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Advance your nursing practice and clinical leadership to meet the increasing need of highly-trained APNs.

Program Type


Semester Start


Study Options

Online, On Campus

Minimum Duration

2 Years

UMass Boston’s nursing doctoral program focuses on advancing your nursing practice and clinical leadership to meet the increasing need of highly trained advanced practice nurses to meet emerging health care system needs. It’s designed for nurses with a master’s degree in nursing with training as family, gerontological, or adult nurse practitioners; clinical nurse specialists; and nurses with an MS in nursing who are certified as nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists who want to hone their skills and add a doctorate degree to their résumé. Develop your leadership skills and gain knowledge and competence in health systems leadership, policy development, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Use these skills to improve health care quality and increase health care access for all populations.

U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 edition of Best Graduate Schools includes the Doctor of Nursing Practice at No. 73. SR Education Group ranked the University of Massachusetts Boston as the 6th most affordable online DNP degree for 2019. The program enrolls highly skilled and motivated masters-level-prepared advanced practice nurses. Once enrolled, you'll be welcomed into a diverse community of students and faculty. You'll gain added insights and understanding through collaborations with the PhD program and other university programs.

UMass Boston’s Nursing DNP program has BS-to-DNP and MS-to-DNP options. The BS-to-DNP program is for nurses who have a BSN, and the MS-to-DNP program is for advanced practice nurses with a master’s degree in nursing. 

Want to learn more? Attend an upcoming info session.


  • The BS-DNP program consists of twenty 3-credit courses and three 6-credit courses, or 78 credits.
  • The MS-DNP program consists of nine 3-credit courses and two 2-credit courses, or 31 credits.
  • Online tuition is $575 per credit.
  • On-campus tuition is:
    • $789.20 per credit for Massachusetts residents
    • $1,365.13 for New England residents
    • $1,520.30 for out-of-state/international students
  • College of Nursing Fee per semester is $700/Fall & Spring, $350/Summer & Winter.
  • Other fees as applicable.
  • Estimated total program cost for the BS-DNP program* is:
    • $65,417.40 for Massachusetts residents
    • $92,486.11 for New England residents
    • $99,779.10 for out-of-state/international students
  • Estimated total program cost for the MS-DNP program* is $20,625 (for first-year entry, in-state residents).

* Estimate is based on completing the program by minimum duration. Other fees may apply. Request Info to connect with a program representative for further details.


  • Applications to start in the fall are due March 31.
  • Attend an upcoming info session.

Application Checklist: BS-DNP

  • A complete application form
  • Official transcripts from all institutions where you have earned more than 6 credits
  • Personal statement
  • Three professional references
  • Current résumé or CV
  • A bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program (Applicants who are completing their BS degree may apply and may be conditionally accepted pending final transcripts)
  • Official transcripts showing a GPA of 3.4 or higher in an undergraduate program
  • A current, unrestricted RN licensure in the State of Massachusetts
  • Completion of college-level course in introductory statistics
  • Recent completion of a college-level course in health assessment

Note: the BS-to-DNP program is a combined online and on-campus learning experience. The MS portion of the program (first three years) consists of a mixture of both online and on-campus coursework. All courses specific to the DNP (final 2-3 years) are online.

Application Checklist: MS-DNP

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Nursing or another field, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Master of Science (MS) degree in Nursing from a nationally accredited program with a GPA of 3.2 or higher
  • Official sealed transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate programs attended
  • Letter supporting one’s clinical expertise for at least one year’s experience in the Advanced Practice Role as a nurse practitioner (APRN), certified nurse midwife (CNM), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), or nurse anesthetist (CRNA) or significant clinical and leadership experience 
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A scholarly abstract of a completed project or academic paper (no more than 300 words) 
  • A professional goal statement and that describes five career objectives (no more than 500 words).
  • Professional résumé
  • Registered nurse (RN) license in the state of residence.
  • Advanced practice licensure in the state of residence with national certification

Please see the general graduate application requirements for more information. For questions about these requirements or the application process, contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at or at 617.287.6400.

