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Alternate Entry Doctor of Philosophy (Ae-PhD)

General Information

**Please note the application open and deadline dates, below, have been postponed for the 2014 application period ONLY* 

**Application Deadline: November 1 for summer admission
**Application Available: September 1
Length of Program: 4.5 years full-time
Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy
Part-Time Study Available? NOT in first year
Distance Learning Available? NO

About the AE-PhD

The Alternate Entry Doctor of Philosophy (AE PhD) degree is designed for those who hold baccalaureate or graduate degrees in disciplines other than nursing.

The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing AE PhD program prepares students to become researchers and to assume advanced leadership roles in nursing and health care delivery. A combination of conceptual approaches, challenging interactions in seminar discussions, and work with active researchers produces a stimulating environment for scholarly development.

Each program of study allows an individualized plan of coursework consisting of prescribed graduate level RN foundation courses, and master’s level courses.

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Course of Study

  • The Foundation Year: The AE-PhD program is designed to satisfy RN licensure requirements and train students in specialty nursing roles. The first year of the program is an intensive, full-time series of foundation courses. The AE-PhD Foundation Year (Pre-Licensure) Courses are accelerated, specially designed graduate courses that include content and experiences that are required to take the Registered Nurse licensure examination (NCLEX-RN) and that are required for graduate-level study in nursing. All foundation courses must be completed before students are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The sequence of AE-MSN foundation courses begins in the first summer session, and full-time enrollment during the foundation sequence is required.
  • Doctoral Coursework: Upon passing the NCLEX-RN and getting licensed, the student is eligible to work as an RN in Texas only. The remaining years of the program focus on the coursework required for the PhD in Nursing in the student's focused area of study.

Program requirements for the AE PhD in nursing include core courses and a focused area of study beyond the foundation year, plus a dissertation. The PhD program prepares nurse researchers to make significant contributions to nursing knowledge and nursing practice through ongoing scientific inquiry and the dissemination of research findings.

Integrated Scholarly Portfolio: Visit Integrated Scholarly Portfolio web page to learn about Integrated Scholarly Portfolio.

Other Degree Requirements: Doctoral Candidacy | Doctoral Dissertation

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Admission Requirements for the AE-PhD Program

All students interested in applying for graduate study in Nursing at the University of Texas at Austin must meet the admission requirements established by the University’s Office of Graduate Studies and the School of Nursing. Applicants are expected to be graduates of accredited colleges or universities. Below are the minimum requirements for admission.

Bachelor’s degree (or higher) in an area other than Nursing

  1. A GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or comparable GPA in upper-division work (junior- and senior-level courses) and in any graduate work previously completed
  2. Completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within the past five years (School code: 6882). No exceptions apply.
  3. Completion of all prerequisite courses at the time of summer enrollment (not the time of application)
  4. Three Electronic Letters of Recommendation forms- at the time of application you must provide the name, position, and email address for three recommenders. Recommenders are sent an email with instructions on completing the recommendation. *At minimum one reference must be from a healthcare professional, such as a nurse, physician, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist.
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6. Curriculum Vitae
  7. Selection of “Nursing-Alternate Entry-PhD” as major choice on the online application for admission (Code 671720)
  8. Admission for Summer term only

*Applicants to the AE-PhD program are encouraged to have volunteer or work experience in a healthcare related field.

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Application Procedures for the AE-PhD Program

All students applying for formal admission to the Alternate Entry PhD program must submit the following application materials by the November 1 deadline.

Application for Admission

Complete online application for admissions and pay application fee at ApplyTexas.org. School of Nursing application is only open between September 1st and November 1st yearly. The online application is data entry only all supporting application documents are uploaded on the My Status Check after the application is complete.

*Note: The online application should be completed at minimum 1 week prior to the November 1 deadline to allow time for all required documents to be completed and uploaded by the deadline. Recommendation: Complete online application as early as possible to allow enough time for recommendations to be completed and submitted before the deadline.

Supporting Application Documents

Note: All materials are to be submitted electronically to the My Status Check (available two days after online application is submitted) after completion of the application on ApplyTexas.org.

  1. Official transcripts from all 4-year institutions attended. Upload an official copy to the application website and if admitted the official hard copy transcripts is required. 
  2. Official community college transcripts for all college’s prerequisites were taken or currently taking.
    1. Official transcripts must be dated one year or less at the time of application.  If not available, order transcript to be sent to applicant’s home, open and upload document to the My Status Check page; the opened official copy should be sent to GIAC upon acceptance.
  3. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores taken within the past five years. University code 6882, no department code required. Note: GRE scores take 10-14 days to reach UT Austin.
  4. Curriculum Vitae or Resume (Readable font, 12-point, single-spaced, 1-inch margins)
  5. Personal Statement: 
    1. Maximum two (2) pages
    2. (Readable font, 12-point, double spaced, 1-inch margins)
  6. Three references:
    1. Provide the name, position, and email address for three recommenders on the application for admissions. Recommenders are sent an email with instructions on completing the recommendation form 48 hours after the application is completed, paid and submitted. NOTE: At minimum one reference must be from a healthcare professional, such as a nurse, physician, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist.   
  7. Official TOEFL scores taken within the past two years (for International Applicants only).
  8. Alternate Entry Prerequisite Checklist (PDF)
  9. Alternate Entry Transcript Evaluation Form (if applicable)

Visit the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) website for more information.

Please follow all directions carefully. The applicant is responsible to confirm all materials have been received on time.

For additional details on how to prepare your graduate application materials and personal statement instructions, please view following documents AE PhD Application Checklist (PDF).

Please follow all directions carefully. It is the applicant's responsibility to confirm that all materials have been received on time.

Upon application completion visit My Status Check web page to upload application documents and to track progress of your application status.

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Acceptance to Graduate Programs in Nursing

The School of Nursing Graduate Admissions and Progression Committee (GAPC) may begin preliminary admission reviews as soon as an applicant’s file is complete; however, admission decisions are not made until after the program’s application deadline. All application materials are required to be submitted by the program’s application deadline; files that remain incomplete will not be reviewed or acted upon by GAPC.

If admitted, applicants will be notified of the admission decision by early March and will receive two separate notices: (1) an unofficial e-letter from the School of Nursing informing you of the Committee’s decision, and (2) an official e-letter from the Graduate and International Admission Center notifying you of the admission decision of the Office of Graduate Studies. Acceptance by both the School of Nursing and the Office of Graduate Studies is necessary before enrollment is permitted. Please be aware that if admitted, you will be required to meet all compliance requirements at least one month prior to the first day of class.

NOTE: Email is the official means of communication for all university business.

If not admitted, applicants will be notified by the Graduate and International Admission Center only.

Please feel free to email Graduate Student Affairs Office or contact the Graduate Coordinators if you have questions about the admission process.

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Important Forms/Documents

All files are in PDF format.

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