Doctor of Nursing (DN)
- Important Dates for September 2023 Intake:
Applications for the September 2023 intake will open on November 15, 2022. We encourage applicants to apply by the early January 15, 2023 however, we will continue to accept applications for admission until April 30, 2023.
Mandatory Applicant Screening To be competitive for admission to the DN program, we expect applicants to have significant leadership/education experience. Before officially initiating your application to the DN program through the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Online Admissions Application, you must email email@example.com with the screening requirements below to determine if you are eligible to apply for the program. This screening will check if you meet the minimum academic and experience admissions requirements and if your area of interest matches with a potential supervisor’s area of expertise as applicants must satisfy the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies as well as the Graduate Department of Nursing Science’s additional requirements. The screening may involve some correspondence with potential supervisors. Note that if you pass the initial screening, it does not mean that you will be admitted to the program, only that you meet the minimum requirements and there may be a supervisor available for your proposed project. The admissions decision can only be made after your application is officially submitted and reviewed. Screening requirements to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Unofficial transcripts from each post-secondary institution you have attended: these can be screenshots or unofficial digital versions but must include the transcript “legend” which is usually printed on the last page. You can include a one-page letter to support your application if you believe the marks you received do not reflect your performance due to extenuating circumstances. Applicants must hold a master’s degree or its equivalent in nursing or related field with at least a B+ standing from a recognized university.
- Proof of English Facility: Applicants from universities outside Canada where English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of their application.
- Curriculum Vitae: See Application Guidelines for details
- Potential supervisor: (Note – Please see the tab on DN Supervisors for more information on how to select potential supervisors). For each faculty member you identify, please provide a paragraph explaining why you see a potential match with them as a supervisor.
Admission InterviewAn interview with the Admissions Committee may be required. Should this be the case, we will contact you by email to arrange an in-person interview or, if this is not possible, an interview by telephone. Interviews may take place anytime from February through June.
Guide to Completing the on-line application:
School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Online Admissions Application
If, after going through the pre-screening process, your application is deemed eligible and a faculty member agrees to supervise your doctoral work, you may to submit your application through the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) application portal. Steps for completing the application are below:
- If you are a first-time applicant, click Create an Account to begin your application. You will receive a verification code via email. Enter your verification code and create a password for your account. Once account is created, you may save and return to theapplication at any point in the process. If you have previously submitted an application to SGS, please log into your account and “Start New Application”.
- Respond to all items in the application including essays about your area of interest and career plans and upload required documents including CV, unofficial transcripts, writing sample, English Proficiency Test Results (if applicable), and the Doctoral Supervisory Agreement Form through your application portal.
- Download the Doctoral Supervisor Agreement Form. Applicants will complete the form and have their potential DN supervisor sign off before uploading the form to the SGS application site.
- Enter information for referees. Referees will automatically receive a notification email to complete a reference for your application, along with instructions to submit their reference letter in the application system. If you need to change your referees, please contact email@example.com(Subject line: Change referees for new applicant). Please provide your first and last name and U of T applicant number.
- Pay the mandatory application fee through the applicant portal. Your application will notbe processed until the application fee is received.
- You may send an email reminder to existingreferees through your applicant portal after submitting your application.
- Arrange for submission of official transcripts (See Required Documents)
- You may view your application status, including outstanding requirements, by logging in to your account and selecting view applicant status portal
You will be asked to upload your CV to the on-line application. Please use the categories listed below when you are developing your CV. If a particular heading does not apply, you may leave it out.
- Academic education (post-secondary degrees, diplomas, certificates)
- Continuing education & certification (including workshops, professional development)
- Awards and honours (e.g. practice awards from employing organization, bursaries, scholarships)
- Professional employment
- Peer-reviewed presentations / publications / research (e.g. workshops, conferences, journal references)
- Current membership in professional
- Committees (e.g. work-related, professional)
- Clinical / administrative / practice / teaching innovations (please provide brief descriptions or examples)
- Research involvement (please provide brief descriptions of projects and your role and/or your involvement and role in research-oriented organizations)
- Relevant volunteer activities
Academic and Career Plans Essay Questions
Text boxes are provided within the online application for responses to the items listed below (please note word limits). Responses can be created in a Word or other document then copy and pasted into the application form.
