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Curriculum & Degree Requirements

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The doctorate program in nurse anesthesia at KU is 36 months in length and is very intense and demanding. Students should expect to devote up to 70 hours per week to program requirements, including clinical experiences, class time and study time. During the first two semesters, courses are mostly classroom-based and are scheduled on most days of the week, Monday-Friday. During the remainder of the three-year program (semesters 3-9), students will be assigned in the clinic with a variable schedule to include 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 class room time.

This design permits more learning methods to be incorporated into the program and allows students to continue to gain knowledge through academic course work 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.

Applicants should be aware that graduate study is directed self-learning. While provided direction by faculty, students are expected to be self-motivated and independent learners. 

Most of the clinic experience is gained at The University of Kansas Hospital. However, in the final year in the program, students are also assigned at other clinic sites. This allows students to gain a broader clinical experience and to obtain required or enhancement case experiences. Please note that several of these sites are outside the Kansas City Metropolitan area. Please see our clinical affiliations page for more information.

Degree requirements

  • Degree requirements are normally completed within three years of admission to the program although a maximum of 8 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 course work 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 icon 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.

Last modified: Oct 16, 2018

The application window for the class beginning study in summer term 2022 opened March 15.

Standard application deadline: July 15

Early-decision application deadline: May 15

Students begin the program each year on the Tuesday after Memorial Day.

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