The PhD program prepares nurse scientists to provide leadership through scientific inquiry and innovative practice. Faculty of the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing believe that significant learning at the doctoral level occurs best within a mentor-type model. Highly individualized plans of study provide each student the opportunity to develop depth of expertise and research capability within a specialized area. Graduates of the PhD program are prepared to assume positions as faculty, researchers, and leaders in educational, community, governmental, or institutional settings.
PhD Program Options
BSN to PhD
This program enables highly qualified students to pursue doctoral study directly from a bachelor’s degree program in nursing. Learn more in the handbook >>
MS/MSN to PhD
This program is for students who have already earned a master’s degree in nursing or a related field. Learn more in the handbook >>
Dual-Title PhD in Nursing & Bioethics
This dual-title degree option provides Nursing PhD students with the skills and knowledge necessary to fully engage ethical issues within the discipline of nursing, to conduct original bioethics research, and produce bioethics-related scholarship.
Nursing PhD students may pursue additional training in bioethics through the dual-title PhD program in Nursing and Bioethics. Students must apply and be admitted to the graduate program in Nursing and the Graduate School before they can apply for admission to the dual-title degree program. Admission to the dual-title is determined upon review of all application materials by the admissions committee in Bioethics.
Students on this path explore the skills and knowledge needed to address ethical issues, conduct original bioethics research, and produce related scholarship. To qualify for the dual-title degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the Nursing PhD program as well as those of the Bioethics program committee. Learn more in the handbook >>
Dual-Title PhD in Nursing & Clinical and Translational Sciences (CTS)
The dual-title degree option provides Nursing PhD students with additional preparation for career paths that involve clinical trials or clinical research programs.
Nursing PhD students may pursue additional training in clinical and translational sciences (CTS) through the dual-title PhD program in Nursing and CTS. Students must apply and be admitted to the graduate program in Nursing and the Graduate School before they can apply for admission to the dual-title degree program. Admission to the dual-title is determined upon review of all application materials by the admissions committee in CTS.
The dual-title PhD program in Nursing and CTS allows nursing PhD students to pursue additional preparation for career paths that involve clinical trials or clinical research programs. In addition to satisfying the requirements of the Nursing PhD program, students must satisfy additional requirements established by the CTS program committee. Within this framework, course selection is determined by the student, their Nursing adviser, and the CTS program adviser. Learn more in the handbook >>
Full descriptions of our program outcomes, course descriptions, requirements, and plans of study are available in the PhD Handbook.
Why Penn State Nursing?
Home to experts who push the bounds of our knowledge and refine the translation of that knowledge into real-world application, Penn State Nursing is a premier educator of the next generation of nurse leaders. You can work alongside one of our American Academy of Nursing Fellows and world-renowned experts who will mentor you along your educational journey.
Penn State Nursing has a variety of research opportunities, and our Center for Nursing Research team is poised to help secure unique opportunities specific to you and your interests.
- Gerontology & Aging
- Palliative & End-of-life Care
- Physiological & Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Health and
- Health and Healthcare Disparities
- Intervention and Implementation Science
- Nursing Education
For more information on our faculty research expertise, visit our Research Faculty page.
- University Park
Select BSN to PhD are provided a minimum of four years of funding. Select MSN to PhD are provided a minimum of three years of funding. Continued funding is contingent upon such things as availability, grades, and assistantship evaluations. Applicants who wish to be considered for Fall 2024 funding must have a completed application submitted to the Graduate School prior to February 1, 2024.
Admission requirements are outlined on the Penn State Bulletin website. Applications to the program can be done through the Graduate School. For questions about the program, contact Susan Loeb, PhD program director.