The Doctor of Philosophy program in Nursing is designed to prepare students for positions as nursing faculty members, leaders in the application of innovative technologies to nursing education and clinical care, executive leaders in healthcare systems, and scientists who contribute to the body of nursing knowledge through their research.
The PhD in Nursing program prepares nurse scholars to possess a body of knowledge about theory, processes, and methods of inquiry in the discipline of nursing. The program allows students to contribute to disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge in nursing and healthcare on the basis of sound conceptual, methodological, and ethical decision-making.
At the completion of the PhD in Nursing Program, graduates will be able to:
- Conduct research to generate a body of knowledge and test theories that advance nursing science.
- Develop a program of scholarship that integrates research, teaching, leadership, and service to the profession.
- Contribute to interdisciplinary solutions that advance health care in a global society.
Please note: Nursing (PhD) may be completed fully online, although not all elective options or program prerequisites may be offered online. Newly admitted students choosing to complete this program exclusively via UCF online classes may enroll with a reduction in campus-based fees.
International students (F or J visa) are required to enroll in a full-time course load of 9 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. Only 3 of the 9 credit hours may be taken in a completely online format. For a detailed listing of enrollment requirements for international students, please visit http://global.ucf.edu/. If you have questions, please consult UCF Global at 407-823-2337.
UCF is not authorized to provide online courses or instruction to students in some states. Refer to State Restrictions for current information.
For the Nursing PhD, total graduate credit must equal or exceed 72 credit hours. Students take 39 credit hours of required courses that focus on foundation knowledge development and research methods, 15 dissertation credit hours, and 9 credit hours of electives allowing students to gain additional expertise in the area chosen for their dissertation. Details about this program are located in the Nursing PhD Handbook.
Total Credit Hours Required: 72 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree
Students in the Nursing PhD program must complete all course work with GPA of 3.0 (“B”) or better, a satisfactory dissertation and defense of dissertation.
Required Courses—39 Credit Hours
Foundation Areas—9 Credit Hours
Research Methods—30 Credit Hours
Elective Courses—9 Credit Hours Minimum
The supporting course work is designed to permit students to gain additional expertise and knowledge in the area chosen for the dissertation. These courses may vary from student to student depending upon individual needs or objectives. Course selection should be influenced by the following criteria:
- Increase in understanding of the phenomenon of interest
- Increase in understanding of specific methodologies or analytical techniques relevant to the student’s dissertation.
- Exposure to experiences relevant to the phenomenon of interest or methodological elements relevant to the student’s dissertation.
The UCF College of Nursing strongly encourages all PhD students to actively seek out interdisciplinary supporting courses including those offered by other disciplines. All supporting courses must be approved by the student’s faculty adviser or dissertation committee chairperson.
Dissertation Research—15 Credit Hours Minimum
The dissertation research addresses the design and conduct of research that advances nursing science. Students conduct the dissertation in areas of faculty interest and expertise. Students are required to complete at least 15 credit hours of dissertation and are required to register for 3 credit hours of dissertation each semester until they complete the degree requirements.
- NGR 7980 - Dissertation Research 15 Credit Hours
The course NGR 7919 Doctoral Research is designed for students to gain research experience with a faculty researcher. Students must obtain permission from the faculty member before registering for this course and complete the College of Nursing doctoral research form. The purpose of this course is for students to have an experience with research in addition to that of the dissertation. This course is not to be used as a pilot study for the student’s dissertation.
Admission to Candidacy and Examinations
The process for candidacy will start with the appointment of the full dissertation advisory committee including the external member. The Candidacy Examination has both written and oral components. When these are completed successfully, the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is eligible to enroll in dissertation credits. When candidacy status is obtained, the student must enroll in at least three-semester credits of dissertation credit each semester until successful oral defense of the dissertation is made and all graduation requirements are completed. The university requires a minimum of 15 dissertation credits. Post-candidacy status is subject to the rules and regulations of the University of Central Florida Graduate Catalog.
The following are required to enroll in dissertation hours. Evidence that items have been completed must be received by the UCF Graduate College on the Friday before the first day of classes for those who wish to enroll in dissertation hours in that semester:
- Completion of all coursework, except for dissertation hours.
- Successful completion of the candidacy examination.
- The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty, graduate faculty scholars, and the approved external member.
- Submittal of an approved program of study (should be finalized by the student’s third semester).
Full-time students in the Nursing PhD program pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $45 each semester.
The dissertation satisfies the independent learning experience.
For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.
In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:
- One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
- BSN and either MSN or Master’s degree in a related field from an accredited institution or the equivalent.
- Licensure as a Registered Nurse in the state of Florida.
- Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
- An essay of no more than 500 words addressing goals for doctoral study to knowledge development for Nursing.
- A personal interview.
- Research interests that match faculty expertise.
- Resume/Curriculum Vitae which reflects prior education, recent clinical accomplishments, any scholarly work (publications and presentations), and activities with professional organizations. For recent graduates, this can include accomplishments as a student.
- Three letters of recommendation evaluating the potential for doctoral study preferably by nursing instructors, nurse employers or nurses with advanced degrees.
The College of Nursing accepts the most qualified students based on evaluations of the applicant’s abilities, past performance, recommendations and match of UCF programs with the applicant’s career goals. Students are admitted to the program in the summer for the program of study.
The College of Nursing uses a student information management system, LEAP*RN (Project Concert). This database houses information regarding plans of study, clinical placements, clinical hours, logs, and evaluation data to assist in maintaining standards required for CCNE accreditation, facilitate student progression, and enhance clinical tracking. Students will need to access LEAP*RN for clinical course requirements, course evaluations, and portfolios. Upon graduation, students will continue to have no-cost access to their information. All students will be responsible for a one-time subscription of $150 per degree program payable at https://secure.projectconcert.com/ucf and due prior to registering for first semester courses. If students register for courses prior to paying the subscription, a “hold” service indicator will be placed to prevent future enrollment and other progression functions.
Please call the College of Nursing Graduate Office (407) 823-0133 to speak with a doctoral adviser to discuss your goals for doctoral study. It would be very advantageous to discuss the program before you write your essay in the admission application.
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.
The Fall 2021 Application Deadline Has Been Extended to April 1, 2021.
Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.
Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.