Admission Policies

GENERAL INFORMATION 

Samuel Merritt University welcomes applications from those who are likely to benefit from its rigorous academic programs and who seek an environment which is conducive to intellectual, professional, and personal development. In particular, the University seeks students of diverse backgrounds who have the potential to become competent, compassionate, and contributing health care professionals. Admission decisions are made on the basis of an assessment of the student’s previous academic record and personal achievements, national test scores (if applicable), letters of recommendation, personal essays, interviews (if applicable), and the likelihood of success in the academic program.

Admission decisions issued by the University are final.

Special Status 

It is possible for students not seeking a degree from Samuel Merritt University to take a class as a Special Status Student. A brief application is available online and should be submitted to the Office of Admission along with a non-refundable application fee.  Enrollment is subject to class availability and this information generally is not available until just before the start of the term. If the course involves a clinical assignment, there may be some special requirements such as a criminal background check (See Background Check Policy), health insurance, immunization records, and a physical examination.

Computer Requirements & Computer Literacy

Samuel Merritt University faculty and staff routinely distribute important and official documents via computer. All undergraduate and graduate students are expected to have basic computer word processing skills before enrollment.  In addition, courses use the web-based Canvas program for enhancing or delivering course content. Thus, all students, upon admission, must have access to a personal computer that meets the University standard for software and electronic communication, and have basic computer skills before enrollment. The list of University standards for hardware and software is available on the website.

Criminal Background Check

A criminal background check is required of all incoming students (see Background Check Policy).  Information on the background checks is sent to accepted students in the admission acceptance packet.  The cost of the background check is the responsibility of the incoming student. 

Drug Screen

A drug screen may be required of incoming students (Refer to Drug Screen Policy).  Information on the drug screen is sent to incoming students in the admission acceptance packet when a drug screen is required.  The cost of the drug screen is the responsibility of the incoming student.

Receipt of Official Transcripts

All accepted and deposited students are responsible for submitting official transcripts from all previous colleges/universities attended in the time frame requested by the Office of Admission.  Failure to do so will result in an admission hold which will preclude future course registration. The academic department may also be notified of failure to comply and class attendance may be restricted. It is the responsibility of the student to make sure all official transcripts are received by the Office of Admission.

International Students

This school is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.  

International Transcripts

All international academic transcripts must be evaluated by a U.S. evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluations Services (NACES) for degree, course content, semester unit equivalencies, and science and cumulative GPAs prior to the application deadline. Information on NACES may be found at www.naces.org.

For those applying to the MPA program, see special requirements.

Financial Assistance - International Students

There is no financial aid available for international students and a certification of finances verifying the ability to provide for the costs associated with the chosen course of study must be provided by all accepted applicants.  

Advising – International Students

Samuel Merritt University does not maintain an international Student Advisor/Office, and while we are willing to work together with international students with questions related to studying in the United States, there are limitations to both our knowledge and our ability to be of assistance.  

Required Standardized Tests

At this time, no standardized tests are required of applicants to the Master Physician Assistant, Master of Occupational Therapy, or Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.

HESI Admission Assessment (A2)

The HESI A2 is required of all applicants to the BSN, ABSN, and ELMSN programs.  The A2 is used in the admission decision process and must be taken before the deadline of the program for which you are applying and the results must be available at the time of application submission.  The A2 may only be taken twice and the highest scores will be considered during the admission review.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of applicants to the Master of Science in Nursing-CRNA programs.  The GRE is used in the admission decision process and must be taken before the application deadline and the results must be available at the time of application review.

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The MCAT is required for admission into the School of Podiatric Medicine.  Please refer, in the subsequent section, DOCTOR of PODIATRIC MEDICINE, for details regarding this requirement. 

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Requirement

It is the responsibility of the University to make sure that all students, regardless of academic background and country of citizenship, have a thorough command of the English language prior to entering our programs.  

If the TOEFL is required, a minimum internet based test (iBT) score of 100, with a speaking score of 26, is required for those applying to BSN, ABSN and ELMSN programs.  A minimum TOEFL score of 100 (internet based test) is required for those applying to all other programs. Applicants to the DPM program must complete the Test of Spoken English (TSE) in addition to the TOEFL. If taking the iBT TOEFL, candidates must achieve a minimum score of 100 with a speaking score of 26-30. This is an admission requirement.

TOEFL is required of all international medical school graduates who are applying to the MPA program.

For more information, please visit our website for additional information on our academic programs, financial aid opportunities and campus visit opportunities. 

Office of Admission

Samuel Merritt University

3100 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 1000

Oakland, California 94609

510-879-9200 or 800-607-6377

 

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN NURSING

Direct Admission Option - Transfer Students

Samuel Merritt University admits transfer students in fall and spring.  The admission is as a first semester junior and it will take 4 semesters to complete the program. 

Admission and Prerequisite Information – Transfer Students

To be considered for admission, prospective students must meet the following criteria:

  • A minimum of 66 semester units of transferable work, including all prerequisites by the time of entry into the program.

  • While there are no minimum GPAs required for admission, it is strongly recommended that applicants have a 3.0 or higher on prerequisite courses. 

  • At least one term with a minimum of 9 semester or 14 quarter units of academic courses completed in the past two years with a GPA for the term of 2.50 or better. 

  • The HESI A2 is used in the admission decision process and must be taken before the deadline and the results must be available at the time of application review.  

  • If the TOEFL is required, a minimum internet based test (iBT) score of 100, with a speaking score of 26, is required. 

  • Letter of reference 

  • 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.  A student who has been dismissed or academically disqualified from another institution and who cannot gain readmission to that institution will not be admitted to Samuel Merritt University.

