• Course Delivery
    80% to 99% Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

Nursing Science, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

US News and World Report - best grad nursing program 2023

The PhD in Nursing Science prepares students for a career in nursing education, research, health systems, or clinical science to enhance the care of individuals and families across the lifespan. PhD students are linked with faculty researchers who provide supportive mentoring throughout the entire PhD program. You can choose to work with faculty experts in Clinical Nursing Science, or Health Systems (which includes Nursing Education). Clinical Nursing Science concentrates on the interrelationships of health promotion, health behavior, and quality of life in acute and chronic illness throughout the lifespan. This focus area includes the prevention and early detection of disease and disability across the continuum of care and the enhancement of the health and well-being for individuals, families, and communities. Health systems operate to create structures and resources that enable individuals and communities to achieve optimal health. This focus area includes the science of nursing education, informatics, health policy, and administration.

The IU Online PhD in Nursing Science is a hybrid, distance-accessible program using videoconferencing technology to place you synchronously in the classroom with your classmates. As a student in the program, you attend two required on-campus Intensives, which give you the opportunity to interact with your peers and faculty, attend professional development sessions, meet with faculty mentors, and network during a variety of informal receptions.

The program curriculum explores courses in nursing theory, measurement and data analysis, nursing research methods, quantitative research, statistics, experimental designs and methods, data analysis, and more.

Your IU Online PhD in Nursing Science prepares you for successful careers within academic and practice settings, private industry, and government in such positions as:

  • Nursing faculty 
  • Nurse scientist 
  • Director of nursing research 
  • Director of clinical services
  • Chief Nursing Officer or Executive 

Degree Requirements

To graduate with the PhD in Nursing Science, you must complete 90 credit hours. You may choose either the BSN-to-PhD or the MSN-to-PhD track. The BSN-to-PhD track allows you to complete graduate nursing coursework that will enhance your area of research. The MSN-to-PhD track allows you to transfer in 30 of the credit hours from your MSN coursework that is relevant to your research area.

Requirements for the PhD plan of study are broken downs as follows:

  • Professional development core (6 credit hours) 
  • Nursing theory core (6 credit hours) 
  • Nursing science research major (15 credit hours) 
  • Nursing science concentration (8 credit hours) 
  • Minor courses, external or internal (9-12 credit hours) 
  • Dissertation (16 credit hours) 
  • BSN-MSN Bridgework or MSN transfer credits (30 credit hours) 


To be accepted to this program, you must have:
  1. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  2. Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or a Master of Science degree in Nursing, from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program
  3. MSN-PhD track applicants must have completed a 3-credit hour, graduate-level statistics course with a grade of 80% (3.0) or better

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:

Complete an online application that includes:

  • Official transcripts for all post-secondary coursework
  • Confirmation of support from an IU School of Nursing faculty advisor
  • Three professional and/or academic references
  • Personal statement (two to three pages, double-spaced)
  • Resume
  • Proof of English Proficiency (non-native English speakers only)
  • Evidence of the capacity for original scholarship and research in nursing, as demonstrated by reports, published and unpublished papers, or a thesis

Qualified applicants will be invited to a formal admission interview with PhD faculty. 


PhD minor courses9-12 Credits
D 602Responsible Conduct of Research1 Credits
D 607Theoretical Perspectives of Nursing Science3 Credits
D 608Middle-Range Theory3 Credits
D 609State of the Science Seminar2 Credits
D 701Nursing Inquiry and Scholarship: Introduction to Doctoral Study3 Credits
D 751Advanced Topics in Nursing Science (various topics offered)3-6 Credits
D 752Directed Research Practicum3 Credits
PBHL-B 562Biostatistics for Public Health II3 Credits
R 603Foundations of Quantitative Research3 Credits
R 610Foundations of Qualitative Research3 Credits
R 899Dissertation in Nursing16 Credits
T 800Preparing Future Faculty2 Credits

Students select 6 total credit hours from a list of "cafeteria" courses.

Find course descriptions with our Search Schedule of Classes/Courses tool.

Tuition & Fees

Cost for Indiana Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $625.00
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1875.00
Note:  Additional fees will apply.
Cost for Out of State Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $1664.00
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $4992.00
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