2017-2018 Catalog

Doctor of Philosophy

Mission Statement

The development of a scholar requires immersion in research. The goal of nursing research is to inform policy and improve health and the practice of nursing. The focus of the UND research-intensive Nursing PhD Program is Rural Health with research corridors of behavioral and environmental. Actualizing this particular focus entails skills in promoting health behaviors, improving networks of information, systems and policy, attention to the environment, and closing the gap of translational research. Nurse scientists must be proactive in conducting research in a climate of rapidly changing technology. Accountability and integrity are core values of the UND Nursing PhD Program.

Program Goals

  1. Synthesize in-depth knowledge of behavioral and environmental aspects of rural health.
  2. Translate nursing research to inform healthcare practice and policy
  3. Integrate philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of science to guide research
  4. Conduct original research that is ethical and rigorous
  5. Engage in interdisciplinary research teams
  6. Provide professional and research mentorship to others
  7. Contribute to a global community of scholars

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Admission Requirements

The applicant must meet the School of Graduate Studies’ current minimum general admission requirements as published in the graduate catalog.

  1. Completion of a bachelor’s or higher degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program or equivalent nursing preparation.
  2. A cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 for all undergraduate Nursing work and a GPA of at least 3.0 for the junior and senior years of undergraduate Nursing work (based on A=4.0).
  3. A cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above in graduate Nursing coursework.
  4. Graduate Record Examination or Miller’s Analogy Test scores within past five years.
  5. Completion of a graduate level univariate statistics course.
  6. Completion of a master's level Nursing Theory course.
  7. A one or two page paper stating the applicant’s research interests and professional goals.
  8. Evidence of current, unencumbered U.S. licensure to practice as a registered nurse.
  9. Three professional letters of recommendation.
  10. Resumé or CV.
  11. Satisfy the Graduate School’s English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
  12. An interview will be required for applicants meeting these basic admission requirements.
  13. Submit to and satisfactorily complete a background check prior to admission.
  14. Applications must be received by program specific date (please see program website for additional information).

Note: Applicants with earned master’s degrees from accredited schools may qualify for up to 30 hours of credit toward the doctoral degree. Credit will be awarded only for courses in which a grade of B or better has been achieved.

Degree Requirements

Students seeking the Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies as well as particular requirements set forth by the Nursing Department. The PhD nursing courses are offered online with synchronous and asynchronous delivery.

Ph.D. students will be required to develop and submit a nationally competitive grant to support their doctoral research.

Ph.D. students are required to submit an article for publication to a refereed journal and to present dissertation work to a regional or national audience.

Ph.D. students are required to participate in scholarly seminars on research, research ethics and writing for publication.

1.  Students must complete a minimum of 90 semester credits of post-baccalaureate work, including an original dissertation.

2.  Required Courses:

Research (12-18 credit hours)
NURS 573Research Funding3
NURS 574Quantitative Nursing Methods3
NURS 575Qualitative Nursing Research 3
NURS 580Research Practicum1-6
Nursing Science (12-18 credit hours)
Pre-requisite Maters level Nursing Theory course
NURS 557Foundations of Nursing Science3
NURS 565Rural Populations and Rural Health 3
NURS 577Rural Healthcare Ethics 3
NURS 586Rural Health Programs and Research 3
Scholarly Tools (9-12 credit hours)
Pre-requisite Univariate Statistics
NURS 514Essentials in Epidemiology3
NURS 5223
NURS 525Applied Multivariate Statistics 3
Functional Component (9-12 credit hours)
NURS 509Foundations for Nurse Education3
NURS 558Research Design 3
NURS 581The Nurse Scientist 3
Electives (12-30 credit hours)
Courses will be selected by the student in consultation with the student's faculty advisory committee to develop the particular research thrust of the student.
Dissertation (18 credit hours), including
NURS 579Dissertation Seminar (three 1-credit hour courses)1
NURS 999Dissertation (15 credit hours total required)1-15
Total Credits90

3.  Comprehensive Examination: Students must successfully complete a written and oral comprehensive examination prior to advancement to candidacy and approval of the dissertation proposal. The student’s Program of Study Form, Dissertation Committee Form, and all course work (excluding dissertation credits) must be completed before applying to the School of Graduate Studies to take the Comprehensive Examination.

4.  Final Examination: A final examination will be scheduled and administered according to the rules of the graduate school.

5.  All doctoral nursing courses taken at the University of North Dakota College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines must be completed with a grade of “B” or better. An individual course may not be taken more than twice.

6.  Various nursing courses are offered by semester - not all courses are offered every semester.


There is no residency requirement; however, students are required to attend two “Intensive experiences” per year. The Intensive experience (3-5 days) will gather students and faculty on the UND campus or at a regional nursing research conference for purposes of scholarship, networking, and education.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of 30 semester credits may be transferred from a master’s program. All nursing courses that are transferred and become part of the student’s doctoral program of study must be achieved with a grade of “B” or better.

A maximum of 24 semester credits may be transferred for postmaster’s coursework.

Office of the Registrar

Tel: 701.777.2711
Fax: 701.777.2696

Twamley Hall Room 201
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8382
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8382