The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing prepares nurse researchers with expertise in vulnerable populations. The Ph.D.-prepared nurse serves the public by designing and conducting research on relevant clinical, educational, health systems, and/or health policy topics. Following graduation, a nurse with a Ph.D. may pursue a research career in the academic, business, government, or industrial setting. Nurses with a Ph.D. may also serve as educators and/or administrators and develop or consult on health care policy in a variety of settings.
To ensure successful completion of all requirements for graduation, including the dissertation, Ph.D. students are carefully matched with skilled researchers on faculty at Mennonite College of Nursing who serve as the student's advisor throughout their program. Core course content enables the student to achieve the American Association of Colleges of Nursing quality indicators for research-focused doctoral programs.
The Nursing Ph.D. program has a blended curriculum, with some courses offered online and others on-campus.
Discover what life as a Illinois State graduate student is like with an Online Graduate Student Information Session.
University Admission Requirements
A student applying to a doctoral program must:
- have earned a master's degree or equivalent in a discipline appropriate to the specific doctoral program
- have a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a scale in which an A is a 4.0) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work (approximately the junior and senior years)
- have a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a scale in which an A is a 4.0) for all graduate-level coursework
- provide three letters of recommendation
- present unofficial transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. The unofficial transcript should be easily readable and clearly indicate degree(s) awarded, courses and course grades for each term. If accepted, official transcripts can be emailed from the university to GraduateAdmissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Illinois State University, Graduate School, 209 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 4040, Normal, IL 61790-4040.
International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
Admission to the Nursing Doctorate program is dependent upon whether you can be matched with a faculty member with corresponding research interests.
To be considered for this program, you must meet the following requirements.
You must have a Master of Science in Nursing from a CCNE or NLN-accredited program.
You must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the last 30 hours of graduate or 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. Include courses in which you are currently enrolled.
Submit your Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores to the Illinois State Office of Admissions as indicated on the graduate application.
The GRE is waived if your grade point average is 3.4 or higher in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework or 30 hours of graduate coursework.
A master’s level statistics course is a prerequisite requirement for Ph.D. program doctoral level statistics course sequence. You must either take and pass a placement examination, or complete this course during your first semester in the Ph.D. program.
English Proficiency Scores (International Students Only)
International students applying to this program must have a TOEFL score of at least 79 iBT or IELTS score of 6.5 band.
To apply to this program, you must submit the following materials.
Submit your current curriculum vitae.
Write a three to five-page double-spaced essay that outlines your research interest and career goals.
Plan of Study
Indicate your preferred plan of study.
Copy of License
Include a copy of your RN license, as evidence of RN licensure in Illinois.
Include three professional or academic references from persons qualified to assess your potential to succeed in the DNP program.
One reference must be from a doctoral prepared nurse.
Use the required reference form.
Credentials Evaluation Service Academic Report (International Students Only)
International applicants must submit to Mennonite College of Nursing a Credentials Evaluation Service Academic Report from CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) or WES (World Education Services). International applicants must comply with the international applicant requirements as directed by Illinois State's Office of Admissions. Please apply early to ensure adequate time to review transcripts and Credential Evaluation Reports.
- Summer Term — April 1
The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.
To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,
- be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
- be in good-standing
- be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).
Graduate assistants receive
- monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
- a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
- a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment
See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from contiguous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.