  • With the acceptable content, online lecture/lab science prerequisites may be completed from a regionally accredited college/university. It is recommended individual approval for online science classes be confirmed in an email by an admission counselor.

  • While not recommended, P (pass) marks may be used to meet prerequisite courses but are not included in the calculation of any GPAs.

  • For admission purposes, the most recent 60 unit GPA is taken directly from the NursingCAS application and is not recalculated by SMU. 

  • All prerequisites must be in progress or planned at the time of application and must be completed before the program starts.  It is not possible to complete any prerequisites concurrently with the BSN program. The following prerequisites must be completed with a “C“ or better:

      • Human Anatomy with Lab

      • Human Physiology with Lab

      • Microbiology with Lab

      • Chemistry with Lab (minimum of 4 semester units; biochemistry content preferred but not required)

      • English Composition (equivalent to English 1A)

      • English Literature/Critical Thinking (equivalent to English 1B or English 1C)

      • Interpersonal Communication (a public speaking course is not acceptable)

      • General Sociology or Cultural Anthropology

      • General Psychology

      • Statistics

      • Life Span Developmental Psychology (content to include birth through death)

      • Nutrition

      • Fine Arts (Theory) Class (example:  Art History or History of Music; not painting or piano)

      • Introduction to Philosophy, Ethics or Bioethics (one class only)

      • 1 Humanities elective (example: Humanities course, religious studies, foreign language, theory courses in art, music or theatre, or an additional philosophy course)

        • American History (any time period)

        • Modern World History (1865 to Present)

      • Course in Diversity/Ethnic Studies (culture, race, ethnicity; no specific department required)

      • College Algebra is a prerequisite.  Students must achieve a grade of “B” or higher to be considered for admission.  BSN students may be exempt from the Algebra requirement if condition A and B are met:

        • One of the following must be met:

          • Completion of AP math in high school AND a score of 3 or higher on the AP exam

          • Score of 600 or greater on the SAT Math, OR

          • Score of 26 or greater on the ACT Math.

        • AP math, SAT or ACT must have been completed within four years of program start date at SMU.  If more than four years have lapsed, then college algebra must be taken, and a grade of “B” must be achieved to be considered for admission.

  • Technical standards as described in the program specific brochure and/or the website.

LVN Entry

Entry for Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) is available in fall and spring each year. LVNs have two entry options: the baccalaureate nursing program or the 30-unit option. LVNs applying for admission to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program must meet regular admission requirements.

LVNs may also apply for the 30-unit option plan. The 30-unit option is designed to enable the LVN student to meet requirements to sit for the Registered Nurse licensure examination in California.  Possession of a current valid vocational nurse license from the state of California and completion of human physiology and microbiology are required for admission; LVNs in the 30-unit option do not have to meet the regular admission requirements of the BSN program. The LVN student who completes the 30-unit option does not receive a degree and is not considered a graduate of the University.  All applicants for the 30-unit option are admitted on a space-available basis. 

The 30-Unit Option for RN Licensure 

General Education:

Microbiology with lab            3.5 units (3 units theory, 0.5 unit lab)

Human Physiology with lab        3.5 units (3 units theory, 0.5 unit lab)

Nursing Courses to be Completed: (See BSN for course descriptions)

Nursing 129 Mental Health        5 units (2 units theory, 3 units lab)

Nursing 136 Managing Care of Adults II    5 units (2 units theory, 3 units clinical)

Nursing 144 Reproductive Health    5 units* (3 units theory, 2 units lab)

Nursing 154 Nursing Care of Infants, Children and Youth     5 units (2 units theory, 3 units clinical)

Nursing 160 Nursing Leadership, Management & Health Policy 2 units* (3 units theory)

*By special arrangement with the faculty.

Advanced Placement – BSN Program

Advanced placement options are designed to facilitate the admission of students to advanced standing. Advanced standing is granted in accordance with University policies and in compliance with state regulations and regional and professional accreditation standards.

Applicants with previous education and/or experience in nursing or other healthcare fields are eligible for advanced placement. These mechanisms for advanced-placement credit are available:

•  Transfer Credit is available to applicants who have completed work at a regionally accredited institution. Individual assessment determines the comparability of course(s). Repetition of science courses taken more than five years previously may be required.

•  Credit by challenge examination is a process designed to evaluate knowledge and skill achieved through previous education and/or work experience which cannot be documented through evaluation for transfer credit.

The challenge examination process for individual courses includes a theory and, when indicated, a clinical/laboratory component. Courses may be challenged only once. A student cannot challenge a course which s/he previously completed unsuccessfully. The minimum passing grade is a “C-.”

Audit, transfer, and challenge courses may not be used to satisfy the residence requirement.

The units and grades earned as a result of successful challenge shall be recorded on the official transcript. Unsuccessful challenge results are not recorded. Enrolled students must be in good academic standing in order to be eligible for credit by challenge examination.

Application Procedures

Direct Admission for Transfer Students

Applications for the BSN program are accepted using the Centralized Application Service for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS), which can be found online at www.nursingcas.org. 

30 Unit and LVN Entry

See the Samuel Merritt University website, www.samuelmerritt.edu, to obtain an application for admission.

Selection Criteria

Selection criteria for consideration of admission to the BSN program include, but are not limited to, prerequisite grade point average, science prerequisite GPA, prerequisite coursework completed, HESI A2 score, letter of recommendation, the writing sample provided in the application essay, leadership experience, community service activities, and volunteer or paid experience in a health care environment.

