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College of Nursing

  • PhD Students

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Students who have earned a BSN, a master's degree in nursing, a DNP, or a BSN and a master's degree in another field are eligible for admission. For those without a graduate degree in nursing, master's level nursing courses are incorporated into the plan of study prior to enrolling in Ph.D. core courses.

For applicants with a DNP degree, the GRE is waived based on previous success in a doctoral program. For all other applicants, admission to the Nursing Science degree program, like most Ph.D. programs at the University of South Carolina, requires scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within five years of the admission application.

Students entering with a DNP or MSN can complete the degree with three years. BSN admits should anticipate taking four years. It is anticipated that students will enroll in two to three courses per term. It is possible to accelerate this schedule or slow it down by taking more or fewer classes per semester. All courses must be completed within 10 years of the graduation date or will need to be revalidated.

There are many funding sources available for Ph.D. students, including university and private scholarships, government agency traineeships, federal loans and professional association scholarships. You can anticipate receiving full funding for at least your first two years in the program. Learn more about your financial aid options.

Although students are not required to identify a specific research area prior to matriculation, having a potential match with our graduate faculty in a broad research area can facilitate degree progression. Faculty research emphasis areas are detailed in the Research section.

Students take a minimum of six credits outside of nursing, and many students earn a Certificate of Graduate Study in a related area. Examples of available graduate certificates include Applied Statistics, Gerontology, Health Communication, Public Health and Women's and Gender Studies.

Our graduates are productive nursing scientists and scholars committed to improving the health and nursing care of patients and communities. They serve as faculty in academic institutions as well as researchers in a variety of agencies, government or clinical settings.


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