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Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Aug. 16, 2023

Next Start Date


Courses Required


Cost Per Credit Hour
($1,655 For Non-Residents)


Total Credit Hours

Careers In Research, Teaching & Service

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, offered by the WVU School of Nursing, is designed to educate nurse scholar-scientists for careers in research, teaching, and service. The program prepares graduates who will contribute to the body of nursing knowledge, educate the next generation, and assume collaborative leadership roles in shaping health policy, improving health, and reducing disparity. The program offers both part-time and full-time options.

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Learning Formats

Online Courses

Start Date

August 16, 2023

Curriculum developed and taught by faculty from

WVU School of Nursing

Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Program Details

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The goals of the program are to:

  • Rigorously test, generate, and extend knowledge to inform nursing science, practice, and policy.
  • Contribute to the development of knowledge and interventions to address health disparity and promote or improve health.
  • Assume collaborative leadership roles in academia, healthcare organizations, research teams, and scholarly networks.
  • Demonstrate expertise within an area of study that incorporates nursing and trans-disciplinary perspectives.

Ph.D. Program of Study and Progression Plan

The Ph.D. program requires students to take at a minimum: nursing core courses, cognate courses, and research courses comprising 55 credits of post-master’s coursework. The Ph.D. coursework provides content in scholarly processes, nursing science and an area of concentration that supports the student’s chosen area of scholarship. Students and their faculty advisors determine what other coursework and experiences are needed to support their dissertation research.

The schedule of courses can be found in the WVU School of Nursing PhD Progression Plan.

Once a student successfully passes the written and oral components of the qualifying examination, they must complete the research and dissertation phase, culminating in a written and oral dissertation defense.

Students must submit one first-authored manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal for publication prior to taking the Qualifying Examination and have one first-authored, peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication prior to the dissertation defense.


Doctoral education involves many learning experiences that take place outside the formal classroom setting. These involve observing and participating in activities conducted by the graduate faculty, using departmental and University libraries, attending lectures presented by visiting scholars, informally debating other students, and similar activities. To ensure that graduate students experience this kind of informal learning, doctoral programs at WVU generally require at least two semesters in residence on campus. However, an individual student or graduate committee may propose an alternative plan by which the student can gain equivalent educational experience. This plan must be submitted in writing, approved by the college or school dean or designee, and placed in the student’s program file.

Curriculum Program Website

Application Information


  1. Transcript of a nursing degree at the baccalaureate level or higher from a nationally accredited nursing program or equivalent.
  2. Evidence of current license to practice nursing.
  3. A master's degree in nursing from an accredited college or university. A master's degree in a health-related discipline will be considered.
  4. A grade of “B” or higher in graduate statistics and research methods courses.
  5. A cumulative GPA of 3.25 in master's degree work.
  6. A current Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume.
  7. Provide an example of graduate work (if available).
  8. Essay: Read about the research focus of our faculty. Select one or two faculty with whom you are interested in working based on their research focus and explain how your interest aligns with the faculty members' area of research, referring to their relevant publications. Essay should be submitted in APA format and cover the following areas: preparation for doctoral work (background), why do you want a PhD (how does a PhD fit in your career plan), personal/academic strengths and weaknesses, research area of interest, and current/long-term goals.
  9. Interview to determine congruence between the applicant's career goals and program objectives and between the applicant’s research interests and those of the faculty.
  10. Applicants must also provide three letters of reference addressing their likelihood for success in graduate work.

To be considered, applicants will be required to meet all WVU admission requirements in addition to program-specific admission criteria.

Note: Any student who has been dismissed from the West Virginia University School of Nursing or any other nursing program will not be readmitted or considered for admission to the program.

In compliance with the Washington State Nursing Commission regulations, WVU cannot accept students who are residents of Washington into our online Nursing programs at this time.

Apply To WVU

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for a Fall term start date. Students who are accepted will receive a letter in April.

Once you have reviewed the Admission Requirements, you can begin the application process. To get started, you'll first need to apply to WVU.

Please select the following options on the Application Type screen:

  • Program Deliver Method: Online
  • Type of Student: Doctorate
  • Which Program: Nursing PhD

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an email confirmation. You can also return to that site to track your documents and check your application status. Qualified applicants who are competitive with other applicants in the applicant pool will be invited for an interview. An invitation for an interview does not guarantee admission.

Complete Application Checklist

Once the WVU application has been completed, you must complete and submit the Application Checklist, a tool designed to ensure you have submitted all required information for your application to be considered complete.

Request Official Transcripts from All Colleges and Universities Attended

It is preferred that official transcripts be sent via an online, secure service such as eScrip-Safe, National Student Clearinghouse, or Parchment to Alternatively, sealed, untampered, physical official transcripts can be sent to:

WVU Office of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment
P.O. Box 6510
Morgantown, WV 26506-6510


WVU Office of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment
1 Waterfront Place
2nd Floor
Morgantown, WV 26505

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Estimated Tuition and Fees

The PhD in Nursing requires 55 post-masters credit hours to complete. Cost per credit hour is $719 for residents and $1655 for non-residents.

Total Degree Cost

$39,545 – Residents
$91,025 – Non-Residents

Cost Breakdown by Credit Hours

Credits Resident Tuition Non-Resident Tuition
1 $719 $1,655
3 $2,157 $4,965
6 $4,314 $9,930
9 $6,471 $14,895

Meet Jennifer Pruzinsky

Coordinator of Enrollment Management

Phone: (304) 293-3606
Virtual Session: Schedule a virtual session with me.

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“As a student-advocate, I am so excited to be serving the current and future students of West Virginia University Online and eager to assist students through the enrollment process while building connections that amplify the student experience. My hope is for every student to earn a WVU degree or certificate making them a lifelong Mountaineer!”

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Request Information About Your Program of Interest

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Financial Aid

Financial aid is available. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827.

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