Samuel Merritt University

3100 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609

School Details

Samuel Merritt University is a private, non-profit institution located in Oakland, California. Founded in 1909, the school was named after a physician named Dr. Samuel Merritt. Originally from Maine, Merritt served as an architect, civic planner, city mayor, physician, and ship builder in Oakland. He had drawn up plans for the construction of a hospital to be built upon his death, and Samuel Merritt Hospital fulfilled this purpose when it opened in conjunction with Samuel Merritt University.

Over the years the school progressed from a hospital diploma school of nursing into a thriving university. Throughout much of its earlier history, the school was affiliated with other colleges and universities and offered students general education and liberal arts courses. The graduates of 1985 were members of the last diploma class who completed baccalaureate requirements. The 1990s brought about mergers with hospitals and the school grew. In 1990, the first graduate degree program was established, leading to a master’s degree in physical therapy. In 1999, after decades of graduating highly qualified healthcare providers, the university was awarded the California Governor's Quality Award.

Today, the school remains an academic institution dedicated to instruction in health care and offers more than 20 different academic programs. Samuel Merritt University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and is affiliated with Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. Faculty and staff can access many of the medical center’s resources, thereby increasing their capacity to meet student needs.

Samuel Merritt University offers degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels in five academic disciplines, including Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, and Podiatric Medicine. Offered the year the school opened in 1909, the School of Nursing was one of the first academic programs at Samuel Merritt Hospital. Over 3,000 nurses graduated during the first 75 years of its existence. All of the courses and academic programs at SMU are designed to provide high quality healthcare education. There are 250 faculty members at SMU who are dedicated to the success of their students. Samuel Merritt University is committed to providing students with cutting-edge technology, small class sizes, highly-qualified faculty and staff, and excellent clinical experiences.

The application fee is a non-refundable $50 for all prospective students. A non-refundable tuition deposit of $350 is required for undergraduate and graduate students and $1,000 is required for students of the doctor of podiatric medicine program.

Prospective students of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing can take advantage of the guaranteed admission policy. Interested students can apply directly to a pre-nursing partnership program at one of four schools: Holy Names University, Mills College, Notre Dame de Namur University, or Saint Mary’s College of California. Students admitted into one of these partnership programs who complete two years of pre-nursing courses and meet all program requirements are guaranteed admission to the SMU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program as juniors.

Tuition costs vary from $20,665 per semester for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program to $63,372 for the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Financial aid is available to qualified students. Qualification is determined through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which all aid applicants are required to fill out. Applicants must fill out the FAFSA and apply for scholarships after the application for admissions has been submitted. Aid is received either through loans or scholarships.




School Overview:

  • Sector Of Institution:
    Private, not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Religious Affiliation:


  • Highest Level Of Offering:
    Doctorate degree
  • Total Enrollments:
  • Adult Age Enrollments:
  • Percent Admitted:
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