You are here

Admission Requirements

A baccalaureate or master’s degree in nursing from a U.S. program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or an international program with commensurate standards is required for admission to the PhD Program in Nursing.

Post-baccalaureate Students

Applicants with a baccalaureate degree in nursing must demonstrate exceptional academic qualifications, have clear research-oriented career goals, and choose a dissertation topic congruent with the research program of a Graduate Faculty member in the School of Nursing. Applicants with a baccalaureate degree are expected to have completed a nursing research course and a graduate-level statistics course.

Coursework Requirements for All PhD Students

The PhD Program in Nursing requires a minimum of 47 credit hours of course work prior to the dissertation. The Plan of Studies below illustrates the scheduling of the required coursework.

  • PhD course work is structured with a substantial core (36 credits) of nursing science and research methods to be taken in the School of Nursing.
  • This core will be expanded with elected statistics, research methods, and cognate courses in an outside field of study or minor area (9 credits) to be taken mainly outside of nursing in other Duke University departments. The student will choose elective courses with the guidance and approval of the supervisory committee. In addition, the supervisory committee may require the student to take courses above the minimum if the student needs additional course work to support the dissertation research plan.
  • Additional requirements include a one-semester research practicum (1 credit) and a one- semester teaching practicum (1 credit).

PhD Program in Nursing 2016 Plan of Studies

Year 1 2016-2017

Fall Credits Spring Credits
NURSING 901. Philosophy of Science & Theory Development 3 NURSING 903. The General Linear Models 3
NURSING 902. Quantitative Research Designs 3 NURSING 906. Qualitative Research Methodology 3
NURSING 907. Overview of Chronic Illness & Care Systems 3 NURSING 908. Context of Chronic Illness & Care Systems 3
NURSING 911. Introductory Statistics 3
TOTAL 12 9

Year 2 2017-2018

Fall Credits Spring Credits
NURSING 915. Measurement Theory and Practice 3 NURSING 909. Intervention Research Methods in Health Care 3
Elective 3 NURSING 905. Longitudinal Methods 3
Elective 3 Elective 3
NURSING 920. Integrated Research Practicum 1 Elective 3
TOTAL 10 12

Year 3 2018-2019

Fall Credits Spring Credits
NURSING 910. Doctoral Seminar in Nursing Science: Dissertation 3 Dissertation 0
NURSING 921. Doctoral Mentored Teaching Practicum 1
TOTAL 4 0

Year 4 (Optional) 2019-2020

Fall   Spring  

Applying for Admission

The following admission materials must be submitted online to the Duke University Graduate School. Prospective applicants should familiarize themselves with the Graduate School requirements.

  • Official, confidential transcript(s) of all college-level coursework.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores [Taken within the past 5 years]. For a free online GRE guide see http://www.greguide.com/. For free online GRE practice tests see http://www.greguide.com/gre-practice-tests.html.
  • Three letters of recommendation. These letters should be solicited from individuals with doctoral degrees who can address the applicant’s academic abilities and potential for doctoral study.
  • English language proficiency test scores. Foreign graduates must submit either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International Language Testing System (IELTS) accepted, but IELTS is preferred.
  • Personal Statement. Applicants should submit a paper (1 - 2 typed pages, 12-point font, single spaced) indicating:
    • Purposes and objectives for undertaking graduate study
    • Research interests and career goals
    • Strengths and weaknesses in the chosen field
    • A description of prior research project or research participation and how this has influenced career choice and desire to pursue graduate studies
    • Reasons for choosing Duke for PhD studies
    • Name(s) of PhD Nursing faculty members in the School whose research program most closely fits with the applicant’s research interests.

Application and $85 application fee must be received by December 1.

In addition to the materials listed above, a copy of the personal statement and a professional resume should be e-mailed to: revonda.huppert@duke.edu.

Personal Interview

Applicants may be asked to interview by phone or come to Campus for an interview. The School covers the costs for campus interview travel except for International travels. International applicants are interviewed via Skype.

Technology Requirements

Applicants accepted into the PhD program are expected to have a laptop computer with wireless network capability, Windows XP or Vista Professional or Ultimate Operating System and Office Professional 2003 or higher. The School of Nursing, Duke University Medical Center Library and many other areas of the campus are enabled for wireless access.

Nursing License

Students must hold a valid current nursing license in a U.S. state, preferably North Carolina. To obtain information about nurse licensure procedures for the State of North Carolina, consult the Licensure/Listing Page of the North Carolina Board of Nursing web site, or telephone the North Carolina Board of Nursing at (919) 782-3211. Exceptions to holding a U.S state nursing license for international students can be waived by the PhD Program Director.

All PhD in Nursing applicants are required to have a baccalaureate or master’s degree in nursing accredited by either the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), or an international nursing program with commensurate standards.

Applicants are expected to have completed a nursing research course and a graduate-level statistics course.