- Describe a specific project/thesis area that interests you and why it needs to be studied. The description must include the identification and investigation of a practice problem and the application of theory and research. The project/thesis should focus on translating research into practice, applying research knowledge in decision-making, and/or developing and implementing clinical innovation to make an impact on the healthcare system, improving care delivery, and/or advancing nurse education and scholarship. (~1000 words)
- Describe how your personal background and life experiences contributed to your scholarship interests in this area and to your decision to pursue a Doctor of Nursing degree at the University of Toronto (~250 words)
- Outline your career plans and discuss how the Doctor of Nursing degree is relevant to your professional goals (~250 words)
- Applicants for the Doctor of Nursing degree must have a minimum of 2 years relevant healthcare leadership experience or advanced nursing education teaching experience. Describe your experiences in either healthcare leadership or advanced nursing education teaching to demonstrate you have fulfilled this criteria for admission (~500 words)
- Describe your plan to balance demands of the full time DN program (course work, thesis/research, TAships) with personal and work commitments (~250 words)
A Sample of Your Scholarly Work
Please upload to your application a sample of your written work. Ideally this should be a research article or scholarly report on which you are the first author. If this is not available, then you should submit a sample of a graded paper from your last degree (Master’s level) written within the last 5 years.
Three Letters of Reference
As part of our application process, we require all DN applicants to submit 3 references: 1 academic and 2 professional/employer. Letters of Reference are submitted electronically through the SGS on-line application. You will need to provide the referees’ email addresses. Please communicate with your referees in advance to confirm their contact information. After you pay the application fee, we will contact your referees by email and ask them to submit their recommendation electronically.
- Academic Reference (One required). Ideally your academic reference will be from a faculty member who taught you and graded your written work during your master’s degree and who can speak to your academic abilities. If you are unable to obtain an academic reference from a previous professor, you can provide an alternate academic reference. An alternate academic reference might come from someone who has taught you in a continuing education course or someone you know professionally who can speak to your academic abilities (e.g., ability to carry out scholarship and analysis, ability to express ideas in writing and orally, potential to master complex theories and ideas). You might approach someone like a Chief Nursing Executive or a senior figure in the nursing community whom you know through committee work or research work, etc.
- Employer/Professional References (Two required). Ideally your employer/professional references will come from a supervisor or manager who is familiar with your professional competencies and/or accomplishments. A colleague is not an appropriate professional reference. If you are unable to obtain a professional reference from supervisor/manager, you can provide a reference from someone you know professionally who can speak to your professional accomplishments. You might approach someone like a Chief Nursing Executive or a Chief Nursing Officer or a senior figure in the nursing community whom you know through committee work, research work, conferences, etc.
You can login to your application to check the status of your references. Once your referee submits his/her recommendation, you will be able to see that it has been received. It is up to you to ensure that you submit the correct contact information for your referee. It is also up to you to ensure your referee submits his/her recommendation by the application deadline.
Electronic and Scanned Transcripts(s)
You will be asked to submit both an electronic copy of your transcript as well as an official transcript (either a hard copy by mail or an electronic copy by email to firstname.lastname@example.org).
You are required to upload one electronic or scanned transcript from each post-secondary institution you have attended to the on-line application so that we may assess your file immediately. Scanned copies of transcripts must be up to date and must include the transcript “legend” which is usually printed on the back of the paper transcript.
- Please scan your transcript in grayscale at the lowest dots per inch (dpi) setting that results in a legible document.We recommend 72 dpi whenever possible.
- The file must be in .PDF format. Image files, such as those in .jpg or .bmp formats, must be converted to .PDF before uploading.
- The file size of each scanned transcript file to be uploaded must not exceed 3 megabytes (Mb).
- If your transcript is double-sided, please be sure to scan the front and back of each page.
- The transcript legend (usually printed on the back of a paper transcript) must appear at least once for every scanned transcript submitted.
- Scanned documents must be clearly legible and print on standard CDN/U.S. 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper.
- Do not upload a document that is password-protected or that contains macros.
- University of Toronto students may submit a screen capture of their academic history from the Student Web Service of ACORN in place of a transcript. However, if you have attended multiple institutions, the other universities’ transcripts (with legend) must still be included in the file in chronological order.
In addition to uploading a copy of your transcript, you should also order your transcript(s) from each university you have attended. Transcripts must be received by the Faculty of Nursing either directly from the issuing institution by email to email@example.com or in an official envelope that is sealed and signed by the issuing institution across the seal. You may include a one page cover letter to support your application if you believe the marks you received do not reflect your performance due to extenuating circumstances.
Please mail official transcripts to:
Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
155 College Street
In the case of University of Toronto transcripts only, applicants may submit an ACORN print-out of grades rather than an official University of Toronto transcript.
English Proficiency Test Results
International applicants must submit a copy of their English proficiency test scores. Applications with unsatisfactory test scores will not be assessed. This requirement should be met at the time you submit your application.
DN Supervisory Agreement Form
Review and complete the form with the assistance of your proposed supervisor. Please note that completing the form and securing a supervisor does not guarantee acceptance into the DN program.
