MS in Nursing

Total units required for the MS: 33

Program Description

The Master of Science in Nursing is traditionally designed to prepare registered nurses with baccalaureate degrees for advanced roles in nursing. The hybrid, mostly online curriculum (refer to the University's e-Learning policy) emphasizes the systematic study of professional nursing practice and preparation for educational and leadership roles. The program is designed for nurses who require graduate preparations to qualify for positions of greater responsibility and complexity.  

Admission into programs leading to licensure, credentialing, or certification eligibility does not guarantee that students will obtain a license, credential, or certification. Licensure, credentialing, or certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure, credentialing, or certification requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure, credentialing, or certification requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure, credentialing, or certification requirements. Information concerning licensure, credentialing, or certification requirements is available by contacting the Administrative Analyst - Specialist in the School of Nursing (see website). Mailing address: 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6096. Physical address: 7667 Folsom Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95826.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Nursing, applicants must:

  • have a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from a regionally accredited institution, OR an RN from an accredited associate’s degree program and a baccalaureate degree in a discipline related to nursing (see school website);
  • have a GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester units, or 90 quarter units, of undergraduate nursing coursework;
  • have an overall GPA of 3.0 (If the GPA requirement is unmet, the student may apply for conditional classification and demonstrate academic ability by enrolling in, and successfully passing with a "B" (83%) or better, NURS 209 and NURS 210 in one attempt);
  • possess a current unencumbered RN license in California; and
  • submit a statement of purpose that outlines the goals and objectives for the pursuit of graduate study.
  • submit two professional letters of recommendations

Professional Liability and Health Requirements

All students enrolled in clinical laboratory courses in the Master's program must pay the fee for the University professional liability insurance. Professional liability insurance is mandatory prior to beginning clinical experiences. The student admitted to the Master's program is required to have specified immunizations by the Student Health Service or a private physician prior to beginning nursing coursework. Drug and alcohol and background screening is required. Health insurance is required. Complete information on health requirements may be secured from the School of Nursing.

Technology Competence

To be successful in the curriculum, students must be able to demonstrate competency in computer technology, such as word processing, use of the Internet, e-mail, and database searches.

Admission Procedures

Prospective graduate students, including Sacramento State graduates, must file the following materials as a complete admission packet with the Office of Graduate Studies:

  • an online application for admission;
  • one set of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State;
  • submit a statement of purpose that outlines the goals and objectives for the pursuit of graduate study;
  • submit two professional letters of recommendations.

For more admissions information and application deadlines please visit the School of Nursing website.

Notice of the decision regarding admission will be mailed to the applicant after files are complete and reviewed. Students will be assigned a faculty advisor at the beginning of the school year.

Minimum Units and Grade Requirement for the Degree

Units required for the MS: 33

Minimum Cumulative GPA:  3.0

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy, indicating a proposed program of graduate study. The procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed at least 12 units in the graduate program, with a minimum 3.0 GPA; and
  • take the Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento.

Advancement to Candidacy form is available online at, Office of Graduate Studies. The student fills out the form after planning a degree program in consultation with his/her advisor. The completed form is then returned to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval. Students may not register for the Culminating Requirement until they have advanced to candidacy.

Program Requirements

Core Courses (15 Units)
NURS 209Advanced Role Development in Nursing 3
NURS 210Research as the Foundation for Advanced Nursing3
NURS 213Seminar in Organizational and Systems Leadership3
NURS 214Educational Program Development in Nursing3
NURS 215Community Health Services and Policy3
Advanced Practice Role Preparation (15 Units)
Select one of the following areas:15
Advanced Clinical/Educator Role
Advanced Concepts in Pathophysiology
Pharmacology for Advanced Practice
Advanced Physical Assessment Across the Lifespan
Practicum in Organizational and Systems Leadership
Practicum in Educational Program Development in Nursing
School Nursing Role
Seminar in Specialized Nursing Processes: School Nursing I
Seminar in Specialized Nursing Processes: School Nursing II
Advanced Physical Assessment: Infant, Child, Adolescent
Practicum in Specialized Nursing Processes: School Nursing
Culminating Requirement (3 Units)
NURS 500Culminating Experience3
Total Units33