Online applications and supporting documentation are due by Nov. 25 for admission in the following September and can be accessed through the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies website. To ensure the protection of personal information, applications cannot be viewed by the department until they are submitted. Please contact the Nursing Graduate Office if you have questions about your application.

Applicants are selected on the basis of academic and research potential including:

  • GPA (typically 3.5 or higher);
  • Background experience, research and scholarly activities, and career plans;
  • Publications and presentations (particularly from the Master’s Degree);
  • Three letters of reference (must be written in English); and
  • Current Curriculum Vitae
  • Graduate qualitative and quantitative (with some statistics) research courses, or one graduate course in statistics and one in research methods (or equivalent), with a final grade of B or higher.

Developing an application for doctoral nursing studies at the University of Alberta

When considering an application to doctoral studies, it is the responsibility of the applicant to connect with a faculty member who could appropriately supervise the dissertation project that you intend to develop. The role of the graduate supervisor is to provide guidance and direction in the selection of the thesis topic and research method, and thus must have the expertise required to support the intended research project. Doctoral applicants are required to confirm the name of the faculty member who has agreed to serve as graduate supervisor before the application will be assessed.

Potential supervisors will also be assessing your potential alignment with their expertise and their program of research. Some faculty members may be unable to accept new students at this time depending on the number of graduate students that they are already currently supervising.

Consider the following steps toward securing a potential PhD supervisor:

  • Develop an executive summary of your personal academic profile (eg. Suggest 3 to 5 pages in length). This should include highlights of your educational background, publications and academic achievements, and research plans.
  • Consult the Academic Listing of the Faculty of Nursing website (tenure-track faculty only) to identify potential supervisors. The profiles for each individual faculty member include information about their research program and areas of expertise, courses that they have taught, and publications that may provide more detail about their research and academic interests.
  • Identify a list of those specific faculty members whose expertise is aligned with your intended research project.
  • Contact selected faculty members by email and append your executive summary of your academic profile. Invite the faculty member to connect with you by email, phone, or teleconference to have a conversation about your application.
  • Be prepared to explore with a potential supervisor how your possible research question could align with their research program and expertise. You will be required to write about this alignment in your formal application document.
  • Faculty members who are considering supervision of your doctoral studies may request additional information (e.g. curriculum vitae, master’s thesis, a sample of your writing).
  • If the faculty member agrees to serve as graduate supervisor if your application for admission is successful, request email confirmation of this agreement and include it in your application package.

Application Requirements

Application requires:

  • A completed online application for Graduate Admission. Please note, unsubmitted applications are deleted 21 calendar days after you begin your application or the application deadline (whichever comes first). We suggest before you start your application, you gather the documents necessary to complete and submit your application (e.g. transcripts, degree certificates, English Language Proficiency scores, referee contact information, and other documents required by the department offering the program to which you're applying). If you require assistance or have questions regarding the application process, please email or refer to the FAQ section of the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies website.
  • Official transcripts/mark sheets and degree certificates from all academic institutions. Please read the Application Requirements for Academic Documents
  • Three letters of reference from academics and professionals knowledgeable about your academic and professional capabilities. One reference letter must be from your proposed supervisor or co-supervisors. Reference letters must be in English. Reference request emails (system-generated) will only be sent upon final submission of the application.
  • Current Curriculum Vitae 
  • A completed PhD Applicant Background Information Form: required form is also available in the Documents section of the online application. In this form, the applicant will clearly outline your research and program plans/expectations including:
    • Alignment with proposed supervisor’s program of research
    • Previous master’s studies
    • Career plans
    • Program expectations
    • Previous research and scholarly activity
    • Beginning research plans for dissertation project
    • Significance and potential of proposed research
  • A sample of written scholarly work, preferably a work in which the applicant is the sole or primary author.
  • As required, a passing score on an English Language Examination (ELP). Applicants with degrees/qualifications in a language other than English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Applicants with qualifications from certain countries and international universities are exempt from the English language requirements (see the FGSR exemptions list. Applicants who currently hold RN licensure with CRNA or another Canadian nursing regulatory body may also be exempt from ELP requirements. Although the satisfactory completion of an English language proficiency test cannot guarantee adequate language skills, a TOEFL score of at least 587 (paper-based), or a total score of 97 with a score of at least 22 on each of the individual skill areas (Internet-based); an IELTS overall score of 7.0 with the following minimum scores: Listening-7.5, Reading-6.5, Writing-7.0, Speaking-7.0, Overall-7.0; or equivalent where applicable is required by the Faculty of Nursing. In addition, the Faculty of Nursing may require applicants to successfully complete EAP 550.

Applications are not considered until all supporting documentation has been uploaded and the application has been submitted.

Please note that it is the student's responsibility to ensure the completeness of their applications by planning ahead to make certain that all documents will be uploaded to the online application by the deadline.

PhD applicants who are being considered for admission to the program may be invited to an interview.

Official documents (transcripts, degree certificates, etc.) will be required upon receiving the conditional offer of admission letter. Documents must be sent directly from the post-secondary institution to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Office.

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PhD Program Application Information