May 20, 2024  
2010-2011 Graduate Catalog 
2010-2011 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing Major, PhD

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. Specifically, the graduate of this program should be able to

  • Analyze, test, refine, and expand the theoretical basis of nursing.
  • Conduct research that generates knowledge and advances nursing as a discipline.
  • Provide leadership as nurse scientists who can function in a variety of roles and settings.
  • Collaborate with members of other disciplines in health-related research.
  • Develop, implement, evaluate, and recommend health care policy.
  • Demonstrate professionalism, advocacy, ethical principles and scientific integrity.

A new option within the PhD program is particularly focused on preparing new nurse faculty to meet the nationwide need. Students pursuing this option will earn a certificate in Nursing Education. The PhD program in nursing can be completed in an accelerated option of four consecutive semesters of course work (15 months), followed by the dissertation. Parttime and BSN-to-PhD options are also available. The program is delivered by a mix of onsite and distance education modalities. Students spend two intensive weeks 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. Additional information on the PhD program in nursing can be found at


  • Meet requirements for admission to graduate study.
  • Hold a master’s degree in nursing from a program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Some outstanding applicants who are prepared at the bachelor’s level in nursing may be considered. In such cases, graduate level courses in nursing theory, concentration specialty, and/or research will be integrated into the formal program of doctoral degree requirements.
  • 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 combined verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Exam.
  • 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, academic transcript(s), Graduate Record Examination scores, and, if required, TOEFL scores to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Submit three Graduate Rating Forms, sample of scholarly writing, and Graduate Program Data Form with essay to the Director of the PhD program prior to October 15 of the year prior to summer admission.
  • Schedule a personal interview with the College of Nursing PhD Student Admissions Committee prior to March 15 of the year preceding fall admission. International applicants may be interviewed by telephone or teleconferencing at the discretion of the admissions committee.


The following courses are required for all students.

  Hours Credit
NURS 601 - Philosophy and Theory for Nursing Science  3
NURS 603 - Nursing Research and Inquiry  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 609 - Research Practicum  2
NURS 610 - Nursing Science Seminar  2
NURS 612 - Health and Nursing Policy/Planning  3
NURS 613 - Nursing Leadership in Complex Systems  3
               - Inferential Statistics 3
               - Multivariate Statistics 3
               - Cognates** 6
               - Elective 3
NURS 600 - Doctoral Research and Dissertation  24
  Total 67

* One hour per semester, must be taken for two semesters.
** 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 teaching core courses and one representative from the cognate area. The student then selects the dissertation committee. Four faculty, holding the rank of assistant professor or above, comprise the 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 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.