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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.

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
  • provide official scores from the GRE general exam (use institution code 1319)
  • present official transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. Transcripts can be emailed from the university to or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Office of Admissions, 201 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 2200, Normal, IL 61790-2200

International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.

Additional Program Admission Requirements

Students applying to this program must have:

  • Master of Science in Nursing from a CCNE or NLN-accredited program.
  • A minimum grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the last 30 hours of graduate coursework or the last 60 hours of undergraduate work.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores submitted to the Illinois State Office of Admissions as indicated on the graduate application. The GRE is waived for students with a grade point average of 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. Applicants must either take and pass a placement examination, or complete this course during the first summer semester of the Ph.D. program.

Applicants must submit:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Three to five page double-spaced essay outlining research interest and career goals
  • Indication of preferred plan of study
  • Copy of RN license, as evidence of RN licensure in Illinois
  • Three professional or academic references using the required reference form from persons qualified to assess the applicant's potential to succeed in the doctoral program, with one reference from a doctoral prepared nurse.
  • 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.

Admission to the Ph.D. is dependent upon whether a student can be matched with a faculty member with corresponding research interests.

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Term Application Deadline
Summer  April 1  

Graduate Assistantship Information

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

Cost & Funding

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 continuous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.

Graduate Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Kim Astroth  Edwards 204  (309) 438-2367 
2016-08-30T13:46:29.206-05:00 2016