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PhD in Nursing Degree Admissions - International Students

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.

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 for nursing and non-nursing coursework. Nursing coursework must be evaluated by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). Non-nursing coursework may be evaluated by any international credential evaluation organization that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). A list of member organizations may be found here: http://www.naces.org/members.html

6. 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 Theory (3 credits).
  • Graduate course in Nursing Research Methods (3 credits).

7. Computer skills, including the ability to send and download attachments, word processing, spreadsheet, database management, and presentation graphics.

8. Successful phone interview with the PhD Admissions Committee.

9. Students must meet the Technical Standards for Admission.

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.


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.

1. Complete the online application.

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. 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.
      - 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


Submit via Escript 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 International Programs.

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.

PhD Special Status, Non-degree