PhD Admission Requirements

Applicants to the PhD program in nursing apply to the School of Graduate Studies. Applications and information for admission are available from FPB.

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 recommendations describing professional nursing competence, success in the PhD program, and potential for making a significant contribution to nursing. Two of these recommendations should be from PhD-prepared individuals, preferably in nursing.
  3. Two- to three-page statement of academic and career objectives and how the applicant’s research interest is consistent with the research expertise of the faculty.
  4. Written responses to questions contained in the application packet.
  5. Interview with two faculty members. This can be done by phone.
  6. Official college or university transcripts for all previous graduate and undergraduate education are required.

Additional Information for International Students

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

International students are encouraged to apply up to six months in advance of their proposed semester of admission to ensure that the visa process can be navigated smoothly. 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.