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.

  • What can a PhD do for me?

    PhD-prepared nurses can LEAD the profession, TEACH the next generation of nurses, and BUILD/EXPAND Nursing’s impact on health policy and public health. 

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

    Every potential PhD student comes to doctoral study 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 and 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 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. 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