The two-year Master's Entry Clinical Nursing (MECN) program prepares those with undergraduate degrees in other subjects for a career as a Registered Nurse or Public Health Nurse. 

Key Information

  • The UCLA School of Nursing has an option within the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program that is designed to prepare individuals with a baccalaureate degree in another discipline for a career in nursing.
  • This two-year prelicensure program includes summer enrollment between the first and second years.
  • Those who complete the program are granted the MSN degree and are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) to be licensed as registered nurses (RN).
  • Graduates of the program may apply for a Public Health Nursing Certificate from the California Board of Registered Nursing.


Applications for Fall 2025 will be available after Labor Day at and will have a November 1st, 2024 deadline.

MSN/Master's Entry Clinical Nurse applicants must provide evidence of the following:

1. Graduation from a recognized college or university having an accredited baccalaureate program satisfactory to the School of Nursing and the UCLA Graduate Division with an overall scholastic average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better, or graduation with a baccalaureate degree from an international institution with a program satisfactory to the School of Nursing and the UCLA Graduate Division.

Completion of approved prerequisite courses or equivalent with a minimum grade of C or better in the subjects listed below. All applicants to the MECN program must complete all approved prerequisite courses (other than Epidemiology) by the end of December 2024 for the Fall 2025 entry. AP course credit will only be accepted for one prerequisite course. 

  • Chemistry (Inorganic, Organic, and Biochemistry)
  • Epidemiology (can be completed at UCLA during Summer Session A, if admitted)
  • Human Anatomy (Nursing 13  online course offered in the Summer session)
  • Human Physiology (Nursing 3  online course offered in the Summer session) (five-year time limit to entry date)
  • Microbiology 
  • Nutrition (five-year time limit to entry date)
  • Introductory Psychology 
  • Lifespan Development Psychology (five-year time limit to entry date)
  • Statistics 
  • English Composition or Writing (2 courses)
  • Group and/or Verbal Communication 

2.  Personal and academic competence attested through three letters of recommendation.

3.  Since written and verbal communication skills are basic to the practice of nursing, it is essential that applicants read, write and speak English well. International applicants from a country in which English is not the first language and medium of instruction are required to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of at least 87 on the internet-based test, 220 on the computer-based test or 560 paper-based test or complete International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic examination with an overall band score of 7.0 or higher. Scores must be submitted prior to consideration for admission.

Applicants with Military Experience

UCLA School of Nursing will accept qualified student applicants who have completed relevant military education and experiences, have met the University admission requirements, and who present documented equivalency courses. Once admitted, such individuals are eligible for credit by challenge examination. For additional details, read the full policy here. Contact Mark Covin, Director of Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions for further information.

All applicants to the MECN program must complete the following approved prerequisite courses (other than Epidemiology), and earn a minimum grade of C or better in the subjects listed below by the end of December 2024 for the Fall 2025 entry: Chemistry (combined inorganic, organic and biochemistry), Epidemiology, Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Microbiology, General Psychology, Growth & Development Lifespan Psychology, Statistics and Written and Oral communication/interpersonal or group communication. Please see the links below for a list of courses that have already been approved. Nursing 50, Fundamentals of Epidemiology may be offered during the summer at UCLA for students who have not already completed an acceptable course.

Chemistry: An approved undergraduate-level chemistry course with content with approved content in inorganic, organic and biochemistry.

English Reading & Composition:  Two college-level writing courses usually completed during the first two years of a baccalaureate program.  Students who receive a waiver of this requirement in their baccalaureate program due to successful completion of an Advanced Placement Examination must submit proof of the Advanced Placement Examination score. If an applicant has completed a writing intensive course in a department other than English or Writing, he or she must provide documentation that the course included a significant writing component. A thesis is not acceptable.

Epidemiology: An introduction to epidemiology, including factors governing health and disease in populations. (4 quarter units or equivalent of Epidemiology 100A; or Nursing 50 at UCLA).

Group or Oral Communication: A Communication Studies or Speech course that covers the principles of oral communication or interpersonal communication.

Human Anatomy: A human anatomy course that includes: Structural survey of the human body, including skeletomuscular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and genitourinary systems. Laboratory includes an examination of human cadaver specimens. (4 quarter units or the equivalent of Physiological Science 13 or Nursing 13 at UCLA).  Take this course online this summer!

Human Physiology: A human physiology course that includes human systems physiology through cell physiology with emphasis on membrane properties (4 quarter units or the equivalent of Physiological Science 3 or Nursing 3 at UCLA). This course must have been completed within the last five years of the program start date. Pathophysiology is not acceptable. Take this course online this summer!

Microbiology: A microbiology course that covers an introduction to the biology of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, protozoa, algae, fungi), their significance as model systems for understanding fundamental cellular processes, and their role in human affairs. (4 quarter units or equivalent; Microbiology 6 or 101 at UCLA).

