Applying to the MSN-DNP Option

Read carefully through all of the instructions below so that you will have all necessary materials available to you before you begin the process. 

Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS)

The UK College of Nursing participates in Nursing’s Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS), which provides you with an online application. NursingCAS collects and processes your application documents and verifies your transcripts. We receive your application information from NursingCAS and use it to make our admission decisions. Do not apply directly to UK.

NursingCAS provides detailed instructions on their website.  Review information under the “Prepare to Apply” tab. The system provides you with updates on your progression as you work through the application and allows you to check your status online to track the receipt of your application, transcripts and references. You will be able to see when they receive your materials and when your application is marked complete and submitted to the UK College of Nursing.

Questions on how to upload required documents or questions regarding receipt of transcripts should be directed to NursingCAS and not to the College of Nursing.

Questions regarding admission requirements should be directed to the UK College of Nursing

All required items must be uploaded and transcripts verified by NursingCAS on or before the published deadline.   The transcript verification process can take several weeks after receipt of transcript, so please see that all materials are received by NursingCAS well in advance of the published deadline.  

Application Timeline

The application cycle opens September 15 and closes January 15 for Fall (August) admissions. The DNP program admits only for the fall term. Qualified, complete applicants will be contacted after the published application deadline to schedule interviews with graduate nursing faculty.  

Following interviews applications will be reviewed and decision letters mailed to all applicants.

Admission is competitive based on the number of qualified applications received and the space available.  We do not admit students from all states.

Out-of-State Students

The University of Kentucky works to provide distance learning courses and programs to students across the state of Kentucky, the country and abroad, but location matters when it comes to the availability of some courses and programs. Each state and territory have different requirements for distance learning. Out of state students who are interested in distance learning should read each section below and confirm that their program of interest can be offered and/or lead to licensure or certification in their state or territory.

  • State Authorization is a type of consumer protection regulated by states and territories. Institutions are required to obtain state authorization when they offer online courses or programs outside of their home state. Visit the State Authorization by Program section to learn which programs are authorized in each state.
  • States may have additional requirements for programs that lead to professional licensure or certification. Learn which programs can lead to licensure and certification in each state.
  • Contact Distance Learning with questions or for more information.

Additional Information

All admitted students will be required to undergo background check, drug screen and submit proof of immunizations, nursing licensure verification and CPR to a medical document service.


The application fee is $80.00 (subject to change), payable through NursingCAS. For information on application fee waivers, visit the NursingCAS website. There is no additional application fee to the University of Kentucky College of Nursing.

Prospective applicants must complete the following sections on the Nursing's Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS).

NursingCAS sections:

  1. Personal Information
  2. Academic History

Send official post-secondary transcripts from all institutions where you earned a degree or completed any coursework. Transcripts can take up to 7-10 business days to process once they are received by NursingCAS.

Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions where you earned a degree or completed any coursework (including post-secondary institutions where credit was granted through completion of a course during high school) are required for admission consideration.

  • The official transcripts must be sent to NursingCAS.
  • Applicants applying to a graduate program are not required to submit high school transcripts for admission consideration. 
  • Transcripts sent directly to the University of Kentucky will not be accepted. If you have any questions regarding the process of submitting transcripts, contact NursingCAS directly through their contact page
  • Current or previous University of Kentucky students are required to request transcripts to be sent to NursingCAS through the Office of the Registrar.
  1. Supporting Materials
  • Achievements
  • Experiences
  • Licensure and Certification
  1. Program Materials Section
  • Current CV/Resume - You should have your current/updated Curriculum Vitae or resume in hand prior to beginning the application. This will provide you with needed information regarding prior schools attended, dates, prior employment and dates, etc. needed for the application. Applicants are required to upload current CV/resume. See sample format
  • Recommendations - You will need current contact information on each of your three references (full name, employer name and email address) before beginning the application. These individuals will be required to upload a letter of recommendation to NursingCAS.  References attesting to the applicant's expertise in nursing or health care are preferred from the following:
    1. A recent faculty advisor or nursing faculty member (doctorally prepared)
    2. A current supervisor
    3. No more than one from a peer

Identifying your selected references and initiating the recommendation request is part of the NursingCAS application.  Hard copy or electronic versions of recommendations sent directly to the school will not be accepted.

  • Writing Sample:  An example of scholarly written work completed within two years of application, related to nursing that demonstrates excellent writing skills and the ability to communicate clearly and logically. Examples of scholarly work include a formal research paper written for your BSN or MSN Program; a published article on a nursing issue; or a paper written on a nursing issue of interest to you.
  • Personal Statement/Goal Statement: The mission of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing is to promote health and well-being through excellence in nursing education, research, practice and service while fostering diversity and inclusion. To support our mission, we strive to build a community that includes students of diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and cultures.
    • Please write a one to two double-spaced page essay describing what you as a person would bring to our educational community, the advanced practice nursing profession, and the community you seek to serve.
    • Include your short- and long-term professional goals. Identify a system or population you are interested in working with and discuss a problem in that system/population that you wish to expand your knowledge on during your DNP program.
  • Licensure: Applicants must upload copy of the State Board of Nursing validation of their current, unencumbered RN license(s), and APRN license, if applicable. 
  • Verification of Clinical Hours:  Post-MSN applicants must upload a verification statement of direct care clinical hours completed while in the program.  This letter must be on letterhead from the MSN program.
  • Licensure: Applicants must upload copy of the State Board of Nursing validation of their current, unencumbered RN license(s), and APRN license if applicable. 

International Students

International students have additional requirements. Please contact the College's Student Services Office for more information.  


E-mail or call (859) 323-5108.