Programs

PhD in Nursing Science

Explore the PhD in Nursing Science

The decision to pursue a PhD in Nursing Science can be a complex one to make. Continue reading for some of the most common questions we receive and our responses.

  • What is a PhD?

    A PhD is a research doctorate that will prepare you for a career in nursing education, research, health systems, or clinical science to enhance the care of individuals and families across the lifespan.

  • Why do I need to take the GRE?

    The GRE is a requirement of the Indiana University Graduate School, and so it is required for application to the PhD.  The GRE is a good indicator of how well you will be able to handle the quantitative aspects of the PhD curriculum. We do not set a required a minimum score for application to the program, but we encourage applicants to aim for scores at or above the 40th percentile.  GRE scores are also used by the University as one criteria in the selection of fellowship recipients, so the better your scores, the more competitive for funding you will be. 

  • What can a PhD do for me?

    PhD-prepared nurses can teach, conduct research, lead healthcare organizations, apply for grants, work for the government, and much more.

  • How do I know if I’m ready to earn a PhD?

    Every PhD student comes to us with different levels of research, education, and career experience.  Some questions you should consider before applying include:

    • Do I want to help advance nursing science and improve patient outcomes across the lifespan?
    • Will a doctoral degree enhance my career trajectory?
    • Do I have the right supports in place to help me be successful in a PhD Program?
    • Am I able to commit to a new education/work/personal life balance for 3-5 years?

    To help you answer these questions we encourage you to visit the School of Nursing and to meet with our Graduate Advisor for Doctoral Programs as well as our PhD faculty to learn about their areas of research interest, as well as to narrow focus on your own.  

    If you understand the requirements of our program, can articulate clearly your reasons for wanting to pursue a PhD, and have investigated our available faculty mentorship, you are in a good place to begin.

  • How do I fit a PhD program into my life?

    The majority of our PhD students have careers, families, and competing responsibilities.  The key is communication, planning, and proactively working to maintain your work-life balance.  Many of our current PhD students are happy to speak with potential applicants; please contact our Graduate Advisor for Doctoral Programs if you would like to hear from some of our students. 
  • Do you have any helpful hints to consider when applying for the PhD program?

    1. Contact our Graduate Advisor for Doctoral Programs for detailed information about our program and our admission criteria and processes
    2. Make a visit to our IUPUI campus, or connect with us by video if at a distance
    3. Consider your areas of interest for your research focus
    4. Be proactive in reaching out to our PhD faculty to establish potential mentorship as early as possible
    5. Prepare for the GRE 
    6. Ask questions as needed

Whether you are just beginning to consider a PhD or are ready to apply, these resources will provide helpful tips and information. 

Is a PhD program the right fit for you?

Funding your PhD program

Research at Indiana University School of Nursing