The PhD in Nursing is a part-time blended program composed of in-person and distance learning components.  Three years of coursework, delivered online during Fall/Spring/Summer, followed by a qualifying examination. Students then complete the research and dissertation phase, culminating in a written and oral dissertation defense.

The purpose of the PhD program is to prepare nurse scholars/scientists for roles in research, teaching and service, while preparing graduates who will contribute to the body of nursing knowledge, educate the next generation and assume collaborative leadership roles in shaping health policy, improving health and reducing disparity. These objectives are achieved through upholding the following expectations of WVU School of Nursing scholars:

  1. Rigorously test, generate, and extend knowledge to inform nursing science, practice, and policy.
  2. Contribute to the development of knowledge and interventions to address health disparity and promote or improve health.
  3. Assume collaborative leadership roles in academia, healthcare organizations, research teams, and scholarly networks.
  4. Demonstrate expertise within an area of study that incorporates nursing and transdisciplinary perspectives.

PhD Program of Study and Progression Plan

The PhD program requires students to take at a minimum: nursing core courses, cognate courses, and research courses comprising the 55 credits of post-master’s coursework. The PhD coursework provides content in scholarly processes, nursing science and an area of concentration that supports the student’s chosen area of scholarship. Students and their faculty advisors determine what other coursework and experiences are needed to support their dissertation research.

The schedule of courses can be found in the WVU School of Nursing PhD Progression Plan.

To meet WVU residency requirements, students are required to attend an academic offering for one day in the fall and one day in the spring. In addition, when students initially start the program, they will attend two, three-day in person sessions on campus in June.

Students must submit one first-authored manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal for publication prior to taking the Qualifying Examination and have one first-authored, peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication prior to the dissertation defense.

For more information about degree requirements and course descriptions, refer to the WVU Graduate Catalog.

Program Forms and Resources

Please review the listing of important forms and resources for PhD students.

Program Contact

For Admissions information, please contact:

A photo of Kim McCourt.
Kim McCourt
West Virginia University
Program Manager, Office of Student Services

Current PhD students, please contact:

A photo of Brandy Toothman.
Brandy Toothman
West Virginia University
Program Assistant III, Office of Student Services

For program/curriculum information, please contact:

A photo of Laurie Theeke.
Laurie A Theeke, PhD, FNP-BC, GCNS-BC, FNAP
West Virginia University
Professor, Adult Health Department
Nurse Practitioner, Family Medicine
Director of PhD Program, Office of Academics