  9. Stewardship and leveraging of human, environmental, and material resources;
  10. Advocacy for patients, communities, and the health professional team; and,
  11. Leadership in delivering competent and safe patient care to individuals and groups in a variety of settings based in liberal arts and the natural sciences.

Based on The American Association of College of Nurses. (2011). The Essentials of Master's Education in Nursing. Retrieved from: