How to Apply

PhD in Nursing

Admission Requirements

Applicants are admitted under the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Nursing Science’s additional admission requirements stated below:

  • 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.
  • All English facility requirements must be met at the time of application.
  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must demonstrate proficiency in English. An interview may be required.

Please email for information on the PhD program and the application process including identifying a supervisor. Please note that meeting minimum admission requirements does not ensure admission to the program.

Mandatory Applicant Screening 

Important: To be completed before beginning a School of Graduate Studies Online Admissions Application or paying the admission fee.

To be competitive for the PhD program, applicants should have research experience and scholarly outputs such as journal articles and presentations at conferences, to ensure success in the program.

This screening will check if you meet the minimum academic admissions requirements and if your area of research 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 – this connection will be made by admissions staff after reviewing your documents.

Passing the initial screening does not guarantee admission to the program.

The admissions decision can only be made after your SGS application is officially submitted and reviewed. 

 Screening requirements listed below should be sent to

  • 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 grades you received do not reflect your performance due to extenuating circumstances.
  • 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
  • Potential supervisor: Identify one or more faculty from this online list – [PDF] with an area of expertise that matches your area of research interest. For each faculty member you identify, please provide a paragraph explaining why you see a potential match with them as a supervisor. Review the guidelines around identifying potential PhD supervisors

If you pass your applicant screening, you will be approved to submit your PhD application through the SGS portal.

What if I don’t pass the applicant screening?

If you do not pass your applicant screening you will be provided with direction on other ways to pursue your academic goals.

What if I meet the admission requirements but cannot find a supervisor?

If you do meet the requirements of the program and match with a supervisor but the faculty member isn’t available to take on additional PhD students, you may be advised to apply in a future academic cycle.

Transfer from the MN Program into the PhD Program

Exceptional students who are also excellent candidates for the PhD program may apply to transfer from the MN to the PhD program. Students must currently be enrolled in the MN program at the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto to qualify.

Candidates applying to transfer from the MN program must have:

  • Agreement of an identified supervisor. Contact for support on this process.
  • Completed the following:
  • MN-Clinical: Four courses; two completed with a minimum grade of B+ and the following two required courses, both with a minimum grade of A:
  • NUR1176H History of Ideas in Nursing
  • NUR1174H Research Design, Appraisal and Utilization
  • MN-HSLA: Four courses; two completed with a minimum grade of B+ and the following two required courses, both with a minimum grade of A:
  • NUR1156H History of Ideas in Nursing
  • NUR1127H Integrated Approaches to Appraisal and Utilization
  • MN-NP: Four courses; two completed with a minimum grade of B+ and the following two required courses, both with a minimum grade of A:
  • NUR1094H Research Design, Appraisal and Utilization
  • NUR1095H Introduction to Qualitative Research

Application Guide

Submit your application online through the School of Graduate Studies.

Access the SGS Portal and follow the steps below. Review Required Documents

  1. 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. If you have previously submitted an application to SGS, please log into your account and select Start New Application.
  2. Download the Doctoral Supervisor Agreement Form.  Applicants will complete the form and have their potential PhD supervisor sign off before uploading the form to the SGS application site
  3. Submit all application requirements including essays about your research 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.
  4. 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 (Subject line: Change referees for new applicant). Please provide your first and last name and U of T applicant number.
  5. Pay the mandatory application fee through the SGS portal. Your application will not be processed until the application fee is received.
  6. You may send an email reminder to existing referees through the SGS portal after submitting your application.
  7. Arrange for submission of official transcripts 
  8. You may view your application status, including outstanding requirements, by logging in to your account and selecting view applicant status portal.