The Catholic University of America

  The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.) Program

The Ph.D. program prepares expert clinicians as nurse scientists; it is the preferred research intensive doctorate in nursing. Through the investigation of clinical problems, graduates contribute to the development, validation, and refinement of theory and the advancement of the body of nursing knowledge. Ph.D. nurses are prepared to assume leadership positions in practice, education, and research with the ultimate goal of improving health care.

The PhD program consists of 70 hours, 24 of which may transferred from master's level work. The remaining credits are distributed among nursing science, philosophy, research, and support courses.  A graduate-level statistics course is a pre- or co-requisite to the first semester of study. This course is offered in the School of Nursing as NURS 671 - Biostatistics.

After admission to candidacy the semester following successful completion of the comprehensive examination, PhD students undertake significant, original research in nursing as the basis for completing their dissertations. They have 5 years to complete an acceptable dissertation.

Full-time and part-time study options are available.  We also offer an online Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.) option.

Financial Aid Information is available

Curriculum Requirements

Core (12 credits)  
NURS 903 Philosophy of Science 3
NURS 907 Theory Development 3
THEO 625 or PHIL 621 Bioethics 3
NURS 922 Doctoral Research Practicum 3
NURS 926 Health Policy 3
Research (22 credits)  
NURS 916 Seminar in Nursing Scholarship 1
NURS 805 Advanced Statistics and Research Methods in Healthcare 3
NURS 806 Multivariate Statistics in Healthcare Research 3
NURS 908 Qualitative Research in Nursing 3
NURS 909 Quantitative Research in Nursing 3
NURS 923 Clinical Problems I: Theoretical Considerations 3
NURS 924 Clinical Problems II: Design Considerations 3
NURS 930 Seminar in Research Proposals 3

Supporting Courses

Courses supporting the dissertation topic 6 credits
Courses supporting professional goals 3-6 credits