Enrollment Eligibility

Selection for admission is an administrative decision based on a review of the applicant competitiveness when compared to the entire applicant pool, qualifications, and compliance with general admission policies. Final admission is contingent upon:

•    Receipt of all required official documents

•    Compliance with other requirements as specified in the acceptance letter

•    Receipt of a tuition deposit in the amount of $350

•    Criminal background check (See “Background Check Policy”)

•    Drug Screen (See “Drug Screen Policy”)

•    American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) for the Healthcare Provider CPR certificate

When all provisions of acceptance are met, the applicant is eligible for enrollment.

Health Record Compliance

Registered Nurses are committed to the promotion of health, the prevention of illness and adhering to those principles and practices that promote safety and wellbeing for their patients and themselves. Therefore, the following policies are in accordance with the California Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control’s Recommendations for Immunization for Health-Care Workers (MMWR-12/26/97/46(RR-18);(1-42) and the various clinical agencies affiliated with Samuel Merritt University.

Incoming Students

All incoming students are expected to provide validated proof of compliance with all health records and all related requirements for admission as outlined in the University Catalog and pre-admission materials, and as outlined by Student Health (approximately six weeks in advance of the start of term).

Applicants who do not fulfill all of these requirements on the day of orientation will be considered to have relinquished their place in the class.

Applicants who are on a wait list  

To ensure the ability to move from waitlist to active status, applicants will be expected to abide by the policy above; that is, they are expected to provide validated proof of compliance with all health records and all related requirements for admission.  If the applicant is unable to comply, she/he will forfeit their place in the class.

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program
The ABSN is designed for someone who has a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. The ABSN will be completed in 12 months of intensive nursing theory courses and clinical education. The ABSN program is offered on the Oakland campus, the Sacramento campus, and at the San Francisco Peninsula campus in San Mateo.

Admission Requirements

Ability to complete baccalaureate and all prerequisites within the specified time frame for each campus.

  • With the acceptable content, online lecture/lab science prerequisites may be completed from a regionally accredited college/university.  It is recommended individual approval for online science classes be confirmed in an email by an admission counselor.
  • While not recommended, P (pass) marks may be used to meet prerequisite courses, but are not included in the calculation of any GPAs.
  • For admission purposes the most recent 60 unit GPA is taken directly from the NursingCAS application and is not recalculated by SMU.   

While there are no minimum GPAs required for admission, it is strongly recommended that applicants have a 3.0 or higher on the last 60 semester or 90 quarter units and on the science prerequisites

•          If the TOEFL is required, a minimum internet based test (iBT) score of 100, with a speaking score of 26, is required for those applying to BSN, ABSN and ELMSN programs.

•          Letters of reference

•          The HESI A2 is required of all applicants to the ABSN program. The HESI A2 is used in the admission decision process and must be taken before the deadline of the program for which you are applying and the results must be available at the time of application review.

•          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 eligible for continued enrollment in the nursing program will be required.  A student who has been dismissed or academically disqualified from another institution and who cannot gain readmission to that institution will not be admitted to Samuel Merritt University.

•          Technical standards as described in the program specific brochure and/or the website.

Prerequisite Courses

The following prerequisites (semester units) must be completed with a "C" or better. The time frame within which prerequisites must be completed varies by campus location. All prerequisites must be completed prior to the beginning of the ABSN program.

English Composition/English Literature              6 semester units

Interpersonal Communication                               3 semester units (a public speaking course is not acceptable)                      

General Sociology or Cultural Anthropology      3 semester units 

Social Science Elective                                         3 semester units                          

Statistics                                                             3 semester units

Human Anatomy with lab                                   4 semester units

Human Physiology with lab                                4 semester units

Chemistry with lab                                              4 semester units

Microbiology with lab                                          4 semester units 

Human Development                                              3 semester units (covering life span)

Nutrition                                                                3 semester units                

*Pharmacology                                                   2-3 semester units

*Pathophysiology                                                2-3 semester units

*Courses must be from an approved list provided on the website.

Selection Criteria

Selection criteria for consideration of admission to the ABSN program include, but are not limited to, prerequisite grade point average, science prerequisite GPA, prerequisite coursework completed, HESI A2 score, letters of recommendation, the writing sample provided in the application essay, leadership experience, community service activities, and volunteer or paid experience in a healthcare environment.


Application Procedures 

Applications for the ABSN program are accepted using the Centralized Application Service for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS), which can be found online at www.nursingcas.org. 

Enrollment Eligibility

Selection for admission is an administrative decision based on a comprehensive assessment of likelihood of success in the ABSN program, congruency of the student’s educational background with program goals and resources, and enrollment capacity. While student preference for a particular campus location is considered, it is not guaranteed, and final decision of assignment of campus locations lies with Samuel Merritt University. 

Final admission is contingent upon:

•    Receipt of all required official documents

•    Compliance with other requirements as specified in the acceptance letter

•    Receipt of a tuition deposit in the amount of $350

•    American Heart Association Basic Life Support-Health Care Provider CPR certificate

•    Criminal background check. (See “Background Check Policy”, page XXX)

•    Drug Screen (See “Drug Screen Policy”, page XXX)

When all provisions of acceptance are met, the applicant is eligible for enrollment.

Health Record Compliance

Registered Nurses are committed to the promotion of health, the prevention of illness and adhering to those principles and practices that promote safety and wellbeing for their patients and themselves. Therefore, the following policies are in accordance with the California Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control’s Recommendations for Immunization for Health-Care Workers (MMWR-12/26/97/46(RR-18);(1-42) and the various clinical agencies affiliated with Samuel Merritt University.

Incoming Students

All incoming students are expected to provide validated proof of compliance with all health records and all related requirements for admission as outlined in the University Catalog and pre-admission materials, and as outlined by Student Health (approximately six weeks in advance of the start of term).

