Ph.D. in Nursing Science Admission Requirements


The online Ph.D. in Nursing Science program prepares graduates to pursue a career of scientific inquiry, scholarship, and professional leadership. The Ph.D. curriculum is designed to promote achievement of essential competencies required of a novice researcher. Courses provide foundational education in philosophy of science and theory, research design and methods, data analysis, ethics, team science, conduct of research, leadership, policy, and knowledge translation and dissemination. After completion of coursework, students embark on dissertation research, which provides practical experience in the role of a nurse scientist and a foundation for future research after graduation. Motivated individuals without a nursing background, who have health-related work experience, may also benefit from this terminal degree and should seek advice from the program director about eligibility.

Regulations governing admission to graduate study are established by the College of Nursing at the Medical University of South Carolina.


Completed applications must be received by May 1 to be considered for the following fall semester cohort.


Applicants to the Ph.D. in Nursing Science program must have the following:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from a program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), or a non-nursing baccalaureate or master’s degree with health-related work experience (Applicants who attended a program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be a competitive applicant).
  • Preferred cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate and graduate degree-granting institutions (official transcripts for all post- secondary school coursework are required).
  • Undergraduate or graduate statistics course within the past five years (Applicants who do not meet this requirement will be required to complete and an undergraduate or graduate statistics course with a C grade or higher by the initial date of enrollment).
  • For nurses, an unencumbered, active RN license in state of residence is required.
  • Applicants must submit official transcripts, a CV, personal statement, and references to complete the application. GRE scores are not required for this program.

Application Process

  1. Complete an application through NursingCAS (Nursing Centralized Application Service).
  2. Submit official transcripts from ALL colleges attended through NursingCAS.
  3. Upload a personal statement, following specified directions, within NursingCAS.
  4. Upload a Curriculum Vita in NursingCAS.
  5. Applicants currently or previously enrolled in a doctoral program must have the Attestation/Verification form completed by the director of the program from which they wish to transfer.
  6. Provide three references who can address research and scholarly potential and academic motivation, with at least one being an academic reference and preferably a Ph.D. prepared nurse, within NursingCAS.
  7. All application materials within NursingCAS must be received and verified by the posted application deadline. Please note that once your application is in complete status with NursingCAS, it can take several weeks for it to be verified. We recommend that you apply early.
  8. Complete a separate supplemental university application through Enrollment Management at MUSC by the posted deadline.
  9. Interviews with two Ph.D. program faculty, scheduled via videoconference or telephone, will be conducted after the completed and verified application package is received and reviewed.

In addition to the application itself, applicants must review supplemental materials specific to the program to which they are applying. These forms are available in PDF format within the application and are also sent through email once an application is submitted.

Additional Considerations

TOEFL Scores

The score report of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all applicants whose native language is not English. A TOEFL score of at least 80 is required.

International Applicants

MUSC College of Nursing degree programs are unable to admit international students requiring an F-1 visa. Applications will only be accepted from U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or those holding other valid nonimmigrant visa classifications that allow participation in lawful study while in the United States.

State Authorization

MUSC College of Nursing online programs are approved to offer distance education to students in all SARA states and California. Learn more about state authorizations.

Use of Marijuana and/or CBD Products

Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug and is illegal to purchase in South Carolina. Apart from a narrow and limited scope of codified/documented medical exceptions, it is illegal for individuals to use marijuana/tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in South Carolina. Although cannabidiol (CBD) products may be purchased and used in South Carolina, please be aware that CBD products may contain higher levels of THC than represented on packaging and use of CBD products can result in a positive drug screen for THC/marijuana. Be aware that current drug testing methods cannot accurately ascertain the origins of THC metabolites (i.e., whether from marijuana or CBD products). Your academic program has the authority to conduct random and/or scheduled drug testing; if your test result is reported as positive for THC metabolites (even if you only used a CBD product), your ability to be accepted into the program, progress in the program, and/or successfully complete the program may be negatively impacted.

Scholarship Eligibility

MUSC offers scholarships for which you may be eligible. Some are awarded based on academic achievement; others are awarded based on community service, for example. However, the majority of scholarships awarded at MUSC are based on financial need. This means those scholarships are only awarded to students who need some financial assistance to cover the cost of tuition and fees. If you would like to be considered for a financial need-based scholarship, you must have an up-to-date Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. Make sure you list Medical University of South Carolina on your FAFSA form, along with MUSC’s code: 003438. We encourage you to submit the FAFSA as early as possible. It is recommended to submit the FAFSA in January if you plan to enroll in the Fall.

Application Deadlines

Start Term Application Type Available Deadline
Fall 2024 Regular Aug 15, 2023 May 1, 2024
Fall 2025 Regular Aug 15, 2024 March 15, 2025

Admissions decisions for the PhD in Nursing Science program are made on a rolling basis.