Degree Requirements

The PhD in Nursing Science degree is conferred by the Graduate School of Vanderbilt University and requires at least three academic years of graduate study (usually 4-5 years). Our program requires 72 credit hours of study. Most students are able to transfer 16 credit hours from their master's degree, pending approval by the graduate faculty. The remaining 56 credit hours of work required for graduation are detailed below.

Regardless of which track you choose (Clinical Research or Health Services Research), the PhD in Nursing Science Program requires the following steps to receive the doctoral degree:

  • Successful completion of 31 credit hours of required course work for all PhD students, 15 credit hours of required course work specific to the selected track of study, and 10 credit hours of course work that supports the student's focus of research (4 research practica and 6 dissertation research credits)
  • Successful completion of the written and oral components of the qualifying examination
  • Successful completion of a dissertation, including a public oral defense