Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

PhD Students in their academic regalia

UMSON's PhD Class of 2018. Read about their dissertation topics.

For more than three decades, the University of Maryland School of Nursing's PhD program has prepared scholars and researchers to tackle the greatest challenges facing health care.

As a PhD student at UMSON, you'll:

  • conduct important research that not only builds a foundation for your career, but also contributes to the advancement of nursing science
  • study under accomplished faculty members from UMSON's organized research centers while taking full advantage of our state-of-the-art health sciences campus.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is the state's public health, law, and human services university devoted to excellence in professional education, research, patient care, and public service.

How the Program Works:

  • Half or your coursework is delivered in a seminar format with some online modules.
  • The other half includes electives, practicum experiences, and dissertation research.
  • Electives are available in varied formats across University System of Maryland schools.
  • Full-time and part-time options are available.

Overview

You're an ideal candidate for the PhD program if you are a bachelor's- or master's-prepared nurse or other health-related professional who wants a research career focused on some of the most important disciplines, topics, and trends, including:

  • Aging Populations
  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Health Systems Outcomes
  • Implementation Science
  • Women's Health and Birth Outcomes
  • Occupational Health
  • Pain and Symptom Science
  • Palliative and End-of-Life Care

The UMSON PhD program was initiated in 1979 as the 16th doctoral nursing program in the nation. Every student is carefully chosen and matched to the faculty member who can offer the greatest opportunity to succeed in developing his or her research program. As a graduate, you will join a thriving group of alumni—many of whom hold key leadership positions in academia, research, and administration across the country. 

What You'll Do

After graduating from the PhD program, you'll be prepared to:

  • Design, conduct, analyze, and disseminate research findings to expand knowledge in nursing and related disciplines
  • Initiate, facilitate, and participate in interdisciplinary research with nurses and scholars from related disciplines
  • Assume leadership roles in academic and health care settings

PhD Entry Option Details

UMSON offers three PhD entry options:

Post-BSN to PhD (without a master’s)

As part of a national effort to promote nurses to attain a PhD earlier in their career, this option allows you to enroll in our PhD program with your bachelor's degree. After completion of core graduate courses and electives, you'll take the post-master's PhD courses and complete a minimum of 78 credits and dissertation requirements. No Master of Science degree is awarded.

Post-BSN with a Master's to PhD

If you are a current UMSON student in the Community/Public Health, Health Services Leadership and Management, or Nursing Informatics master’s specialties, or a student in the Clinical Nurse Leader option, this entry option allows you to complete graduate courses and earn a Master of Science degree while beginning PhD classes. You can complete both programs in four to five years of full-time study, taking fewer classes than if you pursued a master's degree and PhD degree separately. Credits from your master's coursework may substitute for elective credits in the PhD program. All elective courses must be at the 600 level or higher and be approved by your advisor and the associate dean for the PhD Program.  Post-BSN with a Master's to PhD students follow the plan of study for Post-Master’s to PhD entry students and complete the same coursework and dissertation requirements. You can apply to the PhD program at the end of the first year of full-time master's study.

Post-Master's to PhD

If you are a master’s prepared student, in this entry option you complete PhD core courses that build upon your existing clinical and research foundation. You will choose a research area based on your interests and career goals. It may be possible to transfer credits from your master’s coursework to substitute elective credits in the PhD program. All elective courses must be approved by your advisor and the associate dean for the PhD program. 

Plans of Study

In this Section:


Post-BSN to PhD (without a master's) 4-Year Plan of Study

This plan requires students to take the 18 graduate credits outlined below before beginning their PhD coursework (See: Post Master's 3-Year Plan of Study and Post-Master's 4+ Year Plan of Study).

Semester and Course Number/Title Credits 
Fall  
NRSG 790: Methods for Research and Evidence-based Practice 3
NRSG 782: Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership and Quality Improvement 3
NRSG xxx: Elective 3
Total: 9
Spring  
NRSG 795: Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3
NRSG 780: Population Health and Promotion 3
NRSG xxx: Elective 3
Total: 9
Note that you may choose to begin your PhD coursework in the summer.
TOTAL 18

