PhD Degree

PhD: Nursing Science

Next Start Date: August 26, 2024


Concentration Overview

With a PhD in Nursing Science, our graduates are well prepared for research positions in academia as well as in the research departments of leading health institutions and hospitals. As a collaborative program with Washington University in St. Louis, students pursuing this degree have the chance to experience an interdisciplinary learning environment. This innovative partnership means that you’ll have exceptional access to faculty and labs as you develop your research interests and dissertation.

Concentration Highlights

Earning your PhD in Nursing Science at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College and Washington University has many benefits for students, but there are a few ways that our program is unique.

Full Funding for All Students

Investing in your education means more than a world-class academic experience. Each student in the PhD in Nursing Science program will be offered full tuition, a monthly stipend, healthcare benefits and conference-related travel funds.

Interdisciplinary Faculty and Coursework

Through the collaboration with Washington University, you’ll develop a strong background in interdisciplinary research and have access to a wide range of faculty and nurse scientists throughout your coursework.

Rigorous Academic and Research Environment

To develop the next generation of nursing scientists, it’s important that students be immersed in both courses and research. Our full-time, on-campus approach includes a mentored research experience in the first years of the program with the faculty and labs of both schools.

Training in Cutting Edge Specialties

PhD students have the opportunity to choose a minor in either Genomics, Informatics or a customized track ensuring that your nursing science education is focused on the future of health care.

Sample Course Sequence

NOTE: Courses and sequencing are subject to change.

Program Flyer
Biostatistics 3
2 Additional Courses From the Following: 6 hours total
Nursing Influence in Shaping Health Policy 3
Promoting Health Equities and Population Health in Advanced Practice 3
Epidemiology 3
Leadership in Transforming Health Systems 3
Healthcare Informatics & Economics 3
Research Designs and Measurement for Scientific Inquiry: Quantitative Methods 3
Mentored Research Experience I 1
Introduction to Statistics for Clinical Research 3
Minor/Cognate I 3
Research Designs and Measurement for Scientific Inquiry: Qualitative Methods 3
Mentored Research Experience II 1
Intermediate Statistics for the Health Sciences 3
Minor/Cognate II 3
Symptom Science and Precision Health Care: Omics and Big Data 3
Philosophical and Theoretical Underpinnings of Nursing 3
Research Designs and Measurement for Scientific Inquiry: Psychometrics & Biobehavioral Measurement 3
Mentored Research Experience III 1
Literature Critique and Synthesis 3
Mentored Research Experience IV 3
Advanced Biostatistics III: Multilevel Models in Quantitative Research 3
Minor/Cognate III 3
Dissemination and Implementation Science 3
Grant Writing and Scientific Review 3
Interdisciplinary Science and the Innovative Nurse Scientist 3
Mentored Research Experience V 1
Qualifying Exam (Milestone)
Dissertation 3
Independent Study 3
Dissertation Proposal (Milestone)
Admission to Candidacy (Milestone)
YEAR 3 9 Credits
Dissertation 9
Defend Dissertation (Milestone)
YEAR 4 (Optional)
Dissertation 9

Admissions Requirements

The Admissions Committee evaluates a number of characteristics in order to assess a candidate's ability to benefit from and contribute to their selected program. These include academic ability, research experience, passion for nursing and research, leadership, teamwork, writing and communication skills and other personal qualities. We will strongly consider the match between a student's interests and the availability of a suitable group of faculty mentors to work with him or her. To judge these traits, the following information and indicators in a student’s application will be considered.

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  • Baccalaureate degree in Nursing or master's degree in Nursing from a program accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body in the U.S.
  • Current and unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse in the U.S. or U.S. license eligible
  • Satisfactory completion of an undergraduate or graduate statistics course
  • *Three-page essay clearly articulating your research interest identifying a particular nursing science problem, challenge or opportunity and how the research could enhance both nursing science and practice
    • Include your motivations for graduate study and a fundamental nursing question that most intrigues you highlighting potential GSON or Washington University faculty mentors if known
    • Draw on your past and planned experiences, please conclude with a statement articulating why you will be an outstanding graduate student
  • Three letters of recommendation completed by faculty and supervisors who can attest to your scholarly and research abilities or potential
    • Choose those who know you well and can evaluate your current or prospective clinical and leadership abilities, critical thinking, and potential for successfully completing graduate school
    • Recommendations from friends, relatives or co-workers will not be accepted and will cause your application to be delayed or denied
  • A curriculum vitae (CV) listing quality and relevance of scholarly activities with emphasis on specific skills and competencies related to interest in nursing science and/or research in nursing, educational, leadership and professional activities and prior work experience
  • Included research experience in the CV
    • Provide the mentor name, institution, length of the project and the approximate hours per week of effort
  • Proficiency in English is required of all applicants
    • Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to provide an official score report from the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    • Only scores from tests taken within the last years will be accepted
    • The TOEFL/IELTS requirement will be waived for applicants who completed a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited university located in the United States

* The essay portion of this application is an opportunity to help the committee relate to the applicant's distinctive values, motivation and perspectives and obtain as much information as possible about their previous research experiences and goals.

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