The MU doctor of philosophy in nursing (PhD) program prepares clinical scholars, educators, and researchers for leadership roles in a variety of academic, industry, and health care settings. If you want to share your research and clinical specialties with the academic community, service sector and public policy arena, this may be the degree for you.
- Assume leadership roles in nursing and health care.
- Initiate and maintain collaborative relationships with nurses and individuals in other disciplines.
- Advance nursing and health care knowledge by critically evaluating existing theories and knowledge and identifying new areas of inquiry for research.
- Develop the science that guides nursing practice and/or health care by conducting original research using established ethical principles and disseminating research findings to advance new directions in theory, practice and education.
- Educate the next generation through formal teaching and mentoring.
- Advance development of health policy, through application of research and advocacy for ethical decision-making.
The nursing PhD from the Sinclair School of Nursing at MU is one of only a handful of PhD programs open to nurses and non-nurses. The interprofessional aspect of our program is made possible by the wide range of academic backgrounds our MU SSON faculty have and well as our strong, interdisciplinary research connections across the campus including but not limited to:
- Family and community medicine
- Health informatics
- Human development and family science
- Public health
- Social work
Program structure and topics
Delivery of this program is blended: You will complete most course work online. A campus visit is required for a minimum of one week during the first summer of your enrollment. You also will spend four days on campus each April. You also must attend one professional meeting annually with your research mentor. Learn more about required on-campus dates.
Courses are semester-based. How long it takes to complete the program depends on your academic preparation and your enrollment status. If you are a part-time student with an MS degree, for example, the course work will take you three years to complete, followed by your comprehensive examination, plus the additional time required to complete the dissertation research.
If you are a part-time student entering with a BS degree, course work will take you four years to complete, followed by your comprehensive examination, plus the additional time required to complete the dissertation research. Full-time students can complete in a shorter time frame.
Research focus areas
The research focus areas are based upon Sinclair School of Nursing PhD faculty research interests and expertise. Each PhD student selects one area upon which to focus. These include:
- Innovations to improve health and health systems;
- Wellness in vulnerable and underserved populations;
- Symptom and behavior science.
To be accepted to this program, you must have:
PhD applicants entering with a bachelor's degree: Bachelor's degree in nursing from NLNAC, ACEN, CNEA or CCNE-accredited school OR equivalent for non-nurse applicants; 3.3 minimum GPA (4.0 scale).
Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements OR do not have a cumulative GPA must submit acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and the exam must have been taken within the last five years.
PhD applicants entering with a graduate degree: Master's or doctoral degree in nursing from NLNAC, ACEN, CNEA or CCNE-accredited school OR equivalent for non-nurse applicants; minimum 3.5 GPA (4.0 scale).
Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements or do not have a cumulative GPA must submit acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and the exam must have been taken within the last five years.
If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 80 (internet-based test) or an IELTS score of at least 6.5.
Three professional recommendations. In the online application, you will need to supply names and contact details of three master's or doctorally prepared health related professionals or faculty members who can address your potential to be successful in a doctoral program with a research emphasis. If you are currently enrolled in a graduate program, submit at least one recommendation from a current faculty member in that program. Do not include recommendations from friends, fellow clinical colleagues or ministers.
Personal statement of research goals and interests. The statement should be well written, clear and concise, not more than four pages and address the following: Reasons for applying to the PhD program. Career goals and how completing this program will help you achieve them. Strengths you bring to doctoral study. Statement of personal research interests related to one of our three research focus areas: Innovations to Improve Health and Health Systems, Wellness in Vulnerable and Underserved Populations, and Symptom and Health Behavior Science. Include the rationale for your intended research focus. Identification of one or more potential PhD prepared nursing research faculty mentor(s) to supervise your doctoral training.
GRE scores from a test taken within the last five years (if required).
Transcripts of all previous college or university education. Upload unofficial transcripts in your online application. If you are accepted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
Writing sample, such as a recent presentation abstract, professional publication or scholarly paper you have written. Post-DNP applicants need to include an artifact of their DNP scholarly project.
Copy of your current RN license (does not apply to non-nurse PhD applicants); international nursing applicants should submit license from their country.
- Early acceptance
- January 15
- Regular acceptance
- March 1
- Expect an email from an academic advisor in the coming days.
- Discuss academic options with your Missouri System advisor.
- Begin and submit your University of Missouri System Application
- Enroll in classes!