Applicants who do not fulfill all of these requirements on the day of orientation will be considered to have relinquished their place in the class.

Applicants who are on a wait list  

To ensure the ability to move from waitlist to active status, applicants will be expected to abide by the policy above; that is, they are expected to provide validated proof of compliance with all health records and all related requirements for admission. If the applicant is unable to comply, she/he will forfeit their place in the class.

RN to BSN

The RN to BSN program is designed to help working RNs obtain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The RN to BSN program will be completed in 20 months of part-time study. 

Admission Requirements

  • An associate degree in nursing from an accredited college or university or current enrollment

  • 70 semester units of transferable coursework 

  • A current, unencumbered California RN license

Application Procedures 

Applications for the RN to BSN program are accepted using the Centralized Application Service for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS), which can be found online at www.nursingcas.org. 

Enrollment Eligibility

Selection for admission is an administrative decision based on a comprehensive assessment of likelihood of success in the RN to BSN program, congruency of the student’s educational background with the program goals and resources, and enrollment capacity. While students preference for a particular campus location is considered, it is not guaranteed, and final decision of assignment of campus location lies with Samuel Merritt University. 

Final admission is contingent upon:

  • Receipt of all required official documents

  • Compliance with other requirements as specified in the acceptance letter

  • Receipt of a tuition deposit in the amount of $350

  • American Heart Association Basic Life Support-Health Care Provider CPR certificate

  • Criminal background check (see “Background Check Policy”)

  • Drug Screen (see “Drug Screen Policy”)

When all provisions of acceptance are met, the applicant is eligible for enrollment. 

Health Record Compliance

Registered Nurses are committed to the promotion of health, the prevention of illness and adhering to those principles and practices that promote safety and wellbeing for their patients and themselves. Therefore, the following policies are in accordance with the California Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for Immunization for Health-Care Workers (MMWR- 12/26/97/46(RR-18);(1-42) and the various clinical agencies affiliated with Samuel Merritt University.

Incoming Students

All incoming students are expected to provide validated proof of compliance with all health records and all related requirements for admission as outlined in the University Catalog and pre-admission materials, and as outlined by Student Health (approximately six weeks in advance of the start of term). Applicants who do not fulfill all of these requirements on the day of orientation will be considered to have relinquished their place in the class.

Applicants who are on a Wait List

To ensure the ability to move from waitlist to active status, applicants will be expected to abide by the policy above; that is, they are expected to provide validated proof of compliance with all health records and all related requirements for admission. If the applicant is unable to comply, she/he will forfeit their place in the class.

Master of Science In Nursing (ELMSN)

The Master of Science in Nursing offers an entry-level program, an online MSN FNP, and two post-professional options. The entry-level program is designed for those who have a baccalaureate in a non-nursing field and who are not registered nurses.  The two post-professional options are nurse anesthesia (CRNA) and case management.  

The following master’s degrees are offered on the Oakland campus and at the Sacramento Campus:

CRNA (Oakland campus only)

ELMSN – Case Management

ELMSN – FNP

Post Professional MSN – Case Management

Admission Requirements - ELMSN

•    Completion of a baccalaureate in a non-nursing field by the time of entry.  It is highly recommended that both the baccalaureate and prerequisites are completed at a regionally accredited college.

•    Completion of all prerequisites in the specified time frame.

•    It is strongly recommended that applicants have a 3.0 or higher on the last 60 semester or 90 quarter units and on the science prerequisites.

•    The HESI A2 is required of all applicants to the ELMSN program.  The HESI A2 is used in the admission decision process and must be taken before the deadline of the program for which you are applying and the results must be available at the time of application review. 

•    Basic computer word-processing skills.

•    Two letters of reference are required. References should address academic preparedness for graduate study and potential as a nurse.  Applicants should seek letters of reference from: health care professionals strongly preferred (not relatives), who know you well through volunteer or paid work experiences, current or previous professors, a person in a supervisory position at current or previous places of employment.

•    If the TOEFL is required, a minimum internet based test (iBT) score of 100, with a speaking score of 26, is required for those applying to BSN, ABSN and ELMSN programs.

•    Technical standards as described in the program specific brochure and/or the website.

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. A student who has been dismissed or academically disqualified from another institution and who cannot gain readmission to that institution will not be admitted to Samuel Merritt University.  

Prerequisite Courses - ELMSN

English Composition/English Literature        6 semester units

Interpersonal Communication            3 semester units

(a public speaking course is not acceptable)

General Sociology or Cultural Anthropology    3 semester units

Social Science Elective                3 semester units

Statistics                        3 semester units

Human Anatomy with lab                4 semester units

Human Physiology with lab            4 semester units

Chemistry with lab                    4 semester units

Microbiology with lab                4 semester units

Human Development (covering the life span)    3 semester units

Nutrition                        3 semester units

Application Procedures 

Applications for the ELMSN program are accepted using the Centralized Application Service for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS), which can be found online at www.nursingcas.org. 

Enrollment Eligibility

Selection for admission is an administrative decision based on a comprehensive assessment of likelihood of success in the ELMSN program, congruency of the student’s educational background with program goals and resources, and enrollment capacity. Final admission is contingent upon:

•    Receipt of all required official documents

•    Successful completion of an interview

•    Compliance with other requirements as specified in the acceptance letter

•    Receipt of a tuition deposit in the amount of $350

•    Basic Life Support-Health Care Provider CPR certificate

•    Criminal background check (See “Background Check Policy”, page XXX)

•    Drug Screen (See “Drug Screen Policy”, page XXX)

When all provisions of acceptance are met, the applicant is eligible for enrollment.

