PhD Admission Steps

Application Guidance

New doctoral students are generally admitted once annually, with classes starting in May for MSN to PhD students and in August for BSN to PhD students.  

We recommend that you talk to a student services representative before applying. Your representative can arrange a visit with a faculty member in your interest area.  

The process starts with your completed online application.

Supporting documents can follow by the due date.

Application due date

PhD admission steps / requirements

Students will be selected from a pool of qualified applicants meeting the following requirements: 

  1. Complete transcripts from all colleges and universities attended — showing:
    • Traditional PhD applicants: MSN degree from NLNAC or CCNE-accredited school — or equivalent for non-nurse applicants. GPA of 3.2 or higher.
    • BSN to PhD applicants: BSN degree from NLNAC or CCNE-accredited school — or equivalent for non-nurse applicants. GPA of 3.2 or higher.
  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores
    GRE scores are required for BSN-PhD applicants and will be waived for MSN-PhD applicants with a MSN GPA of 3.2 or above.
  3. International students:
    • Equivalent nursing degree(s) and GPA as above
    • Must have successfully passed the NCLEX
    • Must be legally licensed to practice nursing in one of the 50 states
    • Must be legally licensed to practice nursing in the state where you will do data collection/research
    • Must provide evidence you have the equivalent of a master's degree in nursing
    • TOEFL scores — minimum 213 on computer-based test or 80 on internet-based test.
    • IELTS scores - the band score minimum is 6.5 to 7.0
  4. Statement of educational and professional goals and area of research interest
    Typed, double-spaced and no longer than three pages.
  5. A current curriculum vitae
  6. Three letters of recommendation
    Preferably from persons holding a doctorate.
    • Two academic references, including one reference describing your research ability from the program where you obtained your masters degree.
    • One professional performance reference.
  7. Two examples of scholarly writing
    For example:
    • Published research paper. If a co-authored publication, please include a statement detailing your percent of responsibility for work written.
    • Other published work.
    • An excerpt from a research project or thesis from your masters program.
  8. General congruence of research interests
    Your scholarly research interests should be similar to those of a doctoral faculty advisor(s).
  9. Disclosure statement
    A form will be provided.
  10. Online application and application fee
  11. RN licensure
    In the state(s) where you’ll do data collection/research requirements, if applicable to your program of study.
    • Must have successfully passed the NCLEX
    • Must be legally licensed to practice nursing in one of the 50 states
  12. An interview
    With doctoral faculty members whose research interests match yours and at least one member of the doctoral subcommittee of the Graduate committee. A telephone conference can be arranged if you are a distance student.

    Final selections will be made from the pool of qualified applicants based on a match of career and research goals with program / University resources.

Apply now

Per UNMC College of Nursing Policy 5.4.1: Graduate Student Admission Policies — PhD Program