Doctor of Nursing Practice


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Admission to the DNP Program is competitive. Potential applicants are encouraged to review all materials regarding the application process and keep apprised of the deadlines and time tables for the specialty that they are interested in.

Applicants with a BSN or MS in Nursing are encourage to apply. However, some specialties are only available to Master's-prepared students so review the requirements of each specialty carefully.

Applying to the DNP program requires the completion of two applications. Applicants must apply to the University of Arizona Graduate College via GradApp to be admitted as a graduate student. Additionally, applicants must apply to the College of Nursing via NursingCAS to be reviewed for admission into any College of Nursing graduate program. See the Apply Now section below for the full application process and instructions.

Pathways to the DNP

BSN to DNP Prerequisites

The AGACNP, EHSL, FNP, Nurse Anesthesia, PNP, and PMHNP specialties are available to BSN to DNP applicants. Please note that the Nurse Anesthesia specialty has additional prerequisites.

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree
  • RN Licensure
    • Enrollment in the DNP program requires registered nurse licensure. Admission is conditional upon the individual obtaining and maintaining the license in active and good standing.

MS to DNP Prerequisites

All specialties and the Post-Master's track are available to MS to DNP Applicants. Please note that the Nurse Anesthesia specialty has additional prerequisites.

  • Master of Science (MS) in Nursing degree
  • RN Licensure
    • Enrollment in the DNP program requires registered nurse licensure. Admission is conditional upon the individual obtaining and maintaining the license in active and good standing.

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree awarded from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants with a post-baccalaureate BSN, Master of Science in Nursing, Entry into the Profession (MS-MEPN), or a Master of Science in Nursing are also eligible. 
  • Minimum Last 60 Nursing Unit or Credit GPA of 3.0 or above. All official transcripts will be required to be sent to NursingCAS as a part of the application process. See the DNP-NA GPA Calculator for assistance.
  • Minimum 3.0 Science Grade Point Average: The science GPA is calculated based on the 5 required prerequisite science courses. See the DNP-NA GPA Calculator for assistance.
  • Prerequisites: Each courses below must have been completed within 10 years of the application deadline. 
    1. 1 Semester Chemistry Course
    2. 1 Semester Biology Course
    3. 1 Semester Human Anatomy Course
    4. 1 Semester Human Physiology Course
    5. 1 Semester Statistics Course
  • Critical Care Experience: After completion of their BSN, applicants must have completed at least 1 year of critical care ICU work within the last 3 years. This can include ICU work in: Coronary, Cardiac, Burn, Medical, Surgical, Trauma, Neuro, and Pediatric. Please note, Neonatal ICU, Flight Crew, and Emergency Room experience does not count toward this 1 year of critical care experience requirement. 
  • A Current and Unencumbered RN License: Applicants need to provide a report from Nursys. 
  • ACLS, BLS, PALS, and CCRN certifications by the application deadline. ACLS, BLS, and PALS must be from the American Heart Association. 
  • 3 letters of reference to fill out a likert score. Applicants may also submit letters of recommendation. 
  • CV
  • Master's of Nursing in Advanced Practice
  • Advanced practice national certification

Admission Requirements

  • 2 Recommendations (References) - references should be from professional colleagues (supervisors, faculty, etc.) who can comment on the applicant's desire to enroll in the doctoral program
    • 3 Recommendations (References) are required for CRNA applicants
  • Complete the online NursingCAS application and the University of Arizona Graduate College application.
  • Transcripts from all post secondary education institutions  
  • Current CV/Resume (PDF format preferred) to be uploaded to NursingCAS
  • Additional documentation will be required if offered admission into the program

Applicants may submit other credentials which they believe reflect their abilities. An interview (may be telephone) is required for post-master’s and nurse anesthetist applicants. Interviews are held asynchronously for all other DNP applicants with NP specialty.

After applying via NursingCAS, you are required to send all official transcripts directly to NursingCAS by the issuing institution’s registrar’s office. Once received, NursingCAS will validate all received transcripts. Transcripts should be mailed to the address below:

P.O. Box 9201
Watertown, MA 02471

Please note: NursingCAS also accepts official transcripts sent electronically from Credentials Solutions, Parchment, and National Student Clearinghouse.

When completing the second step and filling out the Graduate College application you will be asked to upload unofficial transcripts.

International Transcripts – Nursing/Medical Related

All international nursing or medical-related transcripts must be evaluated through World Education Services or CFGNS International. The evaluation service report must then be submitted to NursingCAS by following the same instructions above.

*If you studied abroad through a program from a previous U.S. Institution you attended and the courses are listed on your U.S. transcript as receiving US Institutional credit, you do not need to submit an evaluation report. Otherwise, an evaluation report will be required. For example, an international course listed on one of your U.S. Institution transcripts as a transfer credit will require a separate evaluation report.  Please contact us at with questions.

International Transcripts – Non-Nursing/Medical Related

Non-nursing/medical international transcripts must be translated and evaluated if they: are not in English, do not use a grading scale we recognize, or do not account for course units like US institutions. Translation and evaluation must be completed by a service such as World Education Services. The evaluation report must be officially sealed and submitted to NursingCAS by following the same instructions above.