MS Nursing Post-Professional Admission Requirements

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS – POST-PROFESSIONAL MS NURSING

Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to receive consideration for admission to an advanced MSN program:

1.    A baccalaureate in nursing from a nationally accredited program.  RNs with degrees in other fields will be evaluated individually and additional coursework may be required.

2.    Current unencumbered RN license in state of residence

3.    Official transcripts of all previous academic and professional coursework completed or in progress prior to admission.

4.    Evidence of recent experience in clinical practice as a registered nurse, if applicable.

5.    Goal statement that clearly articulates the academic and career goals of the applicant.

6.    Two letters of reference attesting to clinical expertise and academic preparedness for graduate study.

7.    Satisfactory completion of a personal interview.

8.    Minimum TOEFL score of 100 (internet based test) as applicable.

9.    Successful completion (“C” or above) of a statistics course.

10.    Technical standards as described in the program specific brochure and/or the website.

Criteria for interview will be based upon the above criteria, quality and presentation of application materials, quality and professionalism of communication with the Office of Admission and program during the application process and a well communicated understanding of the advanced practice role.

Online MSN FNP Applicants

The Online Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program is a rigorous graduate academic program which prepares advanced practice registered nurses to work autonomously or in collaboration with other healthcare professionals to provide family-focused primary care. Students who complete the program full-time following the full-time course sequence have the highest probability of successful program completion and board certification. In an effort to support student success including successful program progression and completion, and post-program board certification, students who request to enter the program part-time will be limited to 10% or less of any cohort._Students who enter as full time and wish to decelerate to part time are permitted at the discretion of the FNP Program Chair or Graduate Assoc. Dean. Any student who takes a leave of absence must not exceed 10 semesters total to complete their full program. All students in the MSN FNP online track must complete their full program by 2024.

CRNA Applicants

The following requirements are in addition to those listed under Post-Professional MS Nursing Admission Requirements:

•    Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (all college course work); minimum 3.0 grade point average for the last 60 semester or 90 quarter units of academic coursework taken.

•    Evidence of experience in clinical practice as a registered nurse, with a minimum of 12 months of intensive care experience, within the last 5 years, at the time of the interview. Two to three years of ICU nursing experience is preferred. Practice areas that are considered critical care include: surgical intensive care units (including trauma, post-cardiovascular surgery and neurosurgical specialty units), medical intensive care units, pediatric and neonatal intensive care units. Emergency room and PACU do not fulfill the ICU experience requirement. 

•    ACLS and PALS Certification.

  • CCRN certification highly recommended. 

  • Current unencumbered California RN license available by new student orientation.

•    Introductory physics is highly recommended.

•    A combined GRE score on the new, revised exam of 290 is required.  GRE scores must be taken within five years of the application. The older GRE scaled scores not accepted.

•    Chemistry: successful completion of six to eight semester units of University chemistry. One chemistry course should include inorganic chemistry; the additional chemistry course should include content in either organic chemistry or biochemistry.

∙    Completion of a 1-2 day clinical observation experience with a CRNA is required prior to the interview.  

∙    A written goal statement that clearly articulates your academic and professional preparedness for the program, and your desire and preparedness to become a CRNA.

∙    Three letters of recommendation are required. It is preferred that one letter be from applicant’s ICU manager who can speak to the applicant's critical care expertise and critical thinking. The other two letters may be from the following persons: a CRNA who can speak to the applicant's preparedness for the career and address clinical expertise; colleague who can readily assess current levels of clinical expertise; an instructor who can speak to the applicant's academic preparedness for graduate study.

Admission Policies:

  1. 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.

  2. Faculty reserves the right to interview and accept qualified students at any time after the University priority application deadline of November 1.

Application Procedures 

Applications for the MSN programs are accepted using the Centralized Application Service for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS), which can be found online at www.nursingcas.org. 

Enrollment Eligibility for Post-Professional Program Applicants

Selection for admission is an administrative decision based on a comprehensive assessment of likelihood of success in the MSN program, congruency of the student’s background and experience with program goals and resources, and enrollment capacity. Final admission is contingent upon:

•    Receipt of all required official documents

•    Successful completion of an interview

•    Compliance with other requirements as specified in the acceptance letter

•    Receipt of a tuition deposit in the amount of $350

•    Criminal background check (See “Background Check Policy”)

•    Drug Screen (See “Drug Screen Policy”)

When all provisions of acceptance are met, the applicant is eligible for enrollment. Final selection for admission is an administrative decision.

DOCTOR OF NURSING PRACTICE

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Samuel Merritt University (SMU) prepares students to practice at the highest level of advanced nursing practice, demonstrating leadership in a clinical or organizational specialty area, as well as a commitment to improving health care outcomes via practice, policy change, and practice scholarship. 

Post-MSN DNP

The post-MSN DNP program is designed for advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists) and nurses in organizational leadership positions who have a Master of Science in Nursing degree. The program is designed to accommodate students who desire to continue working full or part time while pursuing doctoral study.  Students are admitted to the DNP program as a cohort and are strongly advised to progress sequentially through the courses designated in each of the six semesters.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following criteria:

• Master of Science in Nursing (Master’s degrees in other health-related fields along with a BSN will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.)

• Current RN licensure in state of residence

• Minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher on MSN coursework

• The need for a TOEFL will be assessed based on information provided by applicants on the application for admission. If required, a minimum score of 100 (Internet Based Test), with a speaking score of 26, must be achieved and official score results must be provided.

• Receipt of two letters of recommendation from health care related positions or persons who are pertinent to your application. If you are working or have recently worked as an RN, one letter must be from a direct supervisor. The letter of recommendation must be on letterhead from their place of work.

• Technical standards as described in the program specific brochure and/or the website.

