Bachelor of Science in Nursing

About the Degree.

Why Choose Nursing?

How do we Compare?

About the Degree

Students who are interested in entering the program as Freshmen may apply directly to one of our partnership programs for pre-nursing at Holy Names University, Mills College (women only) or Notre Dame de Namur University.

Samuel Merritt University will also admit transfer students on a direct entry basis from Community Colleges and other colleges and universities on a limited basis in fall and spring. The admission is as a first semester junior and it will take 4 semesters to complete the program.

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is an intensive, 12-month program designed for students who already have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field.

Partnership Programs - Freshmen Only

Freshmen may choose to pursue pre-nursing at three outstanding Bay Area schools, Holy Names University, Mills College, or Notre Dame de Namur University. Following completion of 2 years of pre-nursing courses, students who meet all conditions of the partnership program have priority consideration for admission to Samuel Merritt University for the completion of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Mills College

Mills College was founded in 1852 as the Young Ladies' Seminary in Benicia, California. In 1866, the Seminary was purchased by Cyrus and Susan Mills, renamed Mills College and moved to its current location on 135 wooded acres in the foothills of Oakland. Mills College is a pioneer in women's education and is the oldest women's college west of the Rocky Mountains. Today the College has 762 undergraduate women enrolled and 494 women and men graduate students. The average class size is 13 with a 10: 1 student faculty ratio. The undergraduate student body, although all women, has students from diverse faiths and backgrounds as well as from many states and countries.

Mills College has received a 5 year grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation that enables the College to liberally educate students for a career in nursing and leadership in the profession through the Partnership Program with Samuel Merritt University. Samuel Merritt University is pleased to partner with Mills in this innovative and exciting program. Mills College admitted their first class into the partnership program in fall 2005.

For more information on the partnership program including admission requirements, tuition for the first 2 years and financial aid information, please contact Mills College at (800) 876-4557 and visit their website at

Holy Names University

Holy Names University was founded on the shores of Lake Merritt in 1868 by the Sisters of the Holy Names. The original mission of the school was to train women for the teaching profession. The University moved from Lake Merritt to its current location on 60 acres of wooded land in the Oakland Hills in 1957 and became coed in 1971. The University today has a very diverse student population reflecting the cultural diversity of the Bay Area. Enrollment is 985 with an average class size of 16 and student to faculty ratio of 13:1. The University offers a wide range of undergraduate as well as graduate degree programs that meet the needs of the first time college student as well as adult learners returning to further their education. Holy Names enrolled their first class in the partnership program in fall 2004.

For more information on the partnership program including admission requirements, tuition for the first 2 years and financial aid information, please contact Holy Names University at 510-436-1351 and visit their website at

Direct Entry for Transfer Students

We will continue to admit transfer students directly into the nursing program from the community colleges and other colleges/universities on a space available basis both fall and spring terms. Please go to the Admission Process page to review all the new admission requirements and prerequisites.

Notre Dame de Namur University

Notre Dame de Namur University was founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1851 in San Jose and is rooted in the Catholic traditions and values of the Sisters. The University was the first in California to grant the baccalaureate degree to women in 1868 and is the state’s fifth oldest institution of higher education. It is the only 4-year accredited university in San Mateo County. The campus was moved in 1923 to the country estate of William Chapman Ralston and remains on this 50 acre location in Belmont on the San Francisco Peninsula. Today the University has grown into a co-educational institution that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees with a student body of 1790 full and part-time students. The student to faculty ratio is 12:1. Notre Dame de Namur offers a variety of undergraduate liberal arts degrees and master’s degrees, certificate and credential programs at the graduate level.

For more information on the partnership program including admission requirements, tuition for the first 2 years and financial aid information, please contact Notre Dame de Namur University at (650) 508-3600 and visit their website at

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Why Choose Nursing?
Today, nursing is a profession that demands sophisticated knowledge, strong decision-making skills, and a high degree of compassion for humankind. In return, you will experience respect, an unrelenting demand for your services and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Nursing is a dynamic, evolving discipline based on knowledge of human health derived from research, theory, and practice. For more information about opportunities for today's nurse please visit the following websites: or

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How Do We Compare?

Our reputation for preparing highly qualified, exceptionally well-prepared health care professionals is due to our excellent curriculum, state-of-the art learning facilities, and personal attention to the student. Our graduates are known throughout their fields as exceptional health care professionals who care for their patients using a holistic approach. Our course offerings emphasize real-world learning and integrate the latest health care research. Samuel Merritt faculty possess exceptionally strong clinical and academic backgrounds, helping our students keep in tune with the latest advances and innovations within their specialties.

How does the Samuel Merritt Intercollegiate program compare to nursing programs at other colleges? There are three very important factors to consider when answering that question.

  1. The clinical student/faculty ratio: in the clinical, "hands on" setting at Samuel Merritt, there is one faculty member assigned to work with eight or nine students. That closeness gives you a greater opportunity to build confidence and perfect your clinical skills. It also means more direct patient contact. Your clinical group will be small enough to know your classmates and instructors by name, and to receive the attention you deserve.
  2. The pass rate for first time test takers: state law requires that all nursing school graduates take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) licensing exam before practicing as registered nurses. The NCLEX-RN pass rate for our graduates consistently exceeds the national average.
  3. The best of both worlds: you will have available to you the resources of two campuses. Saint Mary's College, Mills College, and Holy Names University offer a small college atmosphere in a beautiful campus setting with all the benefits of college life. Samuel Merritt University is an urban clinical environment with a vast array of diverse clinical experiences to strengthen your skills. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, these colleges are surrounded by world-renowned museums, architecture, libraries, shopping, dining, historic sites, hospitals, and medical and research facilities.

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