Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
PhD in Nursing: Program Overview:
Faculty members of the UTHSC PhD program in Nursing welcome your interest and hope that this overview provides you with the information needed to determine if our program fits your educational needs. We look forward to comments and questions about our program and thank you for considering us as you explore your career options.
Degree Focus . The UTHSC PhD program in Nursing produces nursing research scientists and scholars, and is designed to educate nurse scientists to use, theory, research-based knowledge, and intervention in their roles as researcher, educators, and administrators.
Admission. Admission to the PhD program in Nursing is partially based on a match between the prospective student’s research interests and the expertise of a College of Nursing faculty member who is able to accept a new student into her or his program of research. (This faculty member typically serves as the chairperson of the student’s dissertation committee).
Affiliation. The PhD program in Nursing is a collaborative program with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. PhD Nursing program students are admitted to the College of Graduate Health Sciences (CGHS) at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (Memphis) and have the opportunity to enroll in courses with students from other disciplines throughout the University and to take courses in the College of Nursing.
PhD Program Enrollment Requirements, Credit Assignment, and Academic Term RN Degree Requirement.
Program of study is open to registered nurses who have completed a baccalaureate or master’s degree.
Full / Part-time Schedule. Students may enroll on a full-time or part-time basis.
Academic Term. The academic schedule typically consists of two academic terms per year with the first two terms including primarily core courses, such as College of Graduate Health Sciences required courses, including 801 IP, Integrity in the Conduct of Scientific Research.
Program of Study Progression and Dissertation. At the completion of the first year of study the student in collaboration with her or his faculty advisor will select the student’s dissertation committee.
Course Hour Requirements. The student’s dissertation committee determines the total number of course hours required for completion of the PhD with a focus in Nursing.
Program of Study Decisions. Selection of specific courses, their number and sequence following the completion of the first year of study will be determined by the student's faculty advisor and dissertation committee and as guided by CGHS policy.
Candidacy Exam. Admission to candidacy for the PhD degree requires successful completion of a written candidacy examination which may be taken during the third or fourth semester (i.e., second year of PhD coursework). A student who has passed the candidacy examination is referred to as a PhD candidate. The student must be a candidate for at least two semesters prior to graduation.
Dissertation and Hours Required to Graduate. At least 24 semester hours is required in the doctoral dissertation course (NSG 900) prior to the oral defense and submission of the dissertation and graduation. In general, this means that the student must be engaged in dissertation-level research for at least two semesters.
Residency Requirements Year/Semester Minimum Requirement. Doctoral programs normally include six or more semesters of full-time study beyond a bachelor's degree.
Maximum Years Allowed to Complete Program. After admission to candidacy students must complete the required program within eight years from the time of the student's first enrollment in a doctoral degree program.
PhD Program Online Studies Program Flexibility. The program is designed to offer students flexibility in determining their own living arrangements, schedule of study, timing of coursework and conduct of dissertation research.
Required On Campus Meetings. Students are required to be on campus at least twice per month and at the start and end of each term.
Face-to-Face Online Meetings. Courses that require face-to-face contact may be offered live online (synchronous attendance).
Financial aid and scholarships Tuition Waiver Option. All full-time students are eligible for waiver of all tuition fees in exchange for 6 hours per week of service to the University (120 hours per 6 month term). Assignments are determined by the CON program director or his or her designee. The majority of assignments require an on-campus presence. Some assignments may be completed off campus with the permission of the supervising faculty member).
Stipends. A limited number of stipends may also be available. These are typically available for first year students only.
FAFSA Required. Applicants interested in financial aid and/or scholarships should complete the FAFSA online application form.
Research Funding. Graduate faculty members assist students with exploring sources for research funding opportunities. Students are encouraged during their program of study to submit research proposals to local, regional, and national funding agencies to establish a track record for securing extramural grants to fund their dissertation research.
Doctoral Program [Sample Schema]
February 15 · Submission of all admission documents to Office of Enrollment Services (i.e., application form, essay, reference forms, all official transcripts, etc.)
March · On campus visitation and interviews with at least two graduate nursing faculty
March · Admission decisions announced, applications for stipends and scholarships submitted to the College of Nursing, and financial aid applications submitted to the Office of Financial Aid
Annual Term Timetable (approximate)
July · On campus session and classes begin (with the exception of first year students who begin in August of the year they are admitted to the program)
November · Final on campus session unless otherwise notified
December · Classes end
January · Classes begin
February · On campus sessions
April · On campus sessions
May · There MAY be an on campus session
June · Classes end
Initial contact about the PhD program should be directed to:
PhD Program Director, Dr. Carolyn Graff
telephone: (901) 448-6544 or 1(800) 733-2498
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
College of Nursing , Office of Student Affairs, Suite 1020
920 Madison Avenue , Memphis, Tennessee 38163
The UTHSC College of Nursing is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Electronic Campus for distance education courses, programs and services offered through many institutions of higher education in the southeastern United States.
Jamie Overton, M.A.Ed.
Student Affairs, Senior Coordinator
920 Madison, #1021
Memphis, TN 38163
Student Affairs - Admin Coordinator
920 Madison, #1020
Memphis, TN 38163