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

Admission Requirements


  • Applicants must have a degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Following is a list of degrees accepted for the Post-Master’s DNP specialty:
    • Master of Science in Nursing, with an Advanced Practice specialty
  • Following is a list of degrees accepted for all other DNP specialties:
    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
    • Post-Baccalaureate BSN
    • Master of Science in Nursing, Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MS-MEPN)
    • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Applicants currently enrolled in their advanced-licensure or pre-licensure program may receive admission conditional upon successfully completing their program before the start of the DNP program


  • Applicants must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 ="A") or higher in nursing coursework in the most recent nursing degree.
  • See the DNP GPA Calculator for assistance, if needed
  • The Nurse Anesthesia Specialty has additional GPA requirements, see below


  • Applicants for the Post-Master’s DNP specialty must have a current, unencumbered APRN license
  • Applicants for all other DNP specialties must have a current, unencumbered RN license
  • Applicants currently enrolled in their advanced-licensure or pre-licensure program may receive admission conditional upon securing the required license before the end of their first semester in the DNP program


  • Applicants must submit one reference from a professional colleague (supervisor, faculty, etc.)
  • The Nurse Anesthesia Specialty has additional reference requirements, see below


  • Applicants must submit transcripts from all post-secondary education institutions
  • All transcripts must be verified by NursingCAS within 2 weeks of the application deadline. No exceptions. 



  • Applicants must submit both the NursingCAS and the UArizona Graduate College applications

In addition to the DNP requirements above, the Nurse Anesthesiology specialty also requires:


  • Applicants must have completed all courses below with a C or better and an overall 3.0 or higher GPA within 10 years of the application deadline
    • Chemistry: 1 semester
    • Biology: 1 semester
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology: 2 semesters
    • Statistics: 1 semester


  • Applicants must submit a total of three references from professional colleagues


  • Applicants must have completed at least 1 year (a minimum of 1800 hours) of critical care ICU work within the last 3 years.
    • The following experiences will count toward this requirement: coronary, cardiac, burn, flight crew, medical, surgical, trauma, neuro, pediatric
    • The following experience will not count toward this requirement: neonatal ICU, emergency room


  • Applicants must have earned the following certifications by the application deadline: ACLS, BLS, PALS, CCRN
  • ACLS, BLS, and PALS certifications must be issued from the American Heart Association
  • Applicants must reside in the United States and hold an unencumbered United States RN license.
  • 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

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:

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

In Person Requirements

DNP students will be required to attend the in person mandatory components of the curriculum:

  • Clinical Immersion takes place during the first week of each semester of the student’s clinical year (for 3-5 days)
    • CI 1- January
    • CI 2- May
    • CI 3- August
  • Clinical Preceptorships – Final year of the program

The Nurse Anesthesia specialty students will be required to attend the in person mandatory components of the curriculum:

  • Resident Intensive Summer Experience -1 week at a time
    • CRNA Orientation - June of First Year
    • CRNA RISE 1 - June of Second Year
    • CRNA RISE 2 - June of Third Year
  • Clinical Intensives 
    • CPI - December of Second Year
    • CSI - January of Second Year (White Coat Ceremony)
  • Gross Anatomy - First Summer in person, 5 weeks
  • Simulation Lab - 16 hours per Semester  
  • Clinical Preceptorships

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 22-23 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

  • Nurse Anesthesiology (CRNA): June 1st
  • All DNP Specialties and Certificates: August 15th

Application Deadlines

  • Nurse Anesthesiology: August 1st (11:59 PM EST)
  • Priority Deadline: Applications submitted on or before November 1, 2024 (11:59 PM EST)
  • Final Deadline: Applications submitted November 2, 2024 - March 1, 2025 (11:59 PM EST)

Notification of Admission

  • Nurse Anesthesiology: End of October
  • Priority Deadline: Applications submitted on or before November 1, 2024 (11:59 PM EST ) will be notified of the admissions decision in December.
  • Final Deadline: Applications submitted November 2, 2024 - March 1, 2025 (11:59 PM EST) will be notified of the admissions decision in April.

Program Start

  • Nurse Anesthesiology: Summer 2025
  • DNP Specialties and Certificates (see exceptions): Fall 2025
    • Rural Telehealth Certificate: Spring 2025
    • Nurse-Midwifery Certificate: Summer 2025

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