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School of Nursing  :  Academic Programs   :  Graduate   :  Doctor of Nursing Practice  :  Post-Master's DNP

Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice

Program Description, Curriculum, Admission and Application Information

The post-master’s DNP curriculum is designed for nurses who have already earned a Master of Science in nursing degree. The DNP degree will allow these applicants to serve at a higher level as an advanced practice nurse or leader in their existing specialty. Persons with a generalist or nursing education master’s degree are not eligible for admission into the post-master's DNP option.

KU offers two majors in the post-master’s DNP program. Each is comprised of common core courses (11 credit hours), a capstone project (6 credit hours) and specialty courses (15 credit hours) for the required total of 32 credit hours.

  1. Post-Master's DNP Advanced Practice Major
    Appropriate master’s preparation for the Advanced Practice Major includes Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Midwife and Nurse Anesthetist.  Please contact the Nurse Anesthesia department office for post-MS DNP Nurse Anesthetist program information.

    Sample Plans of Study: Full timePDF document (image) ------ Or ------ Part timePDF document (image)

  2. Post-Master's DNP Leadership Major
    Appropriate master’s preparation includes Nursing Leadership (Administration), Nursing Informatics, Public Health, and Clinical Research Management.

    Sample Plans of Study: Full timePDF document (image) ------ Or ------ Part timePDF document (image)

Doctor of Nursing Practice Admission Criteria

The KU School of Nursing selects applicants who, in the judgment of the Student Admission and Progression Committee, demonstrate the academic achievement, integrity and motivation necessary for successful advanced practice or functional area leadership in nursing. In addition, the Committee looks for applicants who will contribute academic, nonacademic and socioeconomic diversity to the class. The Committee is interested in evidence of capacity for mature and independent scholarship.

    Eligibility and requirements:
  • Completion of a master’s degree in nursing or nurse anesthesia from a nationally accredited program (NLNAC or CCNE)
  • Minimum cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Preference is given to applicants with a 3.25 in the master’s program.
  • Potential for leadership and application of scholarship in nursing.
  • National specialty certification is required for all nurse practitioner, nurse-midwifery and nurse anesthesia applicants. For all other specialties, national certification is preferred but not required.
  • Graduate level statistics course (may be completed prior to admission or during first semester of enrollment)
  • Satisfactory criminal background check (completed once an offer of admission has been extended to applicant)

All applicants are considered on an individual basis. Space in the School of Nursing graduate programs is limited, and admission is competitive.

English Language Requirements: All applicants for study at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) whose native language is not English must demonstrate an established level of English language proficiency through either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the academic format of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The test must have been taken within two years of the first semester of enrollment. When submitting test scores to KU Medical Center, please submit only original scores sent directly from the testing agency. Photocopies will not be accepted. For testing purposes, the ETS school code is 6895. Contact the Office of International Programs for more information.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Application Process

The following materials are required for application to the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program. Prospective students can apply to the DNP program using the KU Medical Center Online Application.
Application deadline: March 1 for fall semester. Late applications are not accepted.

  • Graduate application to the School of Nursing, online at 
  • $60 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Official transcript(s) of all college coursework  (must show conferral of undergraduate and/or graduate degree).
  • Statement of career goals and practice interests.
  • Three references from advanced practice nurses, nursing faculty or physicians who are able to attest to the applicant’s potential ability for advanced practice and engagement in scholarly activity and leadership roles.
  • An application vitae, as outlined in the guide to application vitae format PDF document
  • Evidence of current registered nurse licensure in at least one state of the United States. Upon admission, students will need to meet additional licensure and participation requirements. Please see the section regarding enrollment in nursing courses for more information.
  • An informational on-campus or telephone interview with a School of Nursing representative. To schedule an appointment, call (913) 588-1619.

Admission decisions for each semester are finalized approximately 6 weeks after the application deadline.  All applicants are then notified of their admission status with mailed letters from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Special Student Non-Degree Admission

Under certain limited circumstances, students may enroll as non-degree seeking graduate students. Non-degree admission is for the specific course only, not admission to the MS, DNP or PhD degree programs. Enrollment is allowed on a space available basis after all degree-seeking students are accommodated.  In order to confirm course availability, please contact the School of Nursing Graduate Advisor before completing a non-degree application. Non-degree application deadlines are July 1 for fall semester, November 1 for spring semester, and April 1 for summer session. Application forms and transcripts are submitted using the online application. 

The following materials are required for non-degree admission:

  • Graduate non-degree application to the School of Nursing, online at   
  • $60 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Official transcript(s) of all college coursework  (must show conferral of undergraduate degree).
  • Space available in the course. Please check with the School of Nursing Graduate Advisor.
  • Applicants should have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

Background Check Requirement

For KU programs to maintain accreditation status, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations requires that all persons, employees, volunteers and students involved in patient care activities to have background checks. This status is very important to healthcare organizations to demonstrate to patients and professionals that they meet the highest of standards for patient care.

This background check will be done at the applicant’s expense after provisional acceptance has been granted. The information from this report is held in confidence by the school. More information regarding background checks for students

Questions? Contact Us!

The University of Kansas School of Nursing
Office of Student Affairs
Mail Stop 2029
3901 Rainbow Blvd. 
Kansas City, KS 66160

toll-free: 1-888-588-1619
TTY 711

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