DNP, PhD and MS-PhD Programs

The doctoral programs at The University of Rochester School of Nursing are designed to rigorously prepare creative and productive scholars. Our programs produce graduates who are highly qualified scientists, with exemplary skills in abstract thinking, critical analysis and program implementation.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program will provide nurses who want to practice at the profession's highest level with an alternative to a traditional research-oriented PhD degree. The DNP is nursing's equivalent to practice-focused degrees in other disciplines, such as the doctor of medicine (MD). DNP studies will help students develop sophisticated critical thinking, strategic planning, communication, process management and leadership skills. Students will complete approximately two and one-half years of post-master's coursework.

The PhD in Health Practice Research program is designed for master’s-prepared licensed clinicians in a health profession, such as nursing, social work, or a similar clinical practice field who aspire to academic and research leadership roles in health care and educational settings. This program provides instruction in research theory and methods to advance knowledge and clinical practice in nursing and healthcare.  

MS-PhD accelerated and combined programs are for RNs with baccalaureate degrees in nursing who want careers in teaching/research or practice/research. The program simultaneously offers Master’s preparation in one of six nurse practitioner specialty areas or nursing education, and advanced research training at the doctoral level. MS and PhD courses are taken in a very rigorous 3 years of full-time enrollment, after which the MS degree is awarded. The student then continues to complete the PhD dissertation proposal and dissertation research. The full program can be completed in 5 years of full-time effort.

Read what our current and former students have to say about the program.

“A doctoral degree from the University of Rochester is a powerful professional accomplishment. That goes without saying. What is not said often enough is how powerfully and subtly the teaching process at this University develops students’ abilities as scientists." Read more

Kathleen Utter King, PhD

Thee D.N.P. is a great alternative to the Ph.D. “In addition to the credibility it gives you, it’s an option for nurses who don’t want to focus their careers on research, but want to be able to read research, critically appraise it and implement it. If that’s the goal, then the D.N.P. is the way to go,” he says.  Read more...

Patrick Hopkins, M.S., C.-P.N.P., N.N.P., R.N.C.

“What I found at the U of R School of Nursing was the sharpest faculty I’d ever seen. I can’t imagine a better education anywhere. Part of it is the way you’re treated – like a colleague instead of a student." Read more

LaRon Nelson, PhD

“I really believe that this is what the D.N.P is all about. I’m taking all of the research I did and translating it into practice change,” she says. “Going through this program has prepared me to be a better clinician. It’s informed my practice and affected how I will look at systems issues so that I can ask the question ‘How can we better deliver care?’”  Read more...

Pamela Herendeen, D.N.P., R.N., P.N.P.-B.C.

“The University of Rochester School of Nursing has an unmatched reputation for excellence, and that will be with me forever. What stands out in my mind about my experiences at the School of Nursing? The amazing number of resources available to me as a student." Read more

Tamala David