PhD in Nursing Program
The PhD in Nursing program prepares nurse researchers with the ability to conduct clinical and translational research within a multidisciplinary setting, and nursing faculty for careers in teaching and research.
The program is designed to provide intensive mentoring and research socialization of students throughout their course of study. The core and related course-work meet the standards established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for research-focused PhD programs in nursing and outlined in the Indicators of Quality in research-focused PhD programs in nursing. In addition, there is a strong focus on interprofessional partnerships with the UMW School of Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Commonwealth Medicine, UMass Correctional Health, UMass Memorial Health Care and the greater Central Massachusetts community.
Summary of Study
The program consists of a minimum of 57 credit hours, including 12 credits in theory and knowledge of the discipline; 21 credits in research methods and statistics; 6 credits in electives; and 18 credits for dissertation. Students are also required to successfully complete a comprehensive examination, dissertation proposal defense and defense of the completed dissertation. The PhD in Nursing Program is intellectually challenging; therefore, students are advised not to work full-time while enrolled in the program.
All doctoral students must pass the comprehensive examination at the end of coursework prior to the dissertation research in order to proceed in the program. The director of the PhD in Nursing Program will inform students when they have successfully passed the examination. At the discretion of the director of the PhD program, students who fail the exam may be permitted to retake the examination one time only.
Candidates for the PhD degree must complete an acceptable dissertation. The dissertation qualifies for acceptance when it satisfies the following criteria:
demonstrates the candidate’s intellectual competence;
makes an original and valid contribution to nursing science; and
represents an individual achievement and is the product of independent research.
The dissertation research is conducted under the supervision of a dissertation committee. All members of the dissertation committee must approve and sign off on the dissertation proposal. Students will then have a minimum of seven months to complete the dissertation research and schedule a final oral examination (defense of dissertation). Attendance at the final oral examination is open to all members of the candidate’s major department and any other members of the graduate faculty. However, only the three members of the dissertation committee may cast a vote. A unanimous vote is required for the student to pass the final oral examination
All students must enroll for 18 dissertation credits. No student is exempt from this requirement. Normal tuition rates will apply.
Doctoral students are required to maintain continuous enrollment each semester after course work is completed until graduation. After coursework, students may register for dissertation credits or pay the continuous program fee each semester. Failure to be properly enrolled will result in a student’s withdrawal from the program.
PhD Course Sequence
For more information please contact: Carol Bova, PhD, RN, ANP, (Carol.Bova@umassmed.edu or 508-856-1848) PhD Program Director.