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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Ranking methodology
#1 in California | #13 in Nursing nationally

California State University-Dominguez Hills

Carson, California

Economic score: 0.14

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $114,249

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $25,765

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $20,500

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

Debt to earnings: 0.18

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #23 in Nursing nationally

Vanguard University of Southern California

Costa Mesa, California

Economic score: 0.16

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $134,779

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $46,295

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $33,116

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

Debt to earnings: 0.25

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #30 in Nursing nationally

California State University-Fresno

Fresno, California

Economic score: 0.17

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $120,286

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $31,802

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $27,884

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

Debt to earnings: 0.23

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #33 in Nursing nationally

Touro University California

Vallejo, California

Economic score: 0.18

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $157,377

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $68,893

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $51,121

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

Debt to earnings: 0.32

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #36 in Nursing nationally

California State University-Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

Economic score: 0.18

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $117,496

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $29,012

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $28,804

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

Debt to earnings: 0.25

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #37 in Nursing nationally

California State University-Sacramento

Sacramento, California

Economic score: 0.18

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $101,346

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $12,862

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $21,454

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

Debt to earnings: 0.21

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #52 in Nursing nationally

Fresno Pacific University

Fresno, California

Economic score: 0.20

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $125,611

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $37,127

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $36,034

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

Debt to earnings: 0.29

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #61 in Nursing nationally

University of California-Davis

Davis, California

Economic score: 0.21

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $135,009

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $46,525

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $43,248

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

Debt to earnings: 0.32

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #63 in Nursing nationally

California State University-Fullerton

Fullerton, California

Economic score: 0.21

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $130,592

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $42,108

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $41,000

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

Debt to earnings: 0.31

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #70 in Nursing nationally

San Diego State University

San Diego, California

Economic score: 0.22

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $104,192

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $15,708

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $26,588

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

Debt to earnings: 0.26

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #76 in Nursing nationally

Holy Names University

Oakland, California

Economic score: 0.22

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $146,003

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $57,519

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $52,779

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

Debt to earnings: 0.36

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #83 in Nursing nationally

California State University-Bakersfield

Bakersfield, California

Economic score: 0.23

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $111,769

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $23,285

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $32,023

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

Debt to earnings: 0.29

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #157 in Nursing nationally

University of Phoenix-California

Ontario, California

Economic score: 0.27

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $98,209

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $9,725

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $29,013

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

Debt to earnings: 0.30

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #165 in Nursing nationally

Sonoma State University

Rohnert Park, California

Economic score: 0.27

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $116,301

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $27,817

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $41,000

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

Debt to earnings: 0.35

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #214 in Nursing nationally

California State University-San Marcos

San Marcos, California

Economic score: 0.29

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $111,324

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $22,840

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $40,982

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

Debt to earnings: 0.37

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #216 in Nursing nationally

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, California

Economic score: 0.29

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $136,160

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $47,676

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $61,466

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

Debt to earnings: 0.45

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #227 in Nursing nationally

Point Loma Nazarene University

San Diego, California

Economic score: 0.30

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $128,990

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $40,506

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $56,641

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

Debt to earnings: 0.44

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #232 in Nursing nationally

West Coast University-Orange County

Anaheim, California

Economic score: 0.31

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $94,530

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $6,046

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $31,180

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

Debt to earnings: 0.33

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #278 in Nursing nationally

United States University

San Diego, California

Economic score: 0.35

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $113,416

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $24,932

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $50,396

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

Debt to earnings: 0.44

Calculated by dividing the debt 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 | #284 in Nursing nationally

University of California-San Francisco

San Francisco, California

Economic score: 0.35

Calculated by dividing the debt-to-earnings by earningsplus percentage. The lower the economic score, the better.

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Earnings: $127,929

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $39,445

Earnings plus shows how much more or less the median student earns than the median earnings of undergraduate graduates in the same program type. (Based on ipeds CIP Code taxonomy)

Debt: $65,572

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

Debt to earnings: 0.51

Calculated by dividing the debt 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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