Post-BSN FNP-DNP

The post-Baccalaureate FNP-DNP program is designed to be a full-time academic program. FNP coursework is offered using a hybrid format (combination of face-to-face and online).

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following criteria:

• Bachelor of Science in Nursing (bachelor’s degrees in other health-related fields will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.)

• Current RN licensure in state of residence

• Minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher on previous coursework

• The need for a TOEFL will be assessed based on information provided by applicants on the application for admission. If required, a minimum score of 100 (Internet Based Test), with a speaking score of 26, must be achieved and official score results must be provided.

• Receipt of two letters of recommendation from health care related positions or persons who are pertinent to your application. If you are working or have recently worked as an RN, one letter must be from a direct supervisor. The letter of recommendation must be on letterhead from their place of work..

• Technical standards as described in the program specific brochure and/or the website.

Application Procedures 

Applications for the DNP programs are accepted using the Centralized Application Service for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS), which can be found online at www.nursingcas.org. 

Enrollment Eligibility

Selection for admission is an administrative decision based on a comprehensive assessment of likelihood of success in the DNP program, congruency of the student’s educational background with program goals and resources, and enrollment capacity.

Final admission is contingent upon:

> Receipt of all required official documents

> Compliance with other requirements as specified in the acceptance letter

> Receipt of a tuition deposit in the amount of $350

> Criminal background check. (See “Background Check Policy”, page XXX)

When all provisions of acceptance are met, the applicant is eligible for enrollment.

 

Doctor of Occupational Therapy

This professional program consists of three consecutive years (including summers). A six-month internship occurs following the first two years. Classes are held during daytime hours and full-time study is required. The curriculum emphasizes treating the “whole person” while mastering specific skills and practices. Students will have clinical experiences throughout the program and a six-month internship experience.

Admission Requirements 

Applications are evaluated and candidates are selected for interview based on the following criteria:

•    Baccalaureate must be completed by the end of the spring term prior to entry; Baccalaureate must be from a regionally accredited institution.  

•    Suggested minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for the last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units.

•    Suggested minimum science grade point average of 3.0.

•    Completion of prerequisites in the time frame described.

•    Evidence of 40 to 70 volunteer hours or work experience that shows knowledge of the occupational therapist’s role and demonstrates maturity of career choice.

•    Two letters of reference are required. One should be from a person who has known you in an academic or professional setting. The second recommendation must be from an occupational therapist who has supervised you as a paid or volunteer worker in an active clinical setting.  It is highly desirable that both letters of reference be included when the application for admission is submitted. However, if the letter of recommendation from the occupational therapist is not available at the time of application, it must be submitted prior to or at the point of interview.

•    Minimum TOEFL score of 100 (internet based test) as applicable

•    Technical standards as described in the program specific brochure and/or the website

Doctor of Occupational Therapy Prerequisites

Prerequisites must be completed with a grade of “C-” or higher. The unit value is based on semester units. Unless otherwise specified, all prerequisites must be completed by the end of the spring term prior to the start of the program. Additionally, it is recommended that no more than 2–3 prerequisites be in progress during the spring:

English Composition/Critical Thinking                        6 units

General Psychology                                    3 units

Abnormal Psychology                                3 units

Developmental Psychology                            3 units

Statistics                                        3 units

Sociology, Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, or additional Psych course     6 units

*Public Speaking                                3 units

**3 Dimensional Skills/Crafts                        3 units

***General Biology                                3 units

****Basic or Introductory Physics                        3 units

*Human Anatomy                                3 units

*Human Physiology                                3 units

*While Anatomy and Physiology are highly recommended, but not required, preferential admission will be given to those who have completed one or both of these courses at the time of application. Public speaking is recommended, but not required.

** In lieu of a course, students may submit a portfolio documenting extensive skill and participation in one particular craft area. This prerequisite may be completed during the summer prior to the start of the fall program. Please note the following skills/crafts are not acceptable: painting, drawing, graphic design, photography, playing an instrument, and other two dimensional areas.

***The required Biology prerequisite must be completed with grade available at the time of application.

**** A basic or introductory Physics course is required. This course may be taken online and does not require a lab. It is preferred to have the Physics course completed prior to the application deadline, but may also be taken fall semester.

Application Procedures 

Applications for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program are accepted using the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy Programs (OTCAS), which can be found online at www.otcas.org. Applications for the following fall term are generally available in July. The application deadline is October 1. 

Enrollment Eligibility

Selection for admission is an administrative decision. Applicants are evaluated based upon the interview score, an assessment of the student’s previous academic record and personal achievements, essays, letters of reference with the application, and the likelihood of success in the academic program. Final admission is contingent upon:

•    Receipt of all required official documents

•    Successful completion of a required interview

•    Compliance with other requirements as specified in the acceptance letter

•    Receipt of a tuition deposit of $350

•    Criminal background check (See “Background Check Policy”, page XXX)

When all provisions of acceptance are met, the applicant is eligible for enrollment.

 

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Admission Requirements 

Applications are evaluated and candidates are reviewed based on the following criteria:

•    Completion of baccalaureate degree and all prerequisites, from a regionally accredited institution, by the end of the spring term before entry. All prerequisites must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better.

•    A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 in the most recent 60 semester units /last 90 quarter units (last 60), as calculated by PTCAS. Cumulative GPA is no longer considered.

•    A minimum 3.00 in all prerequisite courses as described below.

•    A minimum of forty (40) hours of volunteer or paid experience in a physical therapy setting is required. 

•    Two letters of reference; one from a professor who can address your academic preparedness for a DPT program and one from a physical therapist who has supervised you in a clinical environment (inpatient or outpatient). You may also submit up to 2 additional letters of your choosing, but this is not a requirement. Letters of reference are submitted through PTCAS.

