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Requirements for Admission to Graduate Programs

PhD Program Fall 2014

Application Deadlines

The School of Nursing CNS and HSAD programs admit students twice a year. Application and supplementary materials for admission must be submitted before:

  • March 1st for fall semester admission & October 1st for spring semester admission

Admission to the Nurse Practitioner program is competitive and limited to one cohort of students a year. The admission application and required supplementary materials must be submitted using the online application by March 1st for consideration for fall semester admission. Applications are reviewed and interviews with faculty are scheduled in April.

  • Admission decisions anticipated by March 1st for entry of fall cohort
    of students.
  • Acceptance of offer of admission must be made by April 30th for entry
    of fall cohort of students.

The School of Nursing PhD in Nursing Science program admits students once a year. Application and supplementary materials for admission must be submitted by April 1st for fall semester admission.

Online Applications Requirements

  • MSN
    • Official transcript showing conferral of a B.S.N. from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited nursing program.
    • Satisfactory performance in undergraduate academic work as well as in upper-division nursing courses.
    • Three satisfactory academic and/or professional references.
    • Submission of a short essay / personal statement
    • Submission of a professional résumé
    • Licensure as a Registered Nurse in Delaware, one of the compact states, or state where clinical practice is to be arranged.
    • One year of recent clinical experience in a related specialty area prior to starting clinical courses for the CNS and NP concentrations and one year management experience in a health-related field or three years experience in a professional health related practice for HSAD.
    • International students must demonstrate a satisfactory level of proficiency in the English language if English is not the first language. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is offered by the Education Testing Services in test centers world-wide. The University requires a paper-based TOEFL score of at least 600 or at least 100 IBT with a speaking score of 20.

      TOEFL scores more than two years old cannot be validated and cannot be considered official. The SON will also accept the IELTS, the International English Language Testing System that is jointly managed by the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia. A band score of 6.5 is expected by the University.
  • PhD
    • A baccalaureate in nursing degree from an accredited college/university (minimum GPA 3.0)
    • A master’s degree in nursing or other health related discipline, e.g. health care administration, from an accredited college/university (minimum GPA 3.5)
    • A GRE score of 1050 (300) on math and verbal sections combined; GRE scores must be earned within the last 5 years.
    • Official results from the TOEFL or IELTS exam taken within the last 2 years (for non-native English speaking applicants only); it is required that all students in the program be proficient in both the verbal and written English language.
    • A written statement of goals and objectives (the personal statement on application) that clearly identifies the applicant’s research and curriculum interests and describes how admission to the program will facilitate his/her professional objectives.
      • The statement should indicate how the applicant’s research interest, topic and/or proposed research question is consistent with the research expertise of a SON faculty member.
      • See SON faculty profiles online and the SON Research web page clicking on each of the research foci to identify potential research mentors.
      • Applicants are encouraged to contact SON faculty and discuss research interests before submitting an application.
      • Answers to the required questions on the application form will serve as the critical writing sample and demonstration of competence in written communication and ability to critique and synthesize the literature on a specific topic related to the applicant’s research interest, topic and/or proposed research question.
    • Three letters of recommendation from an academic, employer and/or other professional sources who can address the scholarship potential of the applicant.
      • Reference persons identified by applicant will be notified electronically to submit a letter and complete a Graduate Recommendation Form AFTER the application has been submitted; therefore, allow ample time before the application deadline for reference persons to submit their letters/complete form.
      • Letter of recommendation should include explicit examples of applicant's abilities that substantiate the ratings on the Graduate Recommendation Form.
      • Letters of recommendation and Graduate Recommendation Form ratings must be received by the application deadline.
    • Active Registered Nurse (RN) license
    • A curriculum vitae or resume
    • A minimum of 3 credits undergraduate and 3 credits graduate level statistics. To insure adequate knowledge of statistics, graduate level statistics course credits should be earned within the last five years.

Graduate Applicant Interview

  • MSN
    • When the School of Nursing has received all the above required documentation the MSN applicantwill be contacted to schedule an interview.
    • The interview will be conducted face-to-face or via teleconference
    • Interviews are conducted once during the fall semester and once during the spring semester (NP = Spring Only)
    • Each interview will be conducted by two faculty members who teach MSN level courses
    • Applicants will be asked a series of questions about past experiences in nursing, professional activities, reasons for wanting to become an Advanced Practice Nurse or Administrator.
    • Applicants will also be asked to respond to a hypothetical clinical or administrative situation.
  • PhD
    • An interview with the PhD in Nursing Science program coordinator and/or a member of the PhD in Nursing Science Program Committee and demonstration of competence in oral communication.

Taking Courses before Admission

Selected courses may be taken through Professional and Continuing Studies before admission into the MSN program with permission of the School of Nursing. A maximum of 9 credits taken through Professional and Continuing Studies may be transferred to the graduate program. Taking approved graduate courses through Professional and Continuing Studies does not guarantee or in any way imply that the student will be admitted to the MSN program.

Contact the graduate program office in the School of Nursing with questions at ud-gradnursing@udel.edu.


  • College of Health Sciences  •   School of Nursing  •   25 North College  •   Newark, DE 19716
    Phone: 302-831-1253   •   Fax: 302-831-2382  •  ud-nursing@udel.edu   •  © 2014
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