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    Sep 25, 2022  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing Major, PhD

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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


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.

  Credit Hours
NURS 511 - Statistical Methods for Health Care Research   3
NURS 601 - Philosophy and Knowledge Development for Nursing Science   3
NURS 602 - Advanced Statistical Methods for Health Care Research   3
NURS 603 - Nursing Inquiry and Research Design   3
NURS 605 - Middle-Range Theoretical Formulations for Nursing Science Development   3
NURS 606 - Nursing Research Seminar   3
NURS 607 - Qualitative Nursing Research   3
NURS 608 - Quantitative Nursing Research   3
NURS 611 - Advanced Quantitative Nursing Research   3
NURS 609 - Research Practicum   3
NURS 610 - Review and Critique of Scientific Literature   3
NURS 612 - Health and Health Care Policy   3
NURS 613 - Nursing Leadership in Complex Systems   3
NURS 615 - Research Ethics in the Health Sciences   2
Cognates* 6
NURS 600 - Doctoral Research and Dissertation   24
  Total 71
Requirements for BSN to PhD students  
All courses listed as required for all students 71
NURS 566 - Educational Principles and Strategies for Healthcare Professionals   3
NURS 614 - Nursing Preceptorship   3
Cognates* 6
  Total 83

*Possible cognate areas include, but are not limited to, anthropology, child and family studies, psychology, education, management, public health, social work, philosophy, and statistics.

Doctoral Committee

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.

Special Policies

  • A maximum of 6 graduate credit hours taken before acceptance into the doctoral program may be applied toward the degree. 
  • Prior to enrollment in the PhD program, each student must successfully complete a criminal background check. 
  • A minimum grade of B in all nursing doctoral courses and a 3.0 cumulative GPA are required for continuation in the program.
  • The College of Nursing prohibits students from repeating graduate coursework with two exceptions: NURS 505 Advanced Clinical Pharmacology  and NURS 515 Advanced Pathophysiology for Nursing Practice . Students may only repeat these courses after earning a D or F; original and repeat grade will be included in the GPA.
  • The College of Nursing will observe the following grading scale:

        A    =  92 – 100        4 quality points
        B+  =  88 – 91          3.3 quality points
        B    =  83 – 87          3 quality points
        C+ =  78 – 82          2.3 quality points
        C   =  75 – 77          2 quality points
        D   =  67 – 74          1 quality point
        F    =  66 or below   0 quality points

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