DNP Application

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Application Deadline: January 12, 2016


This document contains instructions for the integrated online application process; the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School and School of Nursing Supplemental Application have been combined for user-ease and processing efficiency. Information regarding Graduate School requirements is available at: Please carefully read and follow the School of Nursing application instructions below; each element described is a required facet of the online application.

MSN Applicants to the DNP Program shall:

1.Hold a master’s degree in nursing from a NLNAC or CCNE-accredited program (International applicants: please see information described below under Application materials, #10)

Note: Students who have completed an RN to MSN program and are without a bachelor’s degree in any field must submit additional documentation about the curriculum of their RN to MSN program. Please contact the Office of Student Affairs for details (

2. Provide evidence of completion of an APRN or nurse executive MSN program.

Applicants who meet the criteria of 1 or 2 above, Please see “Accessing Correct App” once you have finished reading the School of Nursing Application Instructions.

3. Provide transcripts from ALL colleges/universities attended.  [Educational History upload] Applicants must scan into the application an unofficial transcript from all post-secondary schools attended since high school. These documents must reflect all college-level course work you have taken. Upon admission, official transcripts must be submitted from all colleges/universities attended to The Graduate School. Competitive applicants will present a grade point average of at least 3.5 cumulative GPA, or equivalent, in their graduate coursework.

Note: International students OR applicants who attended college/university outside the US must provide a full credit evaluation of all courses completed at a foreign institution from an approved organization offering this service (see, as well as a degree validation using a 4.0 GPA.   Upload the credit evaluation and degree validation documents [Supplemental Documents #2 Upload]

4. Submit GRE scores from testing within 5 years of the application.  Applicants who achieve verbal and quantitative scores at or above the 50th percentile and writing score of >3.5, are considered competitive. Applicants who hold an earned professional doctorate in a field other than nursing may request a waiver of the GRE. Register for the GRE through ETS. The UNC Chapel Hill Graduate School code is #5816.

5. Submit three (3) letters of recommendation supporting the applicant’s potential for success in the DNP program. Recommendations must be received from three individuals familiar with the applicant’s intellectual ability, academic achievement, practice expertise, and professional commitment to nursing.

Referents should include at least one doctorally prepared faculty member, a current supervisor in an employment setting, and a professional colleague who holds at least a master’s degree. Letters from relatives, family friends, fellow staff members, or religious/spiritual leaders (e.g. minister, rabbi) will not be accepted.

Please provide your referents with the School of Nursing’s DNP Employer/Reference Form (

6. Provide a current Curriculum Vitae or Resume. Any employment and/or education gap of more than one year requires explanation. [Work Experience Upload] Note: Full disclosure of your complete educational history is required.

7. Upload the Professional Statement. This narrative is a very important part of your portfolio as it offers insight into the professional goals and expectations of the applicant. The quality of the Professional Statement is often crucial in admissions decisions since it provides the Admissions Committee a first-hand example of your writing skills and your ability to present ideas in a clear, logical and coherent manner. In lieu of an interview, the professional statement avails the Committee of your personal perspective on your professional contributions, strengths as a student, current skills and abilities, and prior experiences. Prepare and proofread your statement carefully!

a. Part 1: Professional Goals and Background (2 pages, double-spaced):

  • Describe your short and long-term professional goals
  • Detail how obtaining the DNP degree will help you attain those goals
  • Discuss relevant areas of your background, such as prior coursework, earned degrees, continuing education, practice history, and professional activities, and how each has prepared you for doctoral study.
  • Identify clinical and academic strengths and areas of improvement that may impact your doctoral studies

b. Part 2: Clinical Interest (4 pages, double spaced)

Having a scholarly focus is the first step toward successful doctoral education. Identify an important practice-based problem that you would like to examine during your DNP studies. Provide a brief, referenced review of the literature discussing why this problem requires further study. Include details about prior work on the topic (if any), the importance of the problem in patient care delivery, and how you would approach studying this problem during your DNP program.

 c. Identify a member of the School of Nursing faculty whose clinical background and/or research endeavors  would be a good match for your scholarly interests.

8. Demonstrate professional RN licensure.  Applicants must hold a current unrestricted/unencumbered license as a registered nurse in the state in which the student will perform clinical coursework. Note: an “unencumbered license” means neither the license, the licensee’s practice, nor the licensee is associated with any type of restriction, encumbrance, or probationary limitations imposed by the applicable Board of Nursing or judicial entity.

