PhD Application Process

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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 Director. A telephone interview can be arranged if distance precludes an on-site interview.

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 (see below)
  • Interview with program faculty (best before November 15). Please complete the PhD Interview Questionnaire before your Interview and upload them 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
  • International students: TOEFL in addition to GRE
  • International students: Credentials assessment by Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools if MSN was not from U.S. school.
  • Evidence of scholarly writing (e.g. publication, grant, thesis, report, term paper or equivalent)
  • A completed criminal background check*:
    • U.S. Citizens and permanent residents, please choose Package 1 and FBI Fingerprint (Package 3 or 4)*
    • International Students must complete Package 5*

*Required when accepted but need not accompany the application.

The applicant should submit all of the following components at the same time via postal mail:  the application form, curriculum vitae, application fee, three completed references, evidence of scholarly writing, and essay.


Letter of Recommendation forms should be submitted on your behalf from three professional 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 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.

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 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.