PhD Degree Admissions
ADMISSION CRITERIA (Summer start only)
Applicants please note:
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.
1. Current unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse
2. A bachelor of science in nursing degree
3. A master's degree. (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.)
4. Prerequisite courses:
- Graduate course in Statistics, completed within the past 5 years with a grade of B or better. (3 credits) - see FAQs
- Graduate course in Nursing Research Methods (3 credits) OR Research/Evidence Based Practice (3 credits)
- Prerequisite course for DNP to PhD applicants:
- Graduate course in the Structure of Nursing Knowledge or Nursing Epistemology (3 credits) - see FAQs
5. Computer skills, including the ability to send and download attachments, word processing, spreadsheet, database management, and presentation graphics
6. Students must meet the Technical Standards for Admission.
Transfer Credits (Advanced Standing) Requests
Transfer credits must meet the following criteria:
- Maximum of 9 doctoral level credits from an accredited university and approved nursing program may be transferred
- Minimum grade of "B" or higher
- Credits may not have been applied to a previous degree
- Credits taken within the past 5 years
Procedure for requesting Transfer Credits:
- Complete the Request for Advanced Standing Form.
- Request official transcript(s) for all requested transfer courses.
- Submit the Request for Advanced Standing form, the official transcript(s), and the course syllabus with other application materials.
- Your request will be evaluated by the PhD Admissions Committee.
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 923 Methods of Scientific Inquiry I will take part of the course as a study abroad experience (approx. 10-14 days) in locations such as Dublin, Ireland where students will have housing at the Duquesne University Ireland campus.
Residency 3: Topic and Committee Approval
(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: Final Dissertation 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.
2. Provide three reference letters - two professional and one academic or three professional. Send this link to your references to complete: Graduate Reference Form
By forwarding this link to your references, you waive your right to view the recommendations.
3. Please 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
- For DNP to PhD applicants, please send the course syllabus for your Structure of Knowledge course.
- Using a separate page for each statement, ensuring your name is on each page, submit a single page statement addressing each of these two topics. (Please use single spacing and 12 point font.)
- Discuss how you made the decision to pursue the PhD vs the DNP, or if you are a DNP to PhD applicant, discuss your decision to pursue a PhD
- Discuss your research topic of interest and how you envision it evolving over time.
- Provide a sample of your scholarly writing (i.e. published article, Master’s thesis, scholarly paper, etc.)
- Published articles, book chapters, and manuscripts should be submitted in their entirety.
- Scholarly papers should be submitted in their entirety.
- If you are submitting your master's thesis, please include the abstract and references, while selecting a meaningful 8-10 pages of the thesis itself.
- The Request for Advanced Standing Form and supporting documents, if requesting advanced standing (transfer credits)
4. Arrange for these sealed documents to be sent to:
School of Nursing - PhD Applications
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
- 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 or DNP program transcripts
- Official transcripts of graduate courses, if requesting advanced standing
5. An interview (via internet) with a PhD Committee member may be required.
6. If you are interested in graduate loans, you must complete the
Graduate Financial Aid Application and mail directly to the Financial Aid Office.
7. If you are accepted, a non-refundable $250.00 deposit will be required to reserve your place in class.