D.N.P. Program

Lead the change we critically need to improve care

Focused on clinical practice and translating research findings to benefit patients, our Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) program will prepare you to become a critical thinker and evidence-based practitioner who can initiate change within increasingly complex health care systems. 

Pathways to Entry

We offer four routes to a D.N.P., based on your current level of education. 

Post-Baccalaureate D.N.P.

Our post-baccalaureate D.N.P. program helps RNs take their practice and careers to new heights. This program is designed for you if you earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and your goal is to become an advanced practice clinician.

Program Eligibility

  • A bachelor or master's degree from a nationally accredited nursing program
  • An undergraduate grade point average of B or better
  • A completed course in statistics (AP credits cannot be accepted)
  • A current RN license to practice nursing




March 15: Fall enrollment
Sept 30: Spring enrollment

Family specialty is fall enrollment only

Direct Entry D.N.P.

The Direct Entry D.N.P. offers students with bachelor’s degrees in fields other than nursing an accelerated opportunity to become an in-demand nurse leader. 

Program Eligibility

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA (or combined undergraduate and graduate GPA) of at least 3.0
  • Completion of prerequisite courses

* Note: GRE is preferred, but not required for application.


Throughout the first five semesters of intensive, full-time study, you will prepare to take the NCLEX exam and become a licensed RN. At the end of this portion of your studies, you will be conferred a generalist master of science in nursing.

Preparing for NP boards: 

During the final portion of your program, you will complete courses and clinical fieldwork in your specialty. You will graduate prepared for certification as a nurse practitioner.


Students will complete both the Master of Science, Advanced Nursing Generalist curriculum and the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program curriculum for a total of 107 credits. 


Dec 15 

Post-Master's D.N.P.

Our post-master’s D.N.P. program helps current NPs take their practice and careers to new heights. This program is designed for you if you earned a master's degree in nursing and your goal is to become an advanced practice clinician.

Program Eligibility

  • A master's degree from a nationally accredited nursing program
  • An undergraduate grade point average of B or better
  • A completed course in statistics (AP credits cannot be accepted)
  • A current RN license to practice nursing



March 15: Fall enrollment
Sept 30: Spring enrollment

Family specialty is fall enrollment only

RN to D.N.P.

Our program allows current RNs without bachelor’s degrees to maximize both their experience and the credits they have earned from previous programs (approximately 112  earned credits required). If you are a motivated and accomplished student who wishes to transform your professional knowledge into a career as an advanced practice nurse, this program is for you.

Program Eligibility

  • An associate’s degree from a nationally accredited nursing program
  • Approximately 112 course credits; 42 in general education and 70 in specialty knowledge related to nursing 
  • An undergraduate grade point average of B or better
  • A completed course in statistics (AP credits cannot be accepted)
  • A current RN license to practice nursing



March 15: Fall enrollment
Sept 30: Spring enrollment

Family specialty is fall enrollment only

Explore Our Specialties

As a D.N.P. student, you'll choose from five advanced practice specialties to prepare for certification as a nurse practitioner. Each specialty provides focused courses and clinical placements, helping you discover your professional passion.

