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College of Nursing


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

Plan of Study

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

The PhD core curriculum includes courses in nursing research roles, theories and methods. Beyond the core curriculum each student has an individual course of study, including mentored research experiences and elective courses, which lead to the preparation and defense of a dissertation.

Several unique financial aid options are available to students in the PhD program including the Future of Nursing Scholars Award and opportunities to serve as a graduate and instructional assistant. Other awards available are listed on the Graduate Scholarships page.

An exciting new instructional model will be initiated in Fall 2018. Executive-style delivery, integrating face-to-face campus sessions with interactive learning activities, will provide students with a flexible, yet rigorous, PhD education. 

Degree Requirements

  • Complete an approved program of study of at least 39 credit hours minimum (DNP entry), 57 credit hours minimum (master's in nursing entry) or 75 hours minimum (bachelor's in nursing entry). For those with a master’s degree in another field, please contact our office for additional information
  • Complete a minimum of one research internship with a faculty member
  • Demonstrate competency in statistics/research methods or reading knowledge of a foreign language specific to student's proposed course of study
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in all required courses and earn a B or higher in courses listed on the student's program of study
  • Meet university residency requirement
  • Successfully complete doctoral degree requirements of The Graduate School including written and oral defense of doctoral dissertation
  • Complete program within 10 years


Contact the Office of Student Affairs

Have additional questions about the Ph.D. Program? Call us at 803-777-7412, email an advisor today, or stop by our office:

Williams-Brice Building, Room 208
1601 Greene Street
Columbia, SC  29208