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:

  1. generate knowledge that is inventive and rigorously tested within a selected area of nursing science;
  2. have multiple perspectives of knowing and also acknowledge multidisciplinary contributions to knowledge generation;
  3. be informed by social, cultural and political issues related to their area of scholarship;
  4. provide leadership in nursing as well as various professional and public groups;
  5. test, generate and extend knowledge relevant to nursing science and practice.

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.

Download the sample PhD Program Schedule
Additional learning opportunities: School of Nursing Centers

Theory and Domain of Knowledge

Minimum 41 credits

Courses included in the Theory and Domain of Knowledge requirements focus on individual, family and community interactions with supporting and non-supporting environments that result in human behavioral responses and adaptation to wellness and illness. Variations in human responses and adaptation are influenced by many factors such as biology, gender, age, social class and culture.

*Required (core) courses are highlighted in bold.



NURS 587: Role Transition Seminar 2
NURS 588: Philosophical Basis of Nursing Inquiry 3
NURS 589: Theoretical Perspectives in Nursing Science 3
NURS 590: Ecology of Human Health 5
NURS 592: The Science of Therapeutics: Theoretical Foundations 4
NURS 595: Synthesis of Nursing Science 3
Graduate Nursing Courses 9
Related Fields: Courses without a NSG, NURS, NCLIN, or NMETH prefix; may be independent study 12

Scholarly Inquiry

Minimum 52 credits

Courses included in the Scholarly Inquiry requirements focus on research methodologies and research methods to develop knowledge. Students learn a variety of methodologies 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 Methods 4
NMETH 580: Methodological Perspectives in Nursing Science 3
NMETH 591: The Science of Therapeutics: Design and Outcomes 4
  1. Design/Methods/Statistics (14 credits)
    These courses allow students to obtain in-depth knowledge in research designs, methods and statistical approaches.

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

Advanced Methods: 4 Credits Minimum

Courses meeting the Advanced Methods requirement are not limited to nursing courses.



EDPSY 588: Survey Research Methods 3
EDLPS 574: Mixed Methods in Educational Research 3
NMETH 584: Methods: Physiological Measures 4
NMETH 590: Qualitative Inquiry 2-5
BIOST 524: Design of Medical Studies 3

Statistics: 10 Credits Minimum

Statistics Courses


BIOST 511: Medical Biometry I 4
BIOST 512: Medical Biometry II 4
BIOST 513: Medical Biometry III 4
EDPSY 593: Experimental Design and Analysis (with permission of instructor) 5
EDPSY 594: Advanced Correlational Techniques (with permission of instructor) 5
PSYCH 525: Linear Models and 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


Advanced Statistic Courses


BIOST 524: Design of Medical Studies 3
EDPSY 575: Structural Equation Modeling 3
EDPSY 576: Hierarchical Linear Models/Multilevel Modeling 3
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)