Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Application Instructions for the PhD Program in Nursing

The application and the application fee are submitted electronically. The references, resume and the example of scholarly writing are also submitted electronically within the application.  Official transcripts are mailed or emailed directly from the college or university to USD. Test results are submitted directly from the testing agency to the University of San Diego Office of Graduate Admissions.

The application deadline is December 15.

Office of Graduate Admissions
University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492


College/University Transcripts

Applicants are required upload an unofficial copy of their degree transcript within the online application.  Applicants who are admitted are required to submit an official transcript from each college or university attended. This includes transcripts from community colleges, transfer units from study abroad programs, summer courses and/or graduate work. Individual transcripts must be obtained from each college attended.   Official transcripts must to be mailed directly from the college or university to the University of San Diego Office of Graduate Admissions. The college or university may also send them electronically to

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation (including two from nurses who hold the Doctor of Philosophy degree). Recommendations are intended to provide a professional evaluation of an applicant's potential academic success in the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program.

The reference form is electronic and housed within the application. Once the applicant completes the reference section (in the application) including the reference name, academic credentials, title, organization and e-mail information, an e-mail will be sent to the reference with a link to the reference form. The reference completes the form and also uploads a letter of support for the applicant.


A resume describing the nature, scope and areas of responsibility of all work experience is required. Please upload your resume within the application.

Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement

The essay required of all candidates is intended to give us a better understanding of you as a person. The statement should include information about your area of research interest and professional career goals.

A Sample of Scholarly Writing

Please upload the example of scholarly writing within the application.


Only qualified applicants will be contacted to schedule an interview based on initial review of their application.

Application Fee

An application fee of $45.00 will be paid upon online submission the PhD application. The application fee is non-refundable.

International Applicants

Foreign credentials submitted with an application for doctoral study are required to be evaluated by World Education Services. A course-by-course evaluation is required. There will be a charge for this service.

Financial Verification

International applicants are required to complete the "Declaration of Finances" form to certify that they possess sufficient funds to cover all fees, transportation, and living expenses.

Test of English as a Foreign Language or International English Language Testing System

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is mandatory of all applicants except those who are from English speaking countries.

The English Language Academy is available on campus for students interested in improving their speaking and writing skills in the English language.

The University of San Diego's minimum scores are:

237 on the computer-based test
580 on the paper-based test
83 on the internet-based test

Band score 7

Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid, applicants complete the FAFSA.  The USD code number is 010395.  The FAFSA deadline is April 1 annually.  Applicants are advised to apply by the April 1 deadline even if the admission decision is pending. Questions regarding the FAFSA and the financial aid process should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid.


Office of Financial Aid
University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
(619) 260-2700

Policy of Non-Discrimination: The University prohibits discrimination against current or prospective students and employees on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or any legally protected characteristic. The University does not by this non-discrimination statement disclaim any right it might otherwise have to maintain its commitment to its Catholic identity or the doctrines of the Catholic Church.