CWRU Nursing students in class

About the Program

Earn a research doctorate from one of the nation's top nursing schools, the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University. Unlike a clinical doctorate in nursing (DNP), a research doctorate (PhD) allows you to focus on original research. This program gives you access to four top hospitals in our region and, most importantly, some the nation's top nurse scientists, who will serve as your mentors.

What to Expect

In addition to coursework, interdisciplinary research is a hallmark of our program, and you can take advantage of resources from other university programs and departments as you choose from one of five research focus areas:

  • Symptom science
  • Family/community care
  • Aging across the lifespan
  • Self-management of health and illness
  • Neuroscience

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Beyond the Classroom

Our research affiliations with Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and MetroHealth Medical Center give you access to resources and professionals to advance your work. Our Legacy Fellows program offers research opportunities and full tuition support.

By the Numbers


among nursing schools nationally for new and continued research funding from NIH


PhD program established (the third in the country)

Admissions Requirements

  • Online application
  • Transcripts with GPA
  • Three letters of recommendation that describe your professional nursing competence and potential for success in research
  • Demonstrated potential for academic success and significant contributions to nursing
  • Statement of academic, career, and research objectives and written responses to essay questions
  • Interview with two faculty members
  • Proof of graduation from an accredited school of nursing program leading to a BSN (or equivalent) or MSN degree
  • Evidence of RN licensure or international equivalent
  • Evidence of English proficiency (international students)

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