Ph.D. Nursing Admissions Requirements

Requirements for Admission, US Students

See below for International Applicant Requirements. Requirements for admission to the doctoral program (for US domestic applicants with either BSN or MS degrees) are:

  1. Official transcripts verifying an undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.2. See below for more details. 

  2. If a graduate (master's) degree has been earned, a Grade Point Average of 3.5 is expected, verified by official transcripts. All non-English transcripts must be translated into English by a certified translator. Non-US transcripts must be submitted for evaluation. See below for more details. 

  3. Completion of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test within the last five years prior to application. The GRE score should indicate strong verbal, quantitative, and analytical potential. See below for more details. 

  4. Proficiency in English is mandatory.

  5. All applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, http://www.toefl.org). The minimum overall TOEFL score is 84 (internet-based test); 24 is the minimum score in the speaking section, and 24 is the writing section minimum score. Consult with Nursing Student Affairs for any questions on TOEFL examinations and scoring.

  6. Comprehension of basic statistics is essential. Completion of a prior statistics course (within five years of entry) is required; a recent course is desirable.

  7. Completion of a research course equivalent to the N 262A "Research Methods"course at UCSF.

  8. Evidence of capacity for original scholarship and research in nursing.

  9. Congruence of applicant's goals with the program's goals and the resources of the School and University. See below for more details.

  10. Evidence of the ability to communicate in a scholarly manner, both orally and in writing.

  11. Evidence of licensure as a registered nurse.

  12. Preferred: one year of professional nursing experience.

  13. Computer literacy is highly recommended (especially competence in word processing skills and the internet).

Requirements for Admission, International Students

International applicants to the doctoral program are encouraged to write to the Nursing Student Affairs Office asking for an informal evaluation before filing a formal application. A statement of goals of study, past educational experience, and professional work experience should accompany the request for informal evaluation. Requirements for admission are:

  1. Completion of college or university work equal to the unit requirement for a baccalaureate degree and a scholastic record comparable to that reflected by a 3.2GPA, as verified by official transcripts. All non-English transcripts must be translated into English by a certified translator. Non-US transcripts must be submitted for evaluation. See below for more details.

  2. If a graduate (master's) degree has been earned, a GPA of 3.5 is expected. One prior degree must be in nursing. All non-English transcripts must be translated into English by a certified translator. Non-US transcripts must be submitted for evaluation. See below for more details.

  3. Proficiency in English is mandatory.

  4. All applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, http://www.toefl.org). The minimum overall TOEFL score is 84 (internet-based test); 24 is the minimum score in the speaking section, and 24 is the writing section minimum score. Consult with Nursing Student Affairs for any questions on TOEFL examinations and scoring.

  5. Completion of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test within the last five years. See below for more details.

  6. Comprehension of basic statistics is essential. Completion of a prior statistics course (within five years of entry) is required; a recent course is desirable.

  7. Completion of a research course equivalent to the N262A course at UCSF.

  8. Evidence of capacity for original scholarship and research in nursing.

  9. Congruence of applicant's goals with the program's goals and the resources of the School and University. See below for more details.

  10. Evidence of the ability to communicate in a scholarly manner, both orally and in writing.

  11. International students need to be licensed as registered nurses in their country of origin, if licensure is available. Caution: if students will be involved in any direct patient care activities while in the U.S., they must obtain California Registered Nurse licensure prior to December of their first year of study. California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) regulations 2729 and 2732 require licenses for all practicing nurses in the State of California. Information regarding recognition of licensure in other states, or other matters related to licensure may be obtained from the BRN at the following address:
    Ca. Board of Registered Nursing, P.O. Box 944210, Sacramento, CA 94244-2100, http://www.rn.ca.gov

  12. Computer literacy is required.

  13. A minimum of one year of professional nursing experience is preferred.

Note: It is mandatory that all admitted international students attend the Orientation for Incoming International Students. Detail information regarding this program will be sent from the Director of International Academic Services.

Prospective international doctoral students should also review the following information:

Entry with Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The criteria for admission to the doctoral program for persons with BSNs will be the same as for applicants with MSNs. The usually shorter career trajectory and lack of previous graduate training will be taken into account in evaluating past accomplishments. A personal interview may be required to assess (1) vision for and commitment to nursing, (2) attitudes toward learning, knowledge, and science, and (3) clarity of focus of study. The applicant must have been in professional practice a minimum of one year at the time of enrollment.

