Pamela Ostby Nursing PhD '16
Gain the top credential for a research career

Ashley Shaw

Nursing PhD `17

The Sinclair School of Nursing’s PhD program offers an interdisciplinary approach that allowed Ashely Shaw to follow her passion in women’s health. The degree’s flexibility allowed her to continue her career as a researcher and an educator.

Pamela Ostby

Nursing PhD '16 | Lake St. Louis, MO

Pamela Ostby earned her PhD in Nursing after more than thirty years in the profession. After investigating other online schools, Pamela found that Mizzou would best prepare her academically. Faculty involvement and the amount of academic research that comes out of the nursing program, led her to choose the Sinclair School of Nursing for her degree.

Benjamin Coe

Nursing PhD Student | Blue Springs, MO

Ben Coe has made service his life. He’s an Air Force captain, a volunteer fire fighter and an ER nurse. The online nursing PhD from MU fits his busy schedule and lets him continue his education to help prepare the next generation of nurses.

Quick facts

  • Program type: Doctorate
  • Academic home: Sinclair School of Nursing
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Delivery mode: Blended, some campus visits required
  • Credit hours: Approximately 77 for BS–PhD; 56 for MS–PhD; 48 for post-clinical doctorate
  • Estimated program cost: $37,333.45 BS-PhD student; $27,151.60 MS-PhD student; $23,272.80 post-clinical doctorate student*

*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, course choices at Mizzou and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

Get the degree you deserve

The MU doctor of philosophy in nursing (PhD) program prepares clinical scholars, educators, and researchers for leadership roles in a variety of academic, industry, and health care settings. If you want to share your research and clinical specialties with the academic community, service sector and public policy arena, this may be the degree for you.

Career prospects

Vacant positions1
Median salary2

1Percentage of full-time faculty positions at AACN member schools vacant in academic year 2012–13. American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Special Survey on Vacant Faculty Positions for Academic Year 2012-2013

2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, 25-1072 Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary

Program outcomes

  • Assume leadership roles in nursing and health care.
  • Initiate and maintain collaborative relationships with nurses and individuals in other disciplines.
  • Advance nursing and health care knowledge by critically evaluating existing theories and knowledge and identifying new areas of inquiry for research.
  • Develop the science that guides nursing practice and/or health care by conducting original research using established ethical principles and disseminating research findings to advance new directions in theory, practice and education.
  • Educate the next generation through formal teaching and mentoring.
  • Advance development of health policy, through application of research and advocacy for ethical decision-making.

The nursing PhD from the Sinclair School of Nursing at MU is one of only a handful of PhD programs open to nurses and non-nurses. The interprofessional aspect of our program is made possible by the wide range of academic backgrounds our MU SSON faculty have and well as our strong, interdisciplinary research connections across the campus including but not limited to

  • Education
  • Family and community medicine
  • Health informatics
  • Human development and family science
  • Public health
  • Social work

Program structure and topics

Delivery of this program is blended: You will complete most course work online. A campus visit is required for a minimum of one week during the first summer of your enrollment. You also will spend four days on campus each April. You also must attend one professional meeting annually with your research mentor. Learn more about required on-campus dates.

Courses are semester-based. How long it takes to complete the program depends on your academic preparation and your enrollment status. If you are a part-time student with an MS degree, for example, the course work will take you three years to complete, followed by your comprehensive examination, plus the additional time required to complete the dissertation research.

If you are a part-time student entering with a BS degree, course work will take you four years to complete, followed by your comprehensive examination, plus the additional time required to complete the dissertation research. Full-time students can complete in a shorter time frame.

Research focus areas

The research focus areas are based upon Sinclair School of Nursing PhD faculty research interests and expertise. Each PhD student selects one area upon which to focus. These include:

  • Innovations to improve health and health systems;
  • Wellness in vulnerable and underserved populations;
  • Symptom and behavior science.

Mizzou Online Military Tuition Award

Are you a veteran, active duty service member, Reservist, National Guardsman, or a military spouse or dependent and want to study online?

See if you’re eligible for the Mizzou Online Military Tuition Award.

Ask us about this program

This program is administered by the Sinclair School of Nursing.