Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science


The online Ph.D. in Nursing Science program prepares graduates to pursue a career of scientific inquiry, scholarship, and professional leadership. The Ph.D. curriculum is designed to promote achievement of essential competencies required of a novice researcher.  Courses provide foundational education in philosophy of science and theory, research design and methods, data analysis, ethics, team science, conduct of research, leadership, policy, and knowledge translation and dissemination. After completion of coursework, students embark on dissertation research, which provides practical experience in the role of a nurse scientist and a foundation for future research after graduation. Motivated individuals without a nursing background, who have health-related work experience, may also benefit from this terminal degree and should seek advice from the program director about eligibility. Additional information regarding the program can be found at the MUSC College of Nursing website.


Applicants to the Ph.D. in Nursing Science program must have the following: 

·         Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing    
          (MSN) degree from a program accredited by the National League for
          Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or Commission on Collegiate
          Nursing Education (CCNE), or a non-nursing baccalaureate or master’s
          degree with health-related work experience (Applicants who attended a
          program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be a
          competitive applicant)

·         Preferred cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate and
          graduate degree-granting institutions (official transcripts for all post-
          secondary school coursework are required)

·         Undergraduate or graduate statistics course within the past five years
          (Applicants who do not meet this requirement will be required to
          complete and pass an undergraduate or graduate statistics course by the
          initial date of enrollment)

·         For nurses, an unencumbered, active RN license in state of residence is

Applicants must submit official transcripts, a CV, personal statement, and references to complete the application. GRE scores are not required for this program. 

Application Process

  1. Complete an application through NursingCAS (Nursing Centralized Application Service)
  2. Submit official transcripts from ALL colleges attended through NursingCAS.
  3. Upload a personal statement, following specified directions, within NursingCAS.
  4. Upload a Curriculum Vita in NursingCAS. 
  5. Upload a signed verification form. Applicants currently or previously enrolled in a doctoral program must have the form completed by the director of the program from which they wish to transfer.
  6. Provide three references who can address research and scholarly potential and academic motivation, with at least one being an academic reference and preferably a Ph.D. prepared nurse, within NursingCAS. 
  7. All application materials within NursingCAS must be received and verified by the posted application deadline. Please note that once your application is in complete status with NursingCAS, it can take several weeks for it to be verified. We recommend that you apply early. 
  8. Complete a separate supplemental university application through Enrollment Management at MUSC by the posted deadline. 
  9. Interviews with two Ph.D. program faculty, scheduled via videoconference or telephone, will be conducted after the completed and verified application package is received and reviewed. 

In addition to the application itself, applicants must review supplemental materials specific to the program to which they are applying. These forms are available in PDF format within the application and are also sent through email once an application is submitted. 

Application Deadlines

Start Term Application Type Available Deadline
Fall 2021 Regular Aug 15, 2020 February 28, 2021

 Admissions decisions for the PhD in Nursing Science program are made on a rolling basis.  

Additional Considerations

TOEFL Scores

The score report of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all applicants whose native language is not English. A TOEFL score of at least 80 is required.

International Applicants

MUSC College of Nursing degree programs are unable to admit international students requiring an F-1 visa. Applications will only be accepted from U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or those holding other valid nonimmigrant visa classifications that allow participation in lawful study while in the United States.

State Authorization

MUSC College of Nursing online programs are approved to offer distance education to students in all SARA states and California.  Additional information can be found here