Doctor of Philosophy

The front ranks of nursing science, service

Our PhD program fosters nurse scientists in the advancement, testing and dissemination of nursing knowledge and prepares scholars for leadership roles in research, education, practice, health policy and administration. Research yields endless dividends in better care.

Your mentors: distinguished faculty who lead their fields

College of Nursing  doctoral faculty includes nationally recognized teachers, researchers and practitioners with a prodigious record of scholarly publication and research grants. Many are well-known authorities often cited for advancing their fields – especially in health promotion and symptom management in cancer and cardiac conditions.

Based on research interests, each student is matched with a faculty advisor who directs an individualized course of study, including independent research projects. Research emphasis is broadly described in these areas:

Educational features to benefit you

As Nebraska’s largest nursing program within a world-class health science center, UNMC offers:

  • Must have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredited school of nursing.  
  • Those with a non-nursing master’s degree will be admitted to the BSN-PhD program.
  • BSN and/or MSN degree obtained from a non-US college must be evaluated and be equivalent to a US nursing degree. 
  • Prior to admission to the graduate program, applicant must be legally licensed to practice nursing in one of the 50 US states.

Full details as to admission requirements according to the UNMC College of Nursing policy can be found at Policy 5.4.1: Graduate Student Admission Policies — PhD Program.


Minimum GPA:

  • MSN to PhD: 3.2 cumulative Master’s program GPA. 
  • BSN to PhD: 3.2 cumulative undergraduate GPA.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE):

  • BSN-PhD applicants must submit current official GRE scores* with their application.
  • Applicants with a Master’s degree and GPA of 3.2 or above in their Master’s program will have the GRE requirement waived.

*A GRE exam score is required. All scores will be considered for admissions

English Proficiency: Applicants from countries where English is not the primary language must present official TOEFL or IELTS scores at the time of application.



The BSN to PhD program is designed to be a 4+ year full-time program. Approximately 80-83 credit hours are required. 

The MSN to PhD program is designed to be completed in 3-5 years depending on whether you’re a full or part-time student. Approximately 62 credit hours are required.

Contact a student services representative to email your questions or schedule an appointment to discuss your educational and career goals. A visit with a faculty member in your area of interest can be arranged.


Application due date.  Read full admission details before applying.

UNMC processes applications to its nursing program through NursingCAS, the centralized application service for nursing. Visit to start an application and go to the Add Program page to select our program and complete the steps to fill out and submit your application. Full details per admission criteria are provided on the application.