Nursing (Ph.D.)

Saint Louis University’s Doctor of Philosophy in nursing prepares students who are already RNs for future careers as scholars, or in research and science.


About the Program

Students can enter SLU’s Ph.D. nursing program through one of two programs: our post-baccalaureate-to-Ph.D. (B.S.N to Ph.D.), or our post-master's-to-Ph.D. (M.S.N to Ph.D).

Both options offer you the choice of taking classes on campus or at a distance. Distance students interact live with students on campus through online conferencing software.

Most Ph.D.-level nursing classes at SLU are offered on Friday mornings and afternoons during fall and spring semesters. The scheduled time for the class takes into consideration students in different time zones. The year of instruction also includes two shorter, intensive courses, taken over the summer on Fridays.

SLU’s nursing Ph.D. program requires 51 credit hours of doctoral coursework (plus a maximum of 18 credits accepted from a master's program) and 12 credit hours of dissertation research.

Program Goals

Graduates of SLU’s Ph.D. in nursing program are prepared to:

  • Articulate multiple perspectives on knowledge development and a broad understanding of research methods.
  • Critique and synthesize nursing and interdisciplinary knowledge in a substantive area of inquiry.
  • Generate and disseminate nursing knowledge through research that is innovative, rigorously conducted, ethically sound and culturally sensitive.
  • Steward the discipline by serving as leaders in health care and academic settings.
Program Highlights

Full-time and part-time study is available for this program:

  • Full-time: 6 credit hours each semester
  • Part-time: 3 credits hours each semester

SLU’s nursing Ph.D. program also offers the flexibility to take independent study with nursing faculty and some individual courses from other departments.

Post-Bachelor's Ph.D. Curriculum and Program Details

B.S.N-to-Ph.D. students at SLU complete 69 to 71 credit hours to graduate.

Master's-level courses (online):
  • Ethics in Nursing and Health Care (2)
  • Health Promotion (3)
  • Advanced Pathophysiology (3)
  • Applied Univariate Statistics in Nursing Research (3)
  • General Research Methods (3)
  • Cognates in a declared nursing specialty, such as acute care, adult, gerontology, pediatrics, or psychiatric-mental health nursing (4-6)
Doctoral level
  • Theory Development in Nursing (3)
  • Knowledge Development in Nursing: Philosophical Perspectives (3)
  • Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research (3)
  • Quantitative Methods in Nursing Research (3)
  • Multivariate/Multivariable Statistics in Nursing Research (3)
  • Research Issues in Health Promotion, Disease Protection, and Reduction of Health Disparities (3)
  • Research Issues in the Care of Acutely and Chronically Ill Populations (3)
  • Measurement of Nursing Variables (3)
  • Nursing Issues and Leadership Strategies (2)
  • Issues of Scientific Integrity in Nursing and Health Research (1)
  • Methodology Elective (3)
  • Area of Concentration (cognate) (9)
  • Dissertation Research (12)
Post-Master's Ph.D. Curriculum and Program Details
 M.S.N-to-Ph.D students at SLU complete 69 credit hours to graduate:
  • Advanced standing form master's degree coursework (18)
  • Theory Development in Nursing (3)
  • Knowledge Development in Nursing: Philosophical Perspectives (3)
  • Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research (3)
  • Quantitative Methods in Nursing Research (3)
  • Multivariate/Multivariable Statistics in Nursing Research (3)
  • Research Issues in Health Promotion, Disease Protection, and Reduction of Health Disparities (3)
  • Research Issues in the Care of Acutely and Chronically Ill Populations (3)
  • Measurement of Nursing Variables (3)
  • Nursing Issues and Leadership Strategies (2)
  • Issues of Scientific Integrity in Nursing and Health Research (1)
  • Methodology Elective (3)
  • Area of Concentration (9)
  • Dissertation Research (12)
Faculty
  • Margaret Benz, M.S.N.(R)
  • Margaret Bultas, Ph.D., RN
  • Renee Davis, D.N.P., RN
  • Verna Ferguson, Ph.D., RN
  • Patricia Freed, Ed.D., RN
  • Omolara Fyle-Thorpe, Ph.D., M.S.N., RN
  • Cathy Koetting, D.N.P.
  • Jean Krampe, Ph.D., RN
  • Helen Lach, Ph.D., RN
  • Joanne Langan, Ph.D., RN
  • Kristine L'Ecuyer, Ph.D., RN
  • Deborah Loman, Ph.D.
  • Rebecca Lorenz, Ph.D., RN
  • Samantha Marquard, M.P.H.
  • Laura McLaughlin, Ph.D., RN
  • Norma Metheny, Ph.D., RN
  • Karen Moore, D.N.P.
  • Teri Murray, Ph.D., RN
  • Geralyn Ochs, M.S.N., RN
  • Joanne Schneider, Ph.D., RN
  • Lee Smith, Ph.D., RN
  • Rita Tadych, Ph.D., RN
  • Joanne Thanavaro, D.N.P.
  • Nina Westhus, Ph.D., RN
Careers
Graduates of SLU’s Ph.D. in nursing program are prepared for careers as nurse scientists, nurse researchers and nurse educators. 
Scholarships and Financial Aid
SLU’s School of Nursing provides generous scholarships to eligible graduate students. Graduate research assistantships are an option for full-time students on campus.

Applicant Criteria

Ph.D. admissions faculty at SLU’s School of Nursing evaluate all applications and may request interviews with applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • Post-M.S.N. to Ph.D. - Master's degree in nursing from a program accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency
  • Post B.S.N. to Ph.D. - Baccalaureate degree in nursing from a program accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.25 on a 4.0 system
  • Satisfactory performance on the GRE General Test
  • Current, unencumbered registered professional nurse licensure in the state/country of residence/employment or eligibility for licensure in the State of Missouri
  • Evidence of high potential for scholarship and leadership in nursing

To apply, you’ll need:

Application Requirements
Application form and fee
Transcript(s)
Three letters of recommendation
GRE G scores
Résumé
Interview
Professional goal statement

Requirements for International Students

Application Deadlines

U.S. students should apply for the fall semester by June 1 and the spring semester by Nov. 1. International students should apply by Feb. 1 for the summer and fall semesters, and by Sept. 1 for the spring semester. 

Review Process

Applicants are considered on a rolling basis. An application answer may be expected after two weeks. There is a deadline to accept an offer of admission.