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Online Application

All materials must be uploaded to our online application (unless specifically stated otherwise) following our guidelines. Applications must be received by the posted deadline.
Columbia University School of Nursing is a full-time program. Columbia Nursing provides two years of funding for tuition, related fees and health insurance, as well as a stipend to students who are citizens or permanent residents.
The PhD program welcomes international student applicants. However, the school is not able to provide tuition or stipend support to international students. Therefore, international students must have financial resources to cover tuition and living expenses. For more details please visit: International Students and Scholars Office.


Columbia University School of Nursing welcomes applicants who are registered nurses and who meet the following criteria:

Bachelor's Degree in Nursing or Master's Degree

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
    • Columbia Nursing offers a post-baccalaureate pathway to a PhD in Nursing for those who have completed a Bachelors’ Degree in Nursing. This pathway is designed for applicants with varying levels of clinical experience. Applicants for post-BSN entry must have career goals that are consistent with the purposes of the PhD program.
  • Master's Degree in Nursing
  • Master’s Degree in Nursing in progress
    • Applicants who are nearing completion of the Master’s degree may be considered for admission. If accepted, applicants may take doctoral courses concurrently while completing the Master’s program or choose to defer enrollment for one year without penalty.
  • Master's Degree in related discipline (i.e., MBA or MPH) AND a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing
    • If admitted, students may be required to take additional nursing credits to ensure adequate preparation.
Degrees must be awarded by a regionally accredited college or university.
Columbia Nursing does not have a minimum GPA requirement; each component of the application is considered during application review.


  • Current New York State nursing license or eligibility to apply for New York State nursing license.


  • Graduate-Level Health Policy Course
  1. Prerequisites do not have to be completed by the application deadline.
  2. Prerequisite courses are to be completed before the student starts the program.
  3. Prerequisite courses must be taken at an accredited college or university (online and community colleges are acceptable).
  4. A letter grade of C or better is required.


  • The GRE exam is required for all PhD applicants. No waiver or exemptions are permitted.
  • Columbia Nursing does not have a minimum GRE score requirement. GRE scores are considered as part of the composite academic profile.
  • Applicants may retake the GRE at any time before the application deadline. If an applicant retakes the GRE exam, the Office of Admissions will include the highest score from each section for application review.
  • Scores must be sent to school code 2142.
  • The exam must be taken by the deadline although it is highly recommended that the exam be completed one month prior to the deadline.


The essay section is comprised of two essays. The topics are listed on the online application, but please adhere to the following format:
  • Essay 1: 2 pages / double spaced / 12pt font / 1" margins
  • Essay 2: 1 page / double spaced / 12pt font / 1" margins
  • To ensure proper formatting, please be sure to save your documents as PDFs prior to uploading to the online application.

Video Essay (REQUIRED)

You will submit a video essay (in addition to the other essays). The video essay will be comprised of one question, and you will have 2 minutes to answer the question. This video essay is an opportunity to supplement your application and to display your enthusiasm and passion for the program. In the video essay, you will address the following prompt: Please tell us about a time that you have overcome an obstacle in your life, how you dealt with it, and what you learned from the experience. 

Please note that to record your video, you will need a directly-attached webcam, and you will need to use a browser that supports Flash; you will not be able to upload a pre-recorded answer.  The video essay will be recorded live within the application.

Timed Writing (REQUIRED)

You will submit a timed writing sample.  In this process, you will be given a random topic through the application. Upon viewing your random question, you will have 2 minutes to think about your response and then the system will allow you 10 minutes to provide an answer. This question will be evaluated on the content and structure of your response.  

Three Letters of Recommendation

  • Your references should be able to attest to your academic ability and potential.
  • At least two should be from doctorally-prepared faculty or colleagues who can speak to the candidate's potential for a research career.
  • Please note: The Office of Admissions requires all application materials be submitted online, including recommendations. Recommenders have the ability to upload a word or PDF reference letter through the application system.
    • The following information is required from the recommender: name, email, telephone, organization, position title, and relationship to applicant.
    • Use your recommender's institutional or corporate email address. Submissions from personal email addresses (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo) may be subject to additional review.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae

  • Submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV). There is no page limit to your resume or CV. Please ensure that the professional experience listed is relevant to your application and nursing goals.


  • All transcripts from colleges, universities, or post-secondary schools attended or in which credit was received must be uploaded to your online application.
  • Do not mail in any paper transcripts at the time of application. Official transcripts are only required if accepted.
  • Clear and legible unofficial or student copies of transcripts must be uploaded to your application.
  • If you have attended school outside the United States, you must upload a course-by-course transcript evaluation condicted by a NACES-accredited organization by the application deadline.

International Students

  • The TOEFL exam is required for applicants who have not graduated from a college or university in which all instruction is conducted in English.
  • Score must be sent to school code 9828.
  • International transcripts must be evaluated by a professional agency accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Evaluations should include a course-by-course analysis indicating the type of degree received, the U.S. equivalency of the degree, the graduation date and a cumulative grade point average. Please be sure to upload all evaluations to your online application.

Application Fee

  • $75 nonrefundable fee paid through the online application system (after application submission).
  • For fee waivers, please complete the Fee Waiver Request Form and submit it to the Office of Admissions at least 2 weeks prior to the deadline. Fee waivers are granted to veterans, students in the military, students in the Peace Corps, Columbia School of Nursing alumni, and students who can demonstrate financial hardship. Documentation of eligibility is required for all fee waiver requests.
*All materials should be received by the published deadlines unless otherwise stated. A decision is guaranteed for all applicants who complete an application by the deadline. Incomplete applications will be reviewed at the discretion of the Office of Admissions. No refunds will be granted for incomplete applications. Please review all requirements for entry carefully.