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PhD in Nursing

The PhD degree prepares expert nurses in the roles of nursing education, research, and leadership to serve the community, state, and nation.

The PhD program combines educational delivery methods, allowing students to keep their full-time jobs and live in their own communities. Through hybrid course design, students come to campus for a two- or three-day intensive every semester and conduct the remainder of their courses with technological support. The program requires 57 post-master's credit hours. Students can focus their degrees on nursing education, research, or leadership at the Kramer School of Nursing.

While many students applying to a program already have an MSN degree, a BSN-PhD option is available. The BSN-to-PhD option is designed for individuals with strong academic backgrounds who know they want the PhD degree. Applicants accepted into this track proceed straight through the master’s in nursing without having to reapply to continue on to the PhD. This direct entry option is ideal for those with strong interests in research and/or an academic career.

Contact Us

Have questions about the program? Please contact Brenda Hedrick, Graduate Programs Specialist, at or (405) 208-5960 for more information.

PhD Curriculum

The required curriculum for the PhD program depends on whether the student has a Master's degree or a BSN as their most advanced incoming degree.

Masters-to-PhD Curriculum

Required Courses

  • Core Doctoral Courses:
    • Philosophy of Science
    • Policy, Organizations, & Leadership TheoryAdvanced Theory Development
    • Transcultural and Global Health Care
    • Advanced Bioethics
  • Core Research Courses:
    • Qualitative Research Methods
    • Statistical Analysis I
    • Statistical Analysis II
    • Quantitative Research Methods


  • Education Courses
    • Higher Education Issues and Trends
    • Evaluation of Educational Effectiveness
    • Testing and Measurement
    • Technology in Instructional Design
    • Nursing Education Administration
  • Research Courses
    • Translational Research and Evidence-Based Practice
    • Mixed Methods Research
    • Advanced Topics in Qualitative Methods
    • Instrument Design
    • Feminist Methodologies
  • Nursing Leadership Courses
    • Higher Education Issues and Trends
    • Health Care Information Management
    • Advanced Resource Management in Complex Systems
    • Nursing Education Administration
  • Additional Electives
    • Knowledge Synthesis in Nursing Science
    • Grant Writing
    • Population Health

Dissertation Hours

  • Dissertation Seminar
  • Dissertation I
  • Dissertation II
  • Dissertation III
  • Dissertation IV

Additional Curriculum for BSN-to-PhD Candidates

  • Communications and Informatics in Health Professions
  • Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice
  • The Adult Learner
  • Curriculum Development in Nursing Education
  • Teaching Strategies for Nursing
  • Nursing Education Evaluation Strategies
  • Research Integration in Nursing Practice
  • Nursing Education Practicum
  • Master’s Project

Additional PhD Admission Requirements

In addition to the general doctoral requirements, the PhD program has the following admissions requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree and/or a master's degree, one of which must be in nursing. Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree in nursing may have a master's degree in a field related to nursing.
  • 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA for graduate level courses, on a 4.0 scale
  • Clinical experience of at least 2 years. (May be waived in some circumstances.)
  • One of the following three options:
    • The Graduate Record of Examination (GRE)
    • An approved scholarly paper
    • An approved article/paper published in a refereed journal


PhD in Nursing Advisement Dates

For additional information on the OCU PhD in Nursing and to meet with an advisor, register here for a virtual meeting via Zoom for a PhD in Nursing student advisement session! Choose from the following dates:

2020 Dates

Additional dates coming soon!

Graduate Admissions can be reached at or call (405) 208-5094.