Beginning with the Fall 2016 application cycle, the School of Nursing will participate in the Centralized Application Services for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS). The NursingCAS for VCU’s Ph.D. program will be open in early November 2015. To prepare for applying, below are some helpful tips for things you can do now:
Collect copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended, including course work taken as high school dual-enrollment credit, nondegree-seeking credit, study abroad or course work taken and transferred to another institution. You will enter data from these transcripts into the coursework section on the application. Applicants who have studied outside of the U.S. must also provide a course-by-course external credential evaluation from ECE or WES no older than two years at the time of application.
NOTE: You will also need to have all official college/university transcripts sent directly to NursingCAS for verification. To do this, you will print off a specific transcript request form from NursingCAS to send to your colleges. The mailing address for transcripts is provided in the NursingCAS instructions.
Begin drafting your personal statement, making sure you address the following topics in a thoughtful and scholarly manner:
- What are your career goals, and how do you see this doctoral program contributing to meeting them?
- Within your particular area of interest, identify some problems you see as offering promise for research.
- What particular strengths do you believe you bring to this program that would enrich the learning environment of your peers?
- What do you perceive as major contemporary issues in nursing, and what are your views on at least one of them?
- Identify one or two potential advisors from the School of Nursing Ph.D. faculty who may be a good match for your research interests, and provide a rationale for your choice.
Update your resume/curriculum vitae ensuring all professional work experience, certifications, community service and volunteer experiences, and special skills and abilities are highlighted.
Consider who you will ask to submit references on your behalf and collect contact information for each. The three (3) academic and/or professional references must be able to knowledgeably comment on your ability to succeed in a doctoral program or evaluate your ability to be successful in nursing research. Any personal relationships (i.e., family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc…), even if they can be tied to an academic or professional setting, are not valid and will not be considered. An academic reference is a current or former faculty member or academic advisor. A professional reference is a current/former supervisor of a paid or volunteer position.
NOTE: You will enter the names and contact information in NursingCAS. Your references will receive an email message from NursingCAS that directs them to an online recommendation form.
Take the GREs and retain a copy of your score report. You will upload a copy of your score report into NursingCAS.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY
If your native language is not exclusively English, take the TOEFL iBT or IELTS.