The College of Nursing offers a doctoral program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in nursing. The doctoral program prepares nursing scholars capable of integrating research, theory, and practice into their roles as researchers, educators, and/or administrators.
Student Learning Outcomes - Graduates of the program are expected to:
- Analyze, test, refine and expand the theoretical basis of nursing.
- From multiple modes of inquiry, select the most appropriate and conduct research that generates knowledge and advances nursing as a discipline.
- Provide culturally competent leadership as nurse scientists in transforming health and healthcare.
- Collaborate with members of other disciplines in theory development, health-related research, and other scholarly activities, recognizing diversity of ideas.
- Maintain professional standards, ethical principles and scientific integrity in scholarly activities.
- Communicate outcomes and implications of scholarly activities to professional and general audiences through multiple modes of dissemination.
The program offers part-time as well as full-time study options. The program is delivered by a mix of onsite and distance education modalities. Students spend two intensive sessions in residence each term, while participating in distance learning the remainder of the time. The doctoral residence requirement is met by two consecutive terms of full-time enrollment. Optional certificate programs in nursing education and health policy are available. The certificate in health policy is offered jointly with the Department of Public Health. Additional information on the PhD program in nursing can be found at www.nursing.utk.edu.
All applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from a program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission [NLNAC] or the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education [CCNE]. Post-graduate applicants must hold a master’s degree in nursing or a business or health related field [e.g., MBA, MPH, MHA).
- Have a minimum cumulative graduate grade point average of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale for previous college work.
- Achieve a competitive score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
- Have successfully completed a basic statistics course and graduate nursing theory and research courses prior to enrollment in nursing doctoral level courses.
- Have TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper test or 80 on the Internet-based Test if native language is not English.
- Complete Graduate Program Data Form, College of Nursing.
- Submit Graduate Rating Forms from three college level instructors and/or nurses and administrators who have supervised applicant’s professional work.
- Submit a sample of scholarly writing (e.g., thesis, published paper).
- Submit an essay describing personal and professional aspirations.
- Submit Graduate Application for Admission by the deadline for fall admission.
- Schedule a personal interview with the College of Nursing PhD Student Admissions Committee. Applicants may be interviewed by telephone or teleconferencing at the discretion of the PhD Admissions Committee after all required items have been submitted to the Graduate School.
The following courses are required for all students.
*Possible cognate areas include, but are not limited to, anthropology, child and family studies, psychology, education, management, public health, social work, philosophy, and statistics.
Early in the student’s program, a nursing faculty advisor will be selected by the student in consultation with the program director. The student’s comprehensive examination committee consists of the faculty serving on the student’s dissertation committee. Four faculty, holding the rank of assistant professor or above, comprise the dissertation committee, three of whom (including the chair) must be approved by the Graduate Council to direct doctoral dissertations. At least one member of the committee must be from an academic unit other than nursing.