Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.)
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.)

We welcome your application to the Ph.D. in Nursing program. The Ph.D. program is jointly administered by Kent State University and The University of Akron.

Applicants select one of the universities for the application and give a ranked preference for the chosen University of Record. Every effort will be made to honor this preference, although it is not guaranteed. Applicants will be notified of their university of record in their admission letters. The University of Record maintains student records and transcripts and awards the doctorate. The doctoral diploma, while issued from only the University of Record, will recognize both universities and the Ph.D. program.

Admission to the Ph.D. program is determined by a review committee of Ph.D. faculty who will assess the entire composite of information gained from a variety of sources. 

Step 1)

Apply to your University of Record graduate school (either Kent State University or University of Akron)

Step 2)

Complete the Ph.D. in Nursing application packet and mail all materials to your University of Record graduate school.

Download Application Packet

Mail to

Kent State University University of Akron
Graduate Studies
Kent State University
111 Cartwright Hall
PO Box 5190
Kent, Ohio 44242-0001 
The Ph.D. Admissions Committee
The University of Akron
College of Nursing
Akron, Ohio 44325-3701 

Note to Kent State applicants: Your application and supporting materials will not be released to the College of Nursing until all materials have been received by Graduate Studies. You will receive email notification by the Dean of Graduate Studies when your application is complete and has been sent to the College of Nursing. 


Complete applications are acted on by the admissions committee throughout the year for fall enrollment. Applications (with GRE scores, transcripts, etc.) must be completed by July 15 if enrollment in the program is desired for that fall. Applicants must register for courses within two (2) years of acceptance into the Ph.D. program, or otherwise the acceptance is void. 

Materials to submit with application

Each applicant must provide:

  1. Proof of an active unrestricted Ohio RN license, or for international students, proof of legal ability to practice as an RN in country of origin.
  2. Official transcripts that indicate a baccalaureate and a master's in nursing or a doctorate of nursing practice from an accredited program. A baccalaureate degree in a closely related health field may be considered if the applicant has a master's in nursing or doctorate of nursing practice from an accredited program. A master's degree in a closely related field may be considered if the applicant has a baccalaureate in nursing from an accredited program.
    • A minimum cumulative 3.0 graduate GPA on a 4.0 scale. is required
  3. Documentation of GRE results that are less than 5 years old at the time of application.
  4. Current resume or curriculum vitae
  5. Three letters of reference from a health care professional or academic faculty member who can speak to the applicant's professional and academic abilities. It is preferred that two of the three references are from doctoral prepared individuals.
  6. A 2-page, single-spaced admission essay addressing the following questions:
    • Why do you want to pursue a Ph.D. in nursing?
    • What are your professional goals?
    • How have you been involved in research, publications, and professional presentations?
    • How have you been involved in professional organizations?
    • What are your research interests?
    • Why are you interested in these research areas?
    • How could research, and specifically your research, in these areas advance science?
  7. A sample of written work that indicates the logic and writing skills of the applicant. For example, an essay, term paper, thesis, published article, or professional report.

International applicants must show evidence of one of the following:

  • minimum internet TOEFL score of 79;
  • a paper based TOEFL of 550;
  • a MELAB score of 78;
  • a PTE minimum score of 55, or;
  • a minimum IEL TS score of 6.5

International applicants that do not meet the above TOEFL, MELAB, PTE, or IELTS scores may be considered for a conditional admission.​

Transfer applicants: Evidence of good academic standing at the current institution. Determination of whether or not credits may be transferred in will be based on evaluation of comparability of requested transfer course to Ph.D. course and university policy.

* Patient care-related research activities and teaching assistant responsibilities often require current registered nurse (RN) licensure, or eligibility for licensure, within the State of Ohio and professional liability or malpractice insurance. Advisors and/or the Directors of the Ph.D. program will provide clarification about the requirement for current Ohio RN licensure in individual circumstances.

Step 3)

After the first screening, and at the request of the Ph.D. Admissions Committee, applicants may be asked to successfully complete a personal interview with Admissions Committee members. Research interests and motivation for successful completion of doctoral study in the Ph.D. program will be assessed.