Frequently asked questions
General Q and A
Q: What are the programs costs?
A: Tuition and fees for the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Degree Program 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: We do NOT determine residency. It is determined only by the Residency Officer on UC Davis Campus: http://registrar.ucdavis.edu/html/slr.html.
Q: Can I retake classes to improve my undergraduate GPA?
A: We look at the GPA from your bachelor’s degree. Only degrees count toward your undergraduate GPA.
Q: Where are classes conducted?
A: All Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership classes are offered on the Sacramento campus at UC Davis Health System.
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
M.H.S. — P.A.: Master of Health Services in Physician Assistant Studies
M.S. — N.P.: Master of Science in Nursing Science and Health Care Leadership — Nurse Practitioner Track
Q: How long is each program?
A: Ph.D.: four years
M.S. — Leadership: five quarters
M.S. — N.P.: 24 months, including two summers
M.H.S. — P.A.: 27 months, including three summers
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: Is this a distance-learning program?
Q: Are the classes offered online?
Q: How do I obtain high quality letters of recommendation?
A: Letters of recommendation are a crucial component of the application process for the School of Nursing. All programs require three letters as part of the application process. Recommendation letters must be written by professors, employers or others who know you well enough to describe your work and/or academic potential with authority. Letters may not be written by family members or friends. Visit UC Davis Advising Services and the UC Davis Internship and Career Center for more information about requesting letters of recommendation.
Q: I’m interested in undergraduate degrees in nursing. What should I do?
A: The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis will offer programs at all levels of nursing, beginning with graduate studies in fall 2010. By starting with graduate studies, the school will establish its research programs while also immediately addressing the need for additional nursing faculty. A prelicensure program will be phased in over the coming years. If you’re interested in an undergraduate degree in nursing, please join our email list to receive updates on program development. You can also learn about other prelicensure nursing programs by visiting the UC Davis Center for Nursing Education and click on the Professional Connections link to learn more.
Q: What happens if I do not get admitted?
A: We have tried to simplify the process and provide information about how to put forward the best possible application for our program. 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 volume, we do not have the resources to offer individualized feedback to each applicant. Many people who apply to graduate school, especially for the first time, do not get accepted. Realistic goals and back-up plans are always a good idea. We congratulate everyone who took the plunge and applied to graduate school to pursue advanced research. It is a big commitment over quite a long duration and we applaud you for taking this major step.
Q: Can I transfer in graduate courses taken at other institutions?
A: Students at the School of Nursing will not be required to repeat coursework satisfied at another institution; however, all students are expected to enroll full time at a minimum of 12 units each quarter of their program. This means transferring course work will not reduce the length of the program and will not count as credit toward unit requirements.
Q: I have reviewed the website, but I want to learn more about your programs. Who should I contact?
A: Prospective applicants can schedule time to speak with a school representative. To do so, call (916) 734-2145 or email BettyIreneMooreSON@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu.
Q: Who can I contact to get a student perspective on the programs?
A: We welcome applicants to review the website profiles of current students and alumni, and also to connect with them to gain a student’s perspective. However, please keep in mind that program changes can occur from year to year as leaders and faculty refine them as part of the school’s commitment to excellence in education. Therefore, current students’ comments may not reflect future program plans. To ensure you receive the most up-to-date School of Nursing program information, please always connect with the team at BettyIreneMooreSON@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu.
N.P. and P.A. Q and A
Q. Can I apply to the nurse practitioner or physician assistant programs with a Bachelor of Arts?
A. Yes, individuals who hold a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts are eligible to apply.
Q. What if I hold a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in a non-health-related field; am I still eligible to apply to the nurse practitioner or physician assistant programs?
A. Yes. The School of Nursing reviews all qualified applicants.
Q. My overall G.P.A. is below a 3.0 and/or my science G.P.A. is below a 2.7, am I still eligible to apply?
A. All School of Nursing programs are competitive; all applicants must meet the minimum G.P.A. requirements listed on the website.
