Preparing Your PhD Application

Now Accepting Applications for Fall 2015

The admissions decision is heavily influenced by a careful review of each of the components of your application. Because of the importance of a scholarly fit between our students and faculty, we strongly recommend you explore the research focus of our faculty.

 

You are welcome to make personal contact with our faculty in order to help determine common scholarly interests. You may contact our faculty via email (email addresses can be found at www.nursing.vanderbilt.edu/addressbook/phdfac.html) or in writing.

 

The following is required in order to consider your application complete. Only completed applications will be reviewed by our faculty.

  1. The online application form
  2. Three letters of recommendation describing your aptitude for doctoral study from PhD prepared individuals
  3. Curriculum Vitae
  4. Official report of GRE scores (taken within the last 5 years)
  5. Unofficial copy of transcripts from prior undergraduate and graduate work
    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.
  6. Essay describing your professional career goals, research interests, research experiences and potential faculty mentors
  7. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score if you do not have a degree from an English-speaking university.
    Scores should be less than two years old. The minimum acceptable score is 81 on the Internet-based test or 620 on the paper-based test.

After the faculty review your completed application, you may be asked to interview. If you are, interviews are required and can be conducted in-person or via Skype. In the event an applicant cannot travel to Vanderbilt or is unable to use Skype, a telephone interview will be scheduled.

 

Your Personal Statement

Include the following key points

  • your general research interest areas and how these interests have evolved
  • previous research experience
  • identify VUSN faculty whose research interests may align with yours
  • discuss how research factors into your career plans

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of reference are required from PhD prepared individuals that can describe your aptitude for doctoral study.

 

Recommenders should submit their letter of reference online. On your application, you will be asked to provide the e-mail addresses of your recommenders. Vanderbilt will contact your recommenders by e-mail and provide them with a link to a Web site, a password, and instructions on how to submit the recommendation online. Online recommendations are instantly attached to your application. If you are unable to provide e-mail addresses for your recommenders, it is your responsibility to contact them and provide them with the recommendation form, located on page two of the application. Paper letters of recommendation should be sent in duplicate to:

   PhD Program Office
   Attention: Irene McKirgan
   Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
   604 Godchaux Hall
   461 21st Avenue South
   Nashville, TN 37240

 

  • Allow recommenders at least one month to prepare the letter.
  • Follow up to ensure that forms and letters have been completed and submitted.

 

Curriculum Vitae

  • A curriculum vitae is a listing of achievements, unlike a resume, which describes activities associated with entries.
  • Prepare a curriculum vitae to highlight
    - professional achievements
    - work accomplishments
    - educational background
  • Include information about
    - academic background 
    - work history 
    - honors or awards 
    - any research conducted
    - grants received
    - publications or presentations 

Essay

Include the following key points

  • your general research interest areas and how these interests have evolved
  • previous research experience
  • identify VUSN faculty whose research interests may align with yours
  • discuss how research factors into your career plans

To begin your online application, go to: https://apply.vanderbilt.edu/apply/