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care
<h4>OVERVIEW</h4> <p>Adult-gerontology nurse practitioners (NPs) provide primary preventive and chronic illness care for individuals throughout the entirety of adulthood, forming lasting bonds with patients over the course of their time together. <br /> </p> <p>Adult-gerontology NPs take patient histories, perform diagnostic testing, interpret lab results, prescribe medications and other therapies, and refer patients to consultations—all while providing essential health and wellness education and counseling.</p>
<p>Completing patient histories, diagnostic testing, prescribing therapies and medications, wellness education—these roles all fall under the purview of adult health NPs. Focusing on adults, they provide primary care in community clinics, hospitals, private practices, and other settings.</p>
Community-based clinics Hospitals Private practices Occupational health settings Adult day care and assisted living facilities Prisons Shelters Patient homes
Family Health
<h4>OVERVIEW</h4> <p>Family Nurse Practitioners (NPs) study and improve the health of individuals and families while identifying risk factors and preventing illness. They help patients throughout the entire lifecycle, assessing, diagnosing, and managing common acute and chronic primary health care challenges.<br /> </p>
<p>Family NPs improve the health of both individuals and families, providing acute and ongoing primary care throughout a patient’s entire lifecycle. They also address the epidemiological and environmental factors leading to health challenges.</p>
Family practices Public and private ambulatory settings Wellness centers Hospitals and home health agencies Occupational health sites Prisons Shelters
Pediatric Primary Care
<h4>OVERVIEW</h4> <p>Working with infants, children, adolescents, and their families, pediatric nurse practitioners (NPs) promote wellness, prevent illness, conduct well-visit checkups, and treat common diseases and injuries. Our practitioners mentor students so they can care and advocate for children from various backgrounds and populations. Attending to patients from infancy to adulthood, pediatric NPs help ensure that children get a healthy start while promoting equal access to care.</p>
<p>Working in a range of well-child settings and specialty placements, pediatric NPs care for children of all backgrounds and ages, starting from infancy. They promote overall health, treating common issues and performing checkups.</p>
Primary care Schools Community health centers Private practices Specialized practices
Psychiatric-Mental Health
<h4>OVERVIEW</h4> <p>Focusing on health and wellness, psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners (NPs) lead caregiving teams, paying particular attention to patients’ emotional, cognitive, and social functioning, and play key roles in clinical evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. They also help people and communities recover after trauma or distress. Psychiatric/Mental Health NPs work to:<br /> </p> <ul> <li>Conduct individual, family, and group psychotherapy</li> <li>Diagnose psychiatric disorders</li> <li>Perform psychiatric assessments and evaluations</li> <li>Coordinate medications</li> <li>Act as case managers for people with psychiatric disorders</li> <li>Provide consultation to primary care providers</li> </ul>
<p>Attending to emotional, cognitive, and social functioning, psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners (NPs) are vital to evaluating and treating patients. They conduct psychotherapy, perform assessments, prescribe medications, and act as case managers.</p>
In-patient hospital practices as admitting clinicians Outpatient community mental health programs Private practices Emergency departments Forensic settings, such as court clinics and prisons
Women's Health
<h4>Overview</h4> <p>Women’s health nurse practitioners (NPs) provide comprehensive care to women, supporting their general health across the lifespan. They also provide sexual and reproductive health care to men. We prepare our graduates for practice with an emphasis on reproductive, gynecologic, and well-women health and to understand how psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual influences may affect women’s health.</p> <p>Our women’s health nurse practitioners also conduct research, serve as case managers, and educate patients, groups, communities, and health care professionals. They provide the following services:</p> <ul> <li>OB/GYN</li> <li>Primary care</li> <li>Fertility care</li> <li>Reproductive health</li> <li>Breast and GYN oncology</li> <li>Urogynecology</li> </ul>
<p>Our women’s health students graduate prepared to provide comprehensive care to women—and sexual health care to men—with a particular emphasis on reproductive, gynecologic, and well-women health.</p>
Hospitals Community health centers Private practices Managed care setting Universities

Clinical Placements

Students experience a variety of practice settings by rotating among 3-6 clinical sites, including:

  • Addiction Treatment Center of New England
  • Atrius Health
  • Beth Israel Lahey Health
  • Boston Children's Hospital
  • Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
  • Boston Medical Center
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Cristo Rey Boston High School
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Dimock Center
  • Fenway Health
  • Franciscan Children's
  • Hebrew SeniorLife
  • Joslin Diabetes Center
  • McLean Hospital
  • Shriners Children's Boston
  • Signature Healthcare
  • South Boston Community Health Center
  • Spaulding Rehabilitation Network
  • VA Boston Healthcare System

Financial Aid

The Connell School and Boston College offer multiple opportunities to fund a graduate education. CSON graduate students receive financial assistance through internal and external sources—including scholarships, fellowships, grants, teaching and research assistantships, and tuition remission.


Our graduates have been hired at local and national institutions, including:

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Children's National Medical Center
  • Community Health Center of Cape Cod
  • CVS MinuteClinic
  • Daniel Driscoll—Neponset Health Center
  • Dimock Center
  • East Boston Neighborhood Health Center
  • Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center
  • Lakes Region Mental Health Center
  • Nuvance Health
  • Oklahoma Children's Hospital
  • Torresdale Pediatrics
  • Tufts Children’s Hospital
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • DNP Career Outlook


    Median annual wage for nurse practitioners

    Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021


    Projected growth in the Nurse Practitioner field by 2030—nearly six times
    the national average for all occupations.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Featured Faculty

    Alison Marshall

    Alison O. Marshall, RN, M.S.N., FNP-C

    At Boston College, you will be taught by actively practicing providers who work in a variety of health care settings. When you graduate, you will be prepared to provide excellent and equitable advanced practice nursing care in one of our five specialties.
    Alison O. Marshall, Clinical Instructor

    Practice Change Projects

    Nurse in a white coat holding sign with bottom of caduceus
    In your last two semesters as a D.N.P. candidate, you'll apply your clinical and classroom experience in a rigorous practice change project, dedicated to improving health care outcomes for a patient population. These projects apply existing research in practice, develop evidence-based solutions, and identify ways and means of delivering more efficient care.

