Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)

Individualized education in a challenging, supportive setting is at the heart of the PhD program at UT. The mission of the PhD program is to educate future nurse scientists, educators, and health care leaders. We offer three routes to the PhD-for BSN, MSN and DNP prepared nurses to become part of an exciting community of scholars engaged in nursing research and scholarly writing.

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  • Full-time or part-time blended curriculum delivery through distance technology, with two on-campus sessions per semester
  • Synchronous online course meetings for discussions, content review, and presentations. These mandatory online course meetings will be scheduled prior to the beginning of the term so students may arrange their schedules accordingly.
  • Opportunities to be taught by, and work collaboratively with, nationally and internationally prominent researchers in nursing and many other disciplines, including public health and education.
  • 3-manuscript dissertation, in which scholarly work is disseminated throughout the program, not only at the end. The final paper presents the findings of the student’s dissertation research.
  • Access to the rich resources of one of the top research institutions in the nation including a state-of-the-art simulation lab for research in instructional technology and innovative clinical education and research
  • Equal emphasis on both qualitative and quantitative research. Key research foci of the college are technology, symptom science, caregiving, and translation science.
  • Distinguished faculty with diverse fields of research who is committed to quality, innovation, accessibility, and mentoring.


Programs of study are designed to reflect your unique interests and meet your career goals, with small classes and a committed faculty whose members value community, quality, innovation, and accessibility. Students have the option for selecting cognates/minors/concentrations or adding on a certificate program in nursing education and health policy.

Individualized programs of study for the BSN-PhD program are available on a case-by-case basis. Applicants can discuss other BSN-PhD program of study options with the PhD Program Chair, Sandra Thomas, by emailing

BSN-PhD (Full-time)

MSN-PhD (Full-time)

MSN-PhD (Part-time)

DNP-PhD (Full-time)


The PhD program at the College of Nursing uses a holistic admissions process in which the applicant’s essay and personal interview are given priority. These items are used to assess the applicant’s previous educational and work-related accomplishments and their readiness for PhD study. Career goals and research focus of the applicant are emphasized to permit assignment of appropriate faculty mentors. A strong focus on doctoral student mentoring is a hallmark of the PhD program. 

Key Application Deadlines

December 1: Early-Decision application deadline for applicants; Students will be notified of a decision within three weeks after the application deadline

January 7: Second application deadline for applicants

February 15: Final application deadline for applicants


  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from a program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission [NLNAC] or the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education [CCNE].
  • Have a minimum cumulative graduate grade point average of 3.30 on a 4.00 scale for previous college work.
  • Have a total score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL or a 6.5 overall band score on the IELTS if native language is not English.

Application Requirements

All prospective College of Nursing students must apply online through UT Graduate Admissions and pay the application fee.  Application materials must be submitted directly to Graduate Admissions prior to the application deadline. A completed application will consist of

  • Official transcripts from all Graduate programs and courses attended. Transcripts must be submitted directly to Graduate Admissions at prior to the application deadline
  • Essay describing your aspirations for PhD study and your subsequent career trajectory. Include a brief description of your research interests.
  • Resume/CV
  • Recommendations from three college level instructors and/or nurses and administrators who have supervised applicant’s professional work.
  • Scholarly writing sample (e.g., thesis, published paper or article, previous class paper).
  • Nursing License
  • Personal interview with the College of Nursing PhD Student Admissions Committee. Applicants may be interviewed by telephone or teleconferencing at the discretion of the PhD Admissions Committee after all required items have been submitted to the Graduate School.
  • TOEFL scores, if required

Application Process

Upon submission of an application, the University’s Graduate Admissions office determines if the application meets the University’s minimum admission requirements. If deemed minimally admissible, the application will then be reviewed by the College of Nursing. Graduate Admissions processes applications in the order of submission; due to the application queue, prospective students are strongly encouraged to submit applications well in advance of the College of Nursing’s deadline. Applications will be reviewed upon submission.

Applicants are typically notified of their admission decision five to six weeks after the application deadline. Notifications are sent by email.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure their application is complete. Applicants are strongly encouraged to check first with Graduate Admissions to see if all transcripts and materials have been submitted properly. Applicants can check the status of their application via the UT Graduate School Status Checker.


If you have any questions, contact the College of Nursing Graduate Programs at


Research in the PhD program at UT is an exciting trajectory including a carefully planned, mentored sequence of activities. Early in the program, students become involved in research conducted by nursing faculty mentors and interdisciplinary teams. The culmination of PhD study is original research that generates new knowledge to improve health outcomes. An advantage of PhD study at UT is the 3-manuscript dissertation, in which scholarly work is disseminated throughout the program, not only at the end. The final paper presents the findings of the student’s dissertation research.

Our doctoral students regularly present papers and posters at meetings, publish in scholarly journals, and contribute chapters to faculty-edited books.



More Information about the program, admission requirements, and individual course descriptions can be found in the Graduate Catalog.


You can read more about our programs in our Program Handbook. For any questions about the PhD Program, email PhD Program Chair Sandra Thomas at