PhD Program Requirements

Nursing PhD students sitting in a lecture class

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 post MSN program) of course work, which includes the foundation for your dissertation as well as dissertation completion. Students entering the BSN to PhD program are required to take a minimum of 63 credits, unless eligible to waive credits through prior graduate level courses or equivalent clinical/research experience. Student who have a DNP and are entering the "advanced standing" option are required to take a minimum of 48 credits. Our programs are individualized, taking into account your interests, aspirations, and work experience. For students matriculating in Summer 2019 and later, in order to accurately reflect the time and effort accrued in completing the dissertation, 36 hours of advanced dissertation research will be posted to the PhD/DMA student's record upon successful completion of the dissertation defense and submission of final certification paperwork.

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 (3 credit hours) includes:

Research Methods Core (12 credit hours) includes:

Statistics Core (9 credit hours) includes:

  • NURS 532: Applied 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 credit hours)
  • Electives (3 credit hours)

Preparation for Research (minimum 3 credit hours) includes:

  • Research Practicum (240 hours required; no credit)
  • NURS 671: Proposal Development (minimum 3 credit hours)
  • Candidacy Exam (no credit hours)
  • Proposal Defense (no credit hours)

Dissertation Research (minimum 18 credit hours) includes:

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