Students are required to complete a minimum of 54 semester hours beyond the master's degree (includes a minimum of 6 semester hours for dissertation) with the exception of BSN to PhD students, who are required to complete between 72 and 77 semester hours, and DNP to PhD students, who are required to complete a minimum of 54 semester hours that may include up to 15 semester hours from a DNP program to partially fulfill requirements of the PhD program.
As in other research-focused programs of doctoral study, students in this program may expect to enroll in more than the minimum required credit hours and to be aware that opportunities that focus on particular areas of study are in addition to the basic program requirements. Additional study is individualized and depends on the student's background and graduate preparation as well as the employment role identified as a career focus.
The PhD program accepts both full- and part-time students. Since enrollments in doctoral programs tend to be small, students need to closely adhere to the plan of study, as courses are often offered once a year. To deviate from the plan of study will mean a delay of up to one year before course enrollment is again possible.
Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale throughout the program. Graduate credits earned at other institutions may be accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the doctoral program. Courses offered for transfer credit are evaluated individually by the PhD program director relative to Graduate School requirements, program requirements and the student's plan of study. Each student must pass a candidacy examination upon completion of all required nursing courses. Students must complete the program of study in six years (includes 12 fall and spring semesters). Each student is required to conduct and communicate an original research project evidenced by a written dissertation and an oral defense of the dissertation.