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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Here is what you should expect from KU's comprehensive doctorate program in nurse anesthesia.

Program Format

KU's 36-month nurse anesthesia program is very intense and demanding. You should expect to devote up to 70 hours per week to program requirements, including clinical experiences, class time and study time.

Year One

The first year of the program is mostly classroom-based instruction at the Kansas City, Kansas, campus of KU Medical Center. This year provides the foundation of the essential basic sciences and the fundamentals of anesthesia practice. During this time, you will gain academic knowledge needed for successful clinical practice. Courses are mostly classroom-based and are scheduled on most days of the week, Monday-Friday. You will also be introduced to the clinic through skills labs, observation and a novice phase in the operating room.

Years Two and Three

In the final two years of the program, you will be based in the clinic, while continuing didactic coursework mostly online. Clinic assignments come with a variable schedule, including 12-hour days in the operating room as well as overnight, weekend and holiday call. During this time, students continue to take theory, research and other courses, which are mostly web-based but also have some classroom time. This design permits more learning methods to be incorporated into the program and allows students to continue to gain knowledge through academic coursework while developing their skills in the clinic. Although many courses in the nurse anesthesia program are offered online, please note this is not a distance-learning program and students are required to be on campus at the KU Medical Center.

During the third year of the program, you will also be assigned to other clinical affiliates.


KU's nurse anesthesia doctorate program includes a total of 81 credits. Review the course of study (PDF) for the course progression. Visit the University of Kansas Academic Catalog for full course descriptions and details.

Degree requirements

  • Degree requirements are normally completed within three years of admission to the program although a maximum of eight years is allowed
  • Successful completion of a minimum of 81 credit hours and all courses in the program curriculum (see PDF document above) is required.
  • A cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 for all KU graduate coursework is required.

    Progression of a graduate student is dependent upon completion of required curriculum while maintaining a 3.0 GPA. Please note that grading in nurse anesthesia clinical courses is more stringent (NURA 801, 821-823, and 924-926) with the following scale: 90-100 = "A", 80-89 = "B", 79 and below = Fail. A failing grade in a clinical course is grounds for dismissal.
  • Course NURA 889 or NURA 901 must be completed prior to the semester in which the research practicum is completed to fulfill the University's research skills and responsible scholarship requirement.
  • Students must be enrolled in a minimum of one (1) credit hour in the semester the student will graduate.
  • Students are required to maintain certifications in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Basic Life Support (BLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) current throughout the program (at the student's expense).
  • Students must meet the clinical requirements for practice (PDF) as required by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.
  • Successful completion of a terminal evaluation which will incorporate standards from the "Standards for Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs – Practice Doctorate" is required.

Vaccines and Clinical Site Requirements

The University of Kansas Medical Center requires various immunizations for its students. For a detailed list please visit the student health forms webpage or speak with Student Health Services. These immunization requirements help promote health and safety and facilitate clinical placement.

Many, if not all, clinical sites who partner with the University of Kansas Medical Center require proof of these vaccines for students engaged in training or other programmatic experiences at clinical sites. Not being vaccinated may preclude students from participating in activities, potentially impeding their ability to complete all program requirements for degree completion. Applicants with questions should speak with a representative from the academic program to which they intend to apply.

KU School of Health Professions

University of Kansas Medical Center
Nurse Anesthesia Education
Mailstop 2020
3901 Rainbow Blvd
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-6612 • 711 TTY