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The VCU School of Nursing’s online Ph.D. program gives you the flexibility of online classes with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous classes and minimal on-site participation.  There are also funding opportunities to help support your education. Whether you aspire to become a teacher/scholar or pioneering researcher, our program provides an unparalleled learning experience that includes:

  • A choice between two tracks: biobehavioral research or health care quality research at a school with federally-funded senior researchers 
  • A closely mentored experience, opportunities for interdisciplinary research and collective resources for funding
  • Classes taught by renowned nurse scientists who are conducting cutting-edge research
  • World-class facilities in a comprehensive health sciences environment
  • A partnership with VCU Medical Center, a Level 1 trauma center with Magnet status
  • Options to take courses at The Nursing Education Xchange member colleges

Review our application instructionsadmission, degree, curriculum and dissertation requirements.

Additional program and policy information is located in the PhD student handbook 2017-2018‌.

Entry options

The School of Nursing offers two entry options into the Ph.D. program:

  • Applicants to the post-M.S to Ph.D. option must have both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, one of which must be in nursing. The degree in nursing must be from an accredited school or international equivalent.
  • Students who have a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited school or international equivalent should apply to the Post-B.S. to Ph.D. option.

Our on-campus schedule is flexible enough for you to continue balancing work and family demands as you pursue a Ph.D. The on-campus experience is required for all students in coursework. We post the dates at least one year in advance to allow you to plan your schedule accordingly.

BS to PhD Biobehavioral Sample Plan of Study

BS to PhD Healthcare Quality Sample Plan of Study

MS to PhD Biobehavioral Sample Plan of Study

MS to PhD Healthcare Quality Sample Plan of Study

What Type of Doctorate is Right for Me?

Key Differences between DNP and PhD/DNS Programs

Research opportunities

Through our Office of Research, our nurse scientists are making important discoveries that advance nursing knowledge, particularly by enhancing symptom management, biobehavioral outcomes, and healthcare quality. Their commitment to advancing the nursing profession is reflected in VCU being ranked as a top, urban public research university with national and global rankings in sponsored research.

Our researchers study healthcare quality and a variety of health conditions and diseases to make an impact in health care, often working as the lead or as a part of an interprofessional team. Their findings are published in national and international journals. In addition, they are frequently invited to speak at national and international conferences.

You can be a part of this dynamic synergy. View our faculty research interests to see which may pair with yours.

Creating collaboration. Advancing science. Impacting lives.