Nursing, School of

MS - Nursing

Graduate Options

The MS - Nursing degree has specializations* in:

  • Nurse Educator
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (offered via Special Session)

* Specializations are a cluster of courses used by departments for advising purposes. Specializations will not appear on transcripts or diplomas. Please see advisor for more details.

  • Post-Masters Certificate/Credential Preparation as Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Educator

The School of Nursing also offers an MS in Nursing with a concentration in Family Nursing Practice. This program is described elsewhere in this catalog. Finally, SJSU offers a joint Doctorate in Nursing Practice, a mostly online program.

All options are offered only if student enrollment is adequate. Please check the school website at for current information on the status of our graduate programs and courses being offered.

Requirements for Admission

Candidates must meet all the university admissions requirements. Students can be admitted in either classified or conditionally classified standing.

After earning a baccalaureate degree in Nursing from an accredited program and obtaining San José State University admission, one may enter the master's program with a major in Nursing. Graduates of non-accredited baccalaureate programs must take prior coursework that will be assessed to determine requisite content and equivalency to baccalaureate degree requirements. Programs of study for the MS degree with a major in Nursing are based on this assessment. A California RN license is required.

Requirements for Conditionally Classified Standing

Students whose records show certain deficiencies, but whose professional achievements indicate a promise of success, may be admitted on a conditional basis. To qualify for classified standing, the conditions must be met. The appropriate form will be completed by the Nursing Program Graduate Coordinator upon receipt of documentation. A California RN license is required.

Registered nurses with baccalaureate degrees in disciplines other than nursing may be accepted conditionally such that a specialized course of study is required prior to taking Master's in Nursing courses. There are a minimum of four undergraduate courses that need to be completed with a grade of "B" or better.

Applicants from countries in which the native language is not English must achieve a minimum English-language proficiency test score as indicated on the Graduate Program Test Requirements webpage at GAPE.

Requirements for Admission to Classified Standing

General university requirements for consideration for admission in classified standing for the master's degree or from moving from conditionally classified to classified standing are outlined in this catalog. The university requires that all graduate students complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) as a condition for advancement to candidacy and for conversion from conditional to classified standing. Refer to the SJSU catalog section titled "Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement" for details. For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE) website at In addition, the following School of Nursing requirements apply:

  1. Completion of an accredited baccalaureate program in nursing with an upper-division major comparable to that offered at San José State University. Applicants who have completed other curricula or who have deficiencies will be considered individually and may be required to enroll in designated courses.
  2. Applicants must present a GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 60 units of the undergraduate nursing major.
  3. Completion of an introductory research course.
  4. Evidence of licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the State of California.
  5. Completion of The Valley Foundation School of Nursing application with all attachments.
  6. A statement of purpose that outlines the applicant's goals and objectives in seeking a degree.
  7. Evidence of having met health requirements of the school.
  8. Current certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and evidence of professional liability insurance and health insurance.
  9. Evidence of knowledge and skills in the following areas: physical and psychosocial assessment skills developed to the level that the applicant can perform a complete history and physical exam on a well adult of either gender within one hour. Work completed to make up any of the above deficiencies will not be counted as part of the required units for the MS - Nursing.

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Candidacy

For advancement to candidacy for the MS - Nursing degree requires that the applicant has been granted classified standing and has removed any deficiencies involved. In addition, the candidate must have:

  1. Earned at least a "B" (3.0) average in a minimum of nine graded semester units of 100- and/or 200-level work completed in graduate standing at San José State University and in any course work completed in graduate standing at other institutions before enrollment here.
  2. classified standing.
  3. Planned a proposed program of study approved by the Nursing School Graduate Coordinator and approved by GAPE.

Requirements for Graduation

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, GPA, and culminating experience requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures.

MS - Nursing Graduation Requirements

Classified standing in Nursing or the permission of instructor is required for all nursing courses listed.

Students have the option to complete a post master's Nurse Educator Certificate.

Course Requirements

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For information on the GWAR, please see
Requirements for the Master's36
Required Core Courses19
NURS 200. Population Based Health Care Systems3
NURS 201. Clinical Leadership Role Development2
NURS 202. Theoretical Foundations2
NURS 248. Advanced Health Assessment3
NURS 259. Advanced Clinical Pharmacology3
NURS 260. Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice Nursing3
NURS 295A. Research MethodsGWAR3
Functional Areas of Specialization14
Nurse Educator
EDUC 186. Using Instructional Media3
NURS 212. Curriculum Development in Nursing3
NURS 214. Nurse Educator Theory & Practicum I4
NURS 216. Nurse Educator Theory and Practicum II4
Culminating Experience3
Complete one course from:
NURS 297. Master's Project1-4
NURS 299. Master's Thesis1-4

Total Units:36

Elective courses, if applicable, are to be taken outside The Valley Foundation School of Nursing. The content of these units is to support the chosen functional option. At least one of the courses must be at the 200-level of course work. FNP students do not have elective course requirements.