Graduate Program

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PhD Program in Nursing Science

Dr. Lakeshia Cousin and Dr. Allyson Duffy in the biobehavioral lab.

Our PhD in Nursing Science program prepares nurse scientists to educate the next generation of nurses. Students who earn a PhD in nursing science from USF can affect the lives of millions of people by creating the science that impacts patients, families, and communities. The PhD program provides the link between practice and research. Full-time students may be eligible for scholarships and/or graduate assistantship positions.

PhD in Nursing Science

To explore our current research initiatives and meet our team of researchers, click here.

For more details about the program, see the PhD Program Calendar and the PhD Student Handbook

To learn more about our researchers' expertise, visit: 

Nursing Science Without Limits

Check out some of our student researcher videos: 

PhD vs DNP Comparison

What is the difference between the PhD in Nursing Science and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)?

Click here for the comparison details.

  • Admission Requirements

    Prerequisites and More


    The College is committed to recruiting a diverse pool of applicants who are highly motivated to achieve the doctoral program nursing science objectives. Admission to the program is based on a number of factors that measure a student's potential for academic success at the doctoral level. 

    Important Information:

    All admitted nursing students are required to complete a background check, immunization verification, and drug screening. Additionally, students will be required to provide proof of current health insurance. Admitted students will be provided with the steps to complete this process. 

    To learn more, please consult the Graduate Catalog.
  • Curriculum

    Three Entry Points


    There are three entry points to the PhD program: for those with a BSN, MSN, and clinical doctorate. Learn more about the different requirements by consulting the Graduate Catalog

    Prospective students can also learn more by consulting the PhD Student Handbook

    Format: We offer live classes every Monday with web-based educational activities. Classes are offered every Monday throughout the semester; see our PhD Program Calendar for more information.

    Teaching Certification: Beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year, PhD students are eligible to sit for the certification exam offered by the National League for Nursing (NLN) Certification for Nurse Educators (CNE) program. Students who have master’s degrees in nursing would be eligible to sit for the certification exam after completing 9 nursing education credit hours. Students who hold bachelor’s degrees would sit for the exam after being awarded their PhD degree.

  • Apply

    Application Process

    Applicants who meet the admission requirements should complete the steps below to successfully apply:

    1. Submit a Graduate Admissions Application
      • USF Graduate Admissions Application
      • For all questions, contact the USF Admissions Office at (813) 974-3350 or email
      • Note: Do not upload supplemental documentation; please bypass these sections of the application (e.g., test scores, transcripts and personal statements)
    2. Submit a NursingCAS Application

    Required Documentation: All documentation (e.g., transcripts, resume, certifications, etc.) must be uploaded to NursingCAS by the deadline in order for applications to be considered.

    Interview Requirement: In addition to fulfilling the application requirements, a personal interview with faculty will be required. 

    Learn more by attending an information session and application workshop.

    International Admissions

    • Foreign Transcripts: All coursework and degrees completed outside the United States require a course-by-course evaluation from an approved evaluating agency. Please note this process could take three to six months. Foreign transcript evaluation services are approved by the USF Graduate School. The Florida Board of Nursing maintains its own list of approved evaluating agencies. Transcript evaluations must be received by NursingCAS electronically or in their original sealed envelopes by the deadlines posted.
    • English Language: Applicants from countries where English is not the official language must demonstrate English proficiency. Please see USF Graduate Catalog for more information or contact USF Office of International Admissions.
  • Application Deadlines

    Term Application Open Deadline to Apply
    Fall 2022 
    April 15, 2021 July 1, 2022

    Priority Application Deadlines:

    • For Financial Support Consideration - December 15
    • For Priority Admission Consideration - February 15

    Note: The program will admit students on a space available basis after the deadline to apply.

    Priority admission and consideration for financial support will be limited to those meeting the priority deadline.
    NOTE: Application deadlines for Graduate Student Success fellowships, including the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship, are often prior to the priority College of Nursing deadline. Applicants should consult the pertinent funding agency as additional application materials may be required for each fellowship.

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