Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Admission Requirements

Fall 2015 applications are OPEN and due by November 1, 2015.

 Application/Admission Processing Timeline for fall 2015, please click here.

Virtual Drop-Ins Now Available - Join a CRNA Chat Room Online
We are pleased to offer virtual drop ins to prospective CRNA students.  You are welcome to virtually "drop in" and ask quick, general questions of an Admission Counselor.  This is entirely online.  Please click on a date and time below to join the chat! 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 click a date and time above to join the live chat. Brief details are below.
*Please note that all times are listed in Pacific Standard Time (PT).

Time & Day

Link to Event

JUN-02-2015 11:00-noon


JUN-19-2015 02:00-3:00pm


JUL-01-2015 10:00-11:00am


JUL-13-2015 01:00-2:00pm


JUL-27-2015 01:00-2:00pm


AUG-11-2015 03:00-4:00pm


AUG-26-2015 10:00-11:00am


SEP-11-2015 11:00am -noon



CRNA On Campus Events
June 13-14 2015  Diversity CRNA Information Session and Airways Simulation
In partnership with Diversity CRNA, Samuel Merritt will be hosting their 2015 Information Session and Airways Simulation. The program is a wonderful way to learn more about the career of Nurse Anesthesia and is desigend for RN's and nursing students. You may register  for one or both days. 

  • Information Session June 13, 2015
    8:00 am - 4:00 pm 400 Hawthorne Ave. Bechtel Room Oakland, CA 94609

    Interested in applying to a Nurse Anesthesia Program? Do you want to be a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist? You will meet four Nurse Anesthesia Program Directors, CRNAs, and Nurse Anesthesia Students. Learn comprehensive information about the admission process, rigors of the program, clinical expectations, didactic courses, balancing family and finances, and more!! Receive a copy of the new anesthesia video of CRNAs and SRNAs reviewing the anesthesia machine and related equipment. Continental breakfast and lunch provided.
  • Airway Simulation Lab June 14, 2015
    8:00 am-2:30 pm 450 30th Street Suite G860 Oakland, CA 94609
    Learn, review and participate on the anesthesia machine, airway equipment, and other modalities at the Samuel Merritt University Nurse Anesthesia Program Simulation Center! Meet Marc Code, CRNA, MSN (Nurse Anesthesia Program Director). Great experience to learn new terminology! As an active participant on one or both of the events, you can write in your essay that you attended the Diversity CRNA Information Session and Airway Simulation Lab! Lunch is provided.

CRNA Information Session and Open House Events
This is an opportunity to meet with the CRNA program faculty, staff, and students. The event begins with a 30 minute overview of the CRNA program followed by an "open house" format hosted in our Health Sciences Simulation Center where you will interact with clinical faculty, admission committee members, an admission counselor, a financial aid counselor, the director of the program, and more. Please click on RSVP to join us. A confirmation will be emailed to you once you reserve your space.

Monday, October 5, 2015
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
3100 Telegraph Avenue 4th Floor, Room TBA
Oakland, CA 94609

Monday, April 13, 2015
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
3100 Telegraph Avenue 4th Floor, TBA
Oakland, CA 94609

General Campus Tours of Samuel Merritt University
Summer time tours of SMU are back! These tours are not program specific, but will give an overall experience of SMU. These walking tours last about one hour and comfortable shoes should be worn. Because these tours are student led and are dependent on student schedules, advance reservation is required.