  •  Contents of writing samples/personal statements as described in the PTCAS application.

•    The need for TOEFL will be assessed based on information provided by applicants on the application for admission; if required, a score of 100 must be achieved and official score results must be provided.

•    Technical standards as described in the program specific brochure and/or the website.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Prerequisite Courses

All prerequisites must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better by the end of spring term before entry. We accept online, hybrid and on-campus classes from regionally accredited institutions. Classes may be taken at any regionally accredited institution such as community colleges, CSU, UC or private institutions. In California, the accrediting body is WASC Senior College and University Commission.

General Psychology                  3 semester units

Statistics                                       3 semester units

Chemistry with lab+                  8 semester units or 12 quarter units

Physics with lab+                                      8 semester units or 12 quarter units

Intro to Biology with lab+#                    8 semester units or 12 quarter units

Human Anatomy with lab*                   4 semester units or 6 quarter units

Human Physiology with lab*                 4 semester units or 6 quarter units

GPA Calculation and Course Repeat Policy

Last 60/90 GPA

A minimum 3.0 GPA is required in the most recent 60 semester/90 quarter units as calculated by PTCAS. Cumulative GPA is no longer considered. 

Prerequisite GPA

Courses satisfying a prerequisite requirement may be repeated once if the initial grade earned is a C+ or below. If a prerequisite course is repeated, the new grade will be used in the prerequisite GPA calculation if available at the time of application.

Holistic Admission Approach

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is committed to a holistic admission approach and does not conduct interviews as part of its admission process. Not holding interviews provides the faculty with an opportunity to perform a thorough, holistic review of all applications meeting the minimumrequirements. To make this possible, the faculty has designed a number of school-specific essay questions to help us get an understanding of each applicant as an individual. We feel this benefits all applicants. Rather than focusing on the top applicants in terms of GPA and GRE scores, we are able to consider the entire qualified applicant pool based upon a holistic review of both quantitative and qualitative metrics. Applicants who might have otherwise not been selected for an interview, and thereby not considered for the program, are now fully considered for admission to the university.

Applying For Admission

Applications for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program are accepted using the Physical Therapy Central Application Service (PTCAS). Students are admitted just once per year to the fall term.

Admissions decisions are released in December.

The preferred application deadline is August 17 application deadline for Early Decision is August 15 and the final application deadline is September 1.

Enrollment Eligibility

Selection for admission is an administrative decision. Applicants are evaluated based upon an assessment of the student’s previous academic record and personal achievements, responses to general and school-specific questions in the application, letter(s) of reference in the application, and the likelihood of success in the academic program. Final admission is contingent upon:

•    Receipt of all required official documents

•    Compliance with other requirements as specified in the acceptance letter

•    Receipt of a tuition deposit of $350

•    Criminal background check (See Background Check Policy, page XXX)

When all provisions of acceptance are met, the applicant is eligible for enrollment.

Master Physician Assistant

The MPA program is offered at the graduate level and leads to an MPA degree.  The program is 27 months in length, including four semesters of coursework and three semesters of intense clinical rotations for a total of 89 units.  

Applying for Admission

The MPA program at Samuel Merritt University participates in the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applicants apply online at www.caspaonline.org. Applications for the upcoming fall are generally available on the CASPA website beginning May 1st. Although CASPA will continue to process applications previously received, no additional applications will be accepted after September 1st.

Admission Requirements:

In order to be considered for an interview, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

  • Completion of all course prerequisites. 

  • Cumulative all-University GPA of 3.0, as calculated on the CASPA application. 

  • Overall science GPA of 3.0, as calculated on the CASPA application.  

  • Health care experience: The MPA program defines health care experience as direct, hands on patient contact. This may be gained through paid and/or volunteer experience such as an EMT, paramedic, health educator, RN, patient care attendant or nurse’s aide, clinic assistant, Peace Corps volunteer or other cross-cultural health care training, technologist, therapist, clinical research coordinator, etc.

  • Letters of reference

  • Minimum TOEFL score of 100 (internet based test), as applicable

  • Technical standards as described in the program specific brochure and/or the website

Master Physician Assistant Prerequisite Courses

  • Statistics (3 semester units)

  • Minimum of 16 semester units of Biological Sciences, including the following courses: Human Anatomy*, Human Physiology*, Microbiology*, Biology elective

  • Organic chemistry (4 semester units or 6 quarter units)

  • General chemistry or inorganic chemistry (4 semester units or 6 quarter units)

*Strong preference will be given to those who have completed these courses within the past five years. This recency recommendation is less stringent for those currently working in the healthcare field.

Application Procedures 

Applications for the Physician Assistant program are accepted using the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistant Programs (CASPA), which can be found online at www.caspa.org. 

Enrollment Eligibility

Selection for admission is an administrative decision. Final admission is contingent upon:

•    Receipt of all required official documents

•    Successful completion of a required interview

•    Compliance with other requirements as specified in the acceptance letter

•    Receipt of a tuition deposit in the amount of $350

•    Criminal background check (See “Background Check Policy”, page XXX)

When all provisions of acceptance are met, the applicant is eligible for enrollment.

International Medical Graduates

International medical graduates and students educated abroad may apply for admission. Regardless of previous professional training and academic degrees earned, Samuel Merritt’s MPA curriculum must be completed in its entirety. The TOEFL is required of all international Medical Graduates. All international academic transcripts must be evaluated by a U.S. evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluations Services (NACES) for degree, course content, semester unit equivalencies, and science and cumulative GPAs prior to the application deadline. Information on NACES may be found at www.naces.org. For all applicants educated outside the United States it is strongly recommended that they should complete one semester (15 units) of graduate or undergraduate work at a U.S. college or university. In addition, all other admission requirements must be met.

