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PhD Admissions

All doctoral programs start in September. If you are applying to our PhD program, we must receive your completed application by December 1 of the prior year.

Application requirements

A complete application includes the following:

  • $80 non-refundable application fee
  • Completed online application
  • Written response to the doctoral essay question
  • Three letters of recommendation: from each of the following sources: academic, employer, and professional; all letters of recommendation must be submitted online, without exception, through the online application
  • Official transcripts: from all colleges and universities attended; (send via mail/email, addresses listed below)
  • Official GRE scores: completed within the last five (5) years—please note: competitive applicants are expected to score in the 50th percentile on both the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE and 4.0 on the analytical writing section (submit scores to Institution Code 2926 or 2911)
  • Official results from the TOEFL or IELTS exam: taken within the last two (2) years (for non-native English speaking applicants with international degrees only); applicants who receive a BSN or MSN degree in the United States or Canada are exempt from this requirement. Additional information for international applicants is below.
  • Copy of official RN license(s)
  • Interview: we will contact you if you qualify for this step in the application process

Our Graduate Admission Committee cannot properly evaluate a candidate or offer an interview until all required application items have been received.

Mailing address

Application materials not submitted electronically can be sent to: 

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
 418 Curie Blvd
 Philadelphia, PA 19104-4217
 Attention: Office of Enrollment Managem ent

Electronic transcripts should be sent to

International applicants

In addition to all required application materials, international applicants to the doctoral program must submit the following items:

  • Evaluation of all transcripts: by either World Education Services . Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, or CertiFile (offered through the CollegeNet online application)
  • Official TOEFL or academic IELTS results: taken within the last two (2) years for all non-native English speakers; a minimum score of 100 on the internet-based TOEFL exam and a minimum combined score of 7.0 for the IELTS is required for our doctoral program

International applicants who have been accepted to the PhD program may be required to attend the University of Pennsylvania’s Summer English Language Program for International Teaching Assistants, the cost of which is to be paid by the student, but does include temporary housing. Students are required to pass a language proficiency examination upon the conclusion of this course (if not passed prior to admission).  

International applicants are encouraged to contact Penn’s International Student and Scholar Services(ISSS) for information on everything from immigration paperwork to the various resources Penn provides international students.​