PhD Degree Requirements

The PhD program in Nursing Science is designed for individuals seeking to develop a research and/or academic career in nursing science. The program has a required minimum of 93 quarter credits for completion, and graduates must meet five expected Student Outcomes. We anticipate that the average student will exceed the required number of credits by adding courses that provide knowledge that is unique to their area of research interest. Each student's supervisory committee has the final responsibility for approving his or her program of study.

Of the 93 credits required for graduation, 41 credits are defined as Theory and Domain of Knowledge, and 52 credits are defined as Scholarly Inquiry.

Theory and Domain of Knowledge

Minimum 41 credits

Nursing as a scientific discipline studies the interaction of persons and environments and the patterning of human behavior to achieve or maintain health. The coursework studies individuals, groups, and communities as they define and interactively influence health. Health is a socially constructed concept that shows variation based on biological, gender, age, social class, and cultural factors. Health can refer to wellness and illness as well as disease.

*Required (core) courses are highlighted in bold.



NURS 587: Role Transition Seminar2
NURS 588: Philosophical Basis of Nursing Inquiry3
NURS 589: Theoretical Perspectives in Nursing Science3
NURS 590: Ecology of Human Health5
NURS 592: The Science of Therapeutics: Theoretical Foundations4
NURS 595: Synthesis of Nursing Science3
Graduate Nursing Courses9
Related Fields: Courses without a NSG, NURS, NCLIN, or NMETH prefix; may be independent study12

Scholarly Inquiry

Minimum 52 credits

Courses included in the Scholarly Inquiry requirement deal with the research methodologies and research methods to develop knowledge. There is exposure to a variety of approaches with encouragement to develop advanced skills in at least one methodology. Courses in this category are grouped into three required sub-categories:

  1. *Core Methods Courses (11 credits)
    These courses give students an overview of research design, methods, and data analyses.



NMETH 579: Research Design and Methods4
NMETH 580: Methodological Perspectives in Nursing Science3
NMETH 591: The Science of Therapeutics: Design and Outcomes4

*The PhDCC recommends that all PhD core courses be numerically graded, except for NURS 587 Role Transition Seminar and NURS 595 Synthesis of Nursing Science, which are graded Credit/No Credit.

  1. Design/Methods/Analysis Sequence (14 credits)
    This sequence of courses allows students to obtain in-depth knowledge and skill in either a) outcomes or b) interpretive methods. Courses are divided into two areas:
    • Advanced Methods
    • Statistics

In addition to the courses listed below, the Department of Biostatistics offers many interdisciplinary research methods courses.

Advanced Methods: 4 Credits Minimum



NMETH 582*: Interpretive Methods in Nursing Research I4
NMETH 583: Interpretive Methods in Nursing Research II4
NMETH 592: Clinical Outcome Research II2-4
NMETH 593: Time Series and Sequential Analysis4
NMETH 584: Methods: Physiological Measures4
NMETH 586: Methods: Instrument Development and Testing4
NMETH 587: Methods of Theory Testing: Causal Modeling4
BIOST 524: Design of Medical Studies3

*Students taking NMETH 582 will receive an N grade for satisfactory work; grades will be assigned upon completion of NMETH 583.

Statistics: 10 Credits Minimum

Option Statistics Courses


BIOST 511: Medical Biometry I4
BIOST 512: Medical Biometry II4
BIOST 513: Medical Biometry III4
EDPSY 593: Experimental Design and Analysis5
EDPSY 594: Advanced Correlational Techniques5
PSYCH 524: Probability Theory and Nonparametric Statistics (with permission of instructor)4
PSYCH 525: Linear Models and Data (with permission of instructor)4
PSYCH 526: Modeling Experimental and Observational Data (with permission of instructor)4
SOC 504: Applied Social Statistics (with permission of instructor)3
SOC 505: Applied Social Statistics (with permission of instructor)3
NMETH 590: Special Topics - Computerized Statistical Procedures (SPSS) (with permission of instructor)2
Optional Advanced Statistics CoursesCredits
BIOST 524: Design of Medical Studies3
BIOST 574: Multivariate Statistical Methods3
SOC 526: Causal Approach to Theory Building and Data Analysis (with permission of instructor)3
SOC 529: Structural Equation Models for the Social Sciences (with permission of instructor)3
Courses Offered by the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences (CSSS)Credits vary
  1. Dissertation: NMETH 800 (27 credits)