How to Apply

To apply to the DNP program, you will complete the application via NursingCAS. NursingCAS is a service that allows applicants to use a single online application and one set of materials to apply to any participating schools. Below are instructions on how to submit your DNP application to the University of Minnesota.


Steps to Apply

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Step 1: Create Your NursingCAS Account

Visit the University of Minnesota School of Nursing NursingCAS Organization page and add the DNP specialty you are applying to.

You will be prompted to login to your account or create account before you can add a program.

Click on "Create Account" and complete the required fields in order to start your application.

If you are a reapplicant to the DNP program, please login with your previous account information and follow the prompts on the page.

Step 2: Select Your Program

Please select the following options within their respective drop down menus:

School: University of Minnesota School of Nursing
Location: Minnesota
Degree Type: Choose either DNP (Post-Baccalaureate) or DNP (Post-Master’s)
Graduate Level Track: Choose a specialty if you are pursuing the DNP Post-Baccalaureate
Delivery: Hybrid; On Campus for Nurse Anesthesia and Family Nurse Practitioner

After selecting your program, proceed to Review My Selections.
After reviewing, continue to your application.


Step 3: Personal Information

You will need to thoroughly complete all seven areas of the personal information section.

Step 4: Academic History

There are five sections within Academic History, but only two are required. The Standardized Tests section is required if you need to complete the TOEFL.

  1. High School Attended
    This section is not required for the University of Minnesota
  2. Colleges Attended
    Please follow the instructions provided by NursingCAS to add colleges. Official transcripts are required for the University of Minnesota. Please download a Transcript Request Form for each college, and submit the form to your institution’s Registrar. Transcripts sent directly to the School of Nursing will not be accepted.
  3. Transcript Entry
    In this section, you will be prompted to start your coursework entry. The University of Minnesota requires full coursework entry. We acknowledge that this process can be labor-intensive, and we encourage entering this information early on in the application process.
    Helpful Hint: Having your unofficial transcript(s) handy when completing this section can make the process quicker and easier.
    Once all your coursework has been entered, you will be prompted to review and finalize your transcripts. Please review your coursework entry very carefully, as it cannot be edited once you submit your application. Failure to properly enter your coursework can result in a delay of transcript verification.
  4. Standardized Tests
    GRE: The GRE exam is NOT required for admission.
    TOEFL: If English is not your native language, then you are required to submit TOEFL scores. Request to have your results sent directly to the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. The TOEFL institutional code for School of Nursing is 5942. A score of at least 587 (written), 240 computerized, or 95 (IBT) is required. Scores must be no more than two years old. You are exempt from taking the test if, within the past 24 months, you have completed 24 quarter credits or 16 semester credits in residence as a full-time student at a recognized institution of higher learning the United States.
    If you have taken the TOEFL by the time that you submit your application, please enter your scores in the Standardized Tests area. If you have not, please indicate the date that you plan to sit for the exam. Please note, TOEFL exam scores must be received by the School of Nursing by the application deadline.
  5. Diploma in Nursing
    This section is not required for the University of Minnesota

Step 5: Supporting Information

There are three sections within Supporting Information and two are optional.

  1. Achievements
    This section is optional. We encourage applicants to list all honors and awards on their CV/Resume.
  2. Experiences
    This section is optional. We encourage applicants to list experiences on their CV/Resume.
  3. Licensure and Certifications
    Use this section to enter all licensures and certifications. Candidates must hold an RN license by the start of the program. If you will not have your RN license at time of application, you will be required to provide documentation of your license before you can start the program.
    If you are an international nurse, you must obtain a Minnesota license by the end of your second semester in residence. You will need to pass the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) exam and the NCLEX exam in order to obtain a Minnesota license. You are encouraged to take the CGFNS exam in your home country prior to enrollment. For more information, contact the Minnesota Board of Nursing website or call 612-617-2270.


Step 6: Program Materials

This section directs you to complete program-specific requirements. Please navigate to the University of Minnesota’s programand follow the instructions to complete the Questions, Documents and References sections.


Application requirements for the University of Minnesota School of Nursing DNP program include:

  1. Nursing License
    Upload a photocopy or screenshot of your nursing license.
  2. Current Curriculum Vitae/Resume
    Upload one document that contains your current Curriculum Vitae/Resume. Save the document as “YourLastName UofMN Resume”.
  3. Personal Statement
    Essay: Please respond to the prompts described below. Prepare your responses carefully. This is your opportunity to tell the admissions committee about yourself in ways that might not be evident from your academic record. There is no length requirement for each response, but please do not let the essay exceed four pages in total. The essay format should be double spaced with a 12-point font.
    • Describe your understanding of the DNP degree - the competencies and skills you anticipate acquiring within the program, and how you will leverage your unique skills to impact change in your future professional career.
    • Describe specific experiences that have informed and prepared you for your chosen specialty. Please be as specific as possible.
    • Share how your background, education, employment, and other experiences have developed your potential as a leader. Elaborate on how being a doctorally prepared nursing leader will prepare you to lead healthcare system change.

    Save the document as "YourLastName UofM Essay"

    It is essential that students possess strong writing abilities in order to be successful in a doctoral program. Below are the competencies we evaluate when reviewing your application essay:
    • Ability to present thoughts in a logical, sequential, and analytical manner
    • Ability to clearly answer essay questions
    • Ability to use proper grammar, syntax,  and correct APA citation where appropriate.
  4. Short Essay Response: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
    Please answer the following short essay question in 500 words or less.

    Why is understanding and appreciation of equity, inclusion, and diversity important to healthcare, specifically the nursing field? As a doctorally prepared nurse how do you contribute to making society a more inclusive and equitable place?

    Save the document as “YourLastName UofM DEI”.
  5. For Post Master's DNP Applicants ONLY: Detailed Scholarly Project Proposal
    Upload a document that tells the admissions committee about your Scholarly Project Proposal. Save the document as "YourLastName UofM Project". Please save in the "Other" document category.

    As part of the Post Master's option DNP academic requirements, students are required to complete a DNP Scholarly Project. This project is designed to address a quality improvement process or problem. In 1000 words or less, please identify a problem or process improvement that relates to your advanced practice that you plan to incorporate into your DNP Scholarly Project. Be sure to include the following topics: problem identification, proposed solution and desired outcome.
  6. References
    Three references from past or current professors, supervisors, or professional colleagues are required. One out of the three references must be from someone who is responsible for performance evaluation (i.e., employment supervisor or current/recent nursing course instructor). The references should attest to your potential for success in the DNP program (including preparation, initiative, and aptitude) and your commitment to the profession. At least one professional reference must be on professional letterhead. Please encourage your reference writers to submit the reference form using their professional (work) email address.
  7. Questions
    Please answer all required questions for the University of Minnesota.

Step 7: Submit

Once you’ve completed all of the above steps and are confident of your materials, click the submit and pay field. Remember you will need to submit the application fee to NursingCAS.

Follow Up

Monitor your NursingCAS Portal
Monitor your NursingCAS application portal weekly for completion of tasks such as verification of your transcripts and receiving recommendations. Notifications regarding your application will only be sent through your NursingCAS portal, and it is your responsibility to be checking and taking action on necessary tasks.

Follow NursingCAS on Social Media
There are many helpful instructional videos, message boards or application tips available on NursingCAS' Twitter account and YouTube channel. You are encouraged to use those avenues to find support or help with your application.