Nursing PhD

Applicants to the Ph.D. program will be holistically reviewed using criteria such as GPA, a personal statement, an essay, work/volunteer experiences, professional activities, leadership roles, honors, award recognitions, etc.

Due to higher education regulation changes, the University of Missouri–St. Louis cannot admit students from all states for online programs.  Please see the Center for Teaching and Learning for additional information:

Admission Criteria

  • Admission to the University by completing the UMSL Graduate School Application
  • Completion of the College of Nursing supplemental application
  • Graduation from a nationally accredited baccalaureate or master's nursing program with 3.25 minimum GPA (4.0 scale)
  • Completion of a basic undergraduate statistics course 

International applicants must meet minimum requirements on tests of written and spoken English (TOEFL, Minimum iBT score of 79 or better is desired). International students must also apply through the International Student Services Office.

See the UMSL College of Nursing's website for the application process and specific program deadlines. 

Degree Requirements

While each program of study is individualized, BSN to Ph.D. students complete a minimum of 60 credit hours of graduate-level course work and an additional 12 credit hours of dissertation, which equal the 72 total credit hours required for the Ph.D. program. MSN to Ph.D. students complete a minimum of 45 post-MSN credit hours and an additional 12 credit hours of dissertation. These 57 credit hours, in addition to 15 credit hours earned from Master’s level work, equal the 72 credit hours required for a Ph.D.

Nursing Science, Theory, and Discipline of Nursing:

NURSE 6424Social Determinants of Health3
NURSE 7200State of the Science in Nursing Research and Practice3
NURSE 7403Development of the Nurse Scientist3
NURSE 7443Healthcare Policy3
NURSE 7481Development of Nursing Science and Theory3
NURSE 7491Advanced Nursing Theory Development and Validation3
Total Hours18

Nursing Research Methods:

NURSE 7211Biostatistics I3
NURSE 7488Introduction to Qualitative Research Methodologies and Methods3
NURSE 7212Biostatistics II3
NURSE 7490Advanced Nursing Research Designs and Methods3
NURSE 7495Mixed Methods Research in Health Care3
Select one of the following:3
Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Health Interventions
Biostatistics III - Structural Equation Modeling
Seminar in Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
Total Hours18


All Ph.D. students (BSN to Ph.D. and MSN to Ph.D.) are required to take a minimum of 9 credit hours of cognates in the related area of research1. The advisor must approve the cognate to ensure it meets the College of Nursing guidelines.


NURSE 7499Dissertation Research12

Additional Required Courses for BSN to Ph.D. Students:

NURSE 6111Healthcare Systems Concepts and Theory3
NURSE 6130Research, Interventions and Evidence-Based Practice3
NURSE 7220Leadership in Practice3
Total Hours9

PhD Program Learning Outcomes

  • Develop expertise and knowledge to establish a program of research & scholarship.
  • Translate nursing research into practice & policy to improve health & healthcare systems.
  • Provide leadership to effect change in healthcare practice, policy, & education issues by collaboration & partnerships.
  • Collaborate effectively with interdisciplinary teams.
  • Improve the healthcare quality of life, individuals/families/communities regionally, nationally & internationally.