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College of Nursing

  • PhD Program

    UofSC Nursing Research

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

The Ph.D. program at South Carolina prepares you for a nursing research career in academic, clinical or health system settings. Generous tuition support and executive-style weekend course delivery create flexibility for you to earn your doctoral degree.

South Carolina Ph.D. graduates are productive nurse scientists, scholars and educators who are involved with transforming the health of patients, families and communities across the globe.

The Ph.D. core curriculum includes courses in nursing research roles, theories and methods. Beyond the core curriculum, you will develop an individual course of study, including mentored research experiences and elective courses that lead to the preparation and defense of your dissertation.

Entry tracks are available for BSN, MSN, DNP or master’s-prepared students from another field. Most students receive substantial financial support to cover the majority of cost of tuition and fees during at least their first two years in the Ph.D. program.

Full and part-time program options as well as executive-style delivery, integrating face-to-face campus sessions with interactive learning activities, offer you a flexible, yet rigorous, Ph.D. education.

South Carolina’s Ph.D. program is designed to be financially and logistically accessible for you. Most students receive substantial financial support to cover the majority of their tuition and fees for the first two years of the program, and the executive-style weekend program format offers you flexibility to work while you advance your studies.

South Carolina’s small class sizes create opportunities for you to form deep relationships with faculty mentors and program peers, accelerating your growth as a nursing researcher. Working closely with advisers and faculty who are actively engaged in funded research, you’ll develop an individualized program of study that allows you to pursue your passion, generate your own grant-funded projects and make an impact in healthcare.

By pursuing your Ph.D. at South Carolina, a comprehensive R1 institution, you’ll have access to collaborate with the College of Nursing’s clinical and research faculty as well experts across campus, including faculty at the College of Engineering, Arnold School of Public Health and more.

In addition, you may also earn a Certificate of Graduate Study during your Ph.D. studies, further advancing your career and marketability.

  • Successful completion of a BSN degree
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 from all previous institutions attended
  • A personal goal statement that indicates how the program will advance your professional goals. Include the area of nursing science that you are interested in pursuing and faculty at the UofSC College of Nursing who may be appropriate mentors for your area of interest
  • Three letters of reference from doctorally prepared registered nurse or physician 
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Current unencumbered RN or APRN licensure in the state of residence
  • Interview with nursing graduate faculty
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within five years of the admission application. Waived for applicants who have a DNP.

You will receive full funding of tuition and fees for at least the first two years of the program. The College of Nursing also offers scholarships, assistantships and other financial aid options for Ph.D. students.

Your Ph.D. program costs depend on several factors. Estimate your costs by visiting the university Bursar’s Office website.

  • Complete required coursework within 10 years
  • Complete a minimum of one research internship with a faculty member
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in all required courses and earn a B or higher in each course
  • Successfully defend written and oral defense of doctoral dissertation
  • Successfully complete doctoral degree requirements of The Graduate School 

 Ph.D. Student Success



Contact Us

Have additional questions about the Ph.D. Program?

Phone: 803-777-7412

Williams-Brice Building, Room 208
1601 Greene St.
Columbia, SC 29208

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