Doctor of Podiatric Medicine

Admission to the University is the result of a competitive selection process. The responsibility of the Admissions and Standards Committee is to select applicants who are best qualified to make a contribution to the public and the profession.  The Committee evaluates applicants’ suitability for admission by considering academic competence, previous achievements, strong moral characteristics, demonstrated leadership skills, creative abilities, honors and awards, extracurricular activities, experience in health care, likelihood to practice in under-served areas and other non-cognitive factors.

The admission process begins with a preliminary screening of scholastic qualifications, including an applicant’s academic credentials, Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores and letters of recommendation.

Applicants selected from the preliminary selection process are invited to the University for interviews. Invited applicants must shadow visit the office of a practicing podiatric physician as part of their application process to learn about the responsibilities of a podiatric medical practitioner and to observe the scope of the practice.  

Admission Requirements:

Successful completion of three years of undergraduate pre-professional education at an accredited institution is required for a total of at least 90 semester hours. Nearly all entering students have a baccalaureate or advanced degree.  

  • Completion of all prerequisites prior to entry.

  • Grades and GPAs are used in determining both admission and eligibility for scholarships and are expected to be of the same caliber of other pre-med students applying for admission to medical colleges.

  • The need for a TOEFL will be assessed based on information provided by applicants on the application for admission. If required, a minimum score of 100 (internet based test) must be achieved and official score results must be provided. In addition, applicants must take the Test of Spoken English (TSE).  

  • In addition to other letters of recommendation, one is required from a podiatric physician.

  • All applicants must shadow/visit the office of a practicing podiatric physician as part of their application process.

  • Please see website for computer literacy information.

  • MCAT is required; GRE or DAT will not be accepted. MCAT is used in determining both admission and eligibility for scholarships and should be available at the time of application. The MCAT score used to apply for admission is expected to be of the same caliber of other pre-med students applying for admission to medical colleges. MCAT must have been taken within the past three years.

  • Technical standards as described in the program specific brochure and/or the website.

Most matriculated students have had a curriculum that includes three or more of the following recommended courses: anatomy, biochemistry, histology, microbiology, and physiology, as well as a spectrum of liberal arts subjects. A combination course such as genetics, embryology, virology, and immunology will also be beneficial.

Specific Course Requirements 

Course                   

General Biology*                        8 semester units 

General Chemistry* (including content in Inorganic)    8 semester units

Organic Chemistry*                        4 semester units

Biochemistry*°                        4 semester units

Physics*                            8 semester units

English/Communication Skills                8 semester units

Liberal Arts electives                    12 semester units

*All science prerequisites require laboratories.

°A total of 8 semester units of organic chemistry is required, 4 semester units of which may be substituted for biochemistry.

Application Procedure

The DPM program at Samuel Merritt University participates in the central application service of the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Application Service (AACPMAS). For an application, contact AACPMAS at www.aacpm.org.  

The application filing period extends from the first week of August through June 30 for the next fall entering class. Applications received before April 1st will receive priority consideration, though applications will be accepted after the deadline date on a space available basis. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis.  

All applicants must submit the following:

1.    The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required of all applicants.  GRE or DAT scores will not be accepted. Test results are valid only for three years. The MCAT is used in determining both admission and eligibility for scholarships and should be available at the time of application. The MCAT score is expected to be of the same caliber as that of other pre-med students applying for admission to medical colleges. The Office of Admission must receive the official MCAT test scores prior to matriculation to the University. 

For information regarding the MCAT contact:

MCAT Registration

American College Testing Service

Post Office Pox 4056

Iowa City, IA 52213

(319) 337-1357

2.    Recommendations from a Pre-professional Advisory Committee (or two science faculty members) and one “Proof-of-Visit” letter from a podiatric physician as noted in the Admission Policy Section.  Send recommendations to:

                 Office of Admission (DPM Program)

                  Samuel Merritt University

                  3100 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 1000

                  Oakland, CA 94609

Applicants are responsible for submitting appropriate materials including official transcripts from all colleges attended and standardized test score results to the Office of Admission. Applications are considered on a continuing basis, and applicants are notified of admission decisions after all required materials are received and evaluated.

Enrollment Eligibility

Selection for admission is an administrative decision. Applicants are evaluated based upon the interview score, an assessment of the student’s previous academic record and personal achievements, MCAT scores, essays, letter(s) of reference in the application, and the likelihood of success in the academic program. Final admission is contingent upon:

•    Receipt of all required official documents

•    Successful completion of a required interview

•    Compliance with other requirements as specified in the acceptance letter

•    Receipt of a tuition deposit of $1000 (non-refundable)

•    Criminal background check (See Background Check Policy, page XXX)

When all provisions of acceptance are met, the applicant is eligible for enrollment.

Evaluation of International Academic Credentials

All international applicants are required to have their academic credentials evaluated for U.S. equivalency and forwarded to the Admission Office. One such organization is World Education Services (www.wes.org).  

Transfer/Advanced Standing Applicants:

  • Transfers will not be considered beyond the first semester of year two.

  • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

  • Cannot have received any failing grades or be in jeopardy of receiving failing grades at the prior podiatric medicine or other medical school, or have a record of disciplinary proceedings. This must be verified in writing by the Dean of Academic Affairs at the prior institution.

  • The student’s entire academic record from the previous podiatric or other medical school, including any leaves of absence, will be evaluated in the transfer request for advanced standing.

  • The student’s first year curriculum must parallel CSPM’s first year curriculum for advanced standing beyond the first year.