Post-Master's 3-Year Plan of Study

Semester and Course Number/Title Credits
Fall (PhD Year 1)  
NURS 840: Philosophy of Science and Development of Theory* 3
NURS 850: Experimental Nursing Research Designs
P or C: NURS 840 or NDNP 804, NURS 851
3
NURS 851: Analysis for Experimental Nursing Research Designs
P or C: NURS 840 or NDNP 804, NURS 850
3
NURS 802: Research and Scholarship Seminar 1
Total: 10
Spring (PhD Year 1)  
NURS 841: Theory and Conceptualization in Nursing Science
P: NURS 840 or NDNP 804
3
NURS 814: Design and Analysis for Non-Experimental Nursing Research
P: NURS 850 and NURS 851
NURS 815: Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research
P: NURS 840 or NDNP 804
NURS 819: Research Rotation***
 Total: 11
Summer (PhD Year 1)  
NURS 818: Research Practicum****
P: Completion of 2 credits of NURS 819
2
 Total: 2
Fall (PhD Year 2)    
NURS 811: Measurement of Nursing Phenomena
P: NURS 840 or NDNP 804, NURS 841, NURS 850, NURS 851, NURS 814, NURS 815 and recommend concurrent enrollment in NURS 816 or permission of the instructor
3
NURS 816: Multivariable Modeling Approaches in Health Sciences Research
P: NURS 840 or NDNP 804, NURS 841, NURS 850, NURS 851, NURS 814, NURS 815 and recommend concurrent enrollment in NURS 811 or permission of the instructor
4
NURS xxx: Elective 3
Total: 10
Spring (PhD Year 2)  
NURS 818: Research Practicum**** 3
NURS xxx: Elective 3
NURS 8xx: Grant Writing Seminar**
C: NURS 818 Research Practicum with advisor****
2
NURS xxx 1
Total: 9
Summer (PhD Year 2)  
NURS xxx: Elective 3
 Total: 3
Fall (PhD Year 3)  
NURS xxx: Elective 3
Dissertation Credits 6
Total: 9
Spring (PhD Year 3)  
Dissertation Credits 6
Total: 6
TOTAL 60

* May substitute NDNP 804 Theory for Evidence-based Practice for NURS 840 Philosophy of Science and Development of Theory 

**Grant Writing Seminar: Offered only in spring and must include one credit of NURS 818 Research Practicum with advisor.

***Research Rotation: A total of 2 research rotation credits are required for all students – 1 credit equals 3 hours/week or 45 hours over the semester.

****Research Practicum: A total of 6 credits of NURS 818 are required – these are intended to focus on the student’s research area where time is spent preparing for comprehensive exams, learning new techniques, conducting preliminary analyses, etc. As with NURS 819, for 1 credit students are expected to devote 45 hours over the semester.

P - Prerequisite
C - Concurrent


Post-Master's 4+ Year Plan of Study

Semester and Course Number/TitleCredits
Fall (PhD Year 1)  
NURS 840: Philosophy of Science and Development of Theory* 3
NURS 802: Research and Scholarship Seminar 1
Total: 4
Spring (PhD Year 1)  
NURS 841: Theory and Conceptualization in Nursing Science
P: NURS 840 or NDNP 804
3
NURS 819: Research Rotation*** 2
Total: 5
Summer (PhD Year 1)  
NURS xxx: Elective 3
Total: 3
Fall (PhD Year 2)    
NURS 850: Experimental Nursing Research Designs
P or C: NURS 840 or NDNP 804, NURS 851
3
NURS 851: Analysis for Experimental Nursing Research Designs
P or C: NURS 840 or NDNP 804, NURS 850
3
Total: 6
Spring (PhD Year 2)  
NURS 814: Design and Analysis for Non-Experimental Nursing Research
P: NURS 850 and NURS 851
3
NURS 815: Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research
P: NURS 840 or NDNP 804
3
Total: 6
Summer (PhD Year 2)  
NURS 818: Research Practicum**** 3
Total: 3
Fall (PhD Year 3)  
NURS 811: Measurement of Nursing Phenomena
P: NURS 840 or NDNP 804, NURS 841, NURS 850, NURS 851, NURS 814, NURS 815 and recommend concurrent enrollment in NURS 816 or permission of the instructor
3
NURS 816: Multivariable Modeling Approaches in Health Sciences Research
P: NURS 840 or NDNP 804, NURS 841, NURS 850, NURS 851, NURS 814, NURS 815 and recommend concurrent enrollment in NURS 811 or permission of the instructor
4
Total:
Spring (PhD Year 3)  
NURS 8xx: Grant Writing Seminar**
C: NURS 818 Research Practicum with advisor****
2
NURS 818: Research Practicum**** 1
NURS xxx: Elective 3
Total: 6
Summer (PhD Year 3)  
NURS 818: Research Practicum****
P: Completion of 2 credits of NURS 819
2
Total: 2
Fall (PhD Year 4)  
NURS xxx: Elective 3
NURS 899: Dissertation 3
Total: 6
Spring (PhD Year 4)  
NURS xxx: Elective 3
NURS 899: Dissertation 3
Total: 6
Summer (PhD Year 4)  
NURS 899: Dissertation 6
Total: 6
Year 5 and Following  
Remaining dissertation credits to total a minimum of 12 if not taken above  
TOTAL 60

* May substitute NDNP 804 Theory for Evidence-based Practice for NURS 840 Philosophy of Science and Development of Theory

**Grant Writing Seminar: Offered only in spring and must include one credit of NURS 818 Research Practicum with advisor.

***Research Rotation: A total of 2 research rotation credits are required for all students – 1 credit equals 3 hours/week or 45 hours over the semester.

