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Notice: Nurse Practitioner Programs | MEPN - Master's Entry Program in Nursing

MEPN — Master’s Entry Program in Nursing

Concentration in Community and Population Health Nursing (CPHN)

The Master of Science (MS) at the UC Irvine School of Nursing is a graduate degree program that prepares you to lead innovations in healthcare delivery and elevate nursing care across practice settings.  

The program coursework is designed to prepare graduate-educated nurses with:

  • Research- and evidence-based practice competency
  • Expertise in specialized concentrations of nursing practice
  • Leadership role preparation, including collaborative interprofessional team building
  • Leadership skills in health policy to become advocates for health promotion and disease prevention efforts supporting population health

The MS degree provides you with a foundation for seamless progression into a research- or practice-focused doctoral program.

Apply today

Program goals

The Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) is designed to offer graduates of non-nursing baccalaureate programs direct entry into an accelerated master’s degree program, providing you with the ability to autonomously practice nursing as an MS-prepared nurse upon graduation.

Graduates of the program will:

  • Qualify to take the national licensing examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses
  • Be eligible for certification as a public health nurse
  • Earn a master of science degree
  • Be prepared for future research- or practice-focused doctoral studies, if desired
Expected Student Outcomes »

Consistent with the UC Irvine School of Nursing mission to provide strong, research-based academic and professional programs, the new Community and Population Health Nursing (CPHN) concentration aims to prepare excellent researchers, educators and clinicians.  

Goals of the CPHN concentration are to prepare graduate nurses to lead and expand care to underserved populations in the following areas:

  • Generalist nursing practice across a wide variety of healthcare settings from acute care to community, home and transition management
  • Nursing scholarship and evidence-based practice
  • Leadership in interprofessional healthcare teams
  • Innovative advancements in healthcare delivery, quality improvement and improved access to care

The CPHN curriculum was designed to ensure that the nine essential core areas delineated by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) are met throughout the program. AACN is the umbrella organization that provides national accreditation through their Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

In addition, the Quad Council Coalition and the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals' recommendations for public health practice are incorporated throughout the curriculum.

Course Curriculum »

First year

Summer Fall Winter Spring
Nur Sci 262 Foundations (4 units) Nur Sci 264A Applied Pharmacology (2 units) Nur Sci 264B Applied Pharmacology (2 units) Nur Sci 266 Adult Health Care (8 units)
Nur Sci 268A Pathophysiology (2) Nur Sci 268B Pathophysiology (2) Nur Sci 267 Mental Health (7)
Nur Sci 230 Advanced Physical Assessment (3) Nur Sci 200 Research Methods (3)
Nur Sci 230L Advanced Physical Assessment Lab (1) Nur Sci 265 Older Adult (2)
Nur Sci 282 Compassionate Care with Underserved Populations (3) Nur Sci 281 Professional Issues in Nursing (3)

Second year

Summer Fall Winter Spring
Nur Sci 294 Directed Study in Vulnerable Populations (2) Nur Sci 273 Maternity and Women's Health (8) Nur Sci 274 Critical Care (6) Nur Sci 284 Scholarly Concentration (3)
Nur Sci 272 Pediatrics (7) Nur Sci 276 Leadership and Management (4) Nur Sci 271 Community Health (6)
Nur Sci 215 Health Promotion Disease Prevention (3) Nur Sci 275 Clinical Preceptorship Clinical Seminar (6)
Admission Criteria and Applicant Information »

If you are seeking admission to MEPN, you must meet the conditions listed below to apply. Students are only admitted for summer entry.

Admission requirements

You must have:

  • A baccalaureate in a non-nursing university program from a regionally accredited institution with degree standards equivalent to the University of California.
  • A 3.0 minimum grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in your baccalaureate degree
  • Completed the following prerequisites with a grade of C or better from a regionally accredited institution:
    • Statistics
    • Psychology (preferably human development lifespan)
    • Sociology/Cultural Anthropology
    • Anatomy with lab
    • Physiology with lab
    • Microbiology with lab
    • General chemistry OR chem course that includes a combination of inorganic, organic and biochemistry

Please use the ASSIST student-transfer system to find equivalent courses at any public California college or university. You must complete all prerequisite courses, as well as your non-nursing bachelor’s degree, prior to summer entry.

How to apply

Applications are accepted between Sept. 1 and Feb. 1 for the following summer entry only.

