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University of Pittsburgh    
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  May 29, 2024
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Nursing - BSN to PhD Track, PhD

Fall Term (YR 2)

Summer Term (YR 2)

Summer Term (YR 3)

Fall Term (YR 4)

Spring Term (YR 4)

Total Credits: Minimum of 94 Credits


  • Two courses (Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan, Introduction to Genetics and Molecular Therapeutics Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Topics in Genetics, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Culturally Diverse Populations, or Diagnostic Physical Exam Across the Lifespan) are required.
  • HPS 2501  must be taken before NUR 3016  and NUR 3027 .
  • The prerequisites for NUR 3110  are NUR 3016  and PSYED 2018  and PSYED 2019  or BIOST 2041  and BIOST 2042 .
  • Either PSYED 2410 , or BIOST 2049  may be taken to meet the applied regression requirement.
  • Only one Research Emphasis Seminar is required. These courses are not offered every year.
  • The prerequisite for NUR 3115  is permission of the instructor.
  • See School of Nursing Policy 230 regarding the taking of the Preliminary Examination and School of Nursing Policy 235 regarding the Comprehensive Examination/Overview
  • Note that schools/departments outside the School of Nursing offer courses at their discretion; therefore, students may not be able to take these classes in the order appearing on this plan.
  • NUR 3060 - INDEPENDENT STUDY  and NUR 3045 - RESEARCH PRACTICUM  can be taken for variable credits
  • FTDP (full-time dissertation 0 credits) can only be taken after completing the minimum 12 credits of NUR 3010 - PHD DISSERTATION  

Preliminary and Comprehensive Examinations and Dissertation Overview

The preliminary examination is taken after completing required courses: Theoretical Foundations for Research, Research Methods, Qualitative Research Methods, Seminar on Structure of Knowledge, and all statistics prerequisites. The examination is designed to assess the student’s breadth of knowledge of the discipline of nursing and potential ability to apply research methods independently. Remediation work may be required if deficiencies are identified that may impede the student’s success in program completion. See School of Nursing Policy 230.

The comprehensive examination assesses the student’s mastery of the general field of doctoral study, acquisition of depth and breadth of knowledge in a focused area of study, and the ability to use the research methods of the discipline. The comprehensive examination is taken after completion of all required course work and concurrent with the dissertation overview. See School of Nursing Policy 235.

The dissertation overview requires the student to formulate a research plan and to justify the selected approach for studying the topic before the student’s dissertation committee.

Dissertation Committee

Prior to the comprehensive examination and the dissertation overview, the student and research advisor propose, subject to approval by the director of the PhD program and the dean, a committee of four or more members, one of whom must be from another school within the University and the majority of whom must be from the School of Nursing. A majority including the major advisor, must also be full members of the Graduate Faculty of the University.

See Doctoral Committee under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees  of the University bulletin.

Admission to Candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy

Admission to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree constitutes a promotion of the student to the most advanced stage of graduate study and provides formal approval to devote essentially exclusive attention to the research and the writing of the dissertation. To qualify for admission to candidacy, students must be in full graduate status, have satisfied the requirement of the preliminary examination, have completed formal courses with a minimum grade point average of 3.00, have passed the comprehensive examination, and have received approval of the proposed dissertation research by the dissertation committee. Admission to candidacy is granted by the Dean.

Residency Requirement

Students seeking the PhD degree are required to engage in a minimum of one term of full-time doctoral study (nine credits), which excludes any other employment except as approved. The doctoral student must notify the PhD program director in writing the term that this occurs.

Dissertation and Abstract

The date and title of the dissertation defense must be submitted to the PhD program director one month prior to the final defense. For definitions and detail on what constitutes an acceptable dissertation, please see Dissertation and Abstract under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees of this bulletin.

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