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From the blog


Application opens:
November 1, 2016

Application deadline:
February 1, 2017
extended to April 15, 2017

Please note: The application deadline has been extended to April 15, 2017.

Before you begin the application process, please review to be sure you understand the following items and carefully read the instructions to apply:

Admission requirements
Mandatory on-campus schedule
Ph.D. student handbook – Technical Standards and Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen

The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing participates in Nursing’s Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS), which provides you with an online application. NursingCAS collects and processes your application materials. We receive this information from NursingCAS and use it to make our admission decisions.

In addition to the NursingCAS application, VCU requires applicants to submit a VCU supplemental information application. Instructions for how to submit the VCU supplemental information application are found on the VCU NursingCAS home page. Application fees are required for both the NursingCAS and VCU supplemental information applications. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required documents have been received by NursingCAS and the VCU supplemental information application submitted by March 15, 2017.


To find the VCU School of Nursing’s Ph.D. NursingCAS application, in the Select the Programs to Which You Want to Apply section, for ‘Delivery’ method, select ‘Online’ and then search for ‘Virginia Commonwealth University, under ‘School’.  We recommend that you complete the required NursingCAS fields and submit your application well before the deadline. It can take several weeks for NursingCAS to receive and verify your transcripts.

Please review the required fields below that you need to complete before you can submit an application (the titles will match the NursingCAS portal page):

PERSONAL INFORMATION (do not provide your social security number)

Enter all colleges and universities attended. You will be prompted to download a Transcript Request Form for each school attended and mail to your prior colleges. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, including course work taken as high school dual-enrollment credit, nondegree-seeking credit, study abroad, or course work taken and transferred to another institution are required. Applicants who have studied outside of the U.S. must also provide a course-by-course external credential evaluation from ECE or WES no older than two years at the time of application.


  • Awards
  • Honors
    • Name of award/honor
    • Name of presenting organization
    • Issued date
    • Description of award/honor
  • Employment – Non-nursing experience only (paid)
  • Patient/Healthcare Experience – Nursing experience only (paid)
  • Community Enrichment – Community and/or volunteer experience (unpaid)
Licensure and Certifications
  • Licensure
    • Registered Nurse – Complete all sections (You will upload a copy of your unrestricted, unexpired RN license in the ‘Program Materials’ section)
  • Certification
    • Complete this section for all professional certifications you hold.


You will upload the following documents:
  • Resume/CV to include:
    • Leadership in academic and professional organizations
    • Presentations
    • Publications
    • Professional service
    • Military service
    • National specialty certifications
    • Academic and professional awards
    • Research experience, if any
    • Teaching experience in higher education
    • Course or curriculum development
  • Personal statement- The personal statement is an important part of the application review. The overall purpose of the personal statement is to explain why you want to be a nurse researcher and how your experiences will foster your development into a successful nurse researcher.  Respond to the following questions in a thoughtful and scholarly manner:
    • What are your career goals, and how do you see this doctoral program contributing to meeting them?
    • Within your particular area of interest, identify some problems you see as offering promise for research.
    • What particular strengths do you believe you bring to this program that would enrich the learning environment of your peers?
    • What do you perceive as major contemporary issues in nursing, and what are your views on at least one of them?
    • Identify one or two potential advisors from the School of Nursing Ph.D. faculty who may be a good match for your research interests, and provide a rationale for your choice.
  • Test score report
    • TOEFL/IELTS score report - Required only of international and non-native English-speaking students without a U.S. degree.  Refer to the Ph.D. admission requirements for details.
  • License - A copy of your unrestricted, unexpired RN license. This may be a screen shot from the Board of Nursing's website.

You will provide names and email addresses for three (3) academic and/or professional references.  Any personal relationships (i.e., family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.), even if they can be tied to an academic or professional setting, are not valid and will not be considered. An academic reference is a current or former faculty member or academic advisor.  A professional reference is a current/former supervisor of a paid or volunteer position.

The VCU Nursing Ph.D. is a researched-focused doctorate, thus, when considering references, invite individuals who can speak to academic and other accomplishments and skills that align with the role of nurse researcher and academician (e.g., doctorally-prepared researchers and educators with whom you have studied or worked).  Additionally, because leadership is a vital part of the role of doctorally-prepared nurses, consider individuals in leadership positions who can speak to your experience and leadership.

Your references will receive an email message from NursingCAS that directs them to an online recommendation form. Notify your references in advance so they can look for the email from NursingCAS since the message can sometimes end up a Junk Mail folder. If your reference cannot find the email, you will need to contact NursingCAS to request that they send it again.

Communication Methods

Email is the official mode of communication with applicants. To be sure you do not miss critical information about your application, either turn off your email’s spam or junk filters or add the following email addresses to your list of preferred contacts:

  • NURADMISSION@vcu.edu
  • GRADMAIL@vcu.edu
  • nursingcasinfo@nursingcas.org
  • noreply@nursingcas.org
  • donotreply@webadmit.org
  • NursingCASemail@nursingcas.org
  • @sendgrid.me domain

VCU School of Nursing
Virginia Commonwealth University
VCU School of Nursing | Sadie Heath Cabaniss Hall
Box 980567 | 1100 East Leigh Street | Richmond, Virginia 23298-0567
Phone: (804) 828-0724 | Fax: (804) 828-7743 | Email: vcu_nurse@vcu.edu

Updated: Edit Created by VCU University Relations

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