PhD Program Requirements

Dean Kerr with student at PhD graduation, 2014

PhD in Nursing Requirements

Our PhD in Nursing program prepares you for a career as a researcher, scientist, or university-level faculty member. As a PhD student, you will have the opportunity to participate in the research that has a profound effect on the science of nursing and changing nursing practices.

PhD students concentrate on the organization and development of knowledge requisite to nursing practice for service to a particular population. PhD students are culturally diverse, and many develop and apply knowledge relevant to global health needs.

The PhD requires a minimum of 57 semester hours (traditional program) of course work, which includes the foundation for your dissertation as well as dissertation completion. Our programs are individualized, taking into account your interests, aspirations, and work experience.

If you're entering the program with a BSN or equivalent pre-licensure degree (i.e., MN), we work with you to meet requirements with our Fast Track Option. Learn more about our Entry Options >

The general program requirements are listed below. Additional coursework may also be necessary, as determined by your faculty advisor.

Knowledge Development/Theory Core (6 credit hours) includes:

Research Methods Core (9 credit hours) includes:

Statistics Core (9 credit hours) includes:

  • NURS 532Applied Statistics

  • NURS 630: Advanced Statistics: Linear Models

  • NURS 631: Advanced Statistics: Multivariate Analysis

    Beginning for Fall 2017: Students who have taken a graduate level basic statistics course may qualify to waive the NURS 532 course if: 1) it is comparable in content; 2) was taken within the last five years; and 3) a grade of B or better was earned. However, another 3-credit course (not necessarily a statistics course) must be taken in order to meet minimum credit requirements. This form should be submitted with course syllabus after full admission status is granted by the school of graduate studies.

Support Courses (12 credit hours) includes:

  • NURS 609: Health Care Policy and Planning

  • NURS 615: Topical Seminar in Health Science Research (3-6 credits)

  • Electives (3-6 credits)

Preparation for Research (minimum 3 credit hours) includes:

  • Research Practicum (240 hours required ‰ no credit)

  • NURS 671: Proposal Development (minimum 3 credits)

  • Candidacy Exam (no credit hours)

  • Proposal Defense (no credit hours)

Dissertation Research (minimum 18 credit hours) includes:

  • NURS 701: (18 credits -- within 5-year time limit for completion of the degree)