PhD in Nursing Science Program
Application for Admission
Faculty review of applications begins when all components of your application are completed. The following components must be finished in order to consider your application complete. Note: The PhD program cannot host international students in F or J visa status.
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 also complete the following additional application requirements: Additional Application Requirements for International/Foreign Students.
Required Application Components
- The online application form
- Three letters of recommendation describing your aptitude for doctoral study from doctorally prepared individuals
- Curriculum Vitae
Official report of GRE scores (taken within the last 5 years)
When ordering your GRE scores, make sure to:
— Use the Vanderbilt Institution Code:
— Request Vanderbilt as the score recipient and not as an Undergraduate Institution.
If the ‘Vanderbilt University (1871) line appears under the Score Recipient header (green arrow), you have reported correctly. If not, you will need to re-order your scores. You can log into your ETS account to verify your scores were ordered correctly. After you log in. you should see something that looks like this:
Unofficial copy of transcripts from prior undergraduate and graduate work
Official transcripts are required only after an offer of admission is made and accepted. DO NOT send your transcripts by mail. This will delay the review of your application. We will request your official transcripts only if an offer of admission is extended to you. Unofficial transcripts must be part of your application even if you are a former VUSN graduate or applied to another VU program.
- Essay describing your professional career goals, research interests, research experiences and potential faculty mentors
- 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 BlueJeans. In the event an applicant cannot travel to Vanderbilt or is unable to use BlueJeans, a telephone interview will be scheduled.
Additional Application Requirements for International/Foreign Students
In addition to completing items #1-6 listed above, the following must also be completed in order to consider your application complete:
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.
For more information, go to:
The Vanderbilt ETS code is
- 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
Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
Post Office Box 514070
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203-3470
Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
International Education Consultants
701 SW 102 Ave, Miami, FL, 33173
- World Education Services
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 Schedule for 2019-2020
Our webinars include information concerning overview of the PhD in Nursing Science Program, program format, application process and components and funding. View a previously recorded webinar (September 10, 2019).