Master of Science

Program Goals

The overall goals of the master’s program are to prepare graduates with: expertise in a specialized area of advanced nursing practice; role preparation for the specialized area; leadership and health policy skills, and research skills. The master’s degree program also prepares students for future doctoral work..

Expected Student Outcomes

The Program in Nursing Science currently offers one MS degree track, the nurse practitioner (NP) track, which prepares graduates for evidence-based practice as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Students choose between two population-focused concentrations, the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) or the Adult/Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) concentration.

Expected student outcomes are unique to each concentration. The goals and expected outcomes are consistent with nursing standards and guidelines specific to the specialized area of advanced nursing practice for which individual concentrations prepare students.

Upon completion of the NP track, graduates are prepared to:

  1. Conduct comprehensive health and psychosocial assessments in a culturally sensitive manner for a specific population, including a detailed health history and complete physical examination.
  2. Order and interpret diagnostic tests and procedures.
  3. Differentiate, diagnose, and manage acute and chronic health problems.
  4. Prescribe and manage pharmacotherapeutic agents and other therapies.
  5. Provide health teaching and supportive counseling with an emphasis on prevention of illness, health maintenance, and disease management.
  6. Collaborate with other health care professionals to provide interdisciplinary care.
  7. Manage and negotiate a variety of health care systems with an emphasis on medically vulnerable and underserved populations.
  8. Evaluate and integrate research evidence as a cornerstone of clinical practice.
  9. Demonstrate knowledge and application of legal and regulatory authority for nurse practitioners in the State of California.
  10. Analyze local, state, and national health policy, legislative and regulatory trends, and their implications for clinical practice.
  11. Participate in the ongoing monitoring and analysis of health care quality and safety systems in clinical practice.


M.S. Concentration Areas

Students applying to the M.S. program must select an area of concentration, either the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration (FNP) or the Adult Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner concentration (AGPCNP). Graduates of both nurse practitioner tracks are eligible for certification by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Graduates completing the FNP concentration will be eligible to sit for the FNP national board certification examination. Graduates completing the AGPCNP concentration will be eligible to sit for the Adult Gerontological Primary Care NP national board certification examination.

The Nurse Practitioner (NP) Program is designed to prepare nurses to deliver primary health care to families in a variety of settings. NPs take health histories and provide complete physical examinations; diagnose and treat many common acute and chronic problems; interpret laboratory results and X-rays; prescribe and manage medications and other therapies; provide health teaching and supportive counseling with an emphasis on prevention of illness and health maintenance; and refer patients to other health professionals as needed. Nurse practitioners focus on wellness, prevention, and education.

Course Curriculum

Students enrolled in either the Adult/Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner concentration or the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration will complete 72 units. Students will complete 720 hours of clinical practice with populations in their area of emphasis to be eligible for certification. Clinical placements are approved, coordinated, and supervised by our graduate faculty. Limited clinical preceptorships are available to students; therefore, students are strongly encouraged to recruit preceptors for a portion of their clinical rotations. Provided here is the course curriculum for students in the FNP and AGPCNP concentrations. Students are expected to complete the full-time program within two years.

M.S. Degree in Nursing Science
FNP or AGPCNP Full Time Options


1st Year
Nur Sci 210 Advanced Pathophysiology (3)Nur Sci 200 Research Methods & Evaluation for Evidence-Based Practice (3)Nur Sci 225A Advanced Pharmacology A (2)
Nur Sci 230 Advanced Health and Physical Assessment (3)Nur Sci 215 Health Promotion/ Disease Prevention (3)Nur Sci 260A Primary Care Adult/Geriatric A (3)
Nur Sci 230L Advanced Health and Physical Assessment Lab (1)Nur Sci 245A Primary Care A (3)Nur Sci 283 Primary Care Procedures (3)
Nur Sci 282 Human Behavior and Mental Health (3)Nur Sci 250 Primary Care Women's Health (3)Nur Sci 286 APN Clinical Practicum II (4)
Nur Sci 285 APN Clinical Practicum I (2)

2nd Year
Nur Sci 225B Advanced Pharmacology B (3)Nur Sci 281 Frameworks for Advanced Professional Practice in Nursing (3)Nur Sci 284 Advanced Practice Scholarly Concentration (3)
Nur Sci 245B Primary Care B (3)Nur Sci 288 APN Clinical Practicum IV (6)Nur Sci 289 APN Clinical Practicum V (7)
Nur Sci 287 APN Clinical Practicum III (5)Nur Sci 255 Primary Care Obstetrics (3)1
Nur Sci 270 Primary Care Pediatrics (3)1Nur Sci 280 Aging and Chronic Illness (3)2
Nur Sci 260B Primary Care Adult/Geriatric (3)2


Admission Criteria and Application Instructions

Individuals seeking admission to the M.S. program must meet the conditions listed below in order to apply. Applicants can apply for fall quarter admission only.

