Samuel Merritt University

Oakland, CA 94609
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Samuel Merritt University (SMU) was founded in 1909 as a private, non-profit hospital school of nursing. The campus is located within the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland. SMU is a health sciences university with a focus on nursing programs. Nursing degrees are available for both undergrads and grads, with additional graduate programs for physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, and podiatric medicine. SMU is affiliated with the Sutter Health Network and the only provider of physical and occupational therapists in the greater East Bay region. The school is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, and all programs are fully-accredited.

SMU mostly offers graduate programs in the nursing field through the SMU School of Nursing. However, they do have a traditional BSN program, accelerated BSN program, and RN to MSN program. The BSN program is a two-year program, with students completing the prerequisite courses at other universities, such as a two-year community college. The MSN programs include three specialty tracks, including Case Management, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Anesthesia. For those seeking a doctorate, SMU offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with a Family Nurse Practitioner specialty. These programs are all accredited by the CCNE.


Institution Overview

Campus LocaleLarge City
Number of Students2,141
Student to Faculty Ratio10:1
Is Admission OpenNo
Religious Affiliation -
Business ModelNot-for-profit
On Campus Housing-
Retention Rate-

Nursing Programs

The Samuel Merritt University Nursing Program admits students transferring from other colleges and universities on a limited basis for entry in the fall or in the spring semesters.

Freshmen applicants interested in the program can also apply directly to one of the partnership programs for pre-nursing

  • Mills College, Oakland
  • Saint Mary’s College of California
  • Holy Names University, Oakland
  • Norte Dame De Namur, Belmont

Student can complete the liberal arts and science courses at these schools and transfer to Samuel Merritt University for nursing courses. The BSN degree is awarded by Samuel Merritt University.

Samuel Merritt also offers an intensive, 12-month Accelerated BSN program which is designed to prepare students who already have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field.

Admission Requirements for BSN program:

  1. 66 semester units of transferable work (including pre-requisite courses)
  2. GPA of 3.00 or higher on all college level course work (2.50 GPA for pre-requisite science courses)   
  3. A minimum of 9 semester or 14 quarter units of academic courses (completed with a 2.50 GPA in the last two years)
  4. TEAS scores
  5. Letter of reference
  6. Transfer students need to prove good standing and eligibility for continued enrollment at their former institution.
  7. Basic life support certification for healthcare providers level obtained from the American Heart Association or AHA
  8. Sample of writing

The admissions deadline for enrollment in the fall semester is the 1st of March and the deadline for enrollment in the spring semester is the 1st of September.

The Samuel Merritt University Master of Science program offers a flexible approach personalized to the needs of the student. Classes in the program are offered in evenings and on weekends to meet the needs of professional students as well as offering full time study.

Students who successfully complete the Master of Science in Nursing, degree are eligible for national and state certification.

Students are admitted into the MSN program on the basis of academic preparation interest in advanced nursing and commitment to serving.

Graduates from the program are eligible to apply for certification from the California Board of Registered of Nursing as well as being eligible for national certification through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Admission Requirements

  1. A baccalaureate Degree in nursing from an accredited college or university
  2. Official transcripts for all undergraduate academic and practical coursework
  3. Current, valid and unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse
  4. Written statement expressing professional goals
  5. Two letters of recommendation
  6. Minimum of a ‘C’ grade in a statistics course
  7. Computer literacy

The MSN program accepts 24 students every year. The application deadline for admission is the 15th of January. 

The DNP program is accredited by the Senior Commission of WASC.

Nursing Programs Graduates (2017-2018 academic year)

Number of Graduates
Degree type Men Women
Bachelor's degree 72 291
Master's degree 15 97
Post-master's certificate 2 5
Doctor's degree - professional practice 1 5
Average NCLEX pass rate
  • NCLEX-RN: 89.9%

Compare Schools

Nursing schools located within 350 miles radius of Samuel Merritt University

Holy Names University
4 miles away
Saint Mary's College of California
9 miles away
University of San Francisco
11 miles away
Dominican University of California
17 miles away
Touro University California
18 miles away
Pacific Union College
53 miles away
Fresno Pacific University
158 miles away
Simpson University
193 miles away
Mount Saint Mary's University
333 miles away
Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science
350 miles away

Frequently compared schools

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offers 3 nursing programs
California State University-Sacramento
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Dominican University of California
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Georgetown University
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Loma Linda University
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Mount Saint Mary's University
offers 8 nursing programs
San Francisco State University
offers 6 nursing programs
San Jose State University
offers 5 nursing programs
Sonoma State University
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The University of Alabama
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Institutional Accreditations
Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
06/30/1984 - Current
Nursing Programs Accreditations
Nursing (CNDNP) - Nursing education programs at the doctorate degree levels
04/25/2013 - Current
Nursing (CNURED) - Nursing education programs at the baccalaureate degree levels
04/21/2001 - Current
Nursing (CNURED) - Nursing education programs at the graduate degree levels
04/21/2001 - Current
Nurse Anesthesia (ANEST) - Institutions and programs at the master's degree, post master's certificate or doctoral degree levels
04/09/1994 - Current


No Info Available

Cost to Attend

The following table details the reported cost of attendance per credit hour for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Undergrad courses
In District Students$1,439/credit
In State Students$1,439/credit
Out of State Students$1,439/credit
Graduate courses
In District Students$1,353/credit
In State Students$1,353/credit
Out of State Students$1,353/credit

Tuition Estimates

Based on the above credit hour costs, here is a sample tuition for different nursing programs.

Program Credit Hours In district In State Out of State
LPN 45 $64,755 $64,755 $64,755
ADN 70 $100,730 $100,730 $100,730
BSN 125 $179,875 $179,875 $179,875
FNP 50 $67,650 $67,650 $67,650
Please note that the above cost estimate does not include school fees, books, supplies, etc.You need to allot additional money for that.
If you attend a private, for-profit school, usually the additional cost (besides tuition) is about 10% of the tuition. If you attend a public school or a not-for-profit private school, the additional cost is around 50% of the tuition.

Financial Aid

No Info Available

Student Population













Ethnic Diversity
Race/ethnicity unknown
Two or more races
Black/African American
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
Non-resident alien

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Data source: (2017-2018 colleges survey) and California state board of nursing.
Samuel Merritt University
3100 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, CA 94609

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