Doctor of Philosophy Curriculum and Program Design
The University of Kansas has three entry options to the Ph.D. in Nursing program. Students can apply to the research doctoral program after completing a BSN, MS, or DNP degree. The post-BSN entry option is for exceptionally well-qualified BSN graduates who wish to progress as rapidly as possible toward the doctoral degree in nursing. The DNP to PhD option is an accelerated pathway that prepares the graduate to conduct independent research for nursing science
The Ph.D. degree requires 67 credit hours: 52 credits of coursework and 15 credits of dissertation. BSN to Ph.D. students complete an 6 additional credits from the graduate nursing core: NRSG 748 Theories for Practice and Research and NRSG 754 Healthcare Research. DNP-PhD students complete a special curriculum of 42 credit hours: 27 credits of coursework and 15 credits of dissertation.
The Ph.D. program is offered in a combination of formats:
- Three on-campus one-week summer intensives at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas.
- Online coursework throughout the academic year, including synchronous web-based conferencing on a regular basis.
- On-campus and e-mentoring by faculty for research and career advisement and scholar development.
Each student has a primary faculty mentor. The KU School of Nursing faculty mentors teach in the doctoral program and are approved for dissertation chair privileges. The Ph.D. in Nursing program is heavily focused on research skill building through didactic coursework, seminar learning and application experiences. The oral comprehensive exam will be conducted at the time of the dissertation proposal defense. Students are required to demonstrate competency in research skills and responsible scholarship.
The first summer intensive provides all students with an orientation to doctoral education, allows a match with an academic and research mentor and a structured opportunity to network with fellow students and doctoral faculty. During the subsequent summer residencies at the end of year two and year three, students will be immersed in coursework and synthesis workshops with faculty advisors/mentors and fellow students. Each of these workshops will end with a qualifying exam that will evaluate each student's depth of knowledge and skill development. Students must pass this qualifying exam in order to progress to the next level of study.