PhD Degree Admissions

The application period opens July 1 and closes February 1. The program begins in May with the start of the Summer semester. NO GRE or Application Fee Required.

Admission Criteria

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). Learn more about this requirement in our FAQs.
  • Graduate course in Nursing Research Methods (3 credits) or Research- or 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). Learn more about this requirement in our 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.

See additional information in the tabs below if you are an international student or a special status, non-degree student.

Transfer Credits (Advanced Standing) Requests

Transfer credits must meet the following criteria:

  • Maximum of nine 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 five years.

Procedure for requesting Transfer Credits

1. Complete the Request for Advanced Standing form.

2. Request official transcript(s) for all requested transfer courses.

3. Submit the Request for Advanced Standing form, the official transcript(s), and the course syllabus with other application materials.

4. Your request will be evaluated by the PhD Admissions Committee.

Application Process

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

1. Complete the online application.

2. Provide three references: two professional and one academic or three professional letters. You will be asked for these in your application.

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 (single spaced, 12-point font) addressing each of the following two topics:
    • 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.
    • In 500 words, briefly describe your research area of interest and why it is relevant to nursing science.
  • Submit a copy of any published articles, cook chapters or books that you have authored.
  • 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:

Duquesne University
School of Nursing - PhD Applications
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282

or

Submit via E-script to bostb@duq.edu.

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 the PhD Committee 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.

International Students

Admission Criteria for International Students

All international students must meet the above requirements for the PhD Program. 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).

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores must be sent directly to the Center for Global Engagement at intladmissions@duq.edu. PhD applicants must have a score of 600 (100 iBT).

Application Process

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


1. Complete the online application.

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

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.
  • 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 (single spaced, 12-point font) addressing each of the following two topics:
  • 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.
  • In 500 words, briefly describe your research area of interest and why it is relevant to nursing science.
  • Submit a copy of any published articles, book chapters or books that you have authored.

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

or

Submit via E-script to bostb@duq.edu.

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
  • 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

5. Arrange for TOEFL scores to be sent directly to the Office of Global Engagement.

6. An interview (via internet) with a PhD Committee member may be required.

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

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

Special Status, Non-degree Students

Special Student Status

You may be granted Special Student status if you are in good standing in any doctoral nursing program. This status allows you to enroll in a course or courses in the Duquesne University School of Nursing PhD Program.

A Special Status student is not required to submit an official transcript of credits earned, but you must present a statement, written and signed by the administrator of the doctoral program in which you are enrolled, that you are in good standing and have permission to enroll at Duquesne.

You may be required to submit documentation of completion of prerequisite course work for specific PhD courses.

Enrollment as a Special Status student will be allowed only if class size permits.

Application Process

1. Download and complete the Special Status application.

2. Submit a copy of current RN license.

3. Submit a statement from the administrator of your current doctoral program.

4. Submit a check or money order for $50 application fee (non-refundable), made payable to Duquesne University.

5. Send application form, required documents and fee to:

Duquesne University
School of Nursing
Graduate Applications
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282-1760