Applying for admission



Applying for admission

If you're a nurse in an advanced nursing position who is seeking to expand your knowledge and skills to transform healthcare delivery and education, St. Catherine University welcomes your application for admission into the post-master's Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program.  

Applications are no longer being accepted for Fall 2015 enrollment. The Fall 2016 application cycle will begin in September 2015.

Full information on admission requirements and procedures is listed below. As you explore the DNP program and the admission process, we encourage you to attend an information session or contact an admission counselor.

Requirements for consideration of admission

All nurses who meet the following criteria will be considered for admission:

  • A completed baccalaureate degree from an institution that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations (e.g. Higher Learning Commission).
  • A completed master's degree in nursing from a program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), or the Council on Accreditation for Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.
  • Graduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and a grade of not less than 'B-' in every nursing course. Applicants who do not meet these requirements should write a letter to the admission committee with rationale for an exception to the requirement. Admission would be on a provisional basis.
  • A post-secondary statistics course completed within the past five years with a grade of ‘C’ or better, inclusive of inferential and descriptive statistics. View a list of local colleges and universities that offer equivalent statistics courses.
  • Two years of recent clinical practice in nursing.
  • A current unencumbered nursing license.
  • Currently hold an advanced nursing position(s), such as clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, nurse executive, nurse informatician or nurse educator.

Admission decisions are made by the Graduate Programs Interview Committee, which evaluates the applicant’s background, qualifications and readiness for admission. Meeting the above requirements does not guarantee admission to the program.

Application process

Applications for the DNP program are submitted through the Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS).

The following materials must be submitted directly to NursingCAS:

  • Official transcripts from every post-secondary institution attended (including PSEO course work)*
  • Three recommendations. At least one recommendation should be from a current supervisor; the other recommendations may be from professors or other employers. Please review instructions in NursingCAS regarding recommendation submissions.
  • Personal statement
  • Résumé

*Transcripts submitted to St. Catherine University as part of a previous application cannot be used to complete the NursingCAS process. All official transcripts must be submitted directly to NursingCAS, including an official transcript from St. Catherine for applicants who were previously enrolled here.

We encourage candidates to begin the application process well in advance of the deadline to ensure that all materials are received. Only applications completed by the deadline will be reviewed for admission.

Personal statement

In NursingCAS, applicants will enter responses to the personal statement questions below. Responses should demonstrate advanced written communication skills and clarify your purpose in pursuing a clinical doctorate in nursing.

  1. Describe a situation or event when you/your team had a significant impact on a patient or a group of patients. How have you been transformed by that experience?
  2. In your opinion, what are the most pressing health concerns today?
  3. As a doctorally prepared nurse, what might you do to help reduce health disparities?
  4. Each DNP candidate completes a systems change project; what topic(s) might you incorporate into your systems change project? What resources are available to help you complete this project within two years?
  5. What do you envision yourself doing in five years?

TOEFL Scores

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test or 80 on the iBT.  This requirement is waived for students who have completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in the United States. Candidates must report unofficial TOEFL scores in NursingCAS. If admitted into the DNP program, official test scores must be submitted to St. Catherine University directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

International application

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must submit an International Student Application and Certification of Finances, in addition to the DNP program application. No additional application fee is required.


Qualified applicants will be contacted for a personal interview with the Admission Committee.


Fulfillment of the admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. No credentials will be returned to the applicant.