PhD in Nursing Science Program

Application for Admission

Annual Application Cycle Deadlines

Application process opens each year on August 1. 

Early Submission

The application deadline for early submission applications is 11:59 p.m. CST on October 31 (all application materials must be received by this date). 

Standard Submission

The application deadline for standard submission is 11:59 p.m. CST on December 31 (all application materials must be received by this date).

The PhD Nursing Science Admissions Committee reviews applications after the deadline(s) for submission and only those that are complete. The following components must be finished in order to consider your application complete. 

Required Application Components

  1. The online application form
  2. A minimum of three (maximum of 5) letters of recommendation describing your aptitude for doctoral study from doctorally prepared individuals
  3. Curriculum Vitae
  4. Official report of GRE scores - Currently waived. Please contact the Program Manager with questions.

  1. Unofficial copy of transcripts from prior undergraduate and graduate work
    Official transcripts are required only after an offer of admission is made and accepted. Please DO NOT send your transcripts by mail. This will delay the review of your application. Unofficial transcripts must be part of your application even if you are a former VUSN graduate or applied to another VU program.
  2. Statement of Purpose essay describing your professional career goals, research interests, research experiences, and VUSN faculty nurse researcher(s) you are interested in having as a mentor(s)
  3. Writing Samples are recommended. Upload one or two samples of your academic writing (e.g. scientific paper, scholarly class assignment, book/chapter, case report).

After the faculty review your completed application, you may be asked to interview. If you are, interviews are required and can be conducted in-person or via Zoom. In the event an applicant cannot travel to Vanderbilt or is unable to use Zoom, a telephone interview will be scheduled.

See  Preparing Your Application  for specific details about each of the required components listed above. 

Note: Unfortunately, the PhD in Nursing Science program cannot host international students in F or J visa status at this time.

If you have another type of visa status, prospective applicants must contact the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) Office to confirm eligibility to enroll as a student in our program. If approved, you must send the PhD program director written, official confirmation of your approved visa status before you begin an application.

International applicants whose visa eligibility has been confirmed by ISSS and provided to the PhD program director, must submit all the components above as well as the following additional application requirements.

Additional Application Requirements for International/Foreign Students

In addition to completing items #1-7 listed above, the following must also be completed in order to consider your application complete:

  1. English Language Proficiency
    Applicants who do not have a degree from an English-speaking university are required to submit scores from either TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Scores must be less than two years old. Our program will also accept Duolingo English Test examination results for the current application cycle as an alternative to TOEFL and IELTS examinations.

    For more information, go to:
    The Vanderbilt ETS code is 1871


  2. International student applicants who have completed college or university coursework at an institution in a country other than the United States must obtain a complete course-by-course evaluation of foreign transcripts, degrees and other relevant documents. In all instances, the evaluating agency will require original, official documentation.

    Evaluating agencies include:

    • World Education Services
      Post Office Box 745
      Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10113-0745
      Phone: 212-966-6311
    • Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
      Post Office Box 514070
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203-3470
      Phone: 414-289-3400
    • Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
      International Education Consultants
      701 SW 102 Ave, Miami, FL, 33173
      Phone: 305-273-1616


Applicants to Vanderbilt's PhD in Nursing Science Program who have applied three times to the program without an offer of admission will not be allowed to apply to the program again. 

PhD Webinar

Our webinars include an outline of the PhD in Nursing Science Program, program format, application process, components of funding, etc. Webinars are conducted throughout the academic year, and particularly ahead of a new application cycle (which open annually on August 1). Contact the PhD Program Manager to request information on upcoming live webinars. You may also click here to view a previously recorded webinar (August 10, 2022).