How to submit official transcripts and other documents required:
U of T Transcripts
In the case of University of Toronto transcripts only, applicants may upload and submit an ACORN print-out of grades rather than an official University of Toronto transcript.
You will be asked to submit both an electronic copy of your grades from ACORN (a print-out or legible screen capture) as well as a hard-copy of your grades printed from ACORN. This applies to University of Toronto transcripts only. If you have attended other institutions as well, you will need to submit official transcripts from those institutions.
You may include a one page cover letter to support your application if you believe your marks do not reflect your performance due to extenuating circumstances. Please upload the cover letter with your electronic transcript.
NOTE: If you have an academic record at the University of Toronto prior to September 1998, you will need to order a U of T Transcript as we are unable to access your grades on ACORN.
NB: You are required to arrange official transcripts from the School of Continuing Studies (SCS), University of Toronto to be sent directly to the Faculty. The Faculty does not have access to records of the School of Continuing Studies.
All Other Transcripts
You will be asked to submit both an electronic copy of your transcript as well as an official transcript (either a hard copy by mail or an electronic copy by email to firstname.lastname@example.org).
- You are required to upload one electronic or scanned transcript from each post-secondary institution you have attended to the on-line application so that we may assess your file immediately. Scanned copies of transcripts must be up to date and must include the transcript “legend” which is usually printed on the back of the paper transcript. You may include a one page cover letter to support your application if you believe the marks you received do not reflect your performance due to extenuating circumstances. Please upload the cover letter with your electronic transcript.
- You should also order your transcript(s) from each university you have attended. Transcripts must be received by the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing directly from the issuing institution via email to email@example.com or by mail to the Doctoral Admissions, 155 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 1P8 in an official envelope that is sealed and signed by the issuing institution across the seal.
Proof of English Facility
English proficiency test scores can be submitted directly by the test centre to the School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto. Alternately, test results can be sent directly to the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, PhD Admissions, 155 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 1P8. Please refer to the School of Graduate Studies website for details around our institutional code number, acceptable tests, and minimum score requirements.
International and internationally-educated applicants may have to submit additional documents such as English translations of academic records and copies of original degree diploma. Please refer to international student and international student resources for details. Additional documents should be sent to PhD Admissions, Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, 155 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 1P8.
How to ensure documents have been received:
You can login to your application to check the status of your references. Once your referee submits his/her recommendation, you will be able to see that it has been received. Remember, it is up to you to ensure that you submit the correct contact information for your referee. It is also up to you to ensure your referee submits his/her recommendation by the application deadline.
Once we have received your official transcript(s), we will confirm receipt in your application within 48 hours. Login to your SGS application to ensure your transcript has been received.
If you submit additional documents such as English Facility results, we will confirm receipt of the documents in your SGS application. Login to your SGS application to ensure receipt.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
What are the application dates?
Applications for the September 2023 in-take will open November 15, 2022 and close on April 30, 2023.
How can I prepare the best application for the program?
Program information session dates and recordings can be found here.
What is the grade average required to be competitive to enter the DN Program?
The minimum grade average required is a B+ in your Master’s program.
I am in my final year of study and grades for my final year will not be available until May, which courses will be considered for my grade average?
Completed courses will be considered for grade average calculation at the time of our admissions review. The Admissions Office will recalculate your final year average when you submit final transcripts with all completed grades.
Equivalent degrees – Non-nursing master’s degree
I have completed a non-nursing master’s degree (e.g. MSc or MEd or MPH or MSW), is this considered equivalent to an MN degree? Can I apply to the PhD program?
If you have completed a BScN degree, we may consider your non-nursing master’s degree in lieu of an MN degree for admission to the DN program. You will need to make a case in your Letter of Intent outlining how your education has prepared you for the DN program.
When will I be notified whether I am admitted to the program?
We will start issuing admission offers as early as the end of February until the end of April on an on-going basis.
Is there a waiting list? When will students be notified if they are placed on a waiting list?
There is no waitlist for the DN program. Students will normally hear from the Admissions Committee with a final decision by the end of April.
How to prepare for entry to the DN program once you have received an offer of admission:
Accepting the offer of Admission
You will receive your offer of admission by mail and by email. You can use either copy to respond to the offer. To accept our admission offer you need to complete and return the School of Graduate Studies Confirmation Form (fax to 416-978-8222 OR scan and email to firstname.lastname@example.org). We will email you to confirm receipt.
