Application and Deadlines

Application to the program is made through the Graduate School and requires:

  • Three letters of recommendation describing your aptitude for doctoral study from PhD prepared individuals
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Official report of GRE scores (taken within the last 5 years)
  • Applicants must upload an unofficial copy of transcripts from prior undergraduate and graduate work as part of their online application for admission. Official transcripts are required only after an offer of admission is made and accepted.

    Do NOT send your transcripts by mail. This will delay the review of your application. We will request your official transcripts only if an offer of admission is extended to you.
  • Essay describing your professional career goals, research interests, research experiences, and potential faculty mentors.
  • If you do not have a degree from an English-speaking university, you must submit a report of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. Scores should be less than two years old and the minimum acceptable score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language is 81 on the internet based test or 620 on the paper-based test to demonstrate proficiency.
  • Faculty interviews are required as part of the admissions requirements and will be arranged after all materials are reviewed. Interviews conducted in-person or via Skype using a Webcam are preferred. In the event an applicant cannot travel to Vanderbilt or is unable to use Skype, a telephone interview will be scheduled.


Completed applications received by December 1 will be considered for all financial awards including:

Graduate School Honor Fellowships

  • Harold Stirling Vanderbilt Graduate Scholarships
  • University Graduate Fellowships

Vanderbilt School of Nursing Awards

  • VUSN Service-Free Tuition Scholarships
  • Centennial Ph.D. Fellowships


Completed applications received after December 1 and no later than the deadline of March 1 will be considered for fall admission and School of Nursing financial awards as they are available.



Applicants to Vanderbilt's PhD in Nursing Science Program who have applied three times to the program without an offer of admission will not be allowed to apply to the program again.