Freshman Applicants | Change of Major | Transfer Students | How to Become an RN

Bachelor of Science Program

The Baccalaureate in Nursing Science offers you the opportunity to enter the healthcare environment with an education founded upon the theory and practice of nursing. Completion of the program’s curriculum will lead to a bachelor of science (BS) degree in Nursing Science, a key asset for today’s nurses who provide care to a diverse group of patients through evidence-based practice.

Nurse professionals are members of interdisciplinary teams who work with people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and lifestyles to help them achieve the highest level of wellness possible.

As a graduate of the UC Irvine School of Nursing, you are prepared to serve as a generalist in professional nursing practice and to collaborate with other healthcare providers in clinics, hospitals and community health settings.

About the BS in Nursing Science

The bachelor’s program prepares you for success in academia as well. Graduates are poised to attain advanced degrees in nursing science and to significantly contribute to the field through original research.

The undergraduate curriculum is designed to provide theory and research-based clinical practice that focuses on critical thinking, human caring and clinical expertise. The combination of nursing science curriculum with related disciplines — including the biological, social, behavioral, medical, pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences — prepares nursing students to address the span of healthcare needs and be leaders in both the healthcare and academic environments.

Majoring in Nursing Science

The bachelor’s degree in the UC Irvine School of Nursing is a four-year program. You must complete two years of basic sciences before advancing to upper-level nursing science courses in your junior and senior years. Upon completion of the program, you receive a BS degree and are prepared to take the NCLEX exam for nursing licensure.

Students should refer to the Board of Registered Nursing to determine licensing eligibility in the state of California.

For additional information, please contact the Nursing Science Student Affairs office at 949-824-1514 or

Admission Criteria and Applicant Information »

Freshman Applicants

If you are a freshman applicant who wishes to be considered for the major, you must first be admitted to UC Irvine.

Admission requirements

To enter as a freshman, you must complete two years of high school laboratory science in the core areas of biology and chemistry, earning a grade of C or higher for these classes.

Students receive a holistic evaluation by the UCI Admissions office on all the factors listed here.  The School of Nursing will evaluate a brief essay, up to 250 words, which is included in the Nursing Science Supplemental Application. The UCI Admissions and School of Nursing evaluations determine which applicants are offered admission.  We do not require letters of recommendation.

How to apply

All freshman applicants must complete the general UC Irvine Application and the Nursing Science Supplemental Application by Nov. 30 to be eligible for the following fall quarter.

Both applications are available online through the UC Irvine Admissions website. The general UC Irvine Application is available starting Aug. 1. Once this has been completed, you will be directed to the Nursing Science Supplemental Application which is available starting Oct. 1. Both applications must be submitted online through the UC Irvine Admissions website between Nov. 1-30.

Admitted Student Profiles »

Admission into the UC Irvine School of Nursing is competitive and highly selective. The number of students in the major is small due to the limited availability of clinical placements.

Each year, the number of admitted students varies based on admission patterns from previous years. Due to the increasing number of applicants and selective nature of the program, it is strongly recommended that you research other nursing programs as well.

Fall 2018 freshman applicants: 2,887

Fall 2018 freshman admissions: 72 (2.5% admitted)

Average UC GPA: 4.24 GPA

Average total SAT score: 1914

Average total SAT score (new version): 1332

Course Curriculum »

Students begin with two years of basic science prerequisite courses and UCI general education requirements before completing the upper-level Nursing Science courses in your junior and senior years. Provided here is the course curriculum with some possible general education requirements.

Freshman quarters

Fall Winter Spring
Chem 1A General Chemistry (1st in series) (4 units) Chem 1B General Chemistry (2nd in series) (4 units) Chem 1C General Chemistry (3rd in series) (4 units)
Psych 7A/P9 (4)1 Soc 1 Intro (4)2 General Education (4)
PH 1 Prin Public Health (4) General Education (4) General Education (4)
General Education (4) General Education (4)

Sophomore quarters

Fall Winter Spring
Bio 97 Genetics (4) Bio 98 Biochemistry (4) Bio D170 Applied Human Anatomy (6)
Chem 51A Organic Chemistry (4) Statistics (4)3 Bio M122 Microbiology (4)
Philosophy 4/5 (4)4 Bio E109 Human Physiology (4) Bio M118L Microbiology Lab (5) or Summer
General Education (4) General Education (4)
Bio M118L Microbiology Lab (5)
Bio E112L Human Physiology Lab (4)

