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Admission for Nursing PhD Program Subsection: 5.4.1
Section 5.0 - Student Policies Originating Date: March 1999
Responsible Reviewing Agency:
PhD Affairs Council

Related Documents:
Graduate Studies Catalog
Revised: April 1999
Reviewed: May 2011
Revised: July 2012
Reviewed: September 2012
Reviewed: January 2013
Reviewed: January 2016
Revised: May 2017
Revised: September 2020
Revised: December 2021
Revised: November 2023
Revised: March 2024


Establishes criteria for admission to the nursing PhD program in addition to those listed in the Graduate Studies catalog.


This policy applies to nursing PhD applicants.


In addition to the requirements of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska, the College of Nursing considers students for admission to the nursing PhD Program. Requirements for admission to the PhD Program in addition to those listed in the Graduate Studies catalog include:

  1. BSN required for BSN-PhD program. BSN and master’s degree in nursing or relevant field from an accredited school required for Master's-PhD program.
  2. General congruence between research interests of the applicant with a faculty research advisor, the program’s goals, and the resources of the university.
  3. Professional accomplishments as evidenced by a biographical sketch including a description of the applicant’s goals relative to their professional career.
  4. A minimum grade point average of 3.2 in the BSN and/or master’s program.
  5. Evidence of capacity for original scholarship and research in nursing.
  6. Evidence of the ability to communicate in a scholarly manner both orally and in writing.
  7. Participation in an interview with a minimum of two doctoral program faculty members with one of the two faculty being a potential research interest match.
  8. Three letters of reference (preferably from persons holding a doctorate): two academic references, preferably one reference focusing on the applicant’s research ability, and one professional performance reference.

United States citizens, prior to admission to the graduate program, must have successfully passed the NCLEX and be legally licensed to practice nursing in one of the 50 states. Foreign citizens entering the Master's-PhD program will need to successfully pass the NCLEX before being accepted to the program, and be legally licensed to practice nursing in the United States and shall provide evidence that they have the equivalent of a master’s degree in nursing. Exceptions may be made on an individual basis. Foreign citizens entering the BSN-PhD will be expected to pass the NCLEX as part of their degree program.

If applicable, students must meet Registered Nurse licensure requirements in the particular state(s) in which they will be performing data collection.

The PhD program faculty recommends applicants for admission to the PhD program to the PhD Affairs Council (PAC). PAC then recommends applicants for admission to the Dean for Graduate Studies. The applicant may appeal the recommendation of PAC according to Graduate Studies policy as listed in the Graduate Studies catalog.

Applications for admission are reviewed by the PhD nursing program faculty and PAC.