Q: Is preference given to California residents?
A: No, preference is not given to California residents.
Q: Can I apply to the Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner program simultaneously?
A: No. Applicants are only eligible to submit a Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (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 can obtain my 1,000 hours of clinical experience?
• Certified nursing assistant (CNA)
• Licensed vocational nurse (LVN)
• Registered nurse (RN)
• International medical graduate (IMG)
• Dietitian or nutritionist
• Patient advocate
• Dental assistants or dentist
• Paramedic or emergency medical technician (EMT)
• Health service specialist (Planned Parenthood)
• Home health and personal care aide
• Hospital unit secretary coordinator (HUSC)
• Occupational therapist (OT)
• Physical therapist (PT)
• Respiratory therapist (RT)
• Speech therapist (ST)
• Medical assistant (MA)
• Clinical assistants
• Clinical lab scientist/medical technologist
• Physical therapy aid
• Physician’s aid
• Pharmacy technician
• EKG, radiology or X-Ray technician
• Hemodialysis technician
• Shadowing (MD, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, registered nurse, paramedic, etc.)
Q. What major should I choose in order to be a competitive applicant?
A. Most degrees are acceptable — we review applications from all majors to determine a potential student’s fit.
Q. How many essays do I need to complete and submit in my application?
A. A statement of purpose (4000 characters) is the required essay submission for the CASPA application process.
Q. Do I need to take the GRE or MCAT to apply to your programs?
Q. Does your school operate on a rolling admissions cycle?
Q. What are the miscellaneous requirements to complete human anatomy and human physiology?
A. Nurse practitioner and physician assistant program applicants may complete a combined human anatomy and human physiology series course. Series courses are offered in two parts, and are completed over the course of two quarters or two semesters. Series courses must be completed in-full, and must include an in-person lab component. If applicant only completes one part of the series course, he or she must additionally complete a course in either human anatomy or human physiology to fulfill the requirement. Stand-alone lab courses or online lab courses will not be accepted. Human anatomy and physiology will be accepted – not mammalian or animal anatomy and physiology.
Q: I completed human anatomy and human physiology over five years ago. Am I still eligible to apply to the Physician Assistant program?
A: It is desired that the human anatomy and human physiology prerequisite courses be completed within the past five years of when you plan to apply. Competitive applicants should self-assess their strengths. If it has been a number of years since you completed these courses, you may want to consider retaking them.
Q. Do UC Davis undergraduates get preference in the application process?
A. No, the School of Nursing reviews all applications equally.
Q. Are prerequisites completed at community colleges looked at poorly in comparison to those completed at a university?
A. No, the School of Nursing reviews all applications equally.
Q. Can I transfer into your program? Do you have a bridge program?
Q: I am currently a practicing registered nurse; do I still need to take the same prerequisite course work?
A: Practicing registered nurses are able to complete a single, combined human anatomy and human physiology refresher course. Physician Assistant applicants must retake these prerequisites as two separate courses, and each course must have an in-person lab component.
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 retakes 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: Are completed in-person prerequisite courses seen as more competitive than online prerequisite courses?
A: We review all prerequisite course work equally regardless of whether the course was completed in-person or online. All lab courses must be completed in-person.
Time commitment and class schedule
Q. What is the time commitment for each program?
A. The nurse practitioner program is full time (12-16 units per quarter). It is 24 months long and includes two summers.
The physician assistant program is full time(15-16 units per quarter). It is 27 months long and includes three summers.
Q. Where are classes held?
A. Classes are held at the Sacramento campus. First-year students are in class approximately four days per week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Second-year students are in classes about one week per month on campus. The other three weeks of the month students work in an assigned clinical setting.
Q. When does the application cycle open and close?
A. Applications open in April and close July 15.
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, 2014, application deadline. This includes all prerequisite course work, 1000 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. When do I need to complete the supplemental application?
A. The CASPA application is the only application due July 15. After this date, invited applicants must complete a UC Davis supplemental application. Details are sent to the invited applicants.
