The Doctor of Philosophy program in nursing requires a minimum of 74 s.h. of graduate credit. The program prepares students to advance nursing science and contribute to the body of nursing knowledge. It emphasizes student participation with faculty members on research teams; focused course work; presentation and publication of research-based knowledge; and interdisciplinary learning experiences.

Graduate students in the College of Nursing must adhere to all Graduate College policies regarding academic standing, probation, and dismissal. Course work taken 10 or more years before a student plans to graduate from the Ph.D. program must be updated according to University policy.

The Ph.D. in nursing requires the following work.

Required Courses

Basic Core
Required for students who enter with a bachelor's degree in nursing:
NURS:5007Applied Epidemiology3
Advanced Core
All of these:
NURS:5008Foundations of Nursing Science I3
NURS:6802Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy3
NURS:6811Social Determinants of Health and Health System Inequities3
NURS:7002Designing Research3
NURS:7801Seminar: Research Scholarship Role Development3
Intermediate statistics3
Clinical specialization courses6
Core courses6

Advanced Research Methods

All of these:
NURS:7000Foundations of Nursing Science II4
NURS:7001Qualitative Research4
NURS:7003Quantitative Research4
NURS:7803Research Practicum I1
NURS:7804Research Practicum II1
Advanced statistics6

Cognate Area

Cognate courses6-9

Comprehensive Exam and Dissertation

All Ph.D. students must complete a written and oral comprehensive examination before they begin work on the dissertation. They must write the dissertation and defend it orally.


Students must earn a minimum of 11 s.h.:
NURS:7805Dissertation Researcharr.

Applicants to College of Nursing graduate programs must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College.

The program is open to individuals who have earned a bachelor's degree in nursing or a master's degree. Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree in nursing and an advanced degree outside nursing may be admitted; their curriculum is based on a review of their transcript.

A criminal background check is required for all graduate students upon admission. The College of Nursing has additional application requirements, as follows.

Admission to the Ph.D. Program

Applicants to the Ph.D. program must have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. They must have completed an accredited basic nursing program and hold a current license to practice nursing (special license for international students).

Applicants must have a a g.p.a. of at least 3.00. They also must have successfully completed an upper-level course in statistics.

Applicants must submit:

a two-to-three-page statement describing their educational objectives, career goals, and an area of research for their doctoral study;

three recommendations from nursing professionals that speak to the applicant's potential as a scholar;

a current résumé or curriculum vitae; and

a complete transcript of all college programs and courses.

Applicants whose first language is not English must score at least 81 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); or they must score at least 7.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Applicants with a bachelor's degree in nursing who apply directly to the Ph.D. program also must submit a strong statement of their educational goals, career goals, and potential area of research.

Application deadlines for the Ph.D. program are November 15, March 1, and June 1. In order to be reviewed, the applicant's file must be complete, with all materials submitted.

The University of Iowa College of Nursing Ph.D. program prepares scholars to move nursing and health science forward. Graduates are prepared for careers as faculty members in college and university settings as well as researchers, consultants, and leaders in military, academic or industry venues, and in other non-academic settings.