Frequently Asked Questions

What is the focus of the PhD program?

The program is designed to prepare nurse scientists who may assume a variety of roles in education, research, leadership and health policy.

How long does it take to complete the program?

BSN to PhD full-time students complete coursework in three calendar years and then focus on completion of their dissertation. MSN to PhD and DNP to PhD full-time students complete coursework in two calendar years and then focus on completion of their dissertation. Students may attend on a part-time basis and time to completion varies by the number of credits completed each semester.

Can you be a part-time student?

Yes. Please review residency information below.

Is there a requirement for full-time residency?

To assure that students have the opportunity to utilize the educational facilities fully and to participate in the intellectual life and research atmosphere of the University, at least two years of study must be spent at the University of Louisville and at least one must be spent in full-time residency. To be considered in full-time residency for one year, a student must be registered for 18 hours in a 12-month period.

Alternative Residency Requirement: All doctoral students must meet a 2-year enrollment requirement. The traditional residency requirement is 18 credit hours completed in a 12-month period. In lieu of the traditional residency requirement, students enrolled in part-time doctoral work may substitute four semesters of continuous enrollment. Summer terms can be used to meet this requirement, but if students are not enrolled in summer courses, four consecutive fall/spring semesters can be used to meet the requirement. To ensure that students have an intensive and immersive educational experience, students must be enrolled in at least one core nursing course each of the four semesters being counted toward the alternative residency requirement.

Can I transfer in hours?

Yes. The maximum number of semester hours transferable, upon request, is six. Up to six additional hours may be requested and considered for special approval. Credits which have been applied toward an earned degree may not be applied toward the doctoral nursing degree.

Are there any courses required prior to starting the program?

Applicants accepted into the MSN-PhD program are strongly advised to have completed a three-credit master’s level statistics course (applied descriptive and inferential statistics) with a grade of B (3.0) or higher within five years before the date of enrollment. Applicants who do not meet this requirement will be advised of available statistics courses prior to beginning PhD coursework in statistics. In order to do a self-assessment of knowledge in statistics, the following represents anticipated basic competencies from previous statistics coursework:

    • Design of research
    • Frequency distributions
    • Central tendency and variability
    • Probability theory
    • Normal distributions
    • Correlation
    • Simple linear regression
    • Statistical inference
    • Decision, error, and power
    • T-tests
    • One and two-way ANOVAs
    • Nonparametric tests