PhD Admissions

Application Deadlines

This program admits students once-per-year for the Autumn semester.

Autumn 2025
Opens: Early August 2024
Deadline: December 1, 2024

Students interested in being considered for a Fellowship or other available funding opportunities should have their completed application submitted by October 1, 2024.

Visit this page to learn more about requirements related to vaccines, licenses and other requirements upon admission.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission to the College of Nursing PhD program you must have the following: 

Completed BS or MS in Nursing OR Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in related discipline

Applicants must have a Bachelor of Science in nursing or a Master of Science in nursing from an institution accredited through the CCNE or ACEN or an international equivalent. Students may apply to the PhD program while their Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is still in progress but must receive the degree by August 1 prior to beginning enrollment in the program.

Applicants who are not nurses who have earned a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in a related discipline will be considered for admission.

Active RN License 

Applicants must have an active, unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse in the United States or an international equivalent certification or licensure. Students may apply before receiving their RN license, but must possess it prior to beginning enrollment in the PhD program. Applicants who are not nurses do not need to have a RN license.

Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale in the last degree earned that is relevant to the program of study

GPAs are reviewed by Ohio State's Graduate and Professional Admissions Office. Applicants whose GPAs fall below 3.0 may still apply and be considered for admission.

As you consider the next step in your education, the following referenced articles can help you know what to look for in a program, what questions to ask during your search and better understand how a PhD in nursing can help advance your career: 


Who We Are Looking For

Your application will be reviewed on a holistic basis, meaning all aspects of who you are as a candidate will be considered. This assessment will include academic preparedness and formative experiences in your professional background, schooling, and life. We are also looking for candidates who demonstrate a preferred set of attributes and strengths described in the following list. This list is not all encompassing, but is meant to help guide you in what you may wish to highlight in your written application materials:

  • Alignment of your research area with those of our current research-focused faculty
  • An idea of how your work will potentially contribute to nursing science 
  • Any prior research experience
  • Demonstration of leadership and collaboration with others; teamwork
  • Community engagement, local and global, and a diversity of thought, perspective, and experience
  • Written communication skills and organization of ideas

How to Apply

To apply for the College of Nursing PhD program, students must complete the following prior to the posted application deadline: 

1. Apply online

You can complete an application online for the next available Autumn cohort at The Ohio State University Graduate and Professional Admissions office’s website here. A $60 fee is required at the time of submission of the application.

In the online application, post-master’s PhD applicants will be asked to select whether you will attend full-time or part-time. Post-baccalaureate PhD applicants may only attend full-time. If you are a post-baccalaureate applicant and would like to pursue a clinical specialty alongside the PhD degree, please email for further instructions. You can find a list of the available specializations here.

2. Submit all college transcripts

Applicants must submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities that you have previously attended at both either the undergraduate or graduate levels. This includes transcripts for any post-secondary courses taken during high school or of coursework that appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Transcripts from The Ohio State University do not need to be submitted.

Transcripts should be submitted directly by the sending institution by mail or electronic transfer to be considered official. Please request your transcripts be sent early so they arrive before the deadline. Transcripts can be sent to:

The Ohio State University
Graduate Admissions Office
P.O. Box 182004
Columbus, OH 43218-2004


Applicants may upload a copy of an official transcript at the time of application or after by way of the Admissions Uploader. However, documents submitted in this manner are considered unofficial, but will suffice for the purposes of application. Web based documents, online grade reports, and related materials are not acceptable. If an applicant is admitted, they will be required to supply official transcripts sent direct from your previous institutions.

For details regarding these methods of submitting transcripts, please visit The Ohio State University Graduate and Professional Admissions office’s website. Please direct all transcript related questions to the Graduate and Professional Admissions office at 614-292-9444 or to

3. Current resume/curriculum vitae

Your resume or curriculum vitae should use a similar format to what you would use for a job application. You should include your previous education, professional experiences and any community service, volunteer activities, publications, research and leadership experiences on your resume or CV. You may submit this document at the time of application or after by way of the Admissions Uploader.

