Admission Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. in nursing program is determined using the entire composite of information gained from a variety of sources. Each applicant must meet the following criteria and/or provide:

  • An application to the Graduate School, The University of Akron.
  • A completed application information sheet for The University of Akron  Ph.D. in nursing program.
  • Evidence of successful completion of a bachelor of science in nursing degree at an accredited program and a master’s degree in nursing or a closely related health field. For international students a program evaluation is required.
  • A minimum graduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • An official transcript from every university or college from which 8 semester hours or more were earned.
  • Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within 7 years of application. GRE information can be obtained online,, or by calling Testing and Counseling Services at The University of Akron at 330-972-7084.
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae which includes:  certifications with dates, publications, teaching experience, research experience, memberships in professional organizations, honors/awards and community involvement.
  • Three (3) letters of reference from professionals or professors who can adequately evaluate the applicant and the applicant’s previous work or potential for success. Applicants and their reference writers are advised to keep a copy of all application materials submitted.
  • A clear and succinct statement of research interests and career goals. Include rationale for why you desire the research doctorate and what you want to do after earning the research doctorate. Also indicate if you are interested in full-time (9 credit hours) or part-time (6 credit hours) course work. Please limit this to one typed page, double-spaced.
  • A sample of written work that indicates the logic and writing skills of the applicant, e.g., published article, term paper, or essay.
  • The applicant must register and begin coursework within two (2) years of acceptance into the Ph.D. program, otherwise acceptance into the program is void and the applicant must reapply.


Patient care-related research activities and teaching assistant responsibilities often require current RN licensure or eligibility for licensure within the State of Ohio. In addition, professional liability or malpractice insurance is required. Advisors and/or the Director of the Ph.D. program will provide clarification about the requirement for current RN licensure in individual circumstances.


Students wishing to transfer into the Ph.D. program must be in good academic standing at their current institution. Transfer credits are determined by the university. A maximum of 12 credit hours in which the candidate received a grade of A or B and which have been taken within nine years of conferring the doctorate, may be transferred into the Ph.D. in nursing program.


International students, in addition to the above criteria, must also demonstrate proficiency in written and oral English, and must achieve a minimum score of 550 on a paper-based score or equivalent computer-based score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). In addition, international students must comply with university procedures for acceptance as an international student. This information is found in the online graduate catalog.