Admissions Requirements

In order to be eligible for admission, applicants must have: 

  • Graduated from an accredited baccalaureate program in nursing. 
  • A minimum undergraduate nursing cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a four-point scale, or equivalent “B” average. Note: Applicants not meeting this criterion may be considered for departmental conditions.
  • Domestic applicants must hold a valid, current nursing license in a U.S. State.  International applicants must be licensed as a nurse in their country of origin, if licensure is available. However, if students will be involved in any direct patient care activities, they must obtain a valid current nursing license in the state in which patient care activities will occur.
  • Graduated from a master’s program. Additional courses are required for those whose master’s degree is outside of nursing.
  • In instances where a master's degree was obtained outside the U.S., international students must provide proof of U.S. master's degree equivalency with school/college/university accreditition information when applicable.  Sufficient time must be allowed for verification and evaluation of prerequisite courses and degrees (i.e., at least three months prior to the beginning of the term in which they wish to begin studies). Prerequisite courses in the PhD program, (excluding master's level courses in nursing) must be taken in an accredited college or university in the United States.
    • In instances where transcript credits or other credentials are difficult to evaluate for equivalency to U.S. offerings, the World Education Services may be used to verify transcripts, diplomas, or other application materials (see
  • International applicants will follow the Graduate Admission Process, following the roles of the academic unit, the Graduate School, and the guidelines enforced by International Student and Scholars (ISS) Office including visa requirements (see
  • Evidence of successful completion (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) of an upper-division statistics course (300-500 level) taken within the last five years. Or this may be taken concurrently with the first year of graduate coursework.
  • A personal interview with a graduate program faculty advisor and/or PhD Program Commitee Member.
  • Basic computer competency including word processing and use of the internet.

International students must take the Test for English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam for Non-Native English Speakers or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with the following performance:

  • TOEFL Minimum Internet-Based Test (IBT) Overall Score Required: 100
  • With the following minimum section requirements:
    • Reading: 22
    • Listening: 22
    • Speaking: 24
    • Writing: 22
  • Minimum Paper-Delivered Testing-no overall score reported
  • With the following minimum section requirements
    • Reading: 22
    • Listening: 22
    • Writing: 22
  • IELTS (Academic Module):
  • Minimum overall score required: 7.5
  • With the following minimum section requirements:
    • Reading: 7
    • Listening: 7
    • Speaking: 7
    • Writing: 7
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE):
  • No longer accepted

Completing the Application

  • Complete the PhD application here, in Slate.
  • Two succinct 500-1000 word essays are required.
    • One essay will describe the applicant’s research interests and, if applicable, an identified nursing faculty member with whom they would like to work.
    • One essay will describe the applicant’s career interests and goals upon completion of the program.
  • Two official (original) transcripts are required from each school attended. 
  • Provide three letters of recommendation evaluating scholarly potential. At least one recommendation must be from a professor of nursing. If the applicant has been out of school for more than five years, a letter from a direct manager may be substituted for the professor. 
  • A curriculum vita or resume must be included. 
  • For domestic applicants, a copy of a current U.S. registered nurse license.  For international students, a copy of their license as a nurse in their country of origin, if licensure is available.

If you do not meet the basic requirements described above, please contact our graduate program staff to discuss your application and interest in the PhD program.

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