ELMSN Case Management Application Requirements

Samuel Merritt University welcomes the opportunity to help you learn more about our Entry-Level Master of Science in Nursing program. The ELMSN program is offered on our campuses in Oakland (fall) and Sacramento (January). The ELMSN program requires a previous baccalaureate in a non-nursing field.

Learn more about the ELMSN program:

Virtual Drop-Ins Now Available - Join an ELMSN chat room online

We are pleased to offer virtual drop ins to prospective ELMSN students.  You are welcome to virtually “drop in” and ask quick, general questions of an Admission Counselor.  This is entirely online.  Dates and times are:

             Please note that all times are Pacific Standard Time (California time zone).

4/3/2014 2-3pm

4/11/2014 1-2pm

5/19/2014 1-2pm

6/6/2014 1-2pm

6/20/2014 11-noon

Please click here for more information about the VIRTUAL DROP INS.  After you have reviewed the general chat information and are ready to start the chat (see dates and time above), click here to join the chat

Drop-In Counseling (Oakland only)
If you have a quick question or just need to know one or two things, drop-in counseling may be perfect for your busy schedule. No appointment is needed. Drop-in counseling is available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. These are brief visits designed to provide you with some quick information. Drop-in counseling is not available during the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's.

Counseling Appointments
Counseling appointments are regularly available on our campuses in Sacramento and Oakland and occasionally available in San Francisco and San Mateo. Appointments are available weekdays, during regular business hours. Please call 510-869-6576 to schedule your counseling appointment. These appointments are usually 30-45 minutes in length and the main purpose is to review your transcripts for required prerequisites. Please bring unofficial or official transcripts with you to the appointment.

Counseling Appointments Are Now Available In Davis
In order to serve UC Davis students, Samuel Merritt University is pleased to announce that individual, one-on-one academic counseling appointments are now available in Davis. “Routinely UC Davis sends us the greatest number of applications for all programs at SMU,” says Anne Seed, Associate Director of Admission. Ms. Seed continues, “And over the years, we have found students from UC Davis to be extremely prepared for the rigorous academic nature of our health science programs. Finding The Work Shop, A Co-working Space, in downtown Davis, was the missing piece of the puzzle to allow us to meet UC Davis students where they work and live and go to school, IN DAVIS!”

Intended for all academic programs at SMU, one-on-one academic counseling sessions are available by scheduled appointment. Please click here for more information on the meeting location, available dates and times, and scheduling an appointment.

Admission Overview Sessions, ABSN and ELMSN programs
We offer regular admission overview sessions that include information on admission requirements, prerequisites and the application process. You may bring copies of all college level transcripts with you to be left with an Admission Counselor who will check them for the required prerequisites and get back to you in 5-10 working days. For the schedule of sessions, please view our event listing.

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Admission Statistics Admission Statistics about all of SMU's programs are availbe on our statistics at a glance website.

Admission Application

Please visit the Applications page for a copy of the application.

Priority Application Deadlines


Entry Term


November 1



July 1



The dates listed above are considered postmark deadlines. Applications may begin to be filed beginning two months prior to the application deadline, keeping in mind that it is to your advantage to include as many available grades as possible with the application for admission. For example, with the postmark deadline of November 1 for fall entry, you should wait to submit an application until your summer grades are available. After the deadline, applications may be accepted on a space available basis. Contact the Office of Admission for further information once the deadline has passed.

For a representative Application/Admission Processing Timeline for fall 2013, please click here.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of baccalaureate and all prerequisites by the time of entry
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units
  • Minimum science GPA of 3.0 (prerequisites only)
  • Letters of reference - A minimum of two letters are required. One letter should be from an academic source addressing your academic preparedness for graduate study. The second should be from a healthcare professional addressing your clinical expertise.
  • Basic computer word processing skills
  • For those applying to the FNP track, conversant skill in a second language is highly desirable
  • If you have attended a nursing program at another college or university, a statement explaining your reasons for seeking a transfer will be required. Additionally, a letter from the Dean or Director of your nursing program indicating that you are in good standing and eligible for continued enrollment in the nursing program will be required.
  • Writing Sample - please adhere to the guidelines set within the application
  • CPR - certification at the healthcare provider level, earned prior to the start of classes from the American Heart Association, www.americanheart.org.
  • TOEFL (U.S. citizens or international students) - The need for TOEFL will be assessed based on information provided on the application for admission; if required, a score of 100 must be achieved and official score results must be provided, www.toefl.org.
  • TEAS Exam - Results must be available at the time of the application deadline. Applications without the TEAS will not be considered.

    Please click here for TEAS FAQs: http://www.samuelmerritt.edu/nursing/teas_faq

    Please click here to register for the TEAS: http://www.samuelmerritt.edu/nursing/teas_registration

  • Writing Sample - please adhere to the guidelines set within the application

Please click here for a list of TEAS FAQs.
Please click here to register for the TEAS exam.

Challenge Examinations

Effective June 2014 challenge examinations from Excelsior College will no longer be accepted.  Challenge examinations from other institutions without prior approval from the School of Nursing will not be accepted. Please note, that taking a challenge examination in substitution for a course will not be accepted.

    Program Prerequisites

    The following prerequisites must be completed by with a grade of C- or above. Prerequisites may not be completed concurrently with the program; if you will not have prerequisites done by the stated time, you should apply for admission for a subsequent term. There is no recency requirement for prerequisites.

    English Composition/English Literature/English Critical Thinking (not Philosophy)

    6 semester units

    Interpersonal Communication
    (a public speaking course is not acceptable)

    3 semester units

    Introduction to Sociology or Cultural Anthropology

    3 semester units

    Social Science Elective
    (any anthropology, sociology, psychology or ethnic studies course beyond those required)

    3 semester units


    3 semester units

    Life Span/Developmental Psychology
    (content must cover birth to death)

    3 semester units


    3 semester units

    Human Anatomy with lab*

    4 semester units

    Human Physiology with lab*

    4 semester units

    Chemistry with lab

    4 semester units or 6 quarter units

    Microbiology with lab

    4 semester units

    *These courses are often taught at Samuel Merritt University fall, spring and summer terms. They are designed for prospective students; you will find the information regarding the upcoming courses here: SMU Special Status Courses.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    For a list of FAQs, please click here

    Course Resources

    The following links list suggested acceptable prerequisite courses at local community colleges:

    Other Resources

    Grade Point Calculations and Course Repeat Policy

    • GPAs are calculated using a 4.0 scale
    • If a course has been repeated, only the most recent grade is included in the GPA
    • Science GPA is calculated using the four prerequisite science lab courses: Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology and Chemistry

    International Students

    Please note that international students can only be admitted to study on the Oakland campus. We are unable to administer student visas at our Sacramento, San Francisco and San Mateo campuses.