U-M School of Nursing Ph.D.


Students who wish to focus on a program of research within the field of nursing will find ample support and mentorship in our Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan.

The application opens Sept. 9, 2020. Request more information.




“Nurses are on the front line of caring for patients 24/7, but on a national level they are a minority in research and decision making. We’re doing it really well here at Michigan, but I’d like to see a stronger nursing emphasis on research and policy overall.”

— Alex Fauer, U-M School of Nursing Ph.D. student

Alex Faur

The application is online: Rackham Graduate School application. This is the only application to be considered for the Ph.D. program. There is a $75 application fee required for submission of the completed application. The application fee is $90 for international applicants


Required supporting materials


  1. Academic statement of purpose

Provide a comprehensive statement, not to exceed 1000 words, that delineates your rationale for pursuing the Ph.D. program. The statement is most effective when it specifies your:

Professional goals for the future as a Ph.D. prepared nurse.

Appraisal of research interests.

Identification of current faculty at the University of Michigan School of Nursing that are conducting research in your area of interest.

  1. Personal statement

Provide a comprehensive answer, not to exceed 500 words, to the following question within the Rackham application under the section 'Personal Statement': How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue the Ph.D. at the University of Michigan? Note that the personal statement should provide evidence that you have researched the Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing.

  1. Recommendations

The University of Michigan requires three recommendations. At least two of the three required recommendations must be from individuals who have a Ph.D. in nursing. The recommendation form is part of the Rackham Graduate School application. We are unable to accept application forms that are not linked to the online application.Detailed recommendation form instructions are available on the Rackham Graduate School website. Recommendations must be completed and submitted no later than the deadline. Recommendation letters should describe the applicant’s potential to become a future researcher/scientist. Each letter should be written on formal letterhead and signed by the recommender.  Do not use digital signatures.

  1. Official post-secondary transcripts

The University of Michigan School of Nursing requires official transcripts from the institution where you earned or will earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (and master's, if applicable).Official transcripts must be sent to Rackham Graduate School. It is important you review the Rackham page for detailed instructions on submitting transcripts prior to beginning the submission process.

  1. Resume or Curricula Vitae

 Your current resume or CV should be uploaded as a Microsoft Word document within the online Rackham application. The recommended length for a CV is three pages maximum.

  1. One solely authored scholarly paper

Examples of scholarly papers are: master’s thesis, published article, scholarly paper, research (data-based) paper. The paper you select to submit in support of the application must be solely authored. If you are a post-baccalaureate applicant you may submit a high-quality scholarly paper that you solely authored during your undergraduate program. The scholarly paper does not need to reflect your chosen area of focus within the Ph.D. program. The Admissions Committee will review the papers for writing style and scholarly quality, including the use of citations and references and evidence of critical thinking. An electronic version of your scholarly paper must be submitted with your application.

  1. International applicants

Additional requirements and information for international applicants is available on the international applicants page.

To be considered for the Ph.D. program, applicants must have:

  • Earned or in the process of completing a BS in Nursing from an AACN, CCNE or NLN accredited institution.
  • The University of Michigan School of Nursing considers post-baccalaureate and post-master's applicants for admission consideration. An MS in Nursing is not required for admission consideration to the Ph.D. program. Note: Successful completion of the BS in nursing must occur prior to the term of application. 
  • Minimum 'B' average in all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) coursework (this includes all courses taken to satisfy the degree requirements for a BS in nursing). An overall B average in all coursework is equivalent to a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale (U.S. grading scale).
  • If offered admission, admitted students must obtain a current, valid RN license from any state with in the USA prior to their first term of enrollment in the University of Michigan School of Nursing. 

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admission consideration to the Ph.D.  program.

Applicants will be notified if selected for an admissions interview. Interviews will take place in January 2021 (weekdays) for the fall 2021 term.

Webinars are held during the fall. These live webinars are hosted by faculty and provide a great opportunity to receive information and ask questions. See our visit us page for more information.

Have more questions?

You can contact an admissions member by requesting more information or sign up for a webinar for a
general overview of our program details.