You must submit the following to our office to be considered for MEPN admission:

  • Online Application for Graduate Admission; (review our essay prompts for the personal history/statement of purpose sections and use these prompts only when completing your application.  Do not use the suggested prompts in the application). For domestic students, please answer question #1 in your Personal History and question #2 in your Statement of Purpose. For international students, please address both questions in your Statement of Purpose. Although the program begins in summer, select fall entry as your term of entry.
  • Three letters of recommendation: one from an employer/supervisor, one from a faculty member and the third from either (review instructions on submitting letters of recommendation).
  • TOEFL or IELTS test scores to show proficiency in English (for international students) — click here to determine if a TOEFL score is needed
  • Please mail or hand deliver the following items together in one packet, to be received in our office by the February 1 deadline.
    • One copy of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Transcripts must be in sealed envelopes.
    • Your resume, to include academic honors/recognition, healthcare-related volunteer and work activities, leadership positions and bilingual abilities, if applicable.
    • Prerequisite checklist.  Please fill out the checklist completely. (Prerequisite Checklist)
  • If paying your application fee by check, please submit your application and send check two weeks prior to deadline, in order to be received by Graduate Division by February 1. 

Mailing address

Nursing Science Student Affairs
106 Berk Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-3959

The GRE is NOT required for the MS degree program. An interview may be required for final selection of candidates.

Please see the Graduate Division website for more prospective student information.


Admitted Student Profiles  »

Fall 2017 MEPN applicants: 213

Fall 2017 MEPN admitted: 22 for 20 spots (10 percent admitted)       

Average cumulative BS GPA: 3.46       

Cumulative BS GPA range of admits: 3.00 – 3.98

Video Presentation »
Information Sessions »

Recorded Past Info Session:

Dec 19th @ 12pm

Frequently Asked Questions »
Is the Master’s program at UCI an online, hybrid, or on-campus course?
All of the lecture courses in the Master’s program curriculum are on-campus.
When will the program start?
The first course will start during the 10 week summer session (near end of June)
When are the lecture courses offered?
Lecture courses will be scheduled twice a week during the day.  There are no evening classes.
When are the clinical rotations scheduled?
The number of hours required each quarter varies. They are scheduled approximately 2 days a week, and may include evening and weekend shifts.  Clinicals begin in the Spring quarter of the first year.
Is there a time limit on when I took my prerequisites?
No, there is no time limit, but it is recommended that you have completed your core science and statistics courses within the past 5 years.

If I don’t have a 3.0 GPA in my bachelor’s degree, can I still apply?
Students admitted into the program with a GPA under 3.0 requires an exception.  One factor taken into account for the exception is the GPA in a graduate degree or the prereq GPA. We are also looking at healthcare volunteer and work activities, leadership, bilingual abilities, etc. We encourage you to apply if you feel that you will be a strong candidate for an exception.
How long should my Statement of Purpose and Personal History be?
There is a 1200 word maximum on each prompt
If I’m admitted to the program, will I need my own transportation for clinical rotations?
Yes, students will need their own transportation to our partner hospitals, clinics and community sites.
Can I still work while enrolled in the program?
Part-time work may be possible. However, please keep in mind that MEPN is a full-time, accelerated program, and the pace and intensity are demanding.
Will I be able to become a Nurse Practitioner after finishing this degree?
Since this is a pre-licensure nursing program and not an advanced nursing degree, you’ll be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to be an RN. If you’re interested in becoming a NP, you will need to apply to an advanced nursing 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.
How much is the program?
View the Registrar’s Office for information about fees ›  Note: These fees are for the academic year only. They do not include summer quarter. Summer fees are approximately $1,600 per year.
Fees »

View the Registrar’s Office for information about fees ›

Note: These fees are for the academic year only. They do not include summer quarter. Summer fees are approximately $1,600 per year.

Financial Aid »

Please review the UC Irvine Financial Aid Office website for information on financial assistance for graduate students ›

Applying for assistance

Financial assistance for graduate students differs substantially from that available to undergraduates.

To be eligible for financial assistance, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The deadline is March 2. Please note that international students are not eligible for need-based financial aid and should not complete the FAFSA. All graduate students, either international or domestic, are eligible to receive university fellowship funding as long as you are documented.

Other scholarships

We encourage you to also look for and apply for any scholarships you can find outside of UCI. In addition to offsetting the cost of tuition, outside nursing-specific scholarships introduce you to organizations that can broaden your idea of what a nurse can accomplish and how nurses are needed in today’s society. The external scholarship database has a sublisting for scholarships available to both Nursing Science graduate and undergraduate students. View external nursing scholarships ›