Doctor of Philosophy

phd student presentation

Info Sessions

Students will get a chance to meet some of the College of Nursing professors, students and administrators. After a brief overview of the college, we will talk about the programs.

PhD Open Office Hours
December 7th 2015
3:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.
College of Nursing
920 Madison Ave, 10th Floor

PhD Open Office Hours
December 8th 2015
11:00 a.m. until 1 p.m.
College of Nursing
920 Madison Ave, 10th Floor

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science program was designed to educate nurse scientists who will use research-based knowledge, theories, and interventions in their roles as researchers, educators, and administrators. Applicants admitted to the Ph.D. program in Memphis are admitted to the College of Graduate Health Sciences (CGHS), as are all students admitted to Ph.D. programs at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). Although nursing faculty teach most courses included within the program schema, students have the opportunity to learn and network with CGHS students from other disciplines while enrolled in biostatistics, health policy, and the medical ethics courses.

PhD Open House Webinar

Students work closely throughout their program of study with a faculty advisor or mentor with whom they share a common research interest. The two main areas of faculty research concentration are bio-behavioral interactions and interventions, and improving patient outcomes.

The mission of the Ph.D. Program in Nursing is to prepare nursing scientists and scholars for collaborative and socially responsible inquiry that improves and promotes health today and for the future. This is achieved through an educational program that emphasizes (1) developing and testing theories and models of nursing care; (2) clinical nursing research; and (3) social, political, legal, and economic implications of health care policies and practices.

PhD Program Outcomes

  1. analyze, test, refine, extend and expand the theoretical basis of nursing practice;
  2. conduct research that generates and advances nursing as a discipline;
  3. provide leadership as nurse researchers, educators, and/or administrators in current and emerging health care settings;
  4. collaborate with members of other disciplines in health related research of mutual concern
  5. analyze, develop, and recommend health care policy at various levels.


Our students also have obtained extramural funding from professional organizations (e.g., National Institute of Nursing Research; H. W. Durham Foundation; Beta Theta Chapter at-large, Sigma Theta Tau International; International Transplant Nurses Society; and the American Nephrology Nurses Association) to support their dissertation research. We also offer several financial incentives to support students enrolled in our Ph.D. program. Tuition waivers are available that pay full tuition for students who are enrolled full-time and who agree to work 6-8 hours/week (~120 hours per term) as a Research or Teaching Assistant. We also provide a limited number of full or partial stipends (up to $23,600.00/year) for full-time students, in addition to the tuition waiver.  Please see the College of Graduate Health Science’s Bylaws, available at

As nurse scientists, the College of Nursing Ph.D. faculty strive to transform health through excellence in scientific inquiry. College of Nursing faculty who teach in the Ph.D. program have established local, regional, national, and international reputations for their contributions to nursing scholarship and leadership. Faculty consistently contribute paper and poster presentations at conferences such as those sponsored by the Southern Nursing Research Society, the ANA Council of Nurse Researchers, International Transplant Nurses Society, Society of Critical Care Medicine, Autonomic Society of America, and the Gerontological Society of America. Two faculty members have achieved distinction as one of the National Institutes of Nursing Research top 25 nurse researchers. In addition, the College of Nursing has been ranked among the top federally funded nursing programs in the nation, as a result of extramural grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health. Faculty have also received extramural funding from professional organizations and foundations including the H. W. Durham Foundation, International Transplant Nurses Society, National Kidney Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, North American Transplant Coordinator's Organization, and Sigma Theta Tau International.

Although most students enroll full-time, students who have already completed a master’s degree have the option of enrolling in a part-time plan of study. This structured part-time schema will permit students to complete their doctoral education 5.5 years. We have instituted this structured part-time curriculum to meet the challenge of increasing access to doctoral education for those qualified individuals whose lifestyles prohibit full-time study.


Sample Plans of Study

Request More Information

Doctor of Philosophy
Contact Information

J. Carolyn Graff, PhD, RN, FAAIDD
Professor, PhD Program Director
Department of Advanced Practice and Doctoral Studies
Boling Center, 711 Jefferson #182
Memphis, TN 38105

College of Nursing on Facebook