BS-DNP Required Courses:

BS-DNP Year 1:
NU601 Introduction to Advanced Practice Nursing: Knowledge for Practice in the Global Community
NU616 Evidenced Based Practice I
NU614 Advanced Pathophysiology
NU634 Advanced Pharmacology

BS-DNP Year 2:
NU615 Advanced Health Assessment
NU637 Mental and Psychosocial Health of the Urban Family
NU618 Introduction to Health Policy, Economics & Ethics
NU639 Primary care of adults NU690 A/G Health AC Nursing I 
NU638 Advanced Health Promotion: Practicum I

BS-DNP Year 3:
NU715 Informatics
NU639 Primary Care of the Adult
NU670 Practicum in Primary Care Adult
NU671 Primary Care of Adult (AGNP concentration)
NU681 Primary Care of Childbearing Family (FNP concentration)
NU 672: Primary Care of the Adult/Older Adult Practicum (AGNP concentration)
NU682 Primary Care Family: Practicum (FNP concentration)

BS-DNP Year 4:
NU765 Leadership in Health Care Systems
NU760 Biostats I 
NU780 Epidemiology
NU735 Clinical Inquiry Seminar/Immersion OR NU741 Health policy course and internship 

BS-DNP Year 5:
NU722 Improving Outcomes: Identification, Interventions, and Evaluation of Quality Improvement Activities
NU716 Evidenced Based Practice II: Translating evidence to practice
NU766 Health Finance/Economics
Elective/Educator course (NU668) 

BS-DNP Year 6:

Note: the BS-to-DNP program is a combined online and on-campus learning experience. The MS portion of the program (first three years) consists of a mixture of both online and on-campus coursework. All courses specific to the DNP (final 2-3 years) are online.

MS- DNP Required Courses:

Year 1: Fall
NU 765 Leadership and Management (3 credits)
NU 722 Quality Improvement (3 credits)
NU 616 Evidenced Based Practice I (3 credits)

Year 1: Spring
NU 715 Informatics (3 credits)
NU 716 Evidenced Based Practice II (3 credits)

Year 1: Summer
NU 717 DNP Seminar: Project Implementation (3 credits)
NU 618 Intro to Health Policy (3 credits)

Year 2: Fall
NU 718 DNP Seminar: Project Synthesis (2 credits)
Elective (3 credits)

Year 2: Spring
NU 719 DNP Seminar: Project Dissemination (2 credits)
NU 745 Population Health (3 credits)

Electives (Pick One):

  • With approval from your advisor, choose two NURSNG electives. Electives can be taken anytime outside of UMass Boston with permission from the Program Director.

Capstone Proposal and Project

  • The Nursing DNP program of study builds into the DNP Capstone Proposal and then to your DNP Capstone Project completion and Doctoral defense. After demonstrating competence in first year coursework, you’ll begin the process of developing a meaningful, major practice-based implementation change in health care organization or system. Upon successful completion of a publishable review of relevant professional literature, you, with your advisor, select the members of your Capstone Committee. Meeting with those members individually and collectively, you will rapidly develop your Capstone Project Proposal and formally defend the topic and your approach. On approval by your Committee, you advance to Doctoral Candidacy and do the field work of your DNP Capstone Project. You will complete your project, analyze the outcomes from a practice perspective, and defend your work, demonstrating your ability to analyze and guide change in health care delivery practice, systems processes, or organization of health care.

Note: The Nursing MS-DNP program consists of online courses with required on campus intensives twice per semester.

At the end of this program, you’ll be awarded a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. The degree will demonstrate your expertise in the field on your résumé, as well as in interviews and workplace evaluations. Apply the skills learned in the program to become a health care leader and improve health care quality and increase health care access for all populations, especially those who are under-represented and underserved.

Why UMass Boston Online?


Among the lowest online tuition rates of an accredited, public research university.


Study full-time to finish fast, or part-time to suit your schedule. Live sessions scheduled with the working professional in mind.


The same courses taught by the same academic departments as on campus. No third-party providers.

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Nursing DNP

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