Please click here to sign up http://www.samuelmerritt.edu/admission/campus_tours

CRNA Admission Requirements

Applications may be accepted after the deadline date on a space available basis. Check with the Office of Admission. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • A baccalaureate in nursing from a nationally accredited program. RNs with baccalaureate degrees in other fields will be evaluated individually and additional course work may be required.
  • Current California licensure as a registered nurse.
  • Official transcripts of all previous academic and professional coursework completed or in progress prior to admission.
  • Evidence of experience in clinical practice as a registered nurse with a minimum of 12 months of intensive care unit (any ICU) experience at the time of interview (March of every year) required; Two to three years of critical care nursing experience is preferable in addition to the 12 months of ICU experience. Practice areas that are considered critical care are: surgical intensive care (including trauma, post-cardiovascular surgery and neurosurgical specialty units), medical intensive care (coronary care, pulmonary care, and other medical sub-specialty units), and pediatric and neonatal intensive care units.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0; average has been 3.4
  • Minimum last 60 semester or 90 quarter unit GPA of 3.0 or higher; average has been a 3.6
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) minimum cumulative score of 290 an average was 311. Please be advised that the scores need to be available at the time of application. Older scaled GRE scores will not be accepted.
  • TOEFL (U.S. citizens or international students) - The need for TOEFL will be assessed based on information provided by applicants on the application for admission, if required, a score of 250 (or 100 for internet-based exam) must be achieved and official score results must be provided.
  • Current ACLS and PALS certification. CCRN strongly recommended.
  • Completion of a 1-2 day clinical shadowing experience with a CRNA (highly preferred) or physician anesthesiologist (in your application you must address why you were unable to shadow a CRNA).
  • A written goal statement (topic listed in the application). This should be a maximum of two (2) pages, typed, and double spaced. This should clearly articulate your academic and professional preparedness for the program and your desire and preparedness to become a CRNA.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required. One letter must be from your ICU manager who can speak to your critical care expertise and critical thinking; One or two letters may be from the following persons: a CRNA who can speak to your preparedness for the career and address your clinical expertise; colleague who can readily assess current levels of clinical expertise;  or an instructor who may speak to your academic preparedness for graduate study.

Prerequisite Courses

Chemistry: content should include organic, inorganic, and biochemistry content (required) 6-8 semester units; 8-12 quarter units
Statistics (required) 3 semester units; 4 quarter units
Physics: basic/introductory or general (highly recommended) 3 semester units; 4 quarter units

Admission policies:

  • Not all qualified candidates may be interviewed and not all interviewed candidates will be accepted. Selection of candidates for interview will be based on criteria listed above, quality and presentation of application material, quality and professionalism of communication with the program during the application process and an informed understanding about the role of a CRNA.
  • Faculty reserves the right to interview and accept qualified students at any time after the college priority application deadline of November 1.

Application Checklist
To be considered for an interview the following items must be submitted with your online application (fees apply):

  • Application
  • Copies of all college transcripts in PDF form
  • Completed goal statement in WORD form
  • Resume in WORD form
  • 3 Letters of reference
  • Copy of RN license in PDF form
  • Copy of all certifications: ACLS, PALS, CCRN, TNCC, Others in PDF form

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Please click here for a list of frequently asked questions.

Transfer Credit into the CRNA Program
We accept up to 9 units of graduate credits from another MSN program. All students will complete specified CRNA units to receive their MSN degree or post-master certification from Samuel Merritt.

Process for transfering credit consideration into Samuel Merritt

  1. Complete the Transfer Credit Petition
  2. Review the Samuel Merritt Catalog to decipher which Samuel Merritt courses meet those completed in your MSN program.
  3. Submit this form with copies of your transcripts and syllabi along with your application for the MSN, CRNA program.
  4. Upon review of your application, the Director of the CRNA program and Registrar will determine which of your credits are transferrable.
  5. You will receive communication from the Registrar regarding their decision.

Online Course Resources for Prerequisites
Courses maybe taken online for CRNA prerequisites so long as they are completed at a Regionally accredited college or university. Some suggested resources are on the linked list: online resource list.

International Transcripts Evaluation Agencies
For students who have completed a degree internationally, you will need to have those transcripts evaluated for a United States baccalaureate equivalency also known as a course-by-course evaluation/comprehensive evaluation.
We require that the services used be accredited by NACES.  Please click here for a list of agencies.

Admission Statistics/Demographic for Fall 2014.
Admission demographics including average GPA and GRE scores about the CRNA program and all of SMU's other programs are listed 

Request more information

Vestibulum id ligula porta felis euismod semper. Nullam id dolor id nibh ultricies vehicula ut id elit. Sed posuere consectetur est at lobortis. Donec sed odio dui.