Post-Master’s to DNP

Student presenting research utilizing a poster board

Program of Study

The Post-Master’s to DNP program, the first program in Connecticut, is designed to serve nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, clinical nurse leaders, midwives, nurse anesthetists, administrators, and educators who are interested in a doctoral program focused on practice and leadership. The program prepares practitioners at the professional doctoral level with courses focused on adding the highest degree of professional expertise in eight essential areas specified by the American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN). Students have the opportunity to specialize in their area of scholarly interest.

Letter to Prospective DNP Students from Joy Elwell

Our DNP Program was approved by the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education on Nov. 2, 2011.

Admission Requirements

Graduate School regulations and policies will govern admission to this program. These regulations require:

  1. An earned master’s degree in nursing, or related field (e.g. MPH, MHA, MBA), from an accredited college or university.
    • If the Master’s is not in nursing, then a BS in nursing is required. Further,
      • Applicants with a Master’s degree other than in nursing will be reviewed on an individual basis and a gap analysis will be performed to determine if additional course work is required prior to admission to the DNP program.
    • Current licensure as a registered professional nurse.
    • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the national certification requirement is currently suspended.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in all courses of record. Alternatively, a student may present a grade point average greater than 3.0 for the last two years of undergraduate study coupled with other evidence of competence and accomplishment, particularly during their masters program. Under exceptional circumstances, a student may present an exceptionally strong grade point average for the most recent year’s study, along with compelling evidence of potential for success.
  3. One personal statement from the applicant addressing his or her reasons for applying and his or her plans for the future.
  4. A second personal statement from the applicant addressing his or her reasons for pursuing advanced practice nursing, reason for selecting the specialty track, and goals upon graduation.
  5. Three letters of reference from faculty or others who can address the candidate’s potential for success in the graduate program.
  6. If not a native speaker of English, a TOEFL score of 550 or better or a Duolingo score of 100 or higher. If the applicant is to hold a teaching assistantship, he or she must also present a Test of Spoken English (TSE) score of 50 or better.

In addition to Graduate School requirements, the following additional criteria will be used to evaluate students:

  • Evidence of demonstrated competence in the discipline, including but not limited to undergraduate and graduate research experience or clinical experience.
  • Personal interview by a potential graduate advisor, whenever possible.


The Post-Master's to DNP offers both Fall and Spring entry options. Below are the links to the Plans of Study for all options:

Spring Admission Full-time

Spring Admission Part-time

Fall Admission Full-time

Fall Admission Part-time

Important Health and Clinical Requirements Information

Health Requirements