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PhD in Nursing & Health Science Academics & Curriculum

The PhD in Nursing & Health Science curriculum prepares nurses and other health care scientists to conduct research and translate discoveries to practice.

As a PhD student at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, work closely with research faculty who are active in research and experts in their field. Your plan of study is carefully mapped out with an advisor before you start any coursework.

See Sample PhD Degree Plan (Part-Time)

The rigorous program is reading- and writing-intensive. You should expect to take more time for thinking, writing, and preparing for classes where your active engagement in discussion of what you have prepared will be expected. Study at the doctoral level requires a self-directed, highly organized work style, as you are gathering and critiquing information on your own dissertation research topic. Having a strong support system while in this program is key to your success.

PhD in Nursing & Health Science Program Phases

Below is an overview of what it takes to earn your PhD in Nursing & Health Science at the UR School of Nursing.

Coursework: Two Years

  • Full-time coursework (designed to build skills in logical thinking, writing and oral expression) which becomes increasingly specialized over time
  • Several days/week of reading and writing outside of class hours
  • Four cognate courses (within UR Nursing or elsewhere) to support research interest
  • Followed by successful completion of qualifying exam

Proposal Development: One to Two Semesters

  • Constitution of a dissertation committee
  • Participation in Dissertation Workshop in preparation for proposal defense
  • Finalization and defense of the dissertation research proposal

Dissertation Research: Six to 18 Months, depending on nature of research

Once the proposal has been successfully defended and research review board approval has been secured, the student conducts the dissertation research project independently under guidance of the committee. The final dissertation is then written, revised with critique from the committee, and defended publicly with a private critique to follow.

PhD Program Outcomes

  • Critique, synthesize, and apply theory and research evidence on clinically relevant issues and problems
  • Articulate the contributions of your research and your discipline
  • Design, execute, and disseminate clinical research that is rigorous, ethical, theoretically congruent, and clinically and socially significant
  • Demonstrate progression toward a leadership role in health science research, education, and policy
  • Recognize the importance of mentoring students and facilitating professional advancement of colleagues in clinical and educational settings
  • Disseminate information through scholarly presentations and publications to promote the growth of the profession

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Interested in earning your PhD? Connect with us to discuss the PhD degree in nursing and health science and the opportunities available at the University of Rochester. 

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