Nursing, Ph.D.

For information regarding deadlines and requirements for admission, please see

The Ph.D. in Nursing program is delivered in an online format, with both synchronous and asynchronous experiences. Students will be invited to campus 2-4 times per year for intensive interaction with faculty.  If students are unable to travel to campus, a synchronous online experience will be offered.  

The Associate Dean for Academic Programs reviews the credentials of each applicant in collaboration with faculty from each specialty area. Exceptions to the requirements can be made on the recommendation of the faculty. The Associate Dean for Academic Programs forwards the admission recommendation to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education who makes the final decision.

Applicants must have the following credentials:

  • Upon admission to the Ph.D. program, students are expected to submit a current unrestricted RN license. International students must submit a nursing license from their home country validated by CGFNS.  Even though not required, Ph.D. students are recommended to obtain RN licensure in North Carolina in the event that the license is required for research assignments or, assistantships or dissertation data collection.
  • An inferential statistics course within the past five years or permission by the Program Director. 
  • Master’s degree in nursing from a school accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
  • In addition to the application materials required by The Graduate School, applicants must submit a 300-word statement of research goals in doctoral program related to promotion of optimal health for ethnic minorities, women, children, or older adults.
  • Selected applicants must participate in an interview with Graduate Nursing Faculty.
  • Please refer to the preceding enrollment requirements for all graduate nursing students.

Degree Program Requirements

Required: 51 credit hours

Required Courses (12 credits)
NUR 710Philosophy of Knowledge Development in Nursing3
NUR 712Theory Analysis in Nursing Science3
NUR 782Health Disparities and Outcomes3
NUR 783Advanced Health Policy and Ethics3
Research Methodology and Statistics (18 credits)
NUR 701Statistical Applications for Nursing Research3
NUR 702Statistical Applications for Nursing Research II3
NUR 703Qualitative Methods for Nursing3
NUR 704Quantitative Research in Nursing3
NUR 707Measurement in Nursing and Healthcare Research3
NUR 804Advanced Research Methods 3
Electives (6 credits)
Select 6 credits of electives6
Directed Research (3 credits)
NUR 790Directed Research3
Dissertation (12-18 credits)
NUR 799Dissertation12-18
Total Credit Hours51

Students Entering with a D.N.P. Degrees

Students who are admitted and enroll in the Ph.D. in Nursing who have completed a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree may have up to 12 credits of course requirements waived from the 51 total credits required for the Ph.D. Each student's D.N.P. transcript will be evaluated and individualized plans of study indicating the courses to be waived will be developed based on previously completed course work in the student's D.N.P. program.

Required Withdrawal for Ph.D. Students

Students will become academically ineligible to continue if any of the following occur:

  • Grades of U, F, or WF for any credit hours.
  • Grades of C, C+, or B-in 6 credit hours.
  • Degree requirements not completed within the time limit (7 academic years).

Required Milestones*

  • Residency (Immersion)
  • Plan of Study
  • Preliminary Exams
  • Research Competency
  • Comprehensive Exam (Written & Oral)
  • Dissertation Proposal
  • Admission to Candidacy
  • Dissertation Defense
  • Filing the Final Approved Dissertation

General information about milestones for doctoral programs is available in Section III of the Graduate Policies page in the University Catalog. For information about how milestones are accomplished for a specific program, please refer to the doctoral program's handbook.