Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

The PhD Program at a Glance

  • Admit Terms: Fall only
  • Credit Requirement: 66 credits
  • Enrollment Mode: Curriculum includes both online and on-campus courses
  • Enrollment Level: Full-time and Part-time study available

Are you ready to begin a life of inquiry and discovery? The mission of the PhD Program in Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing is to prepare nurse leaders in the profession. Graduates of this program will lead the development and dissemination of knowledge through the conduct of nursing and interprofessional research.  Through the integration of theory, research, and practice, our goal is to prepare nurse scientists who will improve health and health care

In contrast to the practice-based Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), this doctoral program is rooted in foundations of theory and research needed to develop educators, leaders and discoverers of knowledge in the field of health care.

The Faculty

Our outstanding faculty is committed to preparing nurse scholars and scientists who can lead in extending the body of nursing knowledge. We foster a collegial and supportive environment with close faculty interaction. Our learning atmosphere is distinctive, challenging and includes rich mentoring experiences.

Research at UTHealth

The School’s dedicated Center for Nursing Research promotes collaborations, enhances scholarship and stimulates clinically relevant investigative questions and innovative approaches. We offer unique access to expert faculty researchers in a comprehensive six-discipline academic health center. Doctoral students also have access to courses and resources in the affiliated institutions of the Texas Medical Center, a vibrant academic and healthcare community in the heart of Houston.

Whether you see your future in the nursing world as a faculty member or as a clinical researcher, UTHealth's PhD in Nursing is the next exciting step toward enhancing your career trajectory.

Student-Centered Support

Each doctoral student will be assigned an academic advisor at the time of admission to the doctoral program. The doctoral student and their academic advisor will complete a degree plan to specify which courses are to be taken to complete the degree requirements. Degree plan policy and procedures may be found in PhD Program Policy D7320 (pdf).

Curriculum Plans

The curriculum includes 66 semester hours distributed as shown below. The course sequence is designed to prepare nurse leaders to develop, test, and implement innovation in the health care delivery and to teach the next generations of nurses in research and practice. During the sequence of courses the student participates in development of a research program that includes interdisciplinary interactions. The student works with an interdisciplinary team of faculty mentors who have established practices and research programs. Courses in the nursing sequence are focused on the health care delivery system, theory, and research. The student also takes three electives and three cognate courses that allow the student to develop knowledge in a focused area of interest. The theory, research, practice links provide the basis for the student to develop a dissertation that is focused on preparing a nurse scientist who will improve health and health care. 

Core Courses
N7501 Conceptual Basis of Nursing Science* 3
N7530 Analysis of the Context of Healthcare* 3
N7543 Inter-Professional Dimensions of Research* 3
N7550 Science-Based Nursing Practice* 3
N7552 Innovations in Practice* 3
Research Design and Methods
N7540 Advanced Research Designs and Methods I* 3
N7541 Application of Measurement Theory to Biomedical and Health Science Research* 3
N7542 Advanced Research Designs and Methods II* 3
XXXX Advanced Research Methods Elective** 3
Statistical Methods
N7505 Advanced Statistics for Clinical Research I 4
N7506 Advanced Statistics for Clinical Research II 4
Cognates
XXXX Cognate 1** 3
XXXX Cognate 2** 3
XXXX Cognate 3** 3
Candidacy
N7590 Candidacy Examination* 1
Electives
XXXX Elective 1** 3
XXXX Elective 2** 3
XXXX Elective 3** 3
Dissertation
N7600 Dissertation 12
Course # Course Title Hours
Semester 1 - Fall
N7501 Conceptual Basis of Nursing Science* 3
N7530 Analysis of the Context of Health Care* 3
N7505 Advanced Statistics for Clinical Research I 4
Semester 2 - Spring
N7540 Advanced Research Designs and Methods I* 3
XXXX Cognate I** 3
N7506 Advanced Statistics for Clinical Research II 4
Semester 3 - Summer
N7543 Inter-Professional Dimensions of Research* 3
XXXX Elective I** 3
Semester 4 - Fall
N7541 Application of Measurement Theory to Biomedical and Health Science Research* 3
N7542 Advanced Research Designs and Methods II* 3
XXXX CognateII** 3
Semester 5 - Spring
NXXXX Research Methods Elective** 3
NXXXX Cognate III** 3
N7550 Science-Based Practice 3
Semester 6 - Summer
N7590 Candidacy 1
XXXX Elective II** 3
Semester 7 - Fall
N7552 Innovations in Practice* 3
N7600 Dissertation 6
Semester 8 -Spring
XXXX Elective III** 3
N7600 Dissertation 6
Course # Course Title Hours
Semester 1 - Fall
N7530 Analysis of the Context of Health Care* 3
N7505 Advanced Statistics for Clinical Research I 4
Semester 2 - Spring
XXXXX Elective I** 3
N7506 Advanced Statistics for Clinical Research II 4
Semester 3 - Summer
XXXXX Elective II** 3
XXXXX Elective III** 3
Semester 4 - Fall
N7501 Conceptual Basis of Nursing Science* 3
XXXXX Cognate I** 3
Semester 5 - Spring
N7540 Advanced Research Designs & Methods I* 3
XXXXX Cognate II** 3
Semester 6 - Summer
N7543 Inter-Professional Dimensions of Research* 3
Semester 7 - Fall
N7541 Application of Measurement Theory to Biomedical and Health Science Research 3
N7542 Advanced Research Designs & Methods II* 3
Semester 8 - Spring
XXXXX Cognate III** 3
N7550 Science-Based Practice* 3
Semester 9 - Summer
N7590 Candidacy 1
Semester 10 - Fall
N7552 Innovations in Practice* 3
XXXXX Research Methods Elective** 3
Semester 11 - Spring
N7600 Dissertation 6
Semester 12 - Summer
N7600 Dissertation 6

* Required courses are offered only one (1) time a year.
** These courses may be selected from offerings at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston or other universities through enrollment agreements.

Note: 1 semester hour of credit is earned for

  • 3 clock hours per week of clinical experience,
  • 1 clock hour per week of lecture, or
  • 2 clock hours per week of seminar.

Consult individual course descriptions in the catalog for details on clinical, lecture, and seminar hours and prerequisite or corequisite requirements.

Candidacy Exam

The candidacy examination serves as a basis for determining the student's readiness for pursuing dissertation research. It is composed of a written paper and an oral examination. The student should demonstrate a command of the theoretical and methodological issues related to the selected topic as a basis for pursuing research in a specific population of interest. The candidacy examination is viewed as a continuing step in the educational process building on previous course work and leading to the dissertation proposal defense and the dissertation. Candidacy exam policy and procedures may be found in PhD Program Policy D7315 (pdf).

Dissertation Requirement

An original research dissertation that constitutes a substantial contribution to the body of knowledge in nursing must be completed under the direction of a dissertation committee chairperson who is a member of the School of Nursing faculty. Information regarding the dissertation policy and procedures may be found in PhD Program Policy D7400 (pdf) and the Dissertation Manual (pdf).

Program Coordinator

Geri L Wood, PhD, RN, FAAN

Coordinator, Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Program (Email)