Top MSN programs in California

A master of science in nursing provides the necessary skills for specialist roles. Practitioner-track MSN programs can lead to a career as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Non-practitioner tracks are the primary path to careers in nursing education or administration. See below the best MSN programs, ranked according to our methodology

Our master's in nursing rankings cover 408 of the 493 universities available, accounting for 96% of total student conferrals. Three years after completing their degree, graduates earn a weighted average salary of $101,473.

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#1 in California | #9 in Nursing nationally

California State University, Dominguez Hills

Carson, California

Economic score: 0.20

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $114,249

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: - $11,634

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $20,500

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.18

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#2 in California | #10 in Nursing nationally

Vanguard University of Southern California

Costa Mesa, California

Economic score: 0.20

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $134,779

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $25,097

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $33,116

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.25

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#3 in California | #21 in Nursing nationally

California State University, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

Economic score: 0.23

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $117,496

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $6,918

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $28,804

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.25

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#4 in California | #22 in Nursing nationally

California State University, Sacramento

Sacramento, California

Economic score: 0.23

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $101,346

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: - $9,139

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $21,454

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.21

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#5 in California | #31 in Nursing nationally

University of California, Davis

Davis, California

Economic score: 0.26

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $135,009

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $26,353

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $43,248

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.32

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#6 in California | #36 in Nursing nationally

California State University, Fullerton

Fullerton, California

Economic score: 0.27

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $130,592

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $20,019

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $41,000

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.31

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#7 in California | #37 in Nursing nationally

San Diego State University

San Diego, California

Economic score: 0.27

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $104,192

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: - $4,901

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $26,588

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.26

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#8 in California | #42 in Nursing nationally

Holy Names University

Oakland, California

Economic score: 0.27

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $146,003

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $35,876

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $52,779

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.36

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#9 in California | #45 in Nursing nationally

Fresno Pacific University

Fresno, California

Economic score: 0.28

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $125,611

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $1,630

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $36,034

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.29

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#10 in California | #86 in Nursing nationally

Sonoma State University

Rohnert Park, California

Economic score: 0.34

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $116,301

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $5,764

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $41,000

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.35

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#11 in California | #123 in Nursing nationally

California State University, San Marcos

San Marcos, California

Economic score: 0.37

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $111,324

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $806

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $40,982

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.37

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#12 in California | #125 in Nursing nationally

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, California

Economic score: 0.37

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $136,160

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $25,745

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $61,466

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.45

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#13 in California | #128 in Nursing nationally

Point Loma Nazarene University

San Diego, California

Economic score: 0.37

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $128,990

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $20,773

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $56,641

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.44

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#14 in California | #226 in Nursing nationally

Azusa Pacific University

Azusa, California

Economic score: 0.46

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $118,408

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $9,800

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $59,948

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.51

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#15 in California | #279 in Nursing nationally

University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

Economic score: 0.53

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $110,415

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $2,041

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $59,256

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.54

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#16 in California | #298 in Nursing nationally

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

Economic score: 0.55

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $161,094

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $50,351

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $129,162

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.80

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#17 in California | #301 in Nursing nationally

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, California

Economic score: 0.56

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $127,016

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $12,057

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $78,357

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.62

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#18 in California | #322 in Nursing nationally

Samuel Merritt University

Oakland, California

Economic score: 0.63

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $143,948

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $44,344

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $130,688

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.91

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#19 in California | #338 in Nursing nationally

California Baptist University

Riverside, California

Economic score: 0.72

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $126,508

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $16,839

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $104,364

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.82

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#20 in California | #343 in Nursing nationally

Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science

Los Angeles, California

Economic score: 0.75

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $113,643

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $4,495

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $88,275

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.78

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

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How long does it take to pay down debt in registered nursing in California?

Years

Under a year

The average debt accrued from a master's degree in registered nursing is covered by average graduate earnings in under a year.

How much do graduates with master's degree in registered nursing earn in California?

Salary

$126,012

The median master's degree in registered nursing graduate earns $126,012 3 years after graduating.

How much does a master's degree in registered nursing cost in California?

Net cost

$27,197

The average annual cost of a master's degree in registered nursing is $27,197. This is the net cost and considers only students that have received Title IV funds.