  1. Have a Baccalaureate degree in Nursing from a regionally and CCNE accredited institution with degree standards equivalent to the University of California.
  2. Provide proof of Licensure as a registered nurse in California.
  3. Have completed a course in Descriptive and Inferential Statistics with a grade of C or better.
  4. Have completed an upper division nursing research course taken at an accredited institution with degree standards equivalent to the University of California.
  5. Have an overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all coursework.
  6. One year of recent RN experience in the U.S., required upon entering the program.

Applications are accepted between September 1 and February 1 for the following Fall entry only.

Please complete the Online UC application and the Online Graduate Nursing Science Supplemental Application. Both applications are required and must be submitted online. (If you already have a Master’s degree in Nursing, please see the admissions instructions for our Post-Graduate Certificate Program)

Applicants must submit the following to our office no later than February 1st to be considered for admission:

  1. Online Application for Graduate Admission
  2. Online Nursing Science Supplemental Application (Available Sept. 1-February 1)
  3. Submit two copies of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  4. Submit 3 recommendations; one from an employer/supervisor, one from a faculty member and the third from either.
    Review the instructions on submitting letters of recommendation.
  5. Submit resume.

All documents should be mailed to:

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

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

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

Video Presentation for MS Applicants

Click on image below to play video:

Alumni Testimonials

What do you consider the strengths of the UCI NP program?

  • Small class size along with available and attentive faculty are among the top strengths of the UCI NP program. Faculty spend many hours matching students with appropriate and challenging clinical sites- I consider this another of its many strengths. —Sarah L., Class of 2014
  • Ward, StephanieI think another strength of the UC Irvine NP program is the faculty commitment to the graduate students. Throughout the duration of the program, the professors and support personnel were nothing short of amazing. These professionals were respectful, nonjudgmental and easily accessible, all of which I am extremely grateful for. —Stephanie W., Class of 2014
  • Beals, Riana (book2)The faculty are extensively involved in clinical practice, the political environment, the community and in education. I could not imagine learning from a better group. —Riana B., Class of 2013


  • Nielsen, TiffanyFaculty stress the importance of current, evidence based practice. They provide the most up to date information and research studies to keep up with the always evolving medical field. —Tiffany N., Class of 2013


  • Steve_Bereta_2732The faculty are very knowledgeable in their respective fields, and are approachable and consistently available for questions.  Education is provided via multiple modalities, which helps to facilitate learning. —Steven B., Class of 2012


How did the curriculum prepare you for future success in your profession as an NP?

  • Nielsen, TiffanyThe curriculum was very well rounded and relevant to everyday practice. Once I started working as a nurse practitioner, I was able to perform many procedures with confidence, utilizing the most up to date techniques. —Tiffany N., Class of 2013


  • Steve_Bereta_2732The program had such a large focus on providing care based on evidence-based practices, that I always feel very adept at finding the best treatment options for my patients.  Additionally, with so many hours of clinical experience incorporated into the program, I am very comfortable seeing patients in my clinic and developing a treatment plan. —Steven B., Class of 2012
  • Curriculum was extensive and exposes students to a wide variety of diseases and patient complaints that are central to primary care. Students are challenged both in the classroom and at clinical sites to help solidify knowledge. Additionally, students practice their skills through interactions with standardized (practice) patients. —Sarah L., Class of 2014
  • Whealon, CandiceI left UC Irvine prepared to take national boards, and ready to work. —Candice W., Class of 2013


  • Beals, Riana (book2)The curriculum was very challenging and rigorous. I was very prepared for the clinical setting. I liked the emphasis on the history and physical exam that other programs do not have. This was an extremely important foundation.  —Riana B., Class of 2013

How was your experience with faculty?  With clinical preceptors?

  • Sheh, CherylThe faculty are so amazing. I really cannot begin to describe their dedication to the profession, to their own work, and to their students. They work so hard to see their students do well and be prepared; each one is a role model and mentor in their individual ways. —Cheryl T., Class of 2014
  • Nielsen, TiffanyThe faculty are one of the best parts of UCI’s program. They truly want you to succeed and really care about your life and how you are doing. It was a huge relief to have my clinical sites arranged by the faculty. I had fantastic clinical preceptors who were very patient and taught me so much.  Each one made me feel comfortable and challenged me to be a better clinician. —Tiffany N., Class of 2013
  • Ward, StephanieIn regards to my clinical preceptors, They all provided respectful, constructive criticism and continuous learning opportunities. —Stephanie W., Class of 2014


  • I found faculty to be receptive, helpful, and willing to dedicate extra time to students in order to see them succeed. Clinical preceptors were knowledgeable and continually challenged me to critically think through history taking, assessment, and clinical decision making. —Sarah L., Class of 2014
  • Steve_Bereta_2732The faculty at UCI may be the best part of the program.  From Day 1, they were supportive and dedicated to providing the best education to prepare excellent Nurse Practitioners.  Their support and guidance continues for me, even after graduation.  Clinical preceptors were excellent, providing a wide range of clinical opportunities that give students a broad knowledge of NP practice. —Steven B., Class of 2012

What support services did UCI offer you?