4. Purpose and goals statement

Please write a personal statement that includes a narrative description of your professional experience, career goals, and area of research interest:

  • Identify the research area in which you are interested and potential research questions you are interested in answering. Citations from research literature that supports the need for research in this area may be included. We highly encourage identifying current College of Nursing faculty whose research interests are similar to yours. Brief descriptions of PhD faculty research interests can be found here. You can read their research papers in PubMed Central
  • Your statement should also detail what you expect to accomplish through PhD study and how your work will potentially contribute to nursing science. 
  • Your statement should provide evidence of educational and experiential preparation for PhD study, a clear understanding of the foci of the program and its faculty, and an indication of how your needs may be met by the program. 

Your statement should not exceed three pages. Use a standard format of single-spaced, 12-point font, with one-inch margins. You may submit this document at the time of application or after by way of the Admissions Uploader.

5. Three letters of recommendation

During the application process, you will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of three individuals who can provide strong recommendation of your academic abilities and research potential. Once the application is submitted, an email will be automatically generated and sent to these individuals with a link and further instruction on how to submit their letters of recommendation. We encourage you to submit your application far in advance of the deadline so that those writing letters of recommendation have ample time to upload their letters. 

Letters of recommendation should be submitted from individuals who are familiar with your academic ability, professional experience and potential to succeed as a nurse scientist. Former faculty advisors, instructors, and research mentors generally provide the strongest letters of recommendation. We suggest providing those writing recommendation letters with information on the PhD program and with a copy of your purpose and goals statement. You should ask them to address your potential for success in a rigorous graduate program and speak to your strengths and experiences that support your application. Finally, you will want to make them aware of the submission process and the application deadline by which they must submit their letters.

6. Test of English proficiency - International applicants only

Details regarding what English Proficiency tests are acceptable, the scores required, and how to submit scores may be found on The Ohio State University Graduate and Professional Admissions office’s website here.

7. Supplemental application for current or former Ohio State graduate students

If you are currently or have been previously enrolled in a degree-granting graduate program at The Ohio State University for any length of time, you would be considered a Graduate Intra-University Transfer Student. Be sure to choose the appropriate application for "current or former" Ohio State students after following the Apply link found here. In addition to that online application, you must complete a Supplemental Application. This separate application must be submitted directly to the College of Nursing at Choose any of the following options to access this application:

Failure to complete all required steps of this application process by 11:59 pm EST on the day of the posted deadline will result in your application not being considered for admission, with no exceptions. 

Competitive applicants will be invited to participate in an on-campus interview with program faculty. Applicants will be notified of this invitation in mid-January, following the application deadline.

Most applicants may review the status of their application anytime at If you are currently or have been previously enrolled in a degree granting graduate program at Ohio State for any length of time, you are considered a Graduate Intra-University Transfer and can contact to review your application status.


Admission Timeline & Deferrals

All required materials must be submitted by the posted application deadline to be considered for admission. Please allow up to five business days for the status of materials to be updated on your application status webpage. 

If you are invited to participate in an on-campus interview, you will be provided a more detailed timeline of when you can expect a decision on your application. If you applied for Autumn 2024, please review the admissions timeline here.

Admission deferrals are not generally allowed. However, admitted students seeking deferrals should contact the Director of the PhD program for information.

For questions regarding our admissions process or requirements, please contact our Student Affairs team at

In accordance with the non-discrimination policy of The Ohio State University and the College of Nursing, we strictly prohibit any discrimination based upon age, color, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, religion, pregnancy, or veteran status in its application, admission, or enrollment practices.

Ohio State is committed to treating applicants fairly and with dignity and respect. Please review Ohio State’s new post-admissions policy.

Contact us

Portia Zaire, student
Portia Zaire, student

“The PhD program has completely changed the way I think about my role in healthcare. I am gaining the tools, skills, and resources needed to generate new knowledge to improve outcomes for underserved communities.”