Accelerated Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing (ELM-A)

About The Accelerated Entry Level MSN program

This program is designed for individuals who possess a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and are seeking to enter the nursing profession. The two year full-time cohort-based program, which includes summer sessions, prepares students to become eligible for the national RN licensing exam (NCLEX-RN) after completion of one and a half years of study and it culminates with a nursing applied research course or a master’s thesis. Graduates will earn a BSN and MSN degree. This School of Nursing/Extended Learning program is open to both California and other U.S. residents. The cost is $675 per unit for the 97 unit program. Students register and pay for classes via the College of Extended Learning

Emphases/Specialty Areas 

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

This emphasis prepares students for CNS certification by the California Board of Registered Nursing and the American Nurse Credentialing Center. The CNS is an advanced practice nurse holding a master’s degree with an emphasis in a specific area of clinical nursing. We offer the adult, women’s health, and pediatrics specialty areas.

Nursing Administration

This emphasis enables students to combine the nursing perspective and principles of business to become effective and successful managers and administrators. Elective courses are taken through the SF State College of Business upon advice and approval of an academic advisor.

Public/Community Health

Students who complete this emphasis are prepared to assume nursing roles in a variety of care settings including public health, home health, and schools. Upon passing the NCLEX-RN students become eligible for Public Health Nurse certification in California.

One Year FNP Certificate Option for Accelerated Entry Level MSN Graduates*

Students who complete the SF State Accelerated Entry Level MSN program become eligible to pursue the FNP Certificate option after attaining 1 year RN clinical experience. The One Year FNP Certificate option is offered jointly by the School of Nursing and College of Extended Learning.  It comprises five additional courses which prepare students for both California NP certification and national board certification (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners & American Nurses Credentialing Center).  Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are licensed to practice autonomously and in collaboration with other health care professionals to assess, diagnose, treat, and manage the health needs of patients of all ages. 

*This option is available by application after one year RN experience and within five years of graduation from our Entry Level MSN programs at a rate of $675 per unit. The One Year FNP Options is not available to Nursing Administration students.

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Eligibility Requirements and Prerequisite Information

  • There is a two-part application process including an interview by invitation. 
  • Graduation from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning with a baccalaureate or higher degree and a 3.0 GPA or above in the last 60 units earned
  • GRE Analytical Writing score of 4 or above by the time application
  • Provide evidence of health related work or volunteer experience  
  • Personal statement  
  • Three letters of recommendation and references  
  • Complete all prerequisite courses by the time of application

Prerequisite Courses:

Course Title

SF State Course Number

Human Anatomy with Lab

 BIOL 220 (3 semester units)

Human Physiology with Lab 

 BIOL 212/ 213

(4 semester units) 

*Survey of Chemistry with Lab   CHEM 101102 (4 semester units) 

General Microbiology with Lab 

 BIOL 210211 (4 semester units) 
Written Communication  (Please refer to SF State Bulletin
Oral Communication  (Please refer to SF State Bulletin
Critical Thinking  (Please refer to SF State Bulletin
Statistics   Math 124 (3 semester units) 

*This is an integrated course in which topics in general, organic and biochemistry are covered. Effective Fall 2014, general, inorganic, or organic chemistry courses are also acceptable.

Please consult Assist for articulated or comparable coursework taken at any of the California community colleges or CSUs. If the course in question was taken at a UC, private, or an out of state university, please contact the School of Nursing.

Courses required for RN licensure in California

The California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) requires pre-licensure students to have completed a minimum of 16 semester units comprising natural sciences, behavioral and social sciences. To complement the anatomy, physiology, and microbiology natural science prerequisites, it is highly recommended that students complete a general psychology or developmental psychology course prior to taking NURS 328 Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Theory and Practicum, and any additional behavioral or social science course as needed to fulfill the BRN's natural, behavioral, and social science unit requirement.

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Application Deadlines

Call State Apply Application Period

August 1 -  August 31

We strongly recommend that prospective students complete the Cal State Apply application as early as possible during the application period to allow time for an SF State ID number to be issued and all required university documentation, including a set of official transcripts, residency status information, etc., to be submitted, received and processed.  

School of Nursing Supplemental Application Period

"New!" August 23 - September 17, 8:59 p.m. Pacific Time 

The School of Nursing supplemental application for spring has changed to better align with the newly implemented NursingCAS cycle.Please Adhere to the following timeline as you prepare to apply for spring entry. Late receipt of NursingCAS materials will delay and potentially preclude application review.

August 23 (First Day of NursingCAS Cycle)

  • Start the application. Early application submission is encouraged.
  • Request official transcripts to be sent to NursingCAS
  • Graduate applicants submit reference/ evaluation requests via NursingCAS

September 17 (Application Deadline)

  • Submit the NursingCAS application no later than this date. Late applications will not be accepted.
  • Official transcripts must be on file with NursingCAS
  • References/ evaluations for graduate applicants must be on file with NursingCAS.











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Application Procedures

Step One: Submit Application to San Francisco State University via Call State Apply

  • The Cal State Apply application requests an essay and references.  These Cal State Apply sections can be omitted as references and an essay must be submitted via the School of Nursing supplemental application.
  • It is recommended that applicants complete the Cal State Apply application early in the application period.  The Division of Graduate Studies will assign applicants an SF State ID# and it must subsequently be included on the School of Nursing supplemental application.

For details information on admission and transcript submission to San Francisco State University, please go to Division of Graduate Studies.

Step Two: School of Nursing Supplemental Application

The following supplemental application materials must be submitted via NursingCAS.

  • A goal statement
  • A set of official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended.
  • Three references (letter and reference form); At least one of these must address health-related work or volunteer experience.
  • Official GRE scores from ETS. Use the SF State School of Nursing CAS Designated Institution (DI) Code: 7829

Further supplemental application guidance is available on Program Materials sections of NursingCAS.

Frequently asked questions about the supplemental application/NursingCAS, including the Re-applicant feature, are available here.

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Applicant Resources

Check the University Application Status

Tuition and Fees

Financial Aid

Program Roadmap

ELM-A Information Sessions