DNP Programs in Minnesota

Minnesota DNP Programs

Minnesota is among more than 5 states with the most DNP programs in the country. Currently, 10 colleges and universities in Minnesota offer this terminal level nursing degree. The number of DNP programs is likely to grow quickly, as the AACN is pushing to move the necessary degree level for advanced practice from MSN to this doctoral level degree by 2015.

The missions of Minnesota DNP programs bare many similarities. All are concerned with teaching students excellence in patient care and to promote leadership and autonomy.

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Minnesota DNP programs vary in terms of length and curricula. Some programs, such as Capella University's, offer only a post-master's degree option. Cappella's online course schedule is flexible and made up of 52 credits in total. Other colleges and universities, such as Winona State University and the University of Minnesota, have DNP entry-points for post-BSN and post-MSN applicants. Winona State University's BSN-DNP pathway requires completion of 72-74 credits, and the post-MSN curriculum consists of 31 credits. The University of Minnesota offers a BSN-DNP program with 14 different specialty areas to choose from, and the post-MSN pathway has a 36-37 credit curriculum that can be completed in one or two years.

Admission Requirements

Admission criteria vary by program, but the following is common:

  • Bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited program
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Submission of official transcripts by schools attended
  • Three references or letters of recommendation
  • A goal statement or essay
  • Official GRE scores
  • Unencumbered RN license (Some programs require a MN license)
  • One year of professional nursing experience
  • Current resume
  • Interview
  • TOEFL scores for applicants who do not speak English as a first language


The cost of tuition depends on the particular college or university, and is subject to change. Currently, Capella posts tuition at $768 per credit. Tuition rates at the University of Minnesota depend on whether or not the student is a resident of that state. The cost per credit is currently listed at about $1,250 for residents and $1,915 for non-residents. Full-time tuition is about $7,500 per semester for residents and about $11,500 for non-residents.

Additional Resources

DNP Schools Near You & Online in Minnesota

College of St. Scholastica

  • 1200 Kenwood Avenue Duluth, MN 55811
    Programs: BSN, BSN to DNP, DNP, Family Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner - certificate, Health Information Management-Bachelor's, MSN, Nursing Administration, Psych Nursing - Certificate, Psychiatric Nursing, RN
    (218) 723-6000

Minnesota State University

  • 228 Wiecking Center Mankato, MN 56001
    Programs: Accelerated BSN, BSN, DNP, MSN, RN, RN to BSN

College of St. Catherine

  • 601 25th Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55454
    Programs: ADN, BSN, DNP, RN
    (651) 690-6000

University of Minnesota

  • 80 Church St. SE Minneapolis, MN 55455
    Programs: Accelerated MSN, BSN, BSN to DNP, Clinical Nurse Leader, DNP, Nursing PhD, Radiation Therapy, RN
    (612) 625-5000

Winona State University

  • 175 West Mark Street Winona, MN 55987
    Programs: BSN, DNP, RN, RN to BSN, RN to MSN
    (507) 457-5000