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Admissions Information
Do I need to take the GRE? Is there a time limit on the scores?   
Yes, the GRE is required for the PhD program.
These scores must be received by Rush University before the application deadline. Your scores will be sent to the institutions you designate within 10 to 15 days after your test date. The Rush University College of Nursing GRE code is 3262.  
If you have taken the GRE within the last five years Educational Testing Service (ETS) will send a copy of your scores directly to Rush. If you have taken the GRE more than five years ago and have the original score report, you may submit a copy directly to Rush. The College of Nursing will also accept GRE scores from any point in time, as long as an official report of the score can be obtained. The College of Nursing will also accept an official school document that contains GRE scores.   
Who should I ask to provide recommendations?  
Three professional letters of recommendation are required from a PhD prepared faculty memeber or researcher. Relationship of recommenders to you must be in a supervisory capacity who can evaluate your ability to be successful in graduate school. Co-workers, colleagues, subordinates or friends are not acceptable recommenders.   
How will I hear from the Office of Admissions about my application?  
Your application is submitted through a centralized application system called N-CAS. All application materials (e.g., essay, CV, recommendations, etc.) are submitted through N-CAS.  Once your application is complete and submitted to Rush, it is evaluated in a pooled review process. Qualified applicants are invited to submit a brief Rush supplemental application and interview with a faculty member. We strongly encourage candidates to interview in person with faculty. Plan to be on campus for about one hour. However, if you live more than 50 miles away, you may choose to interview by phone. We will use the e-mail address you provide for all contact regarding your application status.    
What happens to my application after I complete my interview?  
Upon completion of the interview, your application is reviewed by program faculty and an admissions recommendation is made. Admission recommendations are then forwarded to the Admissions and Progressions Committee of the College of Nursing. It is their charge to offer admission to qualified candidates.   
What are tuition costs and is financial aid available?  
Please click this link for for financial aid information.   
Program/Contact Information
The BSN-PhD program of study requires a minimum of 63 hours of post-baccalaureate study, plus the completion of a dissertation. The post-baccalaureate option is designed to prepare the focused baccalaureate graduate for a career in clinical research while ensuring that foundational graduate content, substantive science coursework, and content related to a clinical phenomenon are integrated. The curriculum is designed to enhance the quest for knowledge essential for a scholarly research career. It combines core courses in research, theory, and role development with cognate and supporting courses in the area of the student's research. In recognition of academic and professional career needs, students complete educational and research practica. These practica experiences are individually tailored to the student's area of interest. Under the guidance of the faculty advisor, educational and research practica may be completed within the Rush network or at other approved sites.
The BSN-PhD program is not designed to prepare the graduate for certification and/or licensure as an advanced practice nurse (APN). Additional study would be required for such certification. A terminal graduate degree in nursing meets the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation requirement to qualify as faculty in a college of nursing in Illinois. Prospective applicants whose primary career goals are to function as advanced practice nurses or are undecided that their primary goal is a career in research are encouraged to explore our other program offerings.
Before students enter the program, it is important that they identify the research area or clinical population in which they are interested. This will assure a close match between the student and advisor and that the program of study will be focused and proceed in a timely manner.
The applicant must demonstrate commitment to one of the broad areas of inquiry in which the College of Nursing can provide senior mentorship and outstanding research practica experiences. Currently, these areas focus on health promotion/risk reduction interventions across the lifespan, and include such topics as: health benefits of breastfeeding premature infants, early childhood mental health promotion, aging and family issues, and cardiovascular health. Particular types of interventions include complementary and alternative medicine approaches, physical activity, and technological advances, including telehealth. Outcomes of interest focus on improved mental and physical health and a reduction of health care costs. Attention is also given to the conduct of research in a multidisciplinary context and with underserved populations. As these research areas change or expand, prospective students should inquire about the availability of faculty research foci.
What is the main goal of this program?
The PhD program prepares health care professionals to conduct clinical research to advance the nursing care of individuals and populations. Graduates will receive the knowledge and experiences to launch and sustain externally-funded programs of research and to assume the role of a clinical scholar.  
What type of experience is needed?
Students are encouraged to begin their doctoral studies early in their careers to maximize their years of research and scholarly productivity. There are no experiential requirements for admission to the program. Non-nurses who hold a graduate degree in a health-related field are encouraged to apply.
Is there an on-line option and will I have to come to campus for classes?  
The PhD program is entirely online. Students matriculate in the fall term and come to the Rush campus during that first term for an on-campus orientation. Campus learning intensive visits are scheduled each summer term thereafter for three consecutive years.
How long does the program take to complete?  
The duration of the program varies for each student and is dependent upon the amount of time required to complete the advanced clinical research practicum (ACRP) and dissertation projects. Full-time students generally complete the program in four years, while part-time students generally complete the program in five years.
Can I take one class at a time?  
Courses may not be taken one at a time. The core coursework has been designed to build upon previous content/experiences and must be taken as outlined in the program of study.  
Can I start taking classes before I am accepted or matriculated?  
No, only accepted students are eligible to register for PhD coursework.
Will graduate level classes taken at other universities transfer in for credit? 
Courses taken at other universities will be considered as substitutes for core coursework. Students must complete the “Petition to Transfer Credit Form” to initiate the transfer credit process. Transfer of credit must be co-approved by the course director and program director.  
Can I work while I am in the program? 
Students will find that their PhD studies are more rewarding if they can devote themselves to full-time study. However, many students work full-time or part-time jobs while completing their core coursework. Most students reduce or eliminate their work hours while completing the ACRP and dissertation projects.
1. The application for transfer procedure must be completed when an enrolled student wishes to change their program concentration and/or degree. The transfer must be approved; there is no guarantee of movement from one program to another.
2. The Program Director in the proposed concentration/degree determines the necessary requirements for the review process.
3. The Registrar processes changes at the end of each term.
4. The change is official as of the start of the new term if student accepted into the proposed major/concentration.
5. If permission is granted and as space permits, students will only be allowed to transfer to an already matriculating cohort of students. 
Campus Visits
How can I arrange a campus visit?  
The college holds an information session the first Wednesday of every month at 4:30 p.m. on the 9th floor of the Armour Academic Center, 600 S. Paulina. To register for one of our monthly information sessions, please click this link.   
Where do students stay during campus visits? 
Students make their own arrangements. We can advise you on nearby hotels. The Rush campus is accessible from both airports by train.
International Students
I am an international student - how can I get information about testing, transcripts and licensure?  
The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required for applicants who are non-native speakers of English. This requirement may be waived if the applicant has completed a minimum of three years of higher education AND received their baccalaureate degree in the United States.
Can international students apply to the Rush University College of Nursing?
As many courses are taught in an online format in our DNP programs, we regret we are unable to accommodate international students in the US on a student visa.  Applicants who intend to complete a program in their country of origin will be reviewed on an individual basis, please contact Rush University College of Nursing at before applying.
Who can answer further questions? 
Contact admissions specialist Jennifer Thorndyke at

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