Nutrition: Examination of primary prevention strategies involving nutrition using population-based and clinical approaches of diverse populations. Investigation of nutrition in relation to the prevention of disease and recovery from disease. Covers biological, public health, and clinical aspects of major macro-and micronutrients, obesity, malnutrition, dietary assessment, nutritional therapies, and exercise using candidate disease approach. This course must have been completed within the last five years to the program start date. (4 quarter units or equivalent; COMHLT 130 or NURS 152B at UCLA)

Psychology (Intro/General): An introductory or general psychology course that includes topics in cognitive, experimental, personality, developmental, social, and clinical psychology. (4 quarter units or equivalent; Psychology 10 at UCLA)

Psychology (Lifespan/Developmental): Elaboration of developmental aspects of physical, mental, social, and emotional growth from birth to adolescence. This course must have been completed within the last five years to the program start date. (4 quarter units or equivalent; Psychology 130 at UCLA)

Statistics: An upper-division introductory or equivalent biostatistics course that covers the following topics: distributions, sampling, tests of hypotheses, estimation, types of error, significance and confidence intervals, and sample sizes (4 quarter units or equivalent; Biostatistics 100A at UCLA). Taken within the last five years is recommended, but is not required.

Students are expected to have basic computer skills prior to admission. 

Tuition & Fees


  1. Integrate basic and advanced theoretical and scientific knowledge to provide leadership at the micro-, meso- and macro-system levels in healthcare organizations. [Essentials* I, II, VI, VII, VIII, IX; QSEN:** teamwork and collaboration, quality improvement]
  2. Utilize the nursing process to provide safe, therapeutic, evidence-based, patient-centered, culturally-sensitive, nd high quality care. [Essentials I, III, IV, VI, IX; QSEN: patient-centered care, safety, evidence-based practice, quality improvement]
  3. Demonstrate therapeutic communication and collaborative leadership skills using an evidence-based, theory-driven nursing paradigm. [Essentials I, II, VI, VIII, IX; QSEN: teamwork and collaboration, safety]
  4. Apply reliable and valid nursing and healthcare systems research to improve delivery of nursing care. [Essentials II, III, IV, V, VII, IX; QSEN: evidence-based practice, quality improvement]
  5. Lead team-based quality improvement projects to address practice problems and improve patient safety and healthcare outcomes. [Essentials II, III, IV, V, VII; QSEN: teamwork and collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, safety]
  6. Demonstrate leadership, systems and critical thinking skills that contribute to safe, effective and efficient patient-centered care. [Essentials II, III, IV, VI, Vii, IX; QSEN: teamwork and collaboration, safety, quality improvement, evidence-based practice
  7. Integrate ethical and legal principles in safe, patient-centered care in diverse practice settings. [Essentials I, III, IV, IX; QSEN: patient-centered care, safety]
  8. Provide leadership in professional and community organizations and/or advocacy groups to promote standards of care, policies, regulations and initiatives supporting healthy communities, care quality and patient safety. [Essentials II, III, VI, VII; QSEN: Teamwork and collaboration, safety, quality improvement]
  9. Apply a global perspective and systematic approach for health promotion, risk reduction, and disease management in diverse populations. [Essentials I, II, IV, VI, VII; QSEN: quality improvement, teamwork and collaboration]
  10. Provide leadership in development and integration of information management and patient care technology to support clinical decision making. [Essentials II, III, IV, V, IX; QSEN: informatics, evidence-based practice, teamwork and collaboration]

*American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The Essentials of Master's Education in Nursing.

**Quality and Safety Education (QSEN). Graduate QSEN Competencies.

Conceptually, the MECN program applies the principles of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention to the care of individuals, families, populations, and communities. The curriculum introduces a systems-level, population-based approach to care early in the program, alongside an intense focus on individual-level provision of care. Course offerings address the core concepts of patient safety; health promotion; risk reduction; ethics, social justice, and health equity; evidence-based practice, informatics, collaboration and teamwork, mental health, public health, systems theory and health care policy, and advanced research and population-based quality improvement in all age groups.  Supervised clinical experiences are designed to apply knowledge in a variety of health-related settings including traditional, inpatient acute care settings, as well as ambulatory care, and public health.  During the final year, students complete a series of leadership courses and a clinical immersion experience in a hospital setting where they also complete a clinical nurse leadership project. 

Clinical practica are conducted with our clinical partners at various hospitals in the community, such as Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical CenterSanta Monica UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic HospitalHarbor-UCLA Medical CenterResnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLAMattel Children's Hospital UCLA, the VA-West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, Children's Hospital Los AngelesCedars-Sinai Medical CenterGood Samaritan Hospital Los AngelesNorthridge Hospital Medical Center, St. John's Health Center and Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Graduates of our program have taken nursing positions with our clinical partners and at other hospitals throughout the United States.

Immediately following graduation, MECN graduates will take nursing positions at the bedside in order to hone their nursing skills. It is envisioned that they will move toward leadership roles in nursing.