DNP Prerequisites and Admissions


  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Master of Science (MS) in Nursing degree, cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above
  • Advanced practice national certification
  • Informatics Specialty can only be taken via this track
  • Applicants must have a 3.0 minimum science grade point average (GPA). Be sure to include all biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology courses in your calculation. Click here to calculate. Upload the completed document to the appropriate supplemental question in the application.
  • Applicants must have at least one year (two years preferred) of current and continuous full-time critical care nursing experience in an adult or pediatric critical care setting (ICU).
  • Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories or a U.S. military hospital outside of the United States.
  • During this experience, the registered nurse has developed critical decision-making and psychomotor skills, competency in patient assessment and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitoring techniques.
  • A critical care area is defined as one where, on a routine basis, the registered nurse manages one or more of the following: invasive hemodynamic monitors (such as pulmonary artery catheter, CVP, arterial), cardiac assist devices, mechanical ventilation and vasoactive infusions.
  • Examples of critical care units may include, but are not limited to: surgical intensive care, cardiothoracic intensive care, coronary intensive care, medical intensive care, pediatric intensive care and neonatal intensive care.
  • Those who have experience in other areas may be considered if they can demonstrate competence in managing unstable patients, invasive monitoring, ventilators and critical care pharmacology.
  • Applicants must possess current Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and CCRN certification.
  • Advanced practice national certification for MS-DNP pathway (for current Nurse Practitioners only)

The program will begin with students who are MS prepared, registered nurses with experience in informatics. Students will be expected to attend part time.

Students will be eligible to attend if they meet the following:

  • Masters degree in nursing informatics, leadership, public health or related
  • Active registered nurse licensure
  • Three years of experience in informatics, two in health care setting

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.

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
  • Complete the online University of Arizona Graduate College application.
  • Transcripts: Download the Transcript Factsheet for complete instructions on submission of transcripts.
  • Current CV/Resume (PDF format preferred) to be uploaded to NursingCAS
  • Computer literacy
  • 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 not required for BSN-DNP applicants with NP specialty.

The UA Graduate College Application requires all applicants to upload unofficial transcripts within the Educational History section of the GradApp. Official transcripts must be submitted to the College of Nursing after an offer of admission is extended. For additional information, please see our Transcript Factsheet.

Once admitted to the DNP program, you must submit an Arizona Department of Public Safety Fingerprint Clearance Card. ARS § 15-1881 is a condition of final acceptance. Complete information about the statute can be found at the following websites:

  • Complete the online 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 our Transcript Factsheet for complete instructions on submission of international degrees and transcripts

To see an estimated cost of each of our programs and potential financial aid options, visit here.

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

This does not apply to the MS-DNP.