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About SMU

With its strong academics, outstanding faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and deep commitment to the community, Samuel Merritt University has a rich tradition of educating skilled and compassionate health care professionals.

Transforming the Experience of Care

SMU is an integral part of patient care in Northern California. We’re one of the largest educators of registered nurses in California, and many of the physical and occupational therapists, physician assistants, and podiatric physicians who provide care in the region are graduates of our programs. SMU is affiliated with Sutter Health, a not-for-profit network providing comprehensive health care in more than 100 Northern California communities. 

At SMU, students receive personalized instruction and gain hands-on clinical experience early in their programs. Early clinical exposure, in our view, is key to training students in the technical skills and sound reasoning needed to provide care and prepare them to transform the experience of care in diverse communities. 

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SMU Fast Facts

We’ve been preparing successful health care professionals for generations.



We have more than a century of experience in health sciences education.



On campuses in Oakland, Sacramento, and the San Francisco Peninsula.


Graduates Who Find Work in Their Profession Within a Year

Our alumni are in high demand in our local communities and beyond.

Samuel Merritt Hospital 1936

SMU History

SMU began as a credential nursing program with Oakland's Samuel Merritt Hospital. Today, 110 years later, it offers nursing programs and advanced degrees for occupational and physical therapists, physician assistants, and podiatric physicians.

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Academic Affairs

Outstanding health science education programs as well as student-centered services and faculty support and resources.

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Students at Lake Merritt

Student Experience

SMU is home to more than 2,700 students from around the United States and the world. If you want to make a difference, you’ll fit right in.

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Check Out Our Programs

SMU offers programs in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, and podiatric medicine.

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Around SMU

The classrooms and labs at SMU’s three campuses are always bustling with energy and activity.