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The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing


Member of the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools


Master of Science — Leadership Track Degree Program

Ideal students for the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Master of Science — Leadership Track are those with experience or interest in transforming health care through nursing education and research. They want to focus on important societal health issues through the work of advancing health and improving the systems that provide health services.

Miguel Medina, R.N., M.S. Alumni, Class of 2014

Graduates of this program are prepared for academic and leadership positions. Graduates exercise leadership through scientific thinking, responsibility, initiative, cultural inclusiveness, knowledge of organizations and system change, teamwork and a commitment to healthy communities.

The M.S. — Leadership Track program is a full-time, professional degree program that prepares graduates for health-care leadership roles in a variety of organizations and as nurse faculty at the community-college level. Some examples include:

  • Leaders of health organizations and agencies—such as community clinics, trade associations, advocacy groups—improving quality of care and work environments, and advancing health outcomes and health-care effectiveness and efficiency
  • Community college and other prelicensure nursing faculty—teaching the next generation of nurses 
  • Legislative and governmental agency staff and leadership developing, influencing and implementing policy to improve access and outcomes (not limited to health agencies but other organizations that provide public infrastructure such as transportation, planning or parks and recreation)
  • Careers across the health-care sector, such as insurance, pharmaceutical, hospital, home health, aging support services, adoption services, chronic illness support services and medical equipment industries fostering the integration of excellence in clinical care, management, policy, education and research

Master of Science students take core courses plus electives and must complete a thesis. This is a five-quarter program. Core courses are offered fall, winter and spring quarters (not summer). Students in the master’s-degree leadership program should expect to be on campus at least two days a week. The majority of the program’s core classes are conducted Thursday afternoons and all-day Fridays. Electives are offered on different days for all students and may be located on either the Sacramento or Davis campus.

Terri Wolf, R.N., M.S. Alumni, Class of 2012

A mandatory Leadership Immersion Week serves as an orientation for students. This full-time, three-day experience runs Wednesday through Friday the week before fall quarter begins. Throughout the week, students experience nursing leadership, team building and develop faculty relationships. The coursework provided that week serves as the foundation for the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate program curriculum.

Admission requirements

  • Current registered nurse (R.N.) licensure
  • A bachelor’s degree
  •  A minimum bachelor's-degree G.P.A. of 3.0
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose, personal history, research professional history and future goals
  • The application process may require an interview
  • The G.R.E. is not required

Admission is competitive. Online applications are processed through UC Davis Graduate Studies, which coordinates UC Davis graduate degree programs. All applicants must submit a completed Office of Graduate Studies application and meet UC Davis requirements for graduate admissions. Click here for more on the application process.

Degree program requirements

  • Full-time enrollment (12 units per quarter) is required
  • Required courses for the master’s-degree program include a combination of core courses and electives.
  • Students work with their advisers to select electives appropriate to their areas of interest
  • A master’s thesis is required
  • M.S.—Leadership Track students are expected to complete the program in five quarters

Program goals

Program goals for the Master of Science — Leadership in Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership are:

  1. Apply leadership skills to transform health care.
  2. Utilize multiple interprofessional/interdisciplinary perspectives to work and communicate as teams.
  3. Apply nursing science to improve health and reshape health systems through transformative research with an emphasis on aging, rural health and diverse communities.
  4. Practice cultural inclusiveness in research, practice, leadership and community engagement.
  5. Create engaged and interactive approaches to nursing education, research and practice using innovative technology.


Financial support

Each student admitted to the M.S. Leadership and doctoral degree programs at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing receives generous financial support for tuition/fees and additional expenses. Click here to read more.