Junior quarters

Fall Winter Spring
Nur Sci 110W Frameworks for Professional Nursing Practice (5) Nur Sci 112LB Foundations for Professional Practice (4) Nur Sci 120 Adult Health Care (8)
Nur Sci 112LA Foundations for Professional Practice (3) Nur Sci 125 Research Methods & Applications in Health Care (4) Nur Sci 140 Human Behavior & Mental Health Care (7)
Nur Sci 114A Applied Pharmacology I (2) Nur Sci 114B Applied Pharmacology II (2)
Nur Sci 118A Human Health and Disease I (2) Nur Sci 118B Human Health and Disease II (2)
Psych 120D or Psy Beh 101D Developmental Psychology (4) Nur Sci 135 Older Adult Health Care (2)

Senior quarters

Fall Winter Spring
Nur Sci 130 Maternity and Women’s Health Care (8) Nur Sci 150 Critical and Specialty Health Care (6) Nur Sci 170 Community-Based Health Care (6)
Nur Sci 132 Pediatrics: Care of Children and Families (7) Nur Sci 160 Leadership and Management in Health Care (4) Nur Sci 175L Clinical Preceptorship (6)
Nur Sci 179A Scholarly Concentration I (2) Nur Sci 179BW Scholarly Concentration II (2)

Curriculum notes

  1. Psych 7A, 9A, 9B, 9C, 78A*, P9, P11A, P11B, P11C will meet this requirement. *Psych 78A and Soc 31 are cross-listed courses and can only be counted once for either the Psych or Soc requirement.
  2. Soc 1, 2, 3, 31*, 44**, 62, Soc Sci 1A, Anthro 2A, 2D, 41A, 134D** will meet this requirement. **Soc 44 & Anthro 134D do not meet G.E. Cat. III requirements.
  3. Stats 7, 8, Psych 10A, Soc 10A, Soc Sci 10A will meet this requirement.
  4. Philosophy 4, 5 will meet this requirement.
Video Presentation »
Frequently Asked Questions »

How do I become a registered nurse?
Three major educational paths are offered in our Nursing Science program. For more information, see how to become a registered nurse ›

Why is Nursing Science a restricted major?
We receive a large number of applicants annually and are able to accept only a limited number of these students. The limited number of spaces in the program is based on the availability of required clinical placement sites. 

What are the tuition/fees for the program?

For current fee and tuition information, refer to the University Registrar website ›

Do you have an RN to BSN program?

UC Irvine does not offer an RN to BSN program. California schools that offer these programs are listed on the California Board of Registered Nursing website ›

How long will it take me to complete the program?

The BS in Nursing Science is a four-year program for students who are admitted into the program as freshmen. It is a two-year program (upper-division Nursing Science courses) for transfer/change of major students.

Is this a direct-entry program or do I need to reapply at sophomore standing?

Our program is a direct-entry program for students admitted into the Nursing Science major as freshmen. These students do not need to reapply for admission into the upper division. 

How many spaces typically are available each year?

The program goal is to graduate 50 students per year. We usually admit about 30 students at the freshman level and about 20 for the upper-division.

Do you accept out-of-state students?
Yes, we accept out-of-state students into the program.

Do you accept international students?

Yes, we accept international students into the program. However, please keep in mind in order to sign up for the NCLEX, students are required to either have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN). Getting an ITIN or SSN beforehand will prevent any delays with the BRN.

When will I be notified of my admission?
Transfer applicants will be notified of admissions decisions electronically via your message center on MyAdmissionsApplication@UCI by March 31. The major you see listed is the major you have been admitted into.

What if I am not admitted into the Nursing Science major?
Students not admitted to our program may reapply the following year.

It is possible for you to be admitted to UC Irvine but not to the Nursing Science major. If this happens, admission will default to your second choice major. If you’re admitted to UC Irvine under a different major, you may reapply during the next year to change your major to Nursing Science once at UC Irvine.

Is there a waiting list?

No, the Nursing Science program does not maintain a waiting list.

If I’m admitted to the program, will I need my own transportation for clinical rotations? 
Clinical rotations begin in the spring quarter of junior year. You will need to either provide your own transportation or coordinate with a fellow classmate in your clinical group. By the final quarter of your senior year, you must provide your own transportation for your clinical preceptorship course.

What is your Admission Policy for Military Personnel?
UC Irvine School of Nursing will accept qualified student applicants who have completed relevant military education and experiences, have met the admission requirements, and who present documented equivalency courses. These applications will be reviewed on an individual basis by the Student Affairs Director and the Associate Director. These individuals are eligible for consideration of completion of challenge exams following admission to the nursing program. Any veteran who has completed their BA or BS degree and required prerequisites is welcome to apply to our Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN).

What is my option as an LVN?
Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) who are interested in the 45 unit LVN option for achieving Registered Nurse status should make an appointment with Nursing Science Student Affairs to discuss completion of the required courses.  Passing the required courses will allow the student to sit for the National Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), but students will not receive an academic degree. Entry into the option is on a space-available basis.