  • UCI has many graduate support services including writing labs and workshops, disability services, and mental health support services. —Sarah L., Class of 2014


  • Nielsen, TiffanySecond year students are there to help, as well as alumni students who come back to assist from time to time. There is also a librarian that is dedicated to the nursing program and offers many techniques on extracting research articles and medical journals. Your fellow students are also a large part of your support. Since the program is small and intimate, you get to know your classmates well and develop close bonds and friendships that
    help you get through the challenges of graduate school.
    —Tiffany N., Class of 2013
  • Steve_Bereta_2732The Student Affairs Office consistently sends out messages for Nurse Practitioner positions, which allows alumni to find worthwhile positions. —Steven B., Class of 2012

Anything else you’d like to add?

  • Whealon, CandiceUC Irvine’s FNP program was wonderful.  I cannot say enough great things.  I had no problem getting a job as a new graduate, and I now work in a very busy emergency room.—Candice W., Class of 2013


  • Semeniuk, ClarissaThe program is challenging and requires diligence. The hard work pays off and you will be a better prepared nurse practitioner. As a proud alumni of UCI I have not had any difficulty finding a job. In actuality the difficulty is in deciding which position is best suited for you. Potential employers are impressed with UCI graduates based on their stand alone reputation. —Clarissa S., Class of 2014
  • Nielsen, TiffanyI felt like I got the best education I could have possibly gotten from UCI. Their connection with UCI’s Medical School gives them an edge on teaching accurate and research based practice. The medical center offers access to resources that other nursing schools do not have the opportunity to utilize. They often invite guest professors and physicians to come teach on their area of specialty. I will value and use the knowledge, skills, and
    experiences I gained at UCI throughout my career as a Nurse Practitioner.
    I am proud to be a UCI Alumni. —Tiffany N., Class of 2013
  • Sheh, CherylBefore I entered UCI’s NP program, I was really torn between two great schools. I am SO glad I chose UCI and am now proud to be an alum! —Cheryl T., Class of 2014

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Masters program at UCI an online, hybrid, or on-campus course?
All of the didactic courses in the Master’s program curriculum are on-campus. Some courses do integrate on-line work, including on-line quizzes and discussion boards.

When are the didactic courses offered?
Courses are scheduled Tuesdays & Thursdays 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 from 1 to 3 days a week. There are very few weekend clinical rotations available to students.

Can I work while enrolled in the program?
UCI’s Nursing Science Master’s program is a full-time program. In addition to classes and clinical rotations, you will need at least one day for class preparation and study. Students can work part-time or on a per diem basis. Working full-time is not recommended.

Do I need to find my own clinical preceptors?
We request students to identify at least 2 preceptors for rotations, and the areas most needed are OB, pediatrics and family or internal medicine. Most students will have between 6-10 clinical preceptors as they progress through the clinical rotation schedules.

How do I find a preceptor?
The following health professionals may serve as preceptors for NP students: nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, MD’s and DO’s. Students identify preceptors through their professional networks, colleagues and communities. The program evaluates potential preceptors and manages the students’ overall clinical preceptor experience.  


Financial Aid

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

Financial Aid Office

Financial assistance for graduate students differs substantially from that of an undergraduate student; the information on the Financial Aid Office website will help you to understand the types of assistance available. To be eligible for financial assistance you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – the deadline for this is March 2. Please note that foreign students are not eligible for need-based financial aid, thus foreign students should not complete the FAFSA. All graduate students, either foreign or domestic are eligible to receive university fellowship funding as long as you are documented.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

We encourage students to look for and apply for any scholarships that they can find. In addition to offsetting the cost of tuition, outside nursing specific scholarships introduce students to organizations that can broaden one’s idea of what a nurse can accomplish and how nurses are needed in today’s society. The following link to the UC Irvine Financial Aid website’s external scholarship database has a sub listing for scholarships available to both Nursing Science graduate and undergraduate students. Click on the Nursing tab to view these scholarships.

Financial Aid Office Scholarship Database

  1. FNP Concentration [] []
  2. AGPCNP Concentration [] []