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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

General Information

Application Deadline: November 1 for fall admission only
Application Available: September 1
Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy
Part-Time Study Available? YES
Distance Learning Available? NO

About the PhD

The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing Doctoral program prepares students to become researchers and to assume advanced leadership roles in nursing and health care delivery. A combination of conceptual approaches, challenging interactions in seminar discussions, and work with active researchers produces a stimulating environment for scholarly development.

Each student selects a focus area based on their nursing background, interests, and goals. The focus area provides a broad structure for the student's individualized course of study. Courses from nursing and from non-nursing disciplines offer options for tailoring the program of study to a student's particular focus area. The program is designed to help students identify a dissertation topic, apply for research funding, and begin a lifelong research career.

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Course of Study

Program requirements for the PhD in Nursing include core courses and other courses to ensure preparation in a focused area of study. The PhD program prepares nurse researchers to make significant contributions to nursing knowledge and nursing practice through ongoing scientific inquiry and the dissemination of research findings.

Integrated Scholarly Portfolio: Visit Integrated Scholarly Portfolio web page to learn about Integrated Scholarly Portfolio.

Other Degree Requirements: Doctoral Candidacy | Doctoral Dissertation

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Financial Support

There are various avenues for support during the doctoral program. Every student who applies by the November 1 deadline and is accepted