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College of Nursing

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science (Ph.D.)

The purpose of the Ph.D. program is to prepare professional nurses for careers in research in academic, clinical and health systems settings.

The Ph.D. core curriculum includes courses in nursing theory, research methods and statistics. Beyond the core curriculum each student has an individual course of study, including mentored research experiences and contributing courses, which lead to the preparation and defense of a dissertation. 

Several unique financial aid options are also available to students in the Ph.D. program including the Dean's Doctoral Fellowship Award and Ph.D. Scholarship Award.  There are other awards available on the Graduate Financial Aid page.

Degree Requirements

  • Complete USC residency requirement
  • Complete an approved program of study of at least 60 credit hours (master's entry) or 78 hours (bachelor's entry). 
  • Complete program within eight years
  • Complete admission-to-candidacy exam one academic year before degree is to be awarded
  • Have reading knowledge of a foreign language or competency in statistics/research methods specific to student's proposed course of study
  • Complete at least 3 credits of mentored research under a College of Nursing faculty member
  • Successfully complete a comprehensive exam (dissertation proposal defense)
  • Complete oral defense of doctoral dissertation
  • 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 Ph.D. Program Office

Have additional questions about the Ph.D. Program? Call us at 803-777-0290, email an adviser today, or stop by our office:

Williams-Brice Building, Room 305
1601 Greene Street
Columbia, SC  29208