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College of Nursing

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

Program Information

The PhD in Nursing Science at the University of South Carolina prepares professional nurses for research careers in a variety of academic and health care settings. Our graduates are productive nursing scientists and scholars committed to improving the health and nursing care of patients and communities through interdisciplinary research collaborations. Pathways to the PhD in Nursing Science include BSN, MSN, DNP or a Master’s Degree in another field.  

The PhD core curriculum covers philosophy and theory of nursing science, and research design, methods, and analytic approaches. MSN-prepared students enrolled full-time can anticipate completing coursework and independent dissertation research in 3 years (8 semesters).

Concurrently with the PhD, students may earn a Certificate of Graduate Study in a related area such as Applied Statistics, Drug and Addiction Studies, Gerontology, Health Communication, Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Public Health, Visual Anthropology, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Each student follows an individualized program of study that includes mentored research experiences and contributing courses. The College of Nursing faculty provide individualized mentorship in three major Research Emphasis Areas:

Core curriculum course delivery formats include on-campus seminars with video conferencing options. Courses offered through other departments include both on-site and distance education delivery formats.  March 15 is the Priority Application deadline for applications for Fall semester admission; applications received after the deadline are considered on a space-available basis. PhD degree program applications are submitted online through the University of South Carolina Graduate School at