PhD Admission Requirements

Applicants to the PhD program in nursing apply through the School of Graduate Studies. Information regarding admission is available from FPB. (Visit the admissions, how to apply page now.)

Application Requirements

  1. The applicant must be a Registered Nurse (or international equivalent) and have a bachelor's degree in nursing (or equivalent) or a master's degree in nursing.
  2. Three recommenders: Enter the names and emails of 3 individuals who will provide recommendations on your behalf who know your work and potential for success in a research doctoral program. At least two of these references should be from individuals with a PhD or equivalent research degree, preferably in nursing.
  3. Written Statement (3 pages):The purpose of this essay is to describe your educational, professional objectives, and research focus. Address the three specific questions, and limit your essay to three double-spaced pages, dedicating one page per question. Clearly state your research area of interest. Identify one or more potential faculty mentors (see list of eligible mentors), and ensure to describe how your research interests align with the faculty member(s)’ expertise.
  4. Written responses to questions contained in the application packet.
  5. Interview with two faculty members. These will be done by video conferencing (Zoom). Local candidates have the option to do in-person interviews if scheduling permits.
  6. Official college or university transcripts for all previous graduate and undergraduate education are required.

Note: Legacy Fellow and Moritz Scholarship applicants have an additional essay requirement. See those pages for more information.

For more information on the admissions process for PhD applicants, visit the "How to Apply" page.

Additional Information for International Students

Please note the anticipated timelines on the "How to Apply" page and plan accordingly. We highly recommend that international students apply by the spring deadline for fall admission (or fall deadline for spring admission). This allows ample time to process visa applications and other necessary documentation.

Below is important information for international students to assist with navigating the admissions process.

Official English Proficiency Exam Requirement (e.g. TOEFL or IELTS)

All international applicants must submit a TOEFL score or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score. A TOEFL score of 577 or above is required for the paper-based test; a score of 90 or above is required for the internet-based test. A minimum acceptable score of 7.0 is required for IELTS.

Additionally, international applicants who have obtained a degree from a university where the official and primary language of instruction in higher education is English may be considered for a waiver of the language exam requirement. Please contact the PhD Program Director or the PhD Program Assistant for more information.

  • The School of Graduate Studies does not accept the DuoLingo exam, TOEFL Essentials exam, or TOEFL MyBest Scores. Applicants must achieve a minimum of 90 on one exam date; exams will not be superscored.
  • The language test requirement will be waived if you have completed a bachelor's or master's degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction.

Obtaining a Visa

If you have questions about visas—what they are, how to get one, or how to keep your visa status, please visit CWRU's main website for the Center for International Affairs.  

Funding for Students from Countries Outside the United States

There is very limited financial support for international PhD in nursing applicants and limited work opportunities:

  • There are a limited numbers of research assistant positions and other kinds of positions Available at CWRU
  • Working as a registered nurse in the United States requires a U.S. nursing license.  Information about Obtaining a U.S. Nursing License is Available Here  
  • Working as a teaching assistant in nursing in the U.S., depending on the academic program, may require two years of RN work experience in the U.S. 

Learn more about PhD Funding Opportunities for Students from the United States.