DNP to PhD International Admissions

General Admission Criteria

You can apply to Duquesne University School of Nursing by submitting an online application and your post-secondary education transcripts. All bachelor's and master's degrees must be from an institution of higher learning and recognized as an acceptable equivalent to a U.S. college or university.

Online students who will be practicing only in their native country should hold licensure or professional recognition of a nurse in that country. 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. In both of these situations, the applicant must provide verification of licensure.

Coursework Evaluation

Before you are admitted, your nursing coursework must be evaluated by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) to determine if your existing coursework is equivalent to the coursework requirements for our program.

Non-nursing coursework must be evaluated by any international credential evaluation organization that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

English Proficiency Requirements

Duquesne University requires submission of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Duolingo Test scores, or Pearson Test of English (PTE) for all non-native English-speaking applicants.

Students who submit official TOEFL scores of 100 iBT or higher, IELTS scores of 7.5 or higher, Duolingo scores of 125 or higher, current to within one year, are excused from English Language Placement Tests except for the written and spoken English tests.Applicants must also meet the followig minimum sub scores in speaking and writing:

Graduate   TOEFL    IELTS    Duolingo 
Writing 28 7.5 125
Speaking 25 7.5 125

School of Nursing Admissions Criteria

All international students must meet the following requirements for the DNP to PhD program:

number one Current unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse
number 2 A bachelor's degree (BSN preferred) and/or Master of Science in Nursing degree. (Graduates of BSN-DNP and/or a MSN-DNP programs are eligible.)
number 3 A Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.
number 4 Prerequisite courses:
  • Graduate course in Statistics (3 credits)
  • Graduate course in Nursing Research Methods (3 credits) or Research- or Evidence-Based Practice (3 credits)
  • Computer literacy or completed courses in word processing, spreadsheet, database management and presentation graphics.
number 5 Computer skills, including the ability to send and download attachments, word processing, spreadsheet, database management and presentation graphics
number 6

Students must meet the Technical Standards for Admission.

A successful phone interview with PhD Admissions Committee member may be required.

Application Process

The admissions process for nursing graduate studies is handled exclusively by the School of Nursing.

number one Complete the online application.
number 2 Provide three reference letters: two professional and one academic or three professional ones. You will be asked for this on your application.
number 3

Submit the following through your application portal:

  • Current curriculum vitae (CV): a complete resume with dated work and practice, honors, awards, publications and presentations
  • Copy of current unencumbered RN license
  • The course syllabus for your Structure of Knowledge course
  • Document that addresses each of the following two topics. Each statement should be a single page (single spaced, 12-point font). Please ensure your name is on each page.
    • As a DNP to PhD applicant, discuss your decision to pursue a PhD.
    • In 500 words, briefly describe your research area of interest and why it is relevant to nursing science.
  • Scholarly writing sample authored by applicant (as a single author) that shows you are able to develop and present a coherent academic argument with good literature integration. This could include published articles, book chapters or books. The sample need not be new.
  • The Request for Advanced Standing form and supporting documents, if requesting advanced standing (transfer credits)
  • GRE may be submitted as supplemental and is not required.
number 4

Arrange for these sealed documents to be sent to:
Duquesne University
School of Nursing - PhD Applications
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282


Submit via E-script to

If you have ever attended Duquesne University, the University Registrar's Office will automatically forward an official transcript for any Duquesne University coursework directly to the School of Nursing on your behalf. This transcript will be provided as a courtesy and free of charge. No transcripts from schools other than Duquesne University will be forwarded from the University Registrar's Office. You will need to request other transcripts from the originating school(s):

  • Official BSN transcript
  • Official MSN transcript
  • For DNP to PhD applicants: Official DNP 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
number 5 Arrange for TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo scores to be sent directly to the Office of Global Engagement.
number 6 An interview (via internet) with a PhD Committee member may be required.

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

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

Please Note These Important Dates

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Application Cycle: July 1 - February 1

Apply any time between July 1 and February 1.

No GRE or application fee required.

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Program Start

The PhD in Nursing program begins in May with the start of the summer semester. You can find exact start dates on the University's academic calendar.

Get Connected to Learn More

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Request More Information

Receive additional information about Duquesne University and the School of Nursing and our graduate programs.

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Ask a Question

Contact Nursing Recruiter Brian Bost at or 412.396.6539.

View Additional Resources

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Helpful Documents

Graduate Student Handbook
University Graduate Catalog
Technology Requirements

Application Exceptions

Duquesne University participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA). However, due to State Boards of Nursing regulations, the School of Nursing is unable to accept applications for admission to online programs and courses from students residing in:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona*
  • Louisiana
  • New York*
  • Oregon*
  • Tennessee
  • Washington

*Please note if you reside in Arizona, New York or Oregon, Duquesne University is able to accept applications for the PhD in Nursing and the PhD in Nursing Ethics programs.

Eligibility of Licensure

Individuals planning to practice in Pennsylvania who have been convicted of any crime (felony or misdemeanor) in any court or who have any criminal charges pending/unresolved may be prohibited from licensure or re-licensure as a registered nurse or may be mandated to complete additional requirements in order to be eligible for licensure, as determined by the PA State Board of Nursing. Any student with such a history must contact the PA State Board of Nursing Bureau of Health Professionals Monitoring (717.783.4857) for guidance prior to enrollment.

Students who plan on applying for licensure outside of the state of Pennsylvania should contact the State Board of Nursing in their respective state.