Application and Admission Requirements

We are here to help you through the admission process. Contact us if you have questions.

Application steps

Apply to the Graduate College as a pre-admission DNP student. This includes the university‚Äôs $35 application fee. When applying to the Graduate College, select the semester that you plan on taking your first courses at MSU, including prerequisites if applicable.

Submit a program application to the School of Nursing:

Admission requirements

Post-Master's DNP applicants: 

  • Must have graduated from an Advanced Practice Nursing program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accreditation (NLNAC/ACEN). Graduates from non-accredited programs will be considered on an individual basis. 
  • Submit evidence of current certification in an area of Advanced Nursing Practice: nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, or clinical nurse specialist.
  • Hold a current unencumbered RN license in the state in which clinical practicums will occur within the United States. 

BSN to DNP applicants: 

  • Must have graduated from a Bachelor of Science (BSN) program that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accreditation (NLNAC/ACEN). Graduates from international nursing programs or non-accredited programs will be considered on an individual basis.  

DNP program requirements

Completed applications will be reviewed beginning December 1 for summer admission.

The successful applicant will:

  1. Submit an application and meet all requirements for admission to the Graduate College at Missouri State University, including complete, official transcripts of all college programs and course work.  The applicant should select the Pre-DNP program on the Graduate College application if prerequisites are needed prior to beginning the DNP program.  When applying to the Graduate College, select the semester that you plan on taking your first courses at MSU, including prerequisites.  
  2. Submit a separate DNP program application to the School of Nursing. Available on the nursing website.
  3. Submit a $50 nonrefundable application fee to the School of Nursing. This fee is in addition to the MSU Graduate Application Fee.
  4. Have graduated from an Advanced Practice Nursing program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accreditation (NLNAC/ACEN).  Graduates from non-accredited programs will be considered on an individual basis. (Post-master's only).
  5. Have graduated from a Bachelor of Science (BSN) program that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accreditation (NLNAC/ACEN).  Graduates from international nursing programs or non-accredited programs will be considered on an individual basis.  (BSN to DNP only).
  6. Submit evidence of current certification in an area of Advanced Nursing Practice: nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, or clinical nurse specialist.  (Post-master's only).
  7. Complete a minimum of clinical practice experience that equates with one year of full-time experience.  
  8. Hold a current unencumbered RN license in the state in which clinical practicums will occur within the United States.  (Post-master's only).
  9. Have a cumulative GPA of all previous graduate-level education course work of 3.25 (on a 4.00 scale) or above (Post-master's) and a GPA of 3.25 for last 60 hours of course work attempted (BSN to DNP).  Students who have less than a 3.25 GPA must submit verbal, quantitative, and analytical scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE).  See current Graduate Catalog Admission section for minimum GRE requirements.
  10. Submit evidence of current health and professional liability insurance.
  11. Current American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers certification.  Students taking CPR for the first time or whose CPR certification has expired must take a 4 hour face-to-face American Heart Association BLS Healthcare for Provider's CPR course.  Online didactic course and written test are available at OnlineAHA.org for a fee for those students show need to recertify.  No online practice and skills testing will be accepted.  
  12. Complete all prerequisite courses; pathophysiology, healthcare informatics, epidemiology (Post-master's only), and a graduate course in statistics with a grade of "C" or higher before the program begins.  Admission will be contingent on the student completing prerequisite courses prior to enrolling in DNP courses.
  13. Meet the School of Nursing technical standards of the DNP program to successfully undertake the course of study (available by request from the program).
  14. Submit evidence of current immunizations or immune status (MMR, Tetanus, Varicella, Hepatitis B series) and a PPD or Tspot (chest X-ray or documentation of appropriate follow up for PPD positive individuals).  Individual agencies may have additional requirements.
  15. Be prepared to meet the technical and technology proficiency requirements for online courses. 

Admission process

For applicants with complete admission packet

  1. Applicants who demonstrate a match between their project goals and the areas of expertise of the faculty will be given priority in the admission process. (Post-master's only)
  2. Competitive applicants will be invited to interview with the DNP Admission Committee. An interview is required to determine the fit between the candidate's goals, and the DNP program and faculty.
Selection factors

Admission into the Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program is highly selective and competitive, and a limited number of students will be admitted each year.  Completion of all admission requirements and/or admission to the Pre-DNP program does not ensure full admission to the DNP Program.  The DNP Admission Committee will consider the following characteristics of competitive applicants:

  • Academic potential to successfully complete the program within the required time frame
  • Understanding of and commitment to the role of the advanced practice nurse
  • Personal maturity
  • Interpersonal communication skills, including written and verbal
  • Quality and quantity of health care experiences
  • Quality of leadership and service activities
  • Capacity for performance of the technical functions and tasks required of the advanced practice nurse.

Students may take up to nine (9) credit hours of course work towards their degree before full admission to the DNP specialization. Student may take:

  1. NUR 635, Healthcare Informatics
  2. NUR 640, Advanced Human Pathophysiology
  3. NUR 700, Epidemiology
  4. NUR 703, Population Health:  A Local to Global Perspective
  5. NUR 707, Advanced Health Assessment and Health Promotion Throughout the Lifespan
  6. NUR 711, Advanced Roles and Leadership in Nursing
  7. NUR 765, Applications of Advanced Pathophysiology
  8. PSY 627, Advanced Psychological Statistical Methods

Additional requirements of the program

Students will be required to initiate and pay for any additional security checks and drug screenings required for placement into agencies for clinical experiences. Some agencies require annual screening and affidavits.

Admission is contingent on completing the following immediately after acceptance to the program:

1.  Payment of a clinical tracking fee.  See the School of Nursing website for a full list of program costs.

2.  Applicants must apply and pay for the state/federal Background Check and receive a response that the applicant has not been convicted of any crime or other disqualifications that would prohibit licensure as an advanced practice nurse or completion of clinical experiences in clinical settings.

3.  Pay for and complete a urine drug screen without disqualifying offenses.