The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Nursing is to prepare scholars with expertise in selected, substantive areas who will contribute to the science and practice of nursing through systematic inquiry and theory development. Graduates will be prepared to meet state, regional, and national needs for doctorally prepared faculty in schools of nursing and other leadership positions in health-related organizations.
The school has a collaborative program with the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing. Each university grants its own degree, but there are common admission requirements and a common core of courses that may be taken on either campus. Each institution has different selected fields of study.
Admission to the doctoral program depends upon sufficient enrollment, university resources, and qualifications of applicants. A select number of students will be admitted to the program based on the following criteria:
- graduation from a master's program in nursing with a practice focus accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or related field of study
- evidence of current unencumbered Mississippi licensure to practice professional nursing
- three letters of reference, including two from doctorally prepared nurses and one from a current or recent employer, that speak to the applicant's intellectual ability, academic potential, and professional achievement; the letters should be sent to the School of Nursing
- a 3.50 grade point average on all previous graduate work preferred
- official satisfactory scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
- a personal interview with one or more faculty members
- congruency between student goals and interests and faculty/program emphasis areas
- TOEFL or IELTS if International applicant
A series of examinations and procedures mark the student's progression in the Ph.D. program.
- selection of a Doctoral Program Committee and filing academic program of study
- a comprehensive examination administered after all major coursework has been completed
- selection of a dissertation committee which will oversee the student's work toward the degree
- a final oral examination (dissertation defense) which covers the dissertation research and related fields administered at the completion of the dissertation - students should consult the Human Subjects Committee (IRB)
- fulfillment of the residency requirement, which may be met by continuous enrollment of
6 semester hours for each of 4 consecutive semesters
9 semester hours for each of 3 consecutive semesters, or
12 semester hours for each of 2 consecutive semesters
- fulfillment of Research Tool(s) requirements
- a 3.0 GPA is required for graduation
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study Form to the Graduate School by the end of the second semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study Forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plan of Study" link.
Responsible Conduct of Research Training
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester there are enrolled in graduate school. The RCR policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.