Graduate Student with Professor



Graduate Student Handbook


Marquette University College of Nursing graduate education prepares students for professional leadership roles in advanced nursing, nursing education and nursing research. Students obtain training in critical thinking, communication, therapeutic nursing interventions, ethical competence and multicultural competence.

The latest graduate school rankings from U.S. News and World Report show Marquette programs ranking among the best in the country. Marquette University’s doctorate of nursing practice program was ranked 38th nationally in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools rankings for 2017. This the first time U.S. News has ranked DNP programs in its annual report of top graduate programs. The midwifery program in the College of Nursing is 19th nationally, and the graduate program itself is listed in the top 10% of graduate nursing programs, ranking 44th out of 442 schools. 

NOTE: Beginning on November 1st, 2014 Nursing began utilizing the Nursing CAS application system. Applications for programs beginning in Summer 2015 or later must be submitted via Nursing CAS.

Thank you for your patience during this transition.

Master of science

Our master of science in nursing program offers specialization options that include clinical nurse leader, systems leadership healthcare quality; and advanced practice specialties in nurse-midwifery, pedaitric primary care, pediatric acute care, adult-older adult primary care and adult-older adult acute care. Post Masters certificate programs are available in these specializations as well as Family Nurse Practitioners.

R.N. direct entry

The College of Nursing developed a program of study for nurses who have associate degrees in nursing and degrees in disciplines other than nursing. This is a program to which each student is admitted as a special case.

Direct-entry M.S.N. for non-nursing majors

The master's program for non-nursing graduates is designed for individuals who hold baccalaureate degrees in fields other than nursing and who wish to become nurses. The program builds upon the student's broad educational preparation and provides an intense, accelerated and specialized nursing curriculum to meet the student's career goals.


The focus of the doctor of nursing practice program is advanced practice preparation at the very highest level B.S.N to D.N.P. students can specialize in pediatric-primary care, pediatric-acute care, adults-older adult primary care, adult-order adult acute care and systems leadership healthcare quality. A post master's DNP program is also available.

Ph.D. in nursing

The Ph.D. in nursing degree program, designed to develop teacher-scholars, accepts both post BSN and post MSN students. Doctoral students develop research skills necessary for the discovery and use of new nursing knowledge and the preparation for teaching roles. The program's primary focus is on vulnerable populations — those persons at risk for adverse health outcomes. Graduates will be competent in creating strategies that impact health disparities affecting our nation.

Guide to Graduate Nursing Programs

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has a publication, “Your Guide to Graduate Nursing Programs,” a reference for students and practicing nurses who are considering graduate level nursing education. For more information regarding the different graduate nursing education options, click here.

Marquette is committed to diversity in its student population, faculty and staff. We take pride in our personalized approach with students and quality of all program offerings.

Marilyn Frenn, PHD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FTOS, FAAN
Interim Director of the Ph.D. Program
(414) 288-3845

Karen Nest
Graduate Program Coordinator
(414) 288-3810



Master of science in nursing (M.S.N.)

The master of science in nursing prepares nurses for advanced roles in nursing. Students can specialize in the areas listed below.

Option Option Coordinator Email Phone

Adult - Older Adult Acute Care

Dr. Linda Piacentine (414) 288-5696

Adult - Older Adult Primary Care

Dr. Christine Shaw (414) 288-3843

Adult - Older Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist

Dr. Christine Shaw (414) 288-3843

Pediatric Primary Care

Dr. Kristin Haglund (414) 288-3824

Pediatric Acute Care

Dr. Christine Schindler


Dr. Leona VandeVusse

(Prospective students, contact Dr. Karen Robinson)

(414) 288-3844

(414) 288-4535

Clinical Nurse Leader

Dr. Kathy Bobay (414) 288-3851

Systems Leadership & Healthcare Quality

Dr. Kathy Bobay (414) 288-3851


The joint M.B.A./M.S.N. program leads to a master of science in nursing with a specialization in systems leadership and healthcare quality and M.B.A. degree. The programs cover the functional areas of business and prepare nurses for roles in nursing administration.

Adult-Older Adult ACNP Program in Indianapolis, Indiana

This part-time program is designed for working registered nurses with a valid license and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing who are interested in becoming a nurse practitioner. The program combines online coursework with an in-hospital preceptorship through St.Vincent in Indianapolis, Indiana. Students earn a Master of Science in Nursing and are eligible to sit for the Adult Gerontology ACNP certification exam.


College of Nursing Mission Statement

Through a transformational Catholic, Jesuit education, Marquette University College of Nursing prepares nurse leaders to promote health, healing and social justice for all people through clinical practice and development of nursing knowledge.