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PhD in Nursing FAQs

What is the cost per credit for graduate school?
In-state tuition cost for full time attendance is $8,908 per semester. Part-time cost per credit is $891 for in-state residents. For out-of-state costs, visit the WSU Financial Services website.

What is the minimum GPA requirement for admission to the PhD program?
A GPA of 3.5 or higher in an accredited master’s program is required.

What are the admission requirements for the PhD program?
Visit our Admission Requirements page for admission criteria. PhD students must apply to WSU Graduate School online. Please contact Sarah Wilson at for more information and for academic advising before applying.

When is the application deadline for the PhD program?
Visit our Application Deadlines page for current deadlines.

Are Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores required for graduate nursing programs?
No, the GRE is not required.

Are reference letters required?
Yes. When you apply online, you will be required to provide 3 references. Once you submit your online application, your 3 references will be contacted automatically through the online application system and asked to submit a recommendation form electronically. We recommend your references include a faculty member in a nursing program you attended, a person from a work setting, and a person of your choice. Since their recommendations will come directly to the Graduate School, there is no need for a paper recommendation. Please contact references to ensure they are willing to respond to your recommendation request; ask them to discuss your leadership, academic standards, and skills as they pertain to your primary interest area.

Where do I have my transcripts sent?
Have your transcripts sent directly from your previous institutions to WSU Graduate School.

Washington State University Graduate School
PO Box 641030
Pullman, WA 99164-1030

Electronic Transcripts
The Graduate School accepts electronic transcripts from U.S. institutions via the official electronic transcript process of the registrar’s office of the institution. In such cases, applicants should provide the registrar with the following email address for corresponding with the Graduate School regarding electronic transcripts:

International Transcripts
If you attended a college outside the U.S. or Canada, please see the Graduate School site for more information.

How can I reach the Graduate School if I have questions?

What is the difference between a PhD and DNP degree?
The DNP degree is a practice-oriented doctoral-level degree that prepares nurses to assume leadership positions or work as advanced practice nurses in a variety of specialty areas. The PhD in nursing prepares nursing scientists to conduct research aimed at enhancing effectiveness of nursing in specific populations and within various healthcare settings. To learn more about each program, visit our PhD and DNP degree program pages.

How are classes delivered?
The PhD in Nursing program uses a combination of online and in-person education.

How long will it take me to earn my PhD?
The curriculum is designed to be delivered over 7 semesters, with additional time for dissertation, which is variable for each student.

How many credits will I need to complete?
The PhD in nursing curriculum requires 34 credits of required course work, 18 credits of electives, and 20 credits of dissertation work for a total of 72 credits.

How much time will I need to spend on the Spokane campus?
You will need to attend classes on Spokane campus for the first and last 2 weeks of your first summer semester. Classes will be delivered over a live videoconferencing system called Zoom and are typically held on Thursday and Friday mornings and afternoons. For your remaining semesters, you will be required to come to Spokane 2 scheduled weeks a semester. Classes will be scheduled on Polycom for 4 weeks. The balance of weeks will be over Blackboard, our online Learning Management System.

How long do I have to complete the program once I start?
The WSU Graduate School allows 10 years to complete.

What sort of financial aid is available?

What is the selection process and how soon will I know if I am accepted?
Completed applications are reviewed by the PhD Advisory Committee. Applicants receiving an acceptable score will be invited for a phone interview with 2 members of the committee. After the interview they will make a recommendation back to the full committee for a vote. If approved, the applicant will be recommended to the graduate school for acceptance. You will receive an email from the College of Nursing notifying you of the admission decision.

Pre-Admission Information




Rychelle Wagner
Rychelle Wagner
Academic Coordinator
509-324-7445                                                SNURS 127

Washington State University