9. Submit the $85 application fee:  payment to The Graduate School may be paid by check, money order or online by credit card; instructions are available on the final screen of the application)

10. Special Instructions for International Applicants
International students must demonstrate English proficiency prior to admission to the DNP program, as follows:

A.Financial Certificate(International Applicants only): the Certificate plus supportive documents should be sent directly to The Graduate School. For more information:

 B. Standardized test scores must be official and are reportable for a period of two years from the date of the exam. Exam results more than two years old cannot be considered. Standardized test scores that are submitted to this institution are kept on file for only one year. Refer to The Graduate School for more information

 1)    TOEFL  test results that achieve one of the following may be submitted:

      • A minimum total score of 575 (with a minimum of 50 in each section) on the written version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL);
      • A minimum of 233 (with minimum of 18 in each subsection) on the computer-based TOEFL; or
      • A total score of 89 on the internet-based TOEFL exam with the following minimum section requirements: Reading, 21; Listening, 22; Speaking, 24; Writing, 22.

 2)    IELTS:  Alternatively, applicants may submit IELTS test results. A total score of 8 out of 9 on the IELTS exam is required.

Meeting the minimum total score on the TOEFL or IELTS does not guarantee admission to the DNP program. Admission decisions are made on the basis of multiple factors including: scholastic performance, English proficiency, essays, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and verification of financial support to insure proper visa status.

C. NACES: International students must provide a full credit evaluation of all courses completed at a foreign institution. The National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) provides a list of organizations that offer this service ( Applicants may also choose to have credit evaluated by faculty members in the various departments on campus. Please submit the credit evaluation report and an official copy of your transcript with your application for admission. These documents may be scanned into the transcript section of the application. Submission of this credit evaluation with degree validation will allow us to view your transcripts in a US transcript format on a 4.0 scale.

D. Letters of Recommendation: All candidates for whom English is a second language (non-native language), must submit at least one additional letter of reference written by someone who can address the applicant’s ability to communicate fluently in English.

E. English Proficiency: All international students who are admitted to the DNP program are also required to take an English Proficiency Exam prior to matriculation and a non-credit English course (English 601) during the first semester of enrollment. Failure to take the test and/or register for the required course will prevent the applicant from progressing in the program. International students not deemed fluent in English may not enter practice settings and may need to lengthen their program of study to focus on enhancing their English language skills.

F. Interview: An interview is required of all international applicants who are non-native English speakers. The interview (personal or telephone) will be conducted by faculty in the candidate’s clinical area of interest. The interview has two distinct foci: part one will focus on information provided in the application materials (for example, essay and future goals); the second part will evaluate the interviewee’s English proficiency.

Admission to the doctoral program is necessarily a selective process. Meeting the posted criteria does not ensure admission. Using an objective review procedure, the Admissions Committee selects candidates to recommend to the Dean of The Graduate School for admission. The Committee considers the quality of performance in previous undergraduate and graduate study, success in previous employment and other pertinent experiences, and personal qualifications including suitability for advanced study and research. The Admissions Committee weighs the applicant’s accomplishments and potential for success in the program. Diversity in student backgrounds and scholarly interests is desired.The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national origin, age, religion, sexual preference, or handicap. Members of racial or ethnic minority groups and males are encouraged to apply.

The Admissions Committee only reviews complete applications. Your application portfolio is not deemed complete until all application materials are received. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that application materials have been received by the appropriate office and the application file is complete by the posted deadline. Contact the Office of Student Affairs with all application concerns.

The School of Nursing and Dean of The Graduate School will notify you in writing of your outcome as soon as decisions are rendered. To ensure we utilize the correct address, please notify the Office of Student Affairs in the School of Nursing, (919) 966-4260, and The Graduate School, (919) 966-2611, of any change in contact information once your application is submitted. Please also modify your information in the Update Profile section of your application.

Admitted students seeking to establish North Carolina residency for tuition purposes, shall submit an online application located at this site:

All newly admitted international students are required to take an English Proficiency exam prior to enrolling for classes. Individuals who fail to achieve a passing score on this exam are required to register for a non-credit English course (ENGL 101X) their first semester of enrollment. Failure to take the test and or register for the required courses will prevent future registration.Information concerning visa, U.S. Immigration, or financial certificate matters can be obtained from our Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

Link to the application:


Accessing the Correct Application

Go to the Graduate School Admissions Page

Select Apply Now and Create an Account or Log in with an existing account

Start Application

Applicant Type

Level of Study* select Graduate

Type of Applicant* select New degree seeking applicant

Applicant type

Plans for Graduate Study

Select a major* you must select Nursing Practice

Select a degree* select Doctor of Nursing Practice

Are you applying for a dual degree? select No

If so, please indicate 2nd program here: leave blank

Area of Interest or Specialization* highlight Nursing Practice

Academic Program

Term of Entry

Please select the term of entry* select Fall 2016 – Deadline 1/12/2016

Please Note:
The School of Nursing Deadline is January 12, 2016


Select save & continue to complete the application

Contact Us

Jennifer Moore, Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions is the primary contact for the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. Please email your questions to