PhD Application Process

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PhD in Nursing Program

Thank you for your intrest in applying for admission for the PhD Nursing Program.  Please review these instructions prior to completion of the application.


Students begin this program in cohort groups, in Summer Session I.  Complete applications for admission must be received by the annual deadline of December 1.


An interview should be scheduled with the Program Assistant. Applicants will be interviewe using an on-line platform once their application is at least 60% complete.

Application packet

The following items comprise the complete application packet.

  • Completed Online Application
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Application fee (see below)
  • Letter of Recommendation from three professional contacts - PhD prepared individuals preferred (see below)
  • Interview with program faculty (best before November 15). Please complete the PhD Interview Questionnaire before your Interview and upload it on the Application site.
  • Essay (described below)
  • Official transcripts from all previous institutions of higher education
  • GRE scores, within last 5 years
  • Copy of RN License for US citizens/residents
  • Evidence of scholarly writing (e.g. publication, grant, thesis, report, term paper or equivalent)
  • International students: TOEFL in addition to GRE
  • International students: Official transcripts credentialed by WES for degrees earned outside the United States


Letter of Recommendation forms should be submitted on your behalf from three (3) doctorally prepared contacts who are able to speak to your potential as a nurse educator and/or scholar.  Letters of Recommendation are submitted electronically using our online application process.


A personal reflection should be submitted that addresses the following: rationale for selecting this particular doctoral program; description of your role aspirations; what you expect to derive from doctoral study; your experience to date with research and scholarship; and, an identification of your areas of scholarly interest that could lead to the development of a doctoral dissertation. The essay should be a maximum of three typed, double spaced pages using 12 point Arial or Times New Roman font.  The essay is submitted electronically as part of the online application process.


The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) may be taken at any site that offers these tests.  The Graduate Record Exam application and catalog can be accessed through  GRE results are to be sent directly to the Office of University Admission.

Official Transcripts

An official transcript from every previous college and school attended is to be sent directly to the PhD in Nursing Office using the address listed below.  Transcripts from schools outside of the United States must be evaluated by WES and an offical evaluation from WES must be received prior to the application deadline.  Officail transcripst can also be sent electronically to the Doctoral Program Assistant.

Additional Information for International Applicants

All transcripts from institutions outside the U. S. must be evaluated WES and an official evaluation from WES must be received prior to the application deadline.

Each applicant must document the ability to speak, read and write English as evidenced by satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Test information can be obtained at: and Students whose native language is English are exempt. For those whose native language is not English, the minimum acceptable scores are:

Internet-based TOEFL - 83 overall and 26 in Speaking and 25 in Writing

IELTS – 6.5 overall and 7.0 in speaking

International students must present evidence of adequate financial resources to meet the expenses of full-time study, living and travel expenses to and from the Villanova campus.

Application fee (non-refundable)

The application requires a fee of seventy dollars ($70.00) payable in U.S. funds when application is submitted.


All correspondence concerning application to the PhD Program in Nursing should be mailed to the following address:

Doctoral Program - PhD in Nursing
Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
319 Driscoll Hall
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085-1690

Contact us if you have questions about the program or the application process.

        PhD in Nursing Program Director
        Mary Ann Cantrell, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN

        Doctoral Programs Assistant
        Rachel N'Diaye