Jim McMahon Classroom

PhD in Nursing and Health Science

Applying to the PhD in Nursing & Health Science Programs

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

  • are highly motivated and prepared to pursue the rigorous program of study;
  • demonstrate strong communication skills (verbal and written) and the ability to conceptualize;
  • want to pursue a program of research consistent with faculty research areas;
  • show leadership potential;
  • are committed to upholding the values of the school and profession. 

For the MS-PhD in Nursing Combined Accelerated program we also seek applicants who clearly understand the master’s specialty role to which they are seeking admission.

Application Deadline

All application materials must be received by midnight of the deadline.

  • Apply by January 15 for the fall semester

Below, find details about how to successfully apply to the PhD in Nursing & Health Science program.

Please contact the Admissions Office with questions about the application process. We encourage you to schedule a virtual or in-person visit with an admissions counselor who can talk more about what you need for a successful application.


Program Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the PhD in Nursing & Health Science program, all applicants must:

  • have completed the GRE within the past five years
  • be proficient in English

Depending on which pathway you pursue, there may be additional eligibility requirements, which include:

  • bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited school (minimum GPA of 3.0)
  • RN licensure from New York State
  • clinical experience if applying to one of the following nurse practitioner specialties:
    • AGACNP: one-year clinical experience in acute care
    • PNP/NNP: a master’s in maternal-infant/maternal-child health, or pediatrics; and two years NICU experience in the last five years
  • master’s degree from an accredited school (minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 from any graduate-level work)
  • clinical licensure in a health profession, such as nursing, social work or similar clinical practice field

Application Materials

To submit a complete application, applicants need to create an account and complete all sections of the online application, as well as upload or submit the following application materials:

Visit the Submitting a School of Nursing application page for details about how to submit official transcripts.

Official letters of recommendation are managed through the online application. Applicants submit references' names and contact information in the online application to generate a request for the letter of recommendation.

We advise applicants to connect with references prior to completing this information to confirm references can supply the letter of recommendation by the deadline. 

A current resume or curriculum vitae should be uploaded into the application.

Official test results must be sent to the School of Nursing. The University of Rochester School of Nursing Code is 2928. GRE scores must be from exams taken within the past 5 years.

A writing sample is required for the PhD program. The writing sample provides additional insight on your scholarly writing ability. The sample needs to be written in English and may be a paper from past academic work. You may submit published works if you are the first, second, senior, or corresponding author.  This document may be uploaded through your portal before you submit your application.

The goal of the PhD program is to prepare researchers who will contribute to knowledge that will enhance clinical practice. Graduates will assume leadership positions in academia and clinical research roles. The purpose of this statement is for you to provide information about yourself as well as to demonstrate your ability to express ideas clearly and logically in a grammatically correct format. 

Please write a well-organized statement (which you may upload into the online application) describing: 

  • The aspects of your background that have led you to seek a PhD degree, including experiences that have increased your sensitivity to inequality and health disparities;
  • Your plans for your career following completion of the PhD program;
  • How the goals and content of our research-based PhD program will enable you to meet these career aims;
  • A specific clinical problem or issue you would like to address using your skills as a beginning researcher;
  • Specific faculty in the University of Rochester School of Nursing whose research programs overlap with your research interests and may be possible mentors for you.

TOEFL, IELTS, or DET scores are required for international applicants who are non-native English speakers. Refer to our international applicants’ webpage for more information on minimum score requirements.

Once the application is completed, applicants will receive a request for interviews with PhD program faculty. We look forward to reviewing your application!

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