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Nursing: MSN-PhD Joint Degree Program


The PhD in Nursing Program is not accepting applications for the 2021 - 2022 academic year. Periodic program updates will be posted as available on this website. Thank you.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, a research-based program, which aims to prepare nurse researchers to design, conduct and lead research studies as nurse scientists. The objective of the Joint MSN/PhD in Nursing is to prepare nurse scientists early in their professional career to ensure they have a longer trajectory upon which to make substantive and sustained contributions to the body of knowledge for the discipline of nursing and thereby improve health services for those who receive nursing care. Students are expected to plan and launch an independent program of research, seek needed support for initial phases of the research program, and begin to involve others (i.e., students, clinicians, and other researchers) in their activities.

The full-time on campus program of study prepares the nurse generalist for a dual degree: the MSN in one of the advanced role tracks (current examples include: Clinical Nurse Leader, Clinical Trials Research, Nursing Innovation Concentration, Nursing Leadership in Health Systems Management) and the PhD. In addition to structured coursework, students work closely with their faculty advisor to develop an individualized program of study that allows for an in-depth exploration of a clinical specialty related to their research interests. The program of study builds upon a research mentorship model which recognizes that research skills are learned most effectively by working with a faculty advisor, who provides opportunities to use the tools to conduct research and design, and execute original research within a focused program of study.

Innovation, leadership, and interdisciplinary collaboration are strong educational values which are reflected in the Drexel University strategic plan. The PhD in nursing program represents leadership in the fields, with interdisciplinary collaboration as core administrative and curricular values basic to its philosophy and epistemology. Innovation is also central to this doctoral program as evidenced in its curriculum and research philosophy.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP), Graduate Nursing Division in which the Doctoral Nursing Program is housed, is regarded as a forward thinking, progressive, and interdisciplinary healthcare school within the university as well as in the larger context of advanced healthcare education.


The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.

Admission Requirements

Technical Standards - Nursing

Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree in nursing prior to enrollment. Applicants who have not yet earned a BSN degree and/or hold a license to practice professional nursing will be admitted provisionally and cannot matriculate in the program until the BSN and/or the RN license is obtained.

A GPA of 3.5 or above

Standardized Tests:


  • Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that you have attended. Transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the college/university seal over the flap. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.
  • If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency
  • Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions


Three professional references required from colleagues or supervisors who can attest to applicant's clinical knowledge, skill, and potential aptitude for graduate study. Recommendation letters must include address, phone number, and signature of recommender. The envelope must be submitted unopened.

  • You may use our electronic letter of recommendation service
  • If a recommender prefers to submit an original, hard copy letter, please remind them that it must include an ink signature and be submitted in a sealed envelope.

Personal Statement/ Essay:
Articulation of research interests, career goals and insight into important issues in the profession in essays.

International Students:
International applicants, as well as immigrants to the United States and U.S. permanent residents whose native language is not English and who have not received a bachelor's degree or higher in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom, must show proficiency in English speaking as well as listening, writing and reading. American citizens born on U.S. military bases abroad may be waived from the TOEFL requirement after providing documentation of this status. Otherwise, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

If you take the TOEFLiBT exam, you must have:

  • a minimum combined score for listening, writing, and reading sections of 79 plus a speaking section score of 26 or higher.
  • a minimum score of 550 or higher and a Test of Spoken English score (TSE) of 55 or higher.

Additional requirements can be found here.

Tuition and Fee Rates:
Please visit the Drexel Online Nursing: MSN-PhD Joint Degree Program tuition page.

Application Link (if outside organization): N/A