Should the student enrolled in the doctoral program wish to earn a master's degree, it will be awarded after the student has successfully completed 36 units of academic work, 8 units of postgraduate professional work, and the master's comprehensive examination. The completed academic units must meet the faculty requirement for specialization in the student's area.

Admission Deadlines

The Regular Deadline for applying to the UCSF Doctoral Program in Nursing is December 12th.

Applications received after the regular deadline will be reviewed on a space-available basis up until the annual Final Deadline which is Jan. 5th (usually enforced on the first Monday in January). Students are not admitted mid-year; each class begins their studies in the Fall Quarter.

To be reviewed, application fees must be paid, and required transcripts and test scores must be received at UCSF prior to the deadlines.

 
Statement of Goals

A goal statement must be included, a copy must be converted to PDF format and uploaded to the UCSF web server. The goal statement should clearly identify the particular area of research interest and include related clinical, teaching, and/or research experience.

It is important that the research interest of the applicant match the expertise of faculty in the School of Nursing, and you will want to identify at least one faculty member who shares a similar research focus. Future career goals after doctoral education also should be addressed. Be sure your goal statement is no more than five double-spaced typewritten pages and shows your full legal name and page number at the top of each page. Elsewhere, your application will also include a (one-sentence) summary statement of your proposed area of research interest.

A comprehensive goal statement is an essential component of your doctoral application.

Transcripts

Two official original transcripts must be sent directly to Nursing Student Affairs (see address below) from each college, university, and nursing school attended. Be sure to fully identify in your application each post-secondary (after high school) institution which you have attended.

Transcripts must be endorsed by the proper authority ("certified") and final college transcripts should include a statement of good standing or honorable dismissal from the last college attended. A preliminary transcript should show coursework in progress. If necessary and/or appropriate, a transcript may be individually downloaded as a PDF from a password-protected web site, should this be the policy of your institution.

Non-English transcripts must be translated into English by a certified translator. Non-US transcripts must be submitted for evaluation, as follows. 

Non-US Transcript Evaluation

The School of Nursing requires all applicants who have completed degrees and/or coursework outside of the United States to submit their transcripts for validation and evaluation before they may be considered for admission.

Applicants may send their transcripts and credentials to any evaluation agency which requires submission of original transcripts and/or certificates directly from the education institution to the evaluation agency. The purpose of the evaluation is to verify that your degree/coursework is the equivalent to that of a U.S. Bachelor or Master's degree.

Evaluation agencies provide a variety of services. Be sure to request an evaluation that provides the following:

  • Lists all subjects/courses completed at the post-secondary level

  • Provides a U.S. semester credit and grade equivalent for each course

  • Provides a U.S. grade point average (GPA) for the Bachelor's, Master's, or their equivalents on a 4.0 scale, and

  • Designates the level (upper or lower) of each undergraduate course

In our experience, World Education Services (415-677-9378; 212-966-6311; info@wes.org) provides the information we need in a format that is useful for the admissions decision.

However, applicants may choose to use any agency which meets the criteria above and can perform an evaluation meeting the four points mentioned above.

Letters of Recommendation

A minimum of four recommendations are required as part of the online application process (a maximum of five is permitted), as follows: [a] two recommendations provided by the most recent employer(s), preferably nurses; [b] one from a college professor / instructor (if you have graduated in the past five years) who can assess your performance and judgment in the are a in which you wish to study; and [c] one or two from individuals (not relatives) who are well acquainted with your professional preparation and experience.

Each recommendation should address the following areas, as appropriate: [1] research, [2] leadership, [3] creativity, [4] self-direction in learning, [5] writing, [6] teaching, [7] relationship to applicant, and [8] clinical practice.

An overall numeric rating is also requested.

Nomination of Recommenders

As part of completing the on-line (web) application, the names, affiliations, and emails of each of the four recommenders are provided by the applicant.

Each identified recommender receives at least one email (repeated if necessary) asking for their written recommendation. This email specifies a private web site for that recommender, to be used to submit/upload their letter/recommendation in PDF format.

With this system, applicants can verify when each of their specified recommenders has actually responded and which recommenders may still require a follow-up email request.

This email/web oriented system has simplified and speeded the process of collecting references/recommendations and allows for applicants and recommenders to avoid the delays and uncertainties of the previous postal-based process.

Contact Eva Wong-Moy at Eva.Wong@ucsf.edu for help with your application to the PhD Program at UCSF School of Nursing.