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PhD Degree Admissions - International Students

ADMISSION CRITERIA (Summer start only)

1. A bachelor of science in nursing degree AND a master's degree from an institution of higher learning recognized as an acceptable equivalent to a U.S. college or university. (A master of science in nursing is preferred, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Applicants without a master's degree in nursing may be required to take additional nursing courses.)

2. A demonstrated record of acceptable academic success.

3. Current designation as a professional nurse in the country of practice:

  1. Online students who will be practicing only in their native country should hold licensure or professional recognition of a nurse in that country. The application packet must include verification of licensure/designation.
  2. Online students who will be practicing nursing in the U.S. must have a current nursing license to practice in a state or territory of the U.S. where they will be practicing as students. The application packet must include verification of licensure.

4. A score of 600 or higher (100 iBT) on the Test of English as a Foreign language (TOEFL).

5. A credential evaluation from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) for nursing course work and World Education Services (WES) for non-nursing course work are required.

6. Prerequisite courses:

  • Graduate course in Statistics (3 credits) - see FAQs
  • Graduate course in Nursing Theory (3 credits)
  • Graduate course in Nursing Research Methods (3 credits)
  • Computer literacy or completed courses in word processing, spreadsheet, database management, and presentation graphics

7. Successful phone interview with PhD Admissions Committee member.

8. Students must meet the Technical Standards for Admission.


Residency 1: Doctoral Week (Summer of year 1)
Every student admitted to the PhD program is required to come to campus for the first residency, usually held during the third week of May. This week includes an orientation to the PhD program and provides an opportunity for students to meet faculty and participate in live classes for the courses in which they are enrolled that summer.

Residency 2: Study Abroad (Summer of year 2)
Students enrolled in GPNG 924 Methods of Scientific Inquiry II will take part of the course as a study abroad experience in locations such as Dublin, Ireland where students will have housing at the Duquesne University Ireland campus.

Residency 3: Topic Defense
(Year 2 for 3-yr program and Year 3 for 4-yr program)
This residency provides an opportunity for the student to meet with his/her faculty mentor either at Duquesne University or another location such as a conference setting for intensive discussion and writing around dissertation topic development in preparation for approval.

Residency 4: Dissertation Research Seminar- Proposal Development
(Year 2 for 3-yr program and Year 3 for 4-yr program)
This residency is a 4-day, on-site residency on campus for intensive work with faculty on the development of the dissertation proposal. This may also include beginning development of the first manuscript if one of the dissertation manuscript options is selected.

Residency 5: Dissertation Final Defense
(Year 3 for 3-yr program and Year 4 for 4-yr program)
Students are required to come to campus for the final public defense of their dissertation.


The admissions process for nursing graduate studies is handled exclusively by the School of Nursing. Duquesne University has developed a common online application for all graduate programs. Applicants to the School of Nursing must complete the online University Application AND the School of Nursing Graduate application.

1. Complete the online Duquesne University International Application.
Please choose the INTERNATIONAL application
, not the Graduate Nursing application.

2. Mail the following to the School of Nursing:

  • Completed, signed School of Nursing application
  • Current curriculum vitae (CV): a complete resume with dated work and practice, honors, awards, publications and presentations
  • Copy of current unencumbered RN license
  • Provide a statement of your professional goals and research interests:
    (Use a separate sheet for each question and limit to one typed page, single-spaced, 12 pt. font).
    a. Discuss your goals in relationship to doctoral study in nursing. Include both your short-term goals for study, as well as your long-term career plans.
    b. Describe one research problem that is of interest to you. Provide information about the problem, its investigation, and the advancement of nursing science.
  • Provide three reference letters, one academic and two professional, from individuals who can comment on your potential for doctoral study and your aptitude for non-traditional education. Please have the letters sealed in envelopes and signed across the envelope seal by the endorsers.
  • Provide a sample of your scholarly writing (i.e. published article, Master’s thesis, scholarly paper, etc.)
  • Copy of course syllabus for prerequisite courses: statistics, nursing theory and nursing research methods
  • The request for Advanced Standing Form and supporting documents, if requesting advanced standing (transfer credits)

3. Arrange for these documents to be sent directly to the School of Nursing:

  • Official BSN transcript
  • Official MSN transcript
  • Official transcripts for prerequisite courses, if not included on Master's degree program transcript
  • Official transcripts of graduate courses, if requesting advanced standing
  • Credential evaluation from CGFNS and WES

4. Arrange for TOEFL scores to be sent directly to the Office of International Programs.

5. If you are interested in graduate loans, you must complete the
Graduate Financial Aid Application and mail directly to the Financial Aid Office.

6. If you are accepted, a non-refundable $250.00 deposit will be required to reserve your place in the class.

PhD Special Status, Non-degree