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.


Fall 2024 Deadlines: December 1, 2023



“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, Ph.D., U-M School of Nursing Graduate

Alex Faur

The application is online: Rackham Graduate School application. This is the only application to be considered for the Ph.D. program. The application fee for United States citizens and those with permanent resident visa status is $75.  The application fee for Non-U.S. citizens is $90.


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 and appraisal of research interests.

2. Identification of a possible mentor match 

Use the find a research mentor link to identify a possible mentor match.  Applicants are required to identify at least one possible mentor match but no more than three.  Mentor matches should be someone at the School of Nursing who is doing research similar in scope to your research interests.  You do not need to contact this mentor, as the admission committee will determine final mentor selectivity.  

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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).Transcripts are also required from all institutions where any coursework was completed. 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.

6. Resume or Curriculum Vitae

 Your current resume or CV should be uploaded as a Microsoft Word document within the online Rackham application. 

7. Scholarly Paper

Provide a scholarly paper in support of your application. You should be either the first or sole author of this paper. The scholarly paper does not need to reflect your chosen area of focus within the Ph.D. program. The Admissions Committee will review the paper for writing style and scholarly quality, including the use of citations and references and evidence of critical thinking. Examples are: Master's thesis, published article, scholarly paper, research (data-based) paper. If you are a post-baccalaureate applicant, you may submit a high-quality scholarly paper that you wrote during your undergraduate program.

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.

IInterviews for Fall 2024 admission will be held starting in late January 2023.

International Ph.D. Applicants

Transcripts and evaluations:

All prospective international applicants need to review the requirements for academic credentials from non-U.S. institutions and submit the required documents listed to Rackham Graduate School as instructed.

If you attended a Non-U.S. Institution and completed a nursing diploma as a part of your BSN training, you will need to submit an official transcript of the nursing diploma. Please note that you do not need to complete a Scholaro report for the diploma. You will be required to complete a Scholaro report for any bachelor’s, master’s, professional, or doctoral degree earned or in progress for non-U.S. institutions attended. Please refer to the website listed above for additional information. 

English Proficency Requirements

You qualify for an exemption from taking an English proficiency examination if one of the following criteria are met:

  • You are a native speaker of English.
  • You are an applicant from Puerto Rico.
  • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only. Undergraduate degree requirements must be completed before the start of classes at U-M.
  • You completed all of your graduate education and earned a graduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only. Graduate degree requirements must be completed before the start of classes at U-M.
  • You are a current U-M student.

Does not meet an English proficiency exemption:

  • A one year graduate degree.
  • If you completed a Master’s degree that was strictly research and no academic classes. This type of Master’s degree is generally awarded at a non-U.S. institution.

The self-assessed English information from the application will be reviewed by the admission staff upon receiving a recommendation for admission.

English language test information

Scores must be sent directly to the University of Michigan

  • Test scores are valid for two years after the test date.
  • Official score reports must be received from the testing agency no later than the program application deadline. 
  • Tests accepted are the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for graduate applicants.
  • Only the highest total score from one test date will be considered in the admissions process.

Photocopies and/or faxes of English proficiency scores will not be accepted.

TOEFL (Preferred)

  • Total score must be 94 or higher
  • We accept TOEFL internet-based-test
  • Official scores should be sent directly to the University of Michigan, School Code 1839.
  • For  testing information, please view: https://www.ets.org/toefl


  • Total score must be 7.0 or higher
  • We accept IELTS, IELTS indicator exam
  • Official scores should be sent electronically to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • For testing information, please view:  https://www.ielts.org/en-us

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.