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PhD Admissions Requirements

Applicants to the PhD in Nursing program must fulfill all requirements for admission to both the School of Graduate Studies and the College of Nursing. All application materials are submitted to ETSU’s School of Graduate Studies . When your application is complete, it is forwarded to the College of Nursing for review by the PhD Admissions Committee.  


The School of Graduate Studies requires:


  • Completed ETSU application form with payment of a non-refundable application fee.

  • Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work.

  • Written essay.


The College of Nursing additionally requires:


  • Master’s degree in nursing from a nationally accredited nursing program or a BSN with a master’s in a related discipline.

  • Grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale.

  • Submission of official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores achieved within the past 5 years.

  • Licensure in the United States as a Registered Nurse and eligibility for licensure in Tennessee, or equivalency for international students.

  • At least two years of full-time practice as a Registered Nurse (or equivalent)

  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from the applicant’s current or most recent supervisor, one from a faculty member who worked directly with the applicant during previous graduate study, and one from an individual selected by the applicant.

  • Interview with the Admissions Committee.

  • Writing sample on a selected topic at the time of interview.

  • Cover letter expressing the applicant’s personal goals for doctoral study.

  • Resume or curriculum vita.


PhD in Nursing Program Admissions Process


Once your application is received in the College of Nursing, it will be reviewed by the PhD program’s Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee is comprised of PhD program faculty. The members review each application carefully and thoughtfully. Each applicant who meets the admissions criteria will have an individual interview with a group of three committee members. Following the interview, the Admissions Committee meets to make final decisions. Students may be admitted fully or conditionally. All applicants will be notified of the decision of the committee by the PhD program coordinator.


Factors considered by the Admissions Committee in the review and selection process:


  • Previous grade point average.

  • Level of GRE performance.

  • Clarity of goals for doctoral study as stated in writing and during the interview.    

  • Writing ability.

  • Professional work experience and achievements including honors and awards.

  • Interest in rural and underserved population groups.

  • Quality of recommendations.


For questions on the admissions process, please contact:

, Director, Graduate Programs              

, Associate Dean for Research and PhD Program Coordinator

Ms. Amy Bower, College of Nursing Office of Student Services

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