The Doctor of Philosophy program in Nursing is designed to
prepare students for positions as nursing faculty members, leaders in the
application of innovative technologies to nursing education and clinical care,
executive leaders in healthcare systems, and scientists who contribute to the
body of nursing knowledge through their research.
The doctoral program
in Nursing prepares nurse scholars to possess a body of knowledge about
theory, processes and methods of inquiry in the discipline of nursing. The
program allows students to contribute to disciplinary and interdisciplinary
knowledge in nursing and healthcare from the basis of sound conceptual,
methodological, and ethical decision-making.
At the completion of the PhD in Nursing Program, graduates
will be able to:
- Conduct research to generate a body of knowledge
and test theories that advance nursing science.
- Develop a program of
scholarship that integrates research, teaching, leadership, and service to the
- Contribute to interdisciplinary solutions that advance
health care in a global society.
CURRICULUMThe Nursing PhD
program requires a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond a master’s degree in
Nursing. This program includes 36 credit hours of required courses that focus
on foundation, knowledge development and research methods, 15 dissertation
credit hours, and 9 credit hours of electives allowing students to gain
additional expertise in the area chosen for their dissertation. At least two of
the three elective courses must be taken outside of the College of Nursing.
Details about this program are located in the Nursing
|Total Credit Hours Required:|
Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Master's Degree|
the Nursing PhD program must complete all course work with GPA of 3.0 (“B”) or
better, a satisfactory dissertation and defense of dissertation.
Required Courses—36 Credit Hours
Areas—9 Credit Hours
- NGR 7892 Healthcare Systems and
Policy (3 credit hours)
- NGR 7805 Doctoral Scholarship (3 credit
- NGR 7806 Doctoral Scholarship II (3 credit hours)
Knowledge Development—9 Credit Hours
- NGR 7115
Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Science (3 credit
- NGR 7123 Concept Development in Nursing (3 credit hours)
- NGR 7939 Dissertation Seminar (3 credit hours)
Research Methods—18 Credit Hours
- NGR 7815
Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research and Healthcare I (3 credit hours)
- NGR 7817 Quantitative Methods for Nursing and Healthcare I (3 credit
- NGR 7818 Quantitative Methods for Nursing and Healthcare II (3
credit hours) or NGR 7808 Qualitative Methods in Nursing and Healthcare II (3
- NGR 7807 Research Approaches and Designs for Nursing and
Healthcare (3 credit hours)
- NGR 7823 Psychometrics and Measurement for
Nursing Research (3 credit hours)
- NGR 7919 Doctoral Research (3 Credit
Elective Courses—9 Credit Hours Minimum
supporting course work is designed to permit students to gain additional
expertise and knowledge in the area chosen for the dissertation. At least two of
the three courses must be taken outside of the College of Nursing.
Dissertation Research—15 Credit Hours Minimum
research addresses the design and conduct of research that advances nursing
science. Students conduct the dissertation in areas of faculty interest and
expertise. Students are required to complete at least 15 credit hours of
dissertation and are required to register for 3 credit hours of dissertation
each semester until they complete the degree requirements.
- NGR 7980
Dissertation Research (15 credit hours)
The course NGR 7919 Doctoral Research is designed for students
to gain research experience with a faculty researcher. Students must obtain
permission from the faculty member before registering for this course and
complete the College of Nursing doctoral research form. The purpose of this
course is for students to have an experience with research in addition to that
of the dissertation. This course is not to be used as a pilot study for the
Admission to Candidacy and Examinations
The process for candidacy will start with the appointment of the dissertation
advisory committee. The Candidacy Examination has both written and oral
components. When these are completed successfully, the student becomes a
doctoral candidate and is eligible to enroll in dissertation credits. When
candidacy status is obtained, the student must enroll in at least three semester
credits of dissertation credit each semester until successful oral defense of
the dissertation is made and all graduation requirements are completed. The
university requires a minimum of 15 dissertation credits. Post-candidacy status
is subject to the rules and regulations of the University of Central Florida
The following are required to enroll in
dissertation hours. Evidence that items have been completed must be received by
the Graduate College on the Friday before the first day of classes for those who
wish to enroll in dissertation hours in that semester:
- Completion of all course work, except for dissertation
- Successful completion of the candidacy
- The dissertation advisory committee is
formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
- Submittal of an approved program of study (should be
finalized by the student's third semester).
Full-time students in the Nursing PhD program
pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $45 each semester.
Independent LearningThe dissertation satisfies the independent learning experience.
For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.
In addition to the general UCF graduate application
requirements, applicants to this program must provide:
- One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each
- A Master's and a Bachelor’s Degree in
nursing from an accredited institution or the equivalent.
- Licensure as
a Registered Nurse in the state of Florida. (Does not apply to international
- Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five
- An essay of no more than 500 words addressing goals for doctoral
study to knowledge development for Nursing.
- A personal interview.
- Research interests that match faculty expertise.
- Resume/Curriculum Vitae which reflects prior education, recent
clinical accomplishments, any scholarly work (publications and presentations),
and activities with professional organizations. For recent graduates this can
include accomplishments as a student.
- Three letters of
recommendation evaluating potential for doctoral study preferably by nursing
instructors, nurse employers or nurses with advanced degrees.
The College of Nursing accepts the most qualified
students based on evaluations of the applicant's abilities, past performance,
recommendations and match of UCF programs with applicant's career goals.
Students are admitted to the program in the summer for the program of study.
Please call the College of Nursing Graduate Office (407) 823-3079 to speak
with a doctoral adviser to discuss your goals for doctoral study. It would be
very advantageous to discuss the program before you write your essay in the
International Transfer Applicants
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.
Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website
, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information
section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.
Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.