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MS-PhD Combined Accelerated Programs

Why Choose the MS-PhD Program?

Put your nursing education in high gear with our accelerated MS-PhD Combined programs.

These full-time programs offer master’s preparation in one of six nurse practitioner specialty areas or a master’s in nursing education alongside advanced preparation in a research-intensive curriculum.

As a bachelor’s prepared nurse, you can earn your master’s and PhD in Nursing and Health Science in five years of full-time effort, moving more quickly toward becoming the health care leader and researcher you want to be.

As a nurse practitioner, you will bring a level of research expertise and professionalism that’s rewarded with a higher salary and a stronger connection with the individuals and families in your care. As a nurse educator, you will be in high demand to teach the next generation of health care professionals in academic or clinical settings.

The MS-PhD Combined Accelerated programs admit a small number of academically strong students to ensure that students receive support and close mentorship from faculty. Learning experiences are tailored toward your goals to help you build research skills and partner with researchers across many disciplines.

If you want to pioneer new breakthroughs in nursing and health science research with some of the most brilliant minds in the profession, the UR School of Nursing is the place for you.

MS-PhD Program Specialties

Applicants may select among the following MS-PhD specialty programs. 

Program eligibility requirements include:

  • a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited school of nursing
  • RN licensure within the United States or U.S. territory
  • clinical experience for the following nurse practitioner specialties:
    • AGPCNP, FNP, PNP, and FPMHNP programs: one year clinical experience is preferred
    • AGACNP program: one year full-time (or equivalent) RN experience in acute care prior to enrollment in NUR 411
    • Post-Master’s PNP/NNP: a master’s in maternal-infant/maternal-child health, or pediatrics; and two years NICU experience in the last five years
  • CPR certification (professional course must be taken with the American Heart Association)
  • statistics course with a grade of C or above. (For those who do not currently meet the requirement, we offer an online, self-paced statistics course which can be completed in as little as four weeks)

To complete your online application you will need the following:

  • current RN license
  • official transcripts from all schools attended, including prerequisites (cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher preferred)
  • competitive scores on the GRE within the past five years
  • three letters of reference (one from a clinical nurse/manager with a graduate degree, others from doctorally-prepared academics)
  • professional goal statement
  • resume or CV
  • writing sample (academic paper, publication, or other written work)
  • for international students, TOEFL with a minimum score of 560 (paper-based), 230 (computer-based) or 88 (iBT)
We do not require any standardized test scores as admission criteria for the MS-PhD program. Please send all supplemental application materials to:
Admissions Office
University of Rochester School of Nursing
601 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, NY 14642

What You Can Do with a PhD

Nurses with a PhD and nurse practitioner or nurse educator preparation are in very high demand. Like all graduates with PhDs, MS-PhD graduates will be sought out for employment as faculty in academic nursing schools and will be especially attractive to schools with nurse practitioner programs and undergraduate nursing programs.

PhD graduates with nurse practitioner preparation will be prepared to practice in their specialty area and conduct research in a variety of academic and clinical settings. With cutting-edge skills as an advanced practice nurse and a nurse researcher, the possibilities are very far-reaching.

PhD graduates with nurse educator preparation will be especially attractive as faculty members and instructors given their expertise and advanced knowledge in the science of teaching and learning.

Program Duration

MS and PhD courses are taken in a very rigorous three years of full-time enrollment after which the master’s degree is awarded. The student then continues to complete the PhD dissertation proposal and dissertation research.