****Research Practicum: A total of 6 credits of NURS 818 are required – these are intended to focus on the student’s research area where time is spent preparing for comprehensive exams, learning new techniques, conducting preliminary analyses, etc. As with NURS 819, for 1 credit students are expected to devote 45 hours over the semester.

P - Prerequisite
C - Concurrent

Grant Writing Seminar**C: NURS 818 Research Practicum with advisor****

 

Scholarship Opportunities

Your nursing education is an important investment. Financial aid and scholarships can help make your goals a reality.

UMSON offers multiple opportunities to help you afford your graduate education.

Type of AidAward
Federal Financial Aid various award amounts
Merit Scholarships $1,500-$3,000 per semester
(You are automatically considered for a merit scholarship upon submitting a completed application for enrollment in an UMSON academic program.)
Donor-Funded Scholarships $500-2,000 per semester
(offered during the fall and spring semesters)
Conway Scholarship full scholarship: tuition and fees
(for those who will have completed 12 credit hours of graduate study by the start of the semester for which the Conway Scholarship is awarded and who have at least half of their credit hours remaining)
Maryland Higher Education Commission Nurse Support II Program

funding available through three programs:

  • Hal and Jo Cohen Graduate Nursing Faculty Scholarships
  • New Nursing Faculty Fellowships
  • Nursing Educator Doctoral Grants (NEDG) for Practice and Dissertation Research
Graduate Assistantships stipend, tuition remission, in-state status, and paid student health insurance

Learn More About Financial Aid and Scholarships


All students receiving funds through the University, including financial aid, merit awards, grants, and scholarships, must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • UMSON Federal Code: 002104
  • FAFSA Deadline for Maryland Residents (state awards and scholarships): Feb. 28
  • FAFSA Deadline: March 1

The University of Maryland, Baltimore Student Financial Assistance and Education Office is available to guide you through the FAFSA application process and the financial aid award package.


Contact Us:

UMSON Scholarships and Grants Office
410-706-0489 | nrsscholarships@umaryland.edu

UMB Student Financial Assistance and Education Office
410-706-7347 | aidtalk@umaryland.edu

 

PhD Admission Deadlines and Requirements

In this section:


Deadline:

  • fall enrollment: Nov. 1, 2018

Qualifications:

Applicants should possess a bachelor's or master's degree with a major in nursing or a related health field from a regionally accredited college or university or an equivalent degree from a comparable foreign institution.


Application Materials: 

All applicants must satisfy the general requirements of the University of Maryland Graduate School and submit the following materials:

Material/Qualifications Submission Guidelines
Online Application and non-refundable $75 application fee Start your application now.

Official Transcript(s) in English or native language transcript or mark sheets (if applicable) from your undergraduate and graduate schools listing subjects studied or marks received and rank in class or division. Transcripts should delineate a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all previous course work (baccalaureate, master's, and any subsequent coursework).

Returning students are required to submit UMSON transcripts via the Office of the Registrar.

Send by mail to:
Graduate School

University of Maryland, Baltimore
620 West Lexington Street, 5th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required only for applicants with a GPA lower than 3.25 on a 4.0 scale or 4.01 on a 5.0 scale in your most recently earned degree. If the GRE is required you must have taken the test within five years of application date.

Use code 5848 for the Graduate School.
Three letters of recommendation providing evidence of personal and professional qualifications from three doctoral-prepared professionals familiar with the applicant's ability, work experience, contributions to nursing, and potential for success in the PhD program. Use this online form.
Curriculum vitae Submit via email to:
NRSDoctoral@umaryland.edu
Please put "CV: [Last Name], [First Name]" in the subject line.
Essay describing your academic goals and research interests. It is important that your research interests match with our faculty expertise. Please review our faculty research interests and mention a faculty member who may be appropriate.
Submit via email to:
NRSDoctoral@umaryland.edu
If you're a registered nurse:
Verification of active, unrestricted licensure
for the practice of nursing in at least one state in the U.S. or in a foreign country.
Submit via email to:
NRSDoctoral@umaryland.edu
If your native language or home language is not English:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam scores; the minimum acceptable TOEFL score for admission is 550 for paper-based tests, 80 for the internet-based tests. IELTS test takers must score no less than Band 7 (total).
Use code 5848 for the Graduate School.

If you have questions regarding the admissions requirements or process, contact NRSDoctoral@umaryland.edu to avoid errors that could delay the processing of your application.

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22Jan
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