University of California, Irvine

College of Health Sciences

Nursing, PhD


UC Irvine Graduate Division

University of California

Irvine, CA 92697

United States


(949) 824-5544


(949) 824-7993

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

PhD in Nursing Science

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The purpose of the Ph.D. in Nursing Science is to advance the scholarly discipline through development of theory and empirical research, to contribute to the growing body of knowledge in the field, and to create the future academic leaders of the profession. The graduates of the UC Irvine Nursing Science Ph.D. Program will be equipped to advance the science of nursing as well as to address the critical shortage of nursing faculty with Ph.D. degrees. The program aims to prepare nurse scientists with expertise in clinical-translational research methods to develop new knowledge that will enhance the health of individuals, groups, communities, and populations. Rigorous scientific inquiry is necessary to advance nursing practice which benefits all people and contributes to healthy communities both locally and globally. An emphasis will be placed on using translational science methods in conjunction with traditional models for research to address the health needs and concerns in local, national and global communities. Graduates will be prepared for academic careers as faculty and researchers. They will: *Creatively develop and comprehensively test new knowledge within a selected area of nursing science *Incorporate translational science into nursing research endeavors. *Provide leadership for the health and well-being of communities through translational science and the understanding of social, cultural, economic, and political milieu within which knowledge translation operates. *Contribute to collaborative and interdisciplinary research initiatives in their area of expertise. Consistent with faculty research expertise, the Ph.D. program will specifically promote the development of scientific and theoretical expertise that contributes to scholarly endeavors in four key areas: Health Promotion/Disease Prevention, Health Disparities and Diversity, Disease and Symptom Management, and Health Services and Health Policy. These areas of research emphasis intersect as they contribute to healthy communities. Prospective students should start by reviewing Nursing Science faculty profiles on our website and are encouraged to contact faculty directly to discuss their questions and/or interests in doctoral study. Ph.D. students are required to take 44 quarter units of formal coursework, consisting of 5 core Nursing Science courses in theory and research methods, a two-course statistics sequence, a research methods elective, a statistical methods elective, and two other supporting courses chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor. Early coursework will introduce students to theoretical foundations in the discipline and advanced research methodologies in nursing, health sciences, and related fields. Students will take electives and independent studies that will contribute to expertise in areas of research leading to the dissertation. They will also be required to participate in the educational mission of the Program in Nursing Science as teaching assistants for two quarters. The remainder of the program will be devoted to a dissertation based on original research that contributes to the scholarly and scientific knowledge of the discipline and which the student successfully defends. In addition to coursework, the Ph.D. program will also include individually tailored, independent modes of teaching and learning. These include opportunities for students to participate in research sponsored by faculty, individualized guidance related to the student’s own research, and opportunities to teach in the Nursing Science Program. Students will have two formal examinations along the process toward writing their thesis. First, they will write a comprehensive examination at the end of the second year of study and following completion of required coursework. The next benchmark will be the qualifying exam, in which students will advance to candidacy upon successful presentation of an original dissertation research proposal and oral defense of the proposal. Ph.D. completion requires submission of an acceptable dissertation and oral defense.


The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN).

International Student Requirements:

Applicants who have completed degrees and/or coursework outside of the United States must submit their final transcripts in English. If the final transcripts provided by the former university are not in English, students will need to submit their transcripts to a transcription service before submitting to UCI. In addition, applicants whose primary language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting a TOEFL or IELTS test score.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

In State Tuition (per year): 15553 USD

Out State Tuition (per year): 30655 USD

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Loans Offered: Tuition assistance is available through student loans

Locale: Midsize City

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