PhD Program

Why Choose the PhD Program?

The University of Rochester School of Nursing is synonymous with research innovation. We rank in the top 25 nationwide for research funding from the National Institutes of Health, and our world-class faculty have pioneered new breakthroughs in nursing and health science research

As part of a large research university and medical center, the UR School of Nursing engages in groundbreaking interdisciplinary research through collaborative partnerships with scholars and practitioners across the campus, region, and nation. Our PhD students include nurses, social workers, speech language pathologists and other licensed clinical health professionals.

The UR School of Nursing is the ideal place to be a PhD student. We dedicate unparalleled resources to support original research from initial funding through clinical testing and real-world implementation. The PhD program admits a small number of students to ensure that students receive close mentorship from faculty. From day one, you’ll receive assistance with coursework, grant writing, and every facet of your work — all of which allows you to learn how to make meaningful discoveries and innovations in a changing health care landscape.

Rochester, New York, is also a wonderful place to live as a PhD student. Make the most of our affordable, safe, and family-friendly community as you pursue your academic passions.

Program Requirements and Application Process

Start your online application today. The PhD program is open to all licensed health professionals who already hold a master’s degree. The full list of admission requirements to the PhD program includes:

    • completed PhD application
    • clinical licensure in a health profession, such as nursing, social work, or clinical practice field. Suitability of other professions compatible with the mentoring capacity of School of Nursing faculty will be determined on a case-by-case basis
    • master's degree from an accredited program. Contribution of the master's level preparation to the declared area of research interest will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis
    • transcripts from all previous college-level study reflecting a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for undergraduate work and 3.5 for graduate work
    • curriculum vitae
    • competitive scores on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) within the past five years
      • if applicants choose to retake the GRE, the Admissions Office will include the highest scores earned for application review
    • positive letters of recommendation from at least three doctorally prepared academics familiar with the applicant's intellectual ability, academic achievement, research potential, and professional goal statement describing career objectives and areas of research interest
    • writing sample (academic paper, publication, or other written work on which the applicant is first or sole author)
    • for international students, TOEFL with a minimum score of 560 (paper-based), 230 (computer-based) or 88 (iBT)
    • applicants judged to have a strong likelihood of success in the program will be asked to complete interviews with at least two faculty members. Interviews should demonstrate research interests that are clear and compatible with the mentoring capacity of School of Nursing faculty

What You Can Do with a PhD

PhD-prepared nurses and health professionals typically enter academic teaching positions at research-focused institutions combining teaching and research or clinical leadership and research. Our graduates build a program of research in a meaningful area of interest and present and publish their research findings nationally and internationally. They join the ranks of the leaders of their professions and participate in national and international efforts to improve the health care system and set standards for research and practice.

Application Deadlines

Completed applications received by Feb. 1 will be considered for all UR School of Nursing financial awards, including:

Provost’s Fellowships
--Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Fellowship
--Provost’s Transition to PhD Fellowship
--School of Nursing Dean’s Scholarship Awards
--School of Nursing Loretta C. Ford Fellowship

  • Completed applications received after Feb. 1
    will be considered for fall admission and any remaining financial awards.
  • Completed applications received after May 1
    will be considered for fall admission based on available space.

Program Costs

Tuition for the coursework phase of the PhD program in Fall 2016-Spring 2017* is:

  • $1,400
    per credit hour
  • *other fees may apply.
Tuition for the doctoral dissertation and research phases of the PhD program in Fall 2016-Spring 2017* is:

  • $1,070
    per credit hour
  • Program resources permitting, the School of Nursing provides full tuition awards for full time study for up to 60 credits at the SON tuition rate and cost-of-living stipends up to $25,000 for up to four years. Since the main goal is to enhance recruitment of top-quality candidates who will progress to the PhD in four years (MS-PhD and MNE-PhD within five years) or soon thereafter, stipend support is not open to students who enter part time and then decide to become full time.

Program Duration

The program can be completed in as little as four years of full-time study.

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Only with evidence can we identify the best ways to resolve our most complex and prevalent health issues. I love digging for answers. I chose to pursue my PhD at the URSON for its national reputation for a rigorous program in research methodology. What I didn’t expect was the level of career support I would get, even from faculty outside my area. My dreams have become reality here.
Mitchell J. Wharton, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNS, Graduate of the PhD Program, 2013