Doctor of philosophy University of Missouri
Nurse leading a class.

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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.

    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

    Quick facts

    Official name

    Doctor of philosophy in nursing


    University of Missouri

    Program type


    Academic home

    Sinclair School of Nursing

    Delivery mode

    Blended, some campus visits required


    Higher Learning Commission

    BS to PhD credit hours


    BS to PhD estimated cost


    MS to PhD credit hours


    MS to PhD estimated cost


    Post-clinical PhD credit hours


    Post-clinical PhD estimated cost


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

    Nurse and patient.

    Career prospects

    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.
      Percentage 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
      Vacant positions
      Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, 25-1072 Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary
      Median salary

      Program structure

      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.


      Blended, some campus visits required

      Calendar system


      Typical program length

      3 years

      Typical course load

      Part time


      The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

      Learn more about this program

      This program is administered by the Sinclair School of Nursing