Clearing admission conditions
If your offer of admission has conditions, these will be outlined in your offer letter. You are required to clear all conditions by the due date (usually August 31) indicated on your offer of admission letter. Failure to clear outstanding conditions may jeopardize your entry to the DN Program. Typically, conditions will require that you submit a document (final transcript, letter, diploma) to show that you have fulfilled the condition. Please submit documents to:
Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing,
155 College Street,
Toronto, ON, M5T 1P8.
We will email you to confirm receipt of documents and to indicate the condition has been cleared.
You can access ACORN as soon as you have accepted your offer of admission. To log in for the first time, you will need your student number, which is located on your Offer of Admission letter. Visit the ACORN home page for instructions on logging in for the first time and setting up a password.
Take some time to explore ACORN where you will do many important things including enrol in courses, monitor your student financial account, print your tuition invoice, and obtain tax documents.
TCard, UT email and UTORid
Your TCard is your University of Toronto student card and is your key to many services and activities at the University and off-campus. Once you have obtained your TCard, you will be able to set-up your UT email account and you will be assigned a UTORid.
Fees, Registration, and Enrolment
A breakdown of your tuition and supplementary fees for the coming year is typically posted in ACORN in mid to late July. You can login to ACORN to monitor your student account and to print out your tuition invoice, once it is available.
You are considered registered as soon as you have paid tuition and incidental fees or have requested to register without payment (i.e. fee deferral). For information on registering without payment (i.e. fee deferral), visit the Graduate Fees section of the SGS website.
Full details on enrolling in courses will be emailed to all students by the Registrar.
Paying your tuition
You should login to ACORN and print out your invoice. For instructions on making your tuition payment, consult the Student Accounts page.
School of Graduate Studies (SGS): SGS usually holds an orientation session during the first week of September. SGS will email you with full details over the summer.
Information about DN Supervisors
At the time of application, DN applicants must have a faculty member agree to supervise your thesis work if you are admitted to the DN program. This agreement fosters a close link between a student’s thesis project and those of the prospective supervisor, which in turn helps to promote the student’s success in the doctoral program and its timely completion. This matching occurs during the mandatory applicant screening process.
To help identify potential supervisors:
- Connect with Dr. Elizabeth Peter (email@example.com) who will suggest potential good matches for you
- There are many considerations in choosing a supervisor for the DN program that are quite different from choosing a supervisor for the DN program. It may be helpful to visit our website to read the faculty biographies, and to become familiar with potential supervisors’ areas of interest by reading a selection of their publications.
After you have found a match through the mandatory applicant screening process and have been approved to submit your application you will need to have the faculty member sign the DN Thesis Supervision Form, which is to be submitted with your application package.
The number of faculty members in the position to take on new DN students varies year to year depending upon current supervision load, leaves and sabbatical plans. Junior faculty members, working in collaboration with senior faculty members, from time to time agree to supervise doctoral students.
Connecting with prospective supervisors
The mandatory applicant screening process will determine if and when it will be appropriate to reach out to prospective supervisors. Selecting a supervisor is perhaps the next most important decision you’ll make after deciding to pursue DN studies. Your supervisor is your guide through the program as a whole, and specifically in reaching the milestones that lead to successful completion of a thesis. The investments you both make are huge and the fit must be mutual.
When you engage with faculty at Bloomberg Nursing who are prospective supervisors, they will assess whether or not they are in a position to help you given their interests and constraints/commitments and your skills, strengths and aspirations. You, in turn, will focus on whether or not they are a good fit for you, in terms of their interests and your needs. When requesting a meeting with a potential supervisor you should provide your CV and a short description of your interests. Prepare for meetings with prospective supervisors by reading their work and drafting questions to ask of them. Here are some documents we suggest:
- Canadian Association for Graduate Students. Your Future: A Guide for Potential Graduate Students:
This document is offers guidance in selecting a graduate program and a supervisor, as well as in seeking financial support for graduate study. Pay particular attention to the specific questions you can and should ask of a potential supervisor.
- The School of Graduate Studies website also has excellent material for prospective and current students.
Pay particular attention to Graduate Supervision: Guidelines for Students, Faculty and Administrators. Like the other guide from the CAGS above, this document contains a helpful list of questions for potential supervisors.
Ideally, you and your supervisor will be interested in the same subject matter and/or population. However, sometimes successful student/supervisor pairings bring together individuals who are not necessarily exact matches on all of these parameters and sometimes matches that are not immediately obvious can turn out to be logical and fruitful. The precise nature of your project usually crystallizes in the first year of doctoral work, as you complete course work, attend seminars, and have discussions with your supervisor and committee. Your applicant statement must provide some early ideas that you have about a possible project.
You and your supervisor will assemble a committee of faculty members to oversee your thesis work. These professors offer additional viewpoints on your work as it evolves and complement your supervisor’s expertise.