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College of Nursing


Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science (Ph.D.)

Plan of Study

The purpose of the PhD program is to prepare professional nurses for research careers in academic, clinical and health systems settings.

The PhD core curriculum includes courses in nursing research roles, theories and methods. Beyond the core curriculum each student has an individual course of study, including mentored research experiences and contributing courses, which lead to the preparation and defense of a dissertation.

Several unique financial aid options are available to students in the PhD program including the Dean's Doctoral Fellowship Award and Dean's PhD Scholarship Award. Other awards available are listed on the Graduate Scholarships page.

Degree Requirements

  • Complete an approved program of study of at least 57 credit hours minimum (master's entry) or 75 hours minimum (bachelor's entry), including one research internship with a faculty member
  • Have reading knowledge of a foreign language or competency in statistics/research methods specific to student's proposed course of study
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in all required courses and earn a B or higher in courses listed on the student's program of study
  • Meet USC residency requirement
  • Successfully complete admission-to-candidacy exam, comprehensive exam (dissertation proposal defense), and oral defense of doctoral dissertation
  • Complete program within eight years

Contact the Nursing Ph.D. Program Office

Have additional questions about the Ph.D. Program? Call us at 803-777-0290, email an adviser today, or stop by our office:

Williams-Brice Building, Room 305
1601 Greene Street
Columbia, SC  29208