Application Information


All materials, except official transcripts, must be submitted electronically via NursingCAS, the Centralized Application Service for Nursing Programs:  

Please submit official transcript(s) from every post-secondary institution attended to NursingCAS:

P.O. Box 9201
Watertown, MA 02471

All documents (transcripts, letters of reference) should be sent directly to NursingCAS, not the College of Nursing. Each of these items must be received by NursingCAS on the posted deadline.

If you have questions during the application process, please contact our graduate advisor at (513) 558-3600 or

Guidelines for Admission

The PhD program accepts applications in the spring for fall admission.

Candidates for admission to the program are evaluated by attention to all aspects of the individual’s qualifications. Decisions for supporting or denying admission are not based on a single criterion.

Components of the evaluation include:

  • Undergraduate and graduate grade point averages
  • GRE scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytic writing components
  • A scholarly writing sample, goal statement and letters of recommendation
  • Interviews with the PhD admission committee

The candidate’s compatibility with the research foci of faculty will also be considered. 

Review Process/Admission Decision

The Faculty Review Committee, a committee that meets monthly to consider applicants, determines the final admission decision. Decisions are based on the applicants' experience, references, test scores, GPA and the recommendation of the interviewer. Successful applicants will be e-mailed an acceptance packet, which must be completed and returned by the date indicated in the packet.

Application Requirements

Students seeking admission to the PhD program at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing must have a bachelor's or master's degree in nursing or master's degree in a health-related field. 

NursingCAS online application: The application must be submitted electronically at, including a non-refundable $65 application fee paid to NursingCAS. Once your application has been completed and transcripts verified, you will be notified via email to create an account and submit a separate non-refundable $65 application fee to the University of Cincinnati. When creating an account, please add NursingCAS email addresses to your safe-sender list. You need to fill out each section in NursingCAS in order to have a complete application.

Copy of RN License (submitted via NursingCAS online application):

  • Applicants must submit evidence of an active, unrestricted RN license for the state in which they are practicing nursing. Applicants whose RN license is restricted will be considered, provided the individual shares the conditions of the restriction set by the board of nursing and the college determines the academic program can accommodate those restrictions, if the applicant is admitted. If admitted, it will be necessary to obtain an Ohio RN License (likewise, the distance learning programs will require an RN license from the state in which the applicant currently lives). For more information about obtaining an Ohio RN License, visit Accelerated students will be eligible to earn RN licensing after completing Phase II of their program.

Official transcripts (sent directly to NursingCAS, NOT to the College of Nursing)

  • For registered nurses, transcripts should verify Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree conferred from regionally and ACEN (formerly NLNAC) or CCNE accredited institutions and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for the last degree earned. (A comparable level of achievement is expected for other grading systems.)
  • For applicants with a master's degree in a health-related field, official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. Transcripts should verify degrees conferred from regionally accredited institutions and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for undergraduate and graduate degrees. (A comparable level of achievement is expected for other grading systems.)
  • To submit transcripts, applicants must use the NursingCAS Transcript Matching Form. The Colleges Attended section of the NursingCAS application allows you to print Transcript Request Forms. NursingCAS strongly recommends that you print and advise your registrar's office to attach a Transcript Request Form to your official transcript. This form helps NursingCAS properly match your official transcripts to your NursingCAS application. If you have any previous names, please make sure to list this information within the Biographic information section and this information will be included in your transcript matching form. Please note if the registrar does not accept this form, it is only recommended, not required. 
    • All college transcripts, from each institution that you have attended, must be submitted to Nursing CAS; you do not need to submit your high school transcript. It is highly recommended that all applicants submit the application and request transcripts at least one month prior to the posted deadline in order to have time to follow up on any problems that might arise. Transcripts do not need to be received by Nursing CAS before you submit your application but must be received by the posted deadline.
    • In this section, you will be prompted to start your coursework entry. The University of Cincinnati does require full coursework entry of all transcripts. We acknowledge that this process can be labor-intensive, and we encourage entering this information early on in the application process.

      We encourage you to have your unofficial transcript(s) accessible when completing this section so that you can refer to them as you enter your coursework in the NursingCAS application.  This can make the process quicker and easier.

      When entering coursework in NursingCAS, you must enter courses that are in progress or planned for future terms. Once you receive grades for these courses, you must log back into NursingCAS, add the course as a new course, and note the grade earned.

      Once all your coursework has been entered, you will be prompted to review and finalize your transcripts. Please review your coursework entry very carefully, as it cannot be edited once you submit your application. Failure to properly enter your coursework can result in a delay of transcript verification.
    • International transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES).
    • GRE Scores are self-reported via the NursingCAS online application and submit official GRE scores to the University of Cincinnati (code 1833). GRE scores of 153 verbal, 144 quantitative, and 4.5 on the analytical writing component are desired. GRE scores must not be greater than 5 years old at the time of application to be valid.
    • Resume (submitted via NursingCAS online application) for security purposes, please do not include your DOB or SSN
    • Scholarly Writing Sample
    • Goal Statement (submitted via NursingCAS online application) A short paper (at least 2 double-spaced pages) discussing professional and personal goals, research interests, and an explanation of why the PhD is necessary to reach professional and personal goals.
    • References (submitted via NursingCAS online application) - The candidate must submit three (3) letters of reference from professionals with an earned academic or professional doctoral degree (i.e. PhD, EdD, MD, etc.) attesting to the candidate’s ability to successfully engage in and carry out doctoral study. These abilities may include, but are not limited to; analytic ability, writing ability, organization, resilience, initiative, and professional competence. Be certain to inform persons who provide recommendations of the deadline for receipt of credentials. You will enter contact information for identified recommenders during the NursingCAS online application.

The PhD Program Admissions committee will review each application in its entirety. Applicants who have been reviewed favorably by the committee will be invited to have a face to face interview with the committee. Applicants who live at a distance may be interviewed through face-to-face technology.

The committee will complete a written evaluation of the candidate including goodness of fit between the candidate’s research interest and the expertise and availability of doctoral faculty to mentor the candidate.

The Admissions Committee will forward the recommendation of admission or non-admission to the College of Nursing Student Affairs Committee who will make the final decision on admission.

The following qualifications are highly desired in the successful PhD applicant:

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale*
  • Minimum graduate GPA (if applicable) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • GRE scores of 153 verbal, 144 quantitative, and 4.5 on the analytical writing component are desired. GRE scores must not be greater than 5 years old at the time of application to be valid.
  • Goals are well-articulated and are compatible with faculty expertise and availability. 

*Graduate GPA cannot be substituted for undergraduate GPA as the undergraduate GPA may be more indicative of success in the PhD program.

International Students

The International Student Services Office provides assistance to international graduate students and supplies additional information upon receipt of the University application. This information addresses how to obtain a visa, anticipated expenses, health and accident insurance (required), housing and general information concerning the University, as well as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). 

TOEFL and IELTS Requirement (copy of scores submitted via NursingCAS online application):

Internet based TOEFL: 100 or higher
Computer based TOEFL: 250 or higher
Paper based TOEFL: 600-603
IELTS Overall: 7.0 or higher

For more information, please visit the TOEFL site,

For More Information

Click here to receive more information or to register for an interest session.

For admissions counseling, prospective students should contact:

Office of Student Affairs, College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati

PO Box 210038
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0038

Phone: (513) 558-3600

Fax: (513) 558-7523



Dr. Donna Shambley-Ebron
PhD Program Director
Phone: (513) 558-5248