Skip to Content

College of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Plan of Study

The DNP program is designed to prepare nurses as clinical practitioners and scholars to assume advanced practice clinical and leadership roles.

In addition to traditional master’s education and preparation for advanced practice in nursing, students will learn to evaluate and use research to improve patient care and participate in a nursing leadership program. Graduates will be eligible to take a national certification exam in an area of advanced practice nursing or leadership.

Students can enter USC’s doctorate in nursing practice program with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. Bachelor’s degree entrants will have to take a minimum of 60-75 hours for a degree depending on track chosen. Those with a master’s degree will have a minimum of a 33-hour course of study.  The DNP program can be completed online.

Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, the student must

  • Complete graduate residency of at least 18 graduate hours for three consecutive semesters
  • Complete an approved program of study choosing a clinical emphasis area (FNP, AGACNP or PMHNP) or Nurse Executive Leadership
  • Complete a DNP final project
  • Complete program within ten years
  • Complete a minimum of 500 clinical hours (1,000 clinical hours for those entering the program with a bachelor's degree)
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and earn a 3.0 or better in all required classes and courses number 700 or higher

Contact the Nursing DNP Program Office

Have additional questions about the DNP Program? Call us at 803-777-6185, email an adviser today, or stop by our office:
Williams-Brice Building, Room 217
1601 Greene Street
Columbia, SC  29208