Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing


Applicants may be required to submit additional materials:

  • Language Test Requirement: An official TOEFL or IELTS score report is required for international applicants whose native language is not English. For the TOEFL, a score of at least 79 on the Internet-based or 550 on the written-based test is required. For the IELTS, a minimum score of 6.5 is required. Copies and faxes are not accepted as official documents; we must receive test scores directly from the testing service.

    This requirement is waived for those who have completed a four-year U.S. bachelor's degree program and those who are citizens of or have completed a bachelor's degree at a recognized institution at which the language of instruction is English in these countries: Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand.
  • Transcript Evaluation: Applicants who completed post-secondary education abroad are required to submit non-U.S. transcripts to Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE) or the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) for evaluation of credentials. The evaluation report must show that your non-U.S. education is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's in nursing degree or a U.S. master's in nursing degree, contingent upon application requirements, to be considered for admission.

    Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE), www.ece.org, 414.289.3400

    Educational Perspectives, www.edperspective.org312-421-9300

    Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), www.cgfns.org

    PhD candidates must submit an evaluation done by CGFNS.

    Please request a General Evaluation with Grade Average and have the official report sent to:
    Graduate & Professional Enrollment Management
    820 N. Michigan Ave., suite 1200
    Chicago, IL 60611

    Copies and faxes are not accepted as official documents; we must receive the report directly. Applicants currently enrolled in a program should not request the evaluation until the last term of enrollment, or until after graduation. If an evaluation is requested prior to the last term of enrollment, the appropriate equivalency cannot be established or verified.

    For more information, please visit International Admission.

  • A Completed Application Form: We prefer that you submit your application form online. You may also download an application form and mail the completed form to:

    Graduate & Professional Enrollment Management
    820 N. Michigan Ave., suite 1200
    Chicago, IL 60611
  • Official Transcripts: Applicants must submit official transcripts for all undergraduate and any graduate work. To be eligible for admission, your transcript must show an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited program. Certified copies of transcripts are acceptable; faxed copies of transcripts are not considered official. If you attended Loyola University Chicago previously, you do not need to request transcripts; we have them on record.

    Transcripts should show a previous nursing GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation: Applicants must submit three (3) professional recommendation letters. Letters may come from current or former supervisors/managers and individuals in leadership positions who can speak to your clinical and/or academic abilities. Faculty member(s) may be used as recommenders if the coursework has been completed within the past 5 years. It is important that you choose recommenders who know you well and can evaluate your current or prospective clinical and leadership abilities, critical thinking, and potential for successfully completing a nursing doctoral program. At least one of these letters must be written by a doctorally prepared individual. Recommendations from friends or relatives will not be accepted. It is required that all three of your recommenders hold a graduate degree. The professional recommendations should be one page in length and detail the reasons why the recommender thinks you would be a good fit for your program of choice, and explain why (based on experiences with you) they believe you will be successful in a doctoral nursing program. 

    If you supply your recommender’s email address as part of your completed online application form, then your recommendation letters may be submitted online. Or, your recommenders may choose to email them to gradapp@luc.edu, or mail them to:

    Graduate & Professional Enrollment Management
    820 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1200
    Chicago, IL 60611

    We ask that you submit only three letters, no more, no less.
  • A Personal Statement: Your statement should be 1-2 double-spaced pages and should respond to the following topics:

    1. Describe your personal vision of yourself as a leader in health care; discuss how the DNP program will help you to operationalize this role.

    2. Provide a statement describing how your work experiences and professional interests have prepared you to be successful in the DNP program to which you have applied.
  • Test Scores: 
    The GRE is required for all applicants whose undergraduate nursing GPA is under 3.0. 

  • Current Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Special Note about Experience: 

    If you are applying to a DNP Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist track, the amount and types of RN experience that you have had, weighs into the admission decision. If you are applying to the Family Nurse Practitioner with Emergency subspecialty track, preference is given to Emergency Department RN clinical work experience. All Family NP ER students are required to obtain CEN certification prior to the start of clinical.

    If you are applying to the Adult Gerontology CNS with Oncology subspecialty track or the Adult Gerontology Primary Care NP with Oncology subspecialty track, preference is given to Oncology RN experience.

    If you are applying to the Psychiatric Mental Health NP track with a focus on Substance Use and Addictive Disorders, preference is given to applicants with relevant RN experience.
  • Current Nursing License: Students, including international students, must hold a current license from a U.S. state and be eligible for endorsement in Illinois.
  • Interview: The DNP Admissions Committee will contact applicants to schedule an interview to discuss the applicant’s goals.


TermApplication DeadlineTerm Starts
Fall August 1 (1st Year/Cohort) Late August


Background Check

While not required for admission, you’ll also need to complete a criminal background check before you can begin your clinical practicums. Please be aware the results of your background check may impact our ability to place you in a clinical setting.

For more information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.