    Recent Practice Change Projects

    Opportunities at the Connell School

    Graduate Nurses’ Association

    Learn More

    The GNA facilitates professional development opportunities and sponsors social events, connecting you to your fellow students and serving as a voice for the CSON graduate community.

    Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing

    Learn More

    The KILN program helps students maximize their leadership potential, prepares them to provide nursing care in an increasingly multicultural society, and nurtures their ability to create positive social change.

    Global Trips

    Learn More

    Participation in CSON's international programs can count toward nurse practitioner (NP) supervised hours for graduate students.



    Application & Deadlines

    Apply Now

    A non-refundable application fee of $40 is required.


    • Direct entry — 12/15
    • Post-baccalaureate — 3/15 for fall enrollment (note: family specialty is fall enrollment only), 9/30 for spring enrollment
    • Post-master’s — 3/15 for fall enrollment (note: family specialty is fall enrollment only), 9/30 for spring enrollment
    • RN to D.N.P. — 3/15 for fall enrollment (note: full-time students and family specialty are fall enrollment only), 9/30 for spring enrollment 

    Résumé or CV

    To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

    Goal Statement

    Please submit a goal statement which will be used as a source of information about your educational objectives and as a sample of your writing ability. The goal statement should be typewritten (double-spaced) and no more than four pages in length.

    Goal Statement Prompt & Guidelines

    Letters of Recommendation

    Two letters of recommendation:

    • Your letter writers should be able to speak to your abilities in classroom settings, unless you have been out of school for 2+ years. In that case, you may submit one academic letter and one letter from a person who has known you in a professional capacity.
    • Letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically. When you register your reference writers through the application system, they will immediately receive an email with the link to the electronic reference form. For this reason, we suggest that you contact your references prior to registering them through the online application.
    • References will have the option to upload a supporting letter in Word or PDF format.
    • If you would like your references to receive the electronic form before you have completed the online application, you may go directly to the “Recommendations” link on the application and register your references before filling out the rest of the form.
    • You can log back into your application to check which letters have been received, as well as to send reminder emails to your references.


    Official transcripts are preferred but not required upon application. If admitted, official transcripts will be required.

    Official digital transcripts can be sent to csongrad@bc.edu.

    All hard copy transcripts may be sent to the following mailing address:

    Boston College
    Graduate Nursing Office
    Maloney Hall - 2nd Floor
    140 Commonwealth Avenue
    Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

    *If the last name on your transcript does not match the application name, please contact csongrad@bc.edu after submitting the application. 


    Standardized Tests

    GRE is preferred, but not required for application

    Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores* (current within five years of application deadline). Institutional code 3062

    Please allow 2-4 weeks for test scores to be received in order to meet application deadline


    Supplemental Forms

    Based on the answers you provide in your application, you may need one or more of the following forms to complete your application:

    International Students

    • Official transcript(s) evaluation (by the Commission on Graduate Foreign Nursing Schools or World Education Services) from all post-secondary institutions at which you have studied
    • Official TOEFL (Evidence of English Proficiency scores are required for students whose native language is not English. The following scores indicate minimum score requirements: 100 on the TOEFL iBT (internet-based test); 7.5 on the IELTS Band (academic); 600 or greater on the paper-based test; or 250 on the CBT test (computer-based test). Please request that your scores be sent to the William F. Connell Graduate School of Nursing by using our institutional code 3062 in the designated areas. Student copies or photocopies of TOEFL are not accepted.
      • You can get application forms and information about testing dates for the TOEFL from many U.S. consulates, USIA centers, and TOELF centers overseas by writing to: TOEFL Registration, CN 6152, Princeton, New Jersey 08541 USA, or www.toefl.org.
      • The TOEFL score is not required if you meet both of the following criteria: You are a citizen of the United States, Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Guyana, an anglophone country of Africa, or an English-speaking country of the Caribbean AND your native language is English.