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How to Apply to the DNP Program

How to apply to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Rochester.

The University of Rochester School of Nursing uses a comprehensive, holistic review process during which each application receives individual consideration. We seek applicants who:

  • clearly understand the DNP role,
  • have goals congruent with program goals,
  • are motivated and prepared to pursue this rigorous program of study,
  • and are committed to upholding the values of the school and the profession.

Post-BS applicants will also need to be able to articulate reasons for choosing the specialty concentration to which they are applying.

Application Deadlines

Apply to the DNP program three times a year. All application materials must be received by midnight of the deadline.

Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer Semester

April 15

Sept. 15 Jan. 15

Program Eligibility

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the DNP program.

  • Bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in nursing from an accredited school
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 from any undergraduate-level work and 3.5 from any graduate-level work
  • RN licensure from New York State
  • National certification in your advanced practice nursing specialty (post-MS, if applicable)
  • Statistics course with a grade of C or above
  • English language proficiency

If applying to the Post-BS to DNP program, clinical experience is required for the following specialties:

  • Adult-Gero Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: one year clinical experience in acute care
  • Pediatric/Neonatal Nurse Practitioner: two years NICU experience in the last five years
  • Clinical Nurse Leader: one year of clinical experience

Application Requirements

To complete an application for the DNP program, create an account and complete all sections of the application. Submit the following materials by uploading to your application before the deadline.

  • Official transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation (one from an individual with doctoral preparation, one from a current/previous supervisor, and another from a practicing RN, or APN)
  • Current resume or CV
  • Current RN license
  • Current APN certification, if applicable
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or DET scores for applicants who are non-native English speakers

Learn more about how to complete the application and upload these materials.

Short Answer & Essay Prompts

As part of the application for the DNP programs, you must also answer five questions each with a 200-word limit, as well as a 500-word essay. The prompts for short-answer questions and the essay have been listed here for reference.

Short-Answer Questions
  1. Why is this the right degree (track, population), the right time, and the right school based on your strengths and needs? We are particularly interested in:
    • The aspects of your background that have led you to consider seeking this degree;
    • Your practice interests and why you have chosen your MS-Level specialty; and
    • Why you want to earn a DNP

  2. Describe a past experience where you demonstrated formal or informal leadership skills using collaboration. The experience may include—but is not limited to—unit/service/practice committees, charge nurse role, unit/service/practice based projects, policies, procedures, or value-added initiatives.

  3. Provide an example of an important endeavor that required you to balance multiple competing responsibilities. If there were barriers to achieving your accomplishment, how did you overcome them?

  4. Share a story about a time in your life where you faced personal or professional adversity, which tested your resolve.

  5. Describe your understanding of diversity, equity, or inclusion. Describe ways you have ensured equity and inclusion happens.
Essay Prompt

The purpose of this essay is for you to demonstrate your ability to express ideas clearly and logically in a grammatically-correct format. The essay should be written in English, not exceed 500 words in length, and may be uploaded through your portal. Citations and/or references are not required for this essay. Please write a well-organized statement describing:

What is the role of nursing in advancing the health of our communities and how will you contribute to this important work?

Application Review Process

Once you complete your application, you may receive a follow-up email to schedule an interview with members of our Admissions Review Committee. We look forward to reviewing your application!

Start your application

Connect With Us

Interested in earning your DNP? Connect with us to discuss what a DNP degree from the University of Rochester means for you. 

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