BSN to PhD This is a Track

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College : Nursing Degree :PHD
Department : Nursing Option : Dissertation
Program Websites :


The Doctor of Philosophy program in Nursing is designed to prepare students for positions as nursing faculty members, leaders in the application of innovative technologies to nursing education and clinical care, executive leaders in healthcare systems, and scientists who contribute to the body of nursing knowledge through their research. The BSN to PhD track is designed to support students in completing the PhD in a timely fashion to provide for a longer research career.


The Nursing BSN to PhD program requires a minimum of 75 credit hours beyond a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. This program includes 51 credit hours of required courses that focus on foundation, knowledge development and research methods, 15 dissertation credit hours, and 9 credit hours of electives allowing students to gain additional expertise in the area chosen for their dissertation.  Details about this program are located in the Nursing PhD Handbook.
Total Credit Hours Required:
75 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree

Students in the Nursing BSN to PhD program must complete all course work with GPA of 3.0 (“B”) or better, a satisfactory dissertation and defense of dissertation.

Required Courses—51 Credit Hours

Foundation Areas—12 Credit Hours

  • NGR 7892 Healthcare Systems and Policy (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7805 Doctoral Scholarship (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7806 Doctoral Scholarship II (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7952 Scientific Writing for Nurses and Healthcare Professionals (3 credit hours)

Knowledge Development—9 Credit Hours

  • NGR 7115 Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Science (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7123 Concept Development in Nursing (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7939 Dissertation Seminar (3 credit hours)

Research Methods—30 Credit Hours

  • NGR 7807 Research Approaches and Designs for Nursing and Healthcare (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7815 Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research and Healthcare I (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7817 Quantitative Methods for Nursing and Healthcare I (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7818 Quantitative Methods for Nursing and Healthcare II (3 credit hours) or NGR 7808 Qualitative Methods in Nursing and Healthcare II (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7823 Psychometrics and Measurement for Nursing Research (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7916 Research Grants Process and Proposal Writing (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7932 Nursing Research Grants Process and Proposal Writing (3 credit hours)
  • NGR 7919 Doctoral Research (9 Credit Hours; 3 credit hours taken three times)

Elective Courses—9 Credit Hours Minimum

The supporting course work is designed to permit students to gain additional expertise and knowledge in the area chosen for the dissertation. These courses may vary from student to student depending upon individual needs or objectives. Course selection should be influenced by the following criteria:

  • Increase in understanding of the phenomenon of interest
  • Increase in understanding of specific methodologies or analytical techniques relevant to the student’s dissertation.
  • Exposure to experiences relevant to the phenomenon of interest or methodological elements relevant to the student’s dissertation.

The UCF College of Nursing strongly encourages all PhD students to actively seek out interdisciplinary supporting courses including those offered by other disciplines. All supporting courses must be approved by the student’s faculty adviser or dissertation committee chairperson.

Dissertation Research—15 Credit Hours Minimum

The dissertation research addresses the design and conduct of research that advances nursing science. Students conduct the dissertation in areas of faculty interest and expertise. Students are required to complete at least 15 credit hours of dissertation and are required to register for 3 credit hours of dissertation each semester until they complete the degree requirements.

  • NGR 7980 Dissertation Research (15 credit hours)

Doctoral Research

The course NGR 7919 Doctoral Research is designed for students to gain research experience with a faculty researcher. Students must obtain permission from the faculty member before registering for this course and complete the College of Nursing doctoral research form. The purpose of this course is for students to have an experience with research in addition to that of the dissertation. 

Admission to Candidacy and Examinations

The process for candidacy will start with the appointment of the dissertation advisory committee. The Candidacy Examination has both written and oral components. When these are completed successfully, the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is eligible to enroll in dissertation credits. When candidacy status is obtained, the student must enroll in at least three semester credits of dissertation credit each semester until successful oral defense of the dissertation is made and all graduation requirements are completed. The university requires a minimum of 15 dissertation credits. Post-candidacy status is subject to the rules and regulations of the University of Central Florida Graduate Catalog.

The following are required to enroll in dissertation hours. Evidence that items have been completed must be received by the Graduate College on the Friday before the first day of classes for those who wish to enroll in dissertation hours in that semester:

  • Completion of all course work, except for dissertation hours.
  • Successful completion of the candidacy examination.
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
  • Submittal of an approved program of study (should be finalized by the student's third semester).

Equipment Fee

Full-time students in the Nursing PhD program pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $45 each semester.

Independent Learning

The dissertation satisfies the independent learning experience.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree in nursing from an accredited institution or the equivalent.
  • Licensure as a Registered Nurse in the state of Florida. (Does not apply to international applicants).
  • Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
  • An essay of no more than 500 words addressing goals for doctoral study to knowledge development for Nursing.
  • A personal interview.
  • Research interests that match faculty expertise.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae which reflects prior education, recent clinical accomplishments, any scholarly work (publications and presentations), and activities with professional organizations.  For recent graduates this can include accomplishments as a student.
  • Three letters of recommendation evaluating potential for doctoral study preferably by nursing instructors, nurse employers or nurses with advanced degrees.

The College of Nursing accepts the most qualified students based on evaluations of the applicant's abilities, past performance, recommendations and match of UCF programs with applicant's career goals. Students are admitted to the program in the summer for the program of study.

Effective August 2017, the College of Nursing will be implementing a database, LEAP*RN (ProjectConcert) to manage information regarding student course work and plans of study, clinical placements, and all evaluation data. This database will assist us in maintaining standards required for CCNE accreditation, facilitate student progression, and enhance clinical tracking. All students will be responsible for an annual subscription of $66.60 payable directly to ProjectConcert. Holds will be placed on registration and enrollment if the subscription cost is not paid. Further information will be disseminated early in the summer.

Please call the College of Nursing Graduate Office (407) 823-3079 to speak with a doctoral adviser to discuss your goals for doctoral study. It would be very advantageous to discuss the program before you write your essay in the admission application.

Application Deadlines

BSN to PhD *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants




Jan 15
International Applicants




Nov 1
International Transfer Applicants




Dec 15
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.