University of Pittsburgh

School of Nursing Online


The MSN to DNP Program has multiple points of entry and is planned to predominantly allow for three types of prospective students: current master’s degree in nursing students; advanced practice nurses and nursing administration practitioners who have completed a master’s degree and PhD prepared nurses who wish to earn a DNP.

*BSN graduates with a master’s in other areas may be considered for admission.

The DNP Program admits a FALL TERM COHORT only. Application deadlines are February 15th and May 1st. Complete applications received by February 15th will be reviewed and admission-decision notification sent by June 1st. Admission decisions for complete applications received by May 1st will be communicated by June 30th. International applicants are advised to apply by February 15th in order to allow sufficient time for obtaining relevant documents. Admission decisions will be communicated by e-mail and also by mail.

Admission Criteria

All applicants must have:

  • A baccalaureate degree in nursing from an NLN, CCNE or ACEN accredited program in nursing
  •  A competitive Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • A current license to practice nursing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the state or U.S. territory where you will complete the clinical or capstone requirements is required prior to enrolling in relevant courses. Foreign applicants should see section on Admission of Students from Other Countries.
  • A pre-admission interview. If the applicant resides at a great distance, a telephone interview may be substituted.
  • Personal essay (submitted online)
  • Pre-requisite statistics course
  • Competitive scores on the Graduate Record Examination. This is not required if applicant is an RN with a BSN and has a master's degree with GPA of 3.5 or above except for Anesthesia.

Applicants to one of the MSN-DNP must have a master's degree in the DNP major being pursued. Applicants interested in pursuit of a new specialty will be required to complete relevant master’s level coursework. Students who have demonstrated successful completion of an MSN program with a competitive GPA (3.5 or above) with the exception of the Nurse Anesthesia major may not be required to take the Graduate Record Examination.  There may be additional requirements depending on the choice of a major.

  1. Applications must be completed and submitted on-line.
  2. Academic Credentials:
    1. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work must be mailed in a signed and sealed envelope directly from the institution.
    2. If transcripts are not in English, certified translations of academic credentials are required.
  3. Submit official admission test scores, if applicable.
  4. Letters of recommendation. Three recommendation letters submitted via on-line application (see instructions) or mailed in sealed envelopes to address given below.
  5. Application fee of $50 paid on-line with a credit card. This fee is non-refundable.
  6. Personal essay (submitted on-line – see instructions) stating your philosophy of nursing, your reasons for wanting to study in a particular area of specialization, what you expect from the program, and your future career goals.
  7. Current resume/CV.
  8. A statement reflecing the clinical area of interest for the required Capstone project.  This should include a population and clinical diagnosis of interest, for example, persons over 65 years with diabetes.  Identify a problem that might be addressed through a quality improvement project,

Transcripts, test scores, and other required materials should be posted online or mailed to:

University of Pittsburgh
School of Nursing
3500 Victoria Street
239 Victoria Bldg.
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Note: The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing is authorized to enroll students in most states. Please check our summary page for a list of exceptions.

Graduate Clearances

All admitted students are required to submit Act 33, 34 and 78 clearances completed within 3 months of admission.

Admission of International Students

Applications from international students are reviewed according to the DNP program admission criteria stated above. The on-line application must be accompanied by official academic credentials with notarized English translations. A DNP applicant must have evidence of the receipt of a degree comparable to the USA master’s degree in nursing for admission to the MSN to DNP program or a degree comparable to the USA baccalaureate degree in nursing for admission to the BSN to DNP program. The official transcripts must show all high school and post-high school work, including grades in each course, examination grades and standing in examinations and classes, and whatever other credentials are available to give a clear description of the student’s academic accomplishments. For more information, please visit the School of Nursing International Students page.

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Tuition & Fees

Tuition for online programs at the University of Pittsburgh is the same as the tuition for on-campus programs. Current tuition rates and student fee information can be found at the website for the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

Some courses at the School of Nursing include exams that are proctored. Pitt Online will work with students to identify an approved testing center in their area. Generally proctoring sites charge a fee for this service, which may range from $20 - $50 per test. Pitt Online will work with students to identify the most economical testing center in their area.