PhD Entry Options

One of the unique features of the PhD Program at the FPB School of Nursing is its variety of entry points and scheduling options, depending on the degree you have already achieved. 

If you have your:


Traditional PhD Entry Option

If you have already earned the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, you can enter the PhD program directly and complete the PhD core coursework during the fall and spring semesters.

  • A minimum of 3 credits of proposal development is required; however, students may need more time to complete their candidacy exam and proposal development and may therefore need to take more credits of proposal development.

  • Concurrent enrollment in proposal development credits and dissertation credits is not permitted.

  • Full-time status is defined as 9 credits per semester ONLY while students are enrolled in their coursework prior to proposal development. However, enrollment in even a single credit of NURS 671 (proposal development) or NURS 701 (dissertation) constitutes full time study.

  • Total required credit hours for the nursing PhD (post MSN) = 57 credits

See the PhD core requirements >
See a Sample Traditional Format Curriculum >

Fast Track Option

This post-baccalaureate option is designed to allow nurses with a BSN, MN or MSN generalist degree to pursue a PhD degree.

Candidates are educated as nurse scientists and will be prepared for careers in research and academia.

Before starting the PhD core requirements, candidates must complete transition courses to gain clinical knowledge and be able to develop a research focus pertinent to nursing in the Context of Care (see below). There are four possibilities for meeting the requirement of the two transition courses (i.e., clinical research problems and context of care). 

Option #1 – Take the two transition courses (i.e., clinical research problems and context of care)

Option #2 – Replace both of these courses with 6 credits of MSN level courses tailored to meet individual student needs relating to their future research.

Option #3 – Take one transition course (either clinical research problems or context of care) and one MSN level course (combination).

Option #4 – Waive one or both transition courses by submission of petition for waiver that details you have met course objectives for the transition courses through your clinical / research experience beyond your degree. This option is particularly relevant for applicants who are not new RNs and who have years of relevant experience. 
BSN to PhD Transition Course Waiver Form (PDF) >

Additional details:

  • A minimum of 3 credits of proposal development is required; however, students may need more time to complete their candidacy exam and proposal development and may therefore need to take more credits of proposal development.

  • Concurrent enrollment in proposal development credits and dissertation credits is not permitted.

  • Full-time status is defined as 9 credits per semester ONLY while students are enrolled in their coursework prior to proposal development. However, enrollment in even a single credit of NURS 671 (proposal development) or NURS 701 (dissertation) constitutes full time study.

  • Total required credit hours for the nursing PhD (post-BSN or equivalent) = 63 credits

See a Fast-Track Sample Curriculum >


Advanced Standing for DNP Graduates

Effective with the January 2011 enrollment, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduates who have graduated within the last five years will be eligible for admission to the PhD in nursing program with "advanced standing." Apply Today >

See a Sample PhD Program Plan (Post DNP) >