The mission of the PhD program is to educate future nurse scientists, educators, and health care leaders.
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Individualized education in a challenging, supportive setting is at the heart of the PhD program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. You’ll benefit from a program of study 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. You’ll also become part of an exciting community of scholars engaged in nursing research and scholarly writing. Doctoral students regularly present papers and posters at meetings, publish in scholarly journals, and contribute chapters to faculty-edited books.
An advantage of pursuing the doctorate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is access to the rich resources of one of the top research institutions in the nation. PhD students are taught by, and work collaboratively with, nationally and internationally prominent researchers in nursing and many other disciplines. Key research foci of the college are technology, symptom science, caregiving, and translational science. Certificate programs are offered in nursing education and health policy. Both full-time and part-time options are available. The faculty is committed to quality, innovation, accessibility, and mentoring.
Find information on admission policies, deadlines and requirements on our Graduate Admissions page.
Application Deadline Extended to March 1*
*International applicants must meet the February 1 deadline
Program of Study Options
We offer the following program of study options within the PhD program:
- BSN to PhD
- Program of study for students in education option—full time
- Program of study for students in education option—part time
- Program of study for students not in education option—full time
- Program of study for students not in education option—part time
- Opportunity to work with nationally and internationally prominent nurse scientists and scholars from other disciplines, including public health and education
- 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
- Opportunity to receive substantial financial support through fellowships from the Graduate School and the College of Nursing
- Blended curriculum delivery* through distance technology, with two on-campus sessions per semester
- Optional certification in nursing education or health policy
- Full-time or part-time options
- Option for cognates/ minors/concentrations
- Colloquium, a time for PhD and DNP students and faculty to share and discuss topics of interest
- Distinguished faculty with diverse fields of research
*600-level nursing courses in the PhD and DNP programs are offered in a flexible blended format with two coordinated on-site face-to-face course sessions per term complemented with live online group and collaborative discussions and activities; structured asynchronous individual, group, and self-directed work; and individual guidance, mentoring, and advising. BSN to PhD students in clinical concentration courses have variable schedules.
1st session August 28–30
Day 1: August 28 (Monday)
- 8:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m. — Graduate Orientation in Panhellenic Bldg.
- 1:00–5 p.m. — PhD Program Overview
- 5:30 p.m. — Dutch-treat PhD Faculty-Student Dinner at Naples Italian Restaurant
Day 2: August 29 (Tuesday)
Classes for First-Year Students:
- 8 a.m.–noon — 610
- 1–5 p.m. — 601
Classes for Second-Year Students:
- 8 a.m.–noon — 613
- 1–5 p.m. — 608
Scholarship Banquet is Tuesday night (all scholarship recipients required to attend)
Classes for Third-Year Students:
- 8 a.m.–noon — 606
- 1–5 p.m. — 612
Day 3: August 30 (Wednesday)
- 9 a.m.–noon — PhD/DNP Colloquium showcasing faculty research
Note: Students to schedule advising appointments when schedules permit on Tuesday or Wednesday
2nd session November 6–8
Same schedule as above, with date for Research Conference TBA
Get in touch with PhD Program Chair Sandra Thomas.
PhD, RN, FAAN
Chair, PhD Program