PhD Application Process

In order to be admitted to the PhD program, the applicant must meet the following qualifications:

Admission to the university: The online application form is available here.

The following items are required components of the application: 

  • Official transcripts showing bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and any post-master’s coursework sent directly from the original institution to Oklahoma City University. Request that transcripts be sent to the Transcript Coordinator, Office of Graduate Admissions, Oklahoma City University, 2501 N. Blackwelder, Oklahoma City, OK 73106.
  • Demonstrated competency in word processing, basic spreadsheet use, presentation software, and internet skills (an explanation of this competency is requested on the application form)
  • Current active Registered Nurse licensure or international equivalent
  • A bachelor's degree and a master's degree, one of which must be in nursing.  Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree in nursing may have a master's degree in a field related to nursing.
  • 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA for graduate level courses, on a 4.0 scale
  • One of the following three options:
    1. The Graduate Record of Examination (GRE)
    2. An approved scholarly paper
    3. An approved article/paper published in a refereed journal
  • One of the following:
    1. TOEFL of 550 or greater
    2. IELTS of 6.0, with no subscore lower than 5.5
    3. Conditional admission pending completion of English Language Studies (ELS) program
  • A personally written essay of 500-750 words demonstrating effective writing skills describing how the PhD will help the applicant achieve life and career goals (requested as part of the application form)
  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV) with a comprehensive listing of professional accomplishments

Application Deadline and Selection Procedure

There is no application deadline, so you may apply at any time.  Coursework may begin in fall, spring, or summer, depending on your desired start date and course availability.

Submit all materials to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Oklahoma City University
2501 N. Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK 73106

A maximum of six will be admitted. To apply, please click here

Top applicants may be invited to an interview with the committee. Interviews of students living at a distance can be conducted by telephone. The interviews will validate and verify application materials and evaluate verbal communication skills.

Eligibility Statement

Due to the strenuous nature of nursing and practice orientation of Oklahoma City University's Kramer School of Nursing program, the School reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any student to enroll or continue in the nursing program. This decision is based on considerations including, but not limited to, characteristics required of a professional nurse.

Eligibility is determined by the faculty's evaluation of a student's ability to perform the skills necessary to complete the course objectives, and includes attitudinal and behavioral components. These elements are re-evaluated each semester.

Transfer Credit and Progression

Previous graduate work at the master’s level will be evaluated and as many as 33 credit hours may be accepted toward the minimum 90 credit hours required for completion of the PhD.

A maximum of 15 credit hours of previous study at the post-master’s or doctoral level may be accepted as transfer credit on a case-by-case basis as relevant to the degree path or focus. Requests for transfer credit over and above this level must be submitted on the university’s “Student Petition” form. This process is to precede the finalization of the formal Degree Completion Contract.

Students must maintain continuous enrollment in the program as specified in the individualized Degree Completion Contract.

To progress, the student must have passed all prerequisite courses. A grade below a B- is considered failing in doctoral work.

The student may retake one course. A second failure in that course or in another course will result in dismissal from the program. Withdrawal from a nursing course after two-thirds of the course is over will be counted as one enrollment.

Tuition and Financial Aid

A full list of current tuition and fee costs is available here. Doctoral students who take at least two graduate credit hours per semester will be eligible for financial aid.

The university’s Office of Financial Aid will be able to offer certification for personal loans, as well as provide university scholarships to qualifying students, and will also help students identify other non-federal sources of aid. Students should use employer-based assistance as well.


The PhD program is designed for individuals who work full-time and who may or may not be geographically located within driving distance of OCU. Therefore, the residency requirement will be met by maintaining year-round (including summers) continuous enrollment (unless on an approved leave of absence) and by coming to campus for all the following:

  • On-campus three-day intensive class meetings held once a semester (click here to access the on-campus course schedule)
  • Oral defense of candidacy exam
  • Oral defense of dissertation proposal
  • Oral defense of dissertation
  • Other visits to campus required by faculty that are approved by the program Chair


Graduation requirements include:

  • successful completion of all required coursework and credit hours,
  • achievement of candidacy status,
  • a successful dissertation and oral defense,
  • compliance with residency requirements, and
  • a graduation GPA of at least 3.0.