Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program prepares elite nursing professionals to lead in today's increasingly complex health care system, applying evolving best practices to make dramatic improvements in patient care.

an UMSON student listening intently in a classroom environment

U.S. News and World Report - Best Grad Schools - Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice 2019The Doctor of Nursing Practice is the highest practice degree in nursing. It enables you to remain in direct patient care while providing you with the knowledge and training to be a leader in a fast-changing health care environment. With a DNP from UMSON, you’ll be well equipped to translate advances in scientific research into improved outcomes for your patients.

At UMSON, the Doctor of Nursing Practice curriculum provides you an immersive education in:

  • evidence-based practice
  • quality improvement
  • systems leadership.

Our graduates possess clinical, organizational, economic, and leadership skills that have a direct impact on health care outcomes.

Choose one of four paths to your DNP.

Our Doctor of Nurse Practice program has an option that fits your goals and experience, whether you 1) have your BSN, 2) have your master's in nursing or a related field, 3) are already a nurse practitioner, 4) are looking to change your specialty. Focus your energy and resources on only those courses that you need to achieve your goals. Learn more about our DNP pathways.

What You'll Do

After graduating from the DNP program, you'll be prepared to:

  • Initiate, facilitate, and participate in collaborative efforts that influence health care outcomes with scholars, practitioners, clinicians, and policy makers from other disciplines
  • Lead at the highest educational, clinical, and executive ranks
  • Evaluate and apply ethically sound, culturally sensitive, evidence-based practice for the improvement of education, clinical practice, systems management, and nursing leadership
  • Analyze and apply scientific knowledge and related skills for the highest level of nursing practice
  • Design, implement, manage, and evaluate patient care and organizational systems

Want to know more about what you'll do with a DNP from UMSON? ‌‌Read the DNP Program Brochure.

DNP and Post-Doctoral Certificate Admission Deadlines and Requirements

In this section:


The Nurse Anesthesia specialty accepts applicants for the summer session only
All other specialties and the Post-Master's DNP option accept students for fall admission.

For best consideration, applicants are encouraged to have all required application materials submitted by the deadlines listed below.

  • Completed applications received after the priority deadline date will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
  • After the admissions committee file review, applicants may be invited to an on-campus interview.
  • Applicants not selected for an interview will not be advanced to the next stage of applicant review. 

Summer (Nurse Anesthesia specialty ONLY)

Application Opens April 1
Priority Deadline Sept. 1
Application Review Sept. through Oct.
Interviews mid-Oct. through mid-Nov.
Admissions Decisions Announced late Nov. through early Dec.

Fall (all other DNP specialties*, Post-Master's DNP, and Post-Doctoral Certificate applicants)


  • bachelor’s degree with a major in nursing from:
    • an ACEN- (formally known as NLNAC) or CCNE-accredited college or university
    • an equivalent degree from a comparable foreign institution
  • an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0

Application Materials:


Submission Guidelines

Online Application and non-refundable $75 application fee.

Start your application now.

On the application drop down list:

  • post-baccalaureate DNP with specialty pathway applicants should select NURS – DNP – POST BSN
  • post-master's DNP with specialty applicants should select NURS – DNP with Specialties
  • post-master's DNP (without specialty) applicants should select NURS – DNP
  • post-doctoral certificate applicants should select NURS - Postdoc Certificate

Learn more about our DNP pathways.

Two recommendations. Recommendations must come from sources knowledgeable about your work performance and experience. Only the first two recommendations received will be considered.

Complete this form to generate a request to a recommender you identify. For all Spring 2019 and later applicants, a form and letter will be required.

Official transcripts. An official transcript from every institution previously attended or currently attending must be submitted in a sealed envelope, as prepared by the sending institution. Electronic transcripts from University System of Maryland institutions will be accepted in lieu of official, sealed transcripts.

Returning students are required to submit UMSON transcripts via the Office of the Registrar.

Submit by mail to:
University of Maryland School of Nursing
Office of Student and Academic Services
655 West Lombard Street, Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21201-1579

Essay. You may submit the essay portion with your online application. We recommend that you compose the essay portion using word processing software and copy and paste it into the text box in the online application.

Applicants are expected to submit a concise essay (no more than 350 words) addressing the following:

  • Nurse Anesthesia specialty applicants: Describe why you want to receive a Doctor in Nursing Practice degree with a Nurse Anesthesia specialty, what motivated you to seek Nurse Anesthesia as a specialty, and what your plans are following your education.
  • All other applicants: How will earning this degree (or post-doctoral certificate) impact your care of the population you expect to serve after graduation?
Submit these materials via our Supplemental Documents Form.

(Alternatively, we accept submissions via email.)



Typed résumé or CV. Be sure to include your full name with your résumé submission.

A copy of your active, unrestricted State of Maryland or compact state RN license. For a current list of compact states, see the Maryland Board of Nursing website; if you hold an active Maryland RN license, send us a copy of your printable license verification, available on the Maryland Board of Nursing website.

Residency classification. Applicants who are claiming in-state (Maryland) residency MUST apply for in-state status. 

Complete a residency application and submit it either by mail, e-mail, or fax to the Office of the Registrar using the instructions supplied at the bottom of the residency application. The completed application, signed and dated, should be submitted prior to the first day of enrollment for the term and program for which you are seeking admission.

Verification of Nursing Practicum Hours Form (required for post-master's option applicants only).

Complete the form and submit by mail to:
University of Maryland School of Nursing
Office of Registration and Clinical Placements
655 West Lombard Street, Suite 104
Baltimore, MD 21201-1579

An interview with selected applicants will be arranged after the applications are received and reviewed.

Applicants without a High School Diploma or College Degree in the U.S:

  • If you do not have a degree from a U.S. high school, college, or university, you are required to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • If you have completed coursework outside of the U.S., you must have your transcripts evaluated.

More information.

This program is not eligible for F-1 or J-1 student visa sponsorship by the University of Maryland, Baltimore, due to the amount of online courses.

If you have questions regarding the admissions requirements or process, contact the Office of Admissions to avoid errors that could delay the processing of your application.

UMSON has exceeded the goals set by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) to provide nurse practitioner education at the doctoral level. Read more about the DNP program background in our frequently asked questions.

Upcoming Admissions Events See More
4:00 PM | online DNP Online Chat
5:00 PM | online DNP Online Chat
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2:30 PM | online DNP Online Chat