  • Complete the online NursingCAS application and University of Arizona Graduate College Application by the international deadline date
  • Submit a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 paper based (PB), 79 internet based (iBT) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 7 (no subject area below a 6)
  • Transcripts and Degrees: Submit CGFNS documentation for nursing degrees earned outside of the United States. Please see Transcript Requirements above for complete instructions on submission of international degrees and transcripts
  • International students applying to the Executive Health Systems Leadership (EHSL) specialty and completing the program from their home country are required to have a current RN license in the country where you now practice with no restriction, encumbrance, or probationary limitations imposed by the applicable Council or Board of Nursing or any judicial entity associated with yourself, your license or your practice. The RN license must be current upon application and throughout the program. RN licenses that expire before classes begin must be updated before starting the program.

Policy for Full and Part Time DNP Admissions

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate nursing program is rigorous and prepares nurses as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) and for advanced roles in Administration and Informatics.  The DNP program builds on knowledge and skills that a nurse has learned in their bachelor’s (BSN) or masters (MSN) of nursing science program and has continued to develop over time working in a clinical environment. The DNP program requires that all students have the equivalent of 1 year of full-time clinical experience (1,800 hours) prior to starting their clinical year in the DNP program.  The clinical year is full-time (10-14 units) comprised of a rigorous academic course and immersive clinical training schedule during the Spring, Summer and Fall semesters.  

Admission Options: 

  1. Hybrid Part-time (3.5 years) – designed for nurses with less than the equivalent of 1 year of full-time clinical experience (1,800 hours).  The part-time schedule allows nurses the time to work part-time as a nurse (~900 hours a year) and take courses part-time over a 2.5-year time period until their clinical year. The last three semesters are the clinical year and require a full-time schedule. During the clinical year students are strongly advised to only work as a nurse a maximum one day a week (8-12 hours).
  2. Full-time (2.5 years) – only open to and designed for nurses with the equivalent or more of 1 year of full-time clinical experience (1,800 hours). Due to the rigor and pace of the full-time schedule nurses are strongly advised to work as a nurse no more than 1 day a week (8-12 hours) while following the full-time DNP program schedule.

*Based on the rigor and required clinical hours of the Nurse Anesthesiology program there is not a part time option. Nurse Anesthesiology students are not recommended to work while in the program.

Clinical Placements

Clinical placements for nurse practitioner students are arranged with appropriate preceptors and administrators. Priority is given to arranging clinical placements in the student's geographical area. If clinical placement(s) in the student's geographical area are not available, or if the student needs additional faculty support for skills development, the student can be required to complete their clinical experience(s) in a different approved geographical area.

State Authorizations

Recent changes to the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 include a series of regulations on individual state authorizations concerning distance education programs. The State Authorization Regulations require The University of Arizona and the College of Nursing to comply with individual state higher education authorizations of our programs and thus we may not be able to offer programs in certain locations.

The College of Nursing also complies with state Board of Nursing and/or Nurse Practice Act requirements, which may limit the availability of our programs in certain states where teaching is considered an integral part of nurse practice.

Students living and working in states NOT authorized are NOT encouraged to apply. Should the student move to a non-authorized state following enrollment, he/she will have to transfer to a program authorized in that state.

At present, The University of Arizona College of Nursing is NOT authorized to offer or award the DNP degree as a distance education program in:

  • American Samoa
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oregon
  • Puerto Rico
  • Tennessee
  • US Virgin Islands

Apply Now

Applicants must apply to both the College of Nursing via NursingCAS AND the University of Arizona Graduate College via GradApp.

Step 1:

Please read through all prerequisites.

Step 2:

Apply through NursingCAS, the centralized application service for nursing programs. (CRNA application can be found in the 20-21 NursingCAS cycle.)

Step 3:

Send official transcripts from all institutions attended to NursingCAS. Instructions can be found here.

Step 4:

After applying via NursingCAS, use the UA Graduate College's GradApp to complete an admissions application. This is where you will be asked to report your CAS ID from the previous steps. YOU MUST CHOOSE ARIZONA ONLINE AS YOUR CAMPUS.

NOTE: You may only apply to ONE specialty per application year. DO NOT submit multiple applications.

Applications Open

  • All Specialties except DNP-NA:
    • First Cycle: August 15th
    • Second Cycle: January 1st
  • DNP-NA: July 1st

Application Deadlines

  • All specialties except DNP-NA:
    • First Cycle: November 1st (11:59 PM EST)
    • Second Cycle: March 1st (11:59 PM EST)
  • DNP-NA: September 15th (11:59 PM EST)

Notification of Admission

  • All Specialties except DNP-NA:
    • First Cycle: Beginning of December
    • Second Cycle: Beginning of April
  • DNP-NA: Beginning of November

Program Start

All specialties other than DNP-NA will start Fall 2023, regardless of what cycle the applicant applied in.

Interested in learning more about the DNP program?

Information Sessions are available and hosted by advisors in the College of Nursing. Students must attend a workshop before requesting an advising appointment.

Learn More