Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Application Instructions for the PhD Program in Nursing

The application and the application fee are submitted electronically. The references and resume are also submitted electronically within the application. 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 to upload unofficial transcripts within the application. Official transcripts are 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.

References are submitted electronically through the application service.


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

An example of scholarly writing (thesis, article, paper) is required. 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 $50.00 will be paid upon submission the PhD application. The application fee is non-refundable.

Foreign Transcripts

Foreign credentials/transcripts submitted with an application for doctoral study are required to be evaluated by World Education Services ( A course-by-course evaluation is required.


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 required of all international applicants. TOEFL and IELTS scores must be within 2 years old at the time your application package is completed (all application materials received).

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

English Language Exam Waivers: The English Language Exam requirement may only be waived if English is your primary language or if you obtained a bachelor’s degree in the U.S., Great Britain, Canada, or Australia. Other exceptions may be made on a case by case basis. Waivers are not automatically applied; all waivers must be requested. To request a waiver, you must first submit the Online Application (see Step 1 above); your waiver request will not be considered until we receive your Online Application. Once you have submitted the Online Application, email your program with your request and reasoning for why you think you should be given a waiver. If you seek a waiver, it is your responsibility to provide sufficient evidence in defense of your English proficiency. Waivers are granted on a one-by-one basis for a specific program and term. Obtaining a waiver is not guaranteed under any circumstances.

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