Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Program Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy or PhD in Nursing is a research-oriented degree program. Students are exposed to nursing and interdisciplinary core research courses and have opportunities to learn with students from other disciplines. Students can enter the PhD program after completion of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN or equivalent) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP or equivalent) degree. The PhD program offers a part-time study option for all levels of entry. To graduate with a PhD, post-BSN students must complete a minimum of 68 credits; post-MSN students must complete a minimum of 50 credits; post-DNP students must complete a minimum of 30 credits. These part-time programs of study are offered to meet the needs of working students. Doctoral students collaborate with faculty advisors to select electives appropriate to their career choices. Doctoral coursework and dissertation research are based on a broad focal area that is critical to the future of nursing and practice: social determinants of health. The faculty and administration of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences believe that the University is a community of scholars. Its central aim is the commitment to search for and disseminate knowledge through scholarship, inquiry, and creative activities.


The PhD curriculum is designed to develop a research trajectory in one’s area of expertise. The purpose of the program is to prepare nurse scientists who, upon graduation, will assume leadership positions in research, education, and in healthcare systems.


In fulfilling the mission of the University, the PhD program will foster the development of a community of scholars grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition. The goals of the program are to prepare graduates as nursing scholars who:

  • Use multiple perspectives of knowing and practice to acknowledge multi-disciplinary contributions to knowledge generation and use of evidence-based research in practice;
  • Generate, test, utilize, and extend knowledge through relevant research and theory development and disseminate their findings to the broader nursing and scientific community;
  • Contribute to ethical solutions that advance health care in a culturally diverse global society through the formulation and implementation of strategies that serve the public interest;
  • Are informed by philosophical, social, cultural, ethical, technologic, economic, and political issues; and
  • Provide leadership in nursing with innovative solutions that positively influence regional, national, and/or global communities.

Domestic and International Students

These year-round part-time programs are designed to meet the needs of students who are able to complete 21 to 24 program credits annually through part-time study while maintaining outside employment.