The admissions process for the doctoral degree consists of multiple levels of review and is a highly competitive process. The admissions process begins with online application and submission of all required materials to the KSU Graduate College. When all materials have been received by the Graduate College, the applicant file will be forwarded to the WellStar School of Nursing for review.

The final evaluation of applicant files is con­ducted by the WellStar School of Nursing’s Doctoral Admissions Committee. That committee, composed of doctoral program faculty representatives, employs rubrics to systematically evaluate the merits of each applicant’s admission file. The Committee’s recommendation for admission into the DNS program is based upon the Committee’s collective professional judgment of the overall merits of the applicant’s case in the context of the quality of the applicant pool and the availability of openings for doctoral student supervision with the faculty in the program’s areas of concentration. Consequently, the more qualified applicants there are for a limited number of new student openings, the more competitive the selection process becomes.

A critical aspect of the final level of review is the applicant’s interview with program faculty. Interviews are struc­tured with a predetermined set of questions to which applicants respond.

The determination of the merits of each applicant’s case focus on a number of key variables that are vitally important to a candidate’s ability to successfully complete the program at the highest level of scholarly study which includes a major applied research contribution to the profession of nursing related to leadership in nursing education or responses to health disparities. Those factors include: related undergraduate and gradu­ate degrees (master’s required); academic performance and achievement; professional practice and employment history; verbal and writing skills; quantitative and problem solving skills; evidence of professional effectiveness and ethics; evidence of professional leader­ship; compatibility with program mission and goals; and other related con­tributions and achievements of note.

Admission Requirements

  1. Official transcripts of all previous college work, graduate and undergraduate.
  2. Master’s degree with a major in nursing from a nationally accredited program.
  3. Official GRE scores of 153 Verbal, 144 Quantitative, and 3.5 (minimum) analytic writing (or the equivalent on the newly normed version). GRE scores will be considered from applicants whose scores are more than 5 years old (GRE reporting limit), but who can produce “official documentation” of their scores.
  4. A current license to practice professional nursing in the United States. (Nursing credentials of international students will be assessed individually).
  5. A course in statistics.
  6. A course in research at the graduate level.
  7. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can address the applicant’s abilities to do doctoral level work (hold a doctoral degree or equivalent).
  8. A curriculum vitae or resume.
  9. A written statement of personal and professional interests and goals related to nursing doctoral study (1-2 pages in length). Be sure your name is on your statement.
  10. Personal interview with program faculty. 

Transfer Credit

If accepted into the program, up to 15 post-master’s graduate semester hours of comparable transfer credit for the DNS may be accepted toward completion of the requirements. Transfer credit will not be accepted for the core course requirements that are central to the program’s distinctive focus. Consequently, transfer credit considerations are typically restricted to elective courses and possibly statistics courses. Decisions about the acceptability of transfer credit will be made on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the Doctoral Advisor and Director of the Doctoral Program.

Applications must be received by March 1 for Fall Admission.

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If you have any questions after looking over the information presented above, please contact the DNS Program Coordinator.