Letters of recommendation
Q. How many letters of recommendation should I submit? Who 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
International graduate requirements
Q. I am a practicing clinician with over five years of direct patient experience. Can I take a combined human anatomy and physiology course to fulfill the prerequisite requirement?
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. Submit the evaluation to CASPA.
Q. Do I need to take the TOEFL?
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 TOEFL 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 TOEFL exam. If not, then you are required to complete the TOEFL exam.
Q: I am an International Medical Graduate. Do I still need to complete all of the prerequisite course work to be eligible to apply to the Physician Assistant program?
A: International Medical Graduates 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 have a Medical Residency Certificate or Residency Completion Certificate. 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 are required to complete all prerequisites. We do not accept any form of substitutions.
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 offered program. Therefore, they are not available to answer questions about admissions requirements or about the application process.
Q: Who can 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 BettyIreneMooreSON@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu.
M.E.P.N. Q and A
Q. Do graduates of the program receive an R.N. license?
A. After completing the entire program (six quarters), students are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) exam, the national licensing exam for registered nurses.
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 NCLEX to practice as a registered nurse. Upon completion of the entire program (six consecutive quarters) students are eligible to take the NCLEX to become licensed registered nurses.
Q. How will a master’s degree in nursing make graduates more competitive in the job market?
A. Graduate nursing students are highly sought after by employers for their maturity, adaptability, initiative, attitude, resourcefulness and excellent critical thinking skills. With diverse work experience and varied educational backgrounds, entry-level master’s-degree program graduates bring a wealth of insights and perspectives to the nursing profession.
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 and are looking 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 are looking to transition into nursing.
Q. Can students complete the prelicensure portion of the program only?
A. No. The Master’s Entry Program in Nursing is a graduate program designed for those who desire to transition professionally into the field of nursing and earn a Master of Science in Nursing. Eligibility for the NCLEX will only be provided for a student who successfully completes all of the required coursework.
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 UC Davis Sacramento campus.
Q. How long is the program?
A. The Master’s Entry Program in Nursing runs for six quarters.
Q. Do applicants have 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 are, however, required to complete program prerequisites and admission requirements to be eligible for the entry-level master’s-degree program.
Q. What are the prerequisites for the program?
A. For more information on prerequisites for the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing, please click here.
Q. Is prerequisite coursework from community colleges accepted?
A. Yes, however the college must be accredited.
Q. What is the minimum G.P.A. requirement?
A. The minimum overall 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 applicant’s undergraduate degree, as well as G.P.A.s from all institutions attended. Prerequisite grades are evaluated separately.
Q. Do all prerequisites have to be completed within the last five years?
A. It is desired that all prerequisite courses (in particular the human anatomy and human physiology prerequisites) be completed within the past seven years of when applicants plan to apply. Knowledge in this area develops quickly and so older content may be inaccurate. Competitive applicants should self-assess their strengths. If it was a number of years since an applicant completed these courses, he or she may want to consider retaking them as a refresher.
Q. Is there a certain grade requirement for the prerequisite courses?
Yes, applicants must receive a grade of C or better in all prerequisite coursework.
Q. Do applicants have to have 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. Interacting with patients and health-care professionals is essential to creating a foundation that promotes the critical thinking and clinical decision making necessary for the development and practice of sound nursing skills.
Q. Is the G.R.E. or T.E.A.S. tests required?
A. No, neither exam is required.
Q. Is the T.O.E.F.L. required for international students?
Q. If an applicant has lived and worked in the U.S. for years, but all academic transcripts are from another country, is there a way to waive the T.O.E.F.L. requirement?
A. If an applicant completed any course work from an English-speaking university and earned a passing grade, he or she can waive out of the T.O.E.F.L. exam. If not, he or she is required to complete the exam.
Q. Is there a contact for those who have additional questions?
A. Prospective applicants should sign up for email updates here https://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/nursing/feedback/join_our_email_list_myemma.html. When different aspects of the program are approved, the School of Nursing sends updates to list members.