Frequently Asked Questions

Program Details

Graduates of the program earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in nurse anesthesia. 

The program takes 36 months, or three years, to complete. (This program is full time only.)

Core courses are taught by experienced CRNA didactic faculty members. Didactic courses are designed to prepare students to be safe practitioners and successfully pass the National Certification Exam. Core courses are taught on site by College of Nursing faculty, with others offered online. Seminars on special topics are taught by CRNAs, MDs, or other qualified health care professionals.

  • Clinical: 1:1
  • Didactic: 5:1
  • Advising: 5:1

The didactic portion of the program is heavier during the first year. During the third semester, students attend classes and spend a few days in the operating room for orientation and observation. The following semester, students spend one or two days in the operating room, and from the fifth semester forward, students spend all of their time in the operating room. Clinical experiences are tailored so each student gradautes fully prepared to immediately fill the role of CRNA.

The program is full time, and students spend about 64 hours a week in classes and/or at clinical sites. This does not include time required to study or prepare. In addition, during some clinical rotations, students must take in-house call on nights, weekends and holidays as part of scheduled clinical hours.

While didactic course follow the university's schedule, clinical rotations do not. Starting in the third semester, students are scheduled full time at their clinical sites, unless they are in class or on vacation.

This program is time-intensive and rigorous; however, some students choose to work during the first and second semesters before their clinicals start.


Most successful applicants have at least three years'€™ experience in the ICU. One year of full-time critical care experience as a registered nurse must be completed prior to applying to the program. Critical care experience includes adult (preferred) and pediatric intensive care units only. The college does not accept the following units as critical care experience: neonatal ICU, ICU step-down, operating room, post-anesthesia care unit, invasive radiology/cardiology, or emergency room. Highest priority goes to candidates currently working in a high acuity, large hospital ICU setting where they are most likely to have a broad range of experience.

In addition to the required critical care experience, GRE scores and GPA, the college strongly considers written and oral communication skills, professionalism, critical thinking skills, leadership potential, and the ability to handle stress.

The college looks for basic sciences courses, including anatomy and physiology, chemistry and pharmacology. A grade of B or higher in these courses is recommended.

Yes, unless you have a master's or doctoral degree in any field and earned an overall graduate GPA of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale. Official GRE scores must be submitted to the University of Cincinnati (not NursingCAS). Scores must be from within five years of the NursingCAS application deadline. (For Spring 2022, the GRE must have been completed after Dec. 1, 2015.)

If your GRE scores are low, we recommend you attend a preparatory course and retake the exam. If your previous GPA is low, we encourage you to take several graduate-level courses in nursing, statistics, or basic health sciences (such as physiology, chemistry, or pharmacology) prior to applying. Include a statement with your application explaining your previous GPA and indicating the graduate courses you have taken. Be sure to have an official transcript of these courses sent to the university as part of your application.

Yes, CCRN certification is required for acceptance. The university must receive proof of certification by the application deadline. Applicants who hold other certifications (such as CNRN, TNCC, CEN, CFRN) should submit documentation of these with their application as well.

One reference must be written by your direct clinical manager. If you have changed jobs within the past six months, a reference from your previous clinical manager could be more appropriate. Other references should come from professional clinicians or educators very familiar with your abilities. Do not send references from CRNAs or anesthesiologists unless you work with them closely and frequently as part of your duties. References from interns or residents are not appropriate.


Interview Process

The multiple mini interview (MMI) is an interview format that uses many short independent assessments, typically in a timed circuit, to obtain an aggregate score of each candidate's soft skills. Formally introduced at McMaster University Medical School in 2004, it has been adopted by medical, dental, pharmacy, and veterinary schools around the world.

Although there are several resources available online to prepare for the system, applicants must realize there are no right or wrong answers in the MMI. Students must be able to defend their opinions and arguments by communicating effectively and demonstrating understanding of the situation. Approach your interviews with an open mind. If you are mature, thoughtful, and considerate, the MMI format will likely work to your advantage.

Interviews typically take place in March.

We encourage you to attend your interview at University of Cincinnati so that you can ask questions and make an informed choice for your education. Unfortunately, we cannot make any offers of acceptance until the interview process is completed for all applicants. Many applicants find that the lower tuition and transportation costs at UC more than make up for a deposit paid to another program.

No, you must interview in person to be admitted to the program.

If you're traveling to the college, check out the university's Visitors page for accommodations, campus maps, directions and more.