The PhD program in Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee prepares nurses as scholars to conduct independent and collaborative research, to develop and test theory relevant to nursing, and to improve the quality of care by expanding the body of nursing knowledge. Scholars will be prepared to serve the urban community and improve the general accessibility and acceptability of health care.
Specialization is achieved through an approved program of study and includes program elements of coursework, dissertation, and direction of faculty advisors. This specialization is focused on a particular area of nursing practice and the social context within which it occurs.
An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus the following College of Nursing requirements to be considered for admission to the doctoral program in Nursing:
- A bachelor’s or master's degree in Nursing or Health related field.
- A cumulative grade point average of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale for all previous coursework.
- Submission of scores on the General Test portion of the Graduate Record Examination; test taken within last five years.
- Completion of a graduate-level statistics course with a grade of B or better within the last 5 years.
- A written statement prepared by the applicant describing previous professional experience, personal career goals, research interests motivation for doctoral study, and educational objectives to be accomplished in the program.
- Recommendations from at least three persons who have known the applicant in a professional capacity.
- Two examples of original work that demonstrate the applicant’s academic potential.
- An interview may be required of applicants to the doctoral program. Telephone or Zoom interview may be used when travel is prohibitive.
A student who receives the master’s degree must formally reapply for admission to the Graduate School before continuing studies toward the PhD.
Credits and Courses
Minimum degree requirements are 61 graduate credits beyond the bachelor’s degree, at least 31 of which must be earned in residence at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The College of Nursing requires a minimum of 49 graduate credits beyond the master’s degree in nursing or master’s graduate core courses.
|NURS 801||Foundations of Inquiry for Health Research||3|
|NURS 802||The Science of Nursing||3|
|NURS 803||Health Policy||3|
|Specialty Core (6 core, 9 elective credits)|
|NURS 820||Analysis of Nursing Phenomena||3|
|NURS 809||Integrative Studies||3|
|NURS 808||Multivariate Statistics for Healthcare||3|
|NURS 881||Measurement for Health Research||3|
|NURS 882||Qualitative Methods in Health Research||3|
|NURS 883||Quantitative Methods in Health Research||3|
|NURS 885||Advanced Quantitative Methods in Health Research||3|
|or NURS 886||Advanced Qualitative Methods in Health Research|
|NURS 890||Issues in Scholarship||3|
|NURS 899||Practicum in Nursing Research||4|
|NURS 997||Doctoral Dissertation (3 credits minimum)||3|
Specialization is achieved through an approved program of study and includes program elements of minor field coursework, supervised research experiences, dissertation, and the direction of faculty advisors. The student specializes in a particular area of nursing practice and the social context within which it occurs. The plan for this is developed in consultation with the major professor. Minimum requirements for all formal coursework other than dissertation research can be expected to take at least two academic years of study.
Students admitted without a master’s degree in nursing must complete 12 credits of master’s program graduate core courses before beginning doctoral level nursing courses. The graduate core courses that must be completed are:
|NURS 725||Evidence Based Practice in Healthcare||3|
|NURS 728||Epidemiological Principles for Population Health||3|
|NURS 735||Theory for Advanced Practice||3|
|NURS 804||Healthcare Organization and Systems Leadership for Advanced Practice||3|
Post baccalaureate students admitted to the doctoral program will not be granted a master’s degree in nursing unless all requirements for the master’s degree in nursing are met.
Major Professor as Advisor
The student is expected to affirm their Major Professor by the end of her/his second semester of full-time study or the equivalent in earned credits. The date for submission will be published for each semester by the PhD Program Director. The Major Professor will be the student’s research advisor, and will serve as chairperson of his/her Comprehensive Preliminary Examination Committee and the Dissertation Committee. The PhD student must select a Major Professor who is a member of the graduate faculty of the College of Nursing and who has agreed to serve.
Minimum Grade Requirement
For continuation in the program, in addition to general Graduate School requirements, students must achieve a minimum grade of B- in all required courses.
The student must complete a minor of 8 to 12 credits, 6 or more of these credits to be earned from courses in departments outside the College of Nursing. Such courses are selected for their relevance to the student’s area of specialization, and are to be taken in the substantive content of the selected minor field.
Foreign language competency may be required at the option of the student’s major professor.
The student must meet minimum Graduate School residence requirements.
Doctoral Preliminary Examination
The student must pass a doctoral preliminary examination to qualify for formal admission to candidacy for degree. The doctoral examination comprises a written and an oral component, taken in that sequence, with each component requiring a passing grade for successful completion. The examination is an integrative experience that is designed to validate the student’s mastery of the content of the doctoral program curriculum and readiness to conduct independent research within the student’s area of specialization as identified in the formal plan of study.
The candidate must write a dissertation, which demonstrates ability to formulate a research topic and pursue independent and original investigation under the direction of the major professor.
The candidate must, as the final step toward the degree, pass an oral examination in defense of the dissertation. A candidate who does not pass this examination may apply for reexamination within one year from the initial examination date. This reexamination may occur only one time. A candidate who does not pass this examination within program time limits may be required to undergo another comprehensive preliminary examination and readmitted to the program and/or candidacy.
The student must complete all requirements for the degree within seven years from the date of initial enrollment in the program. The student must complete all requirements for the degree within four years from the time of attainment of dissertator status.
For additional information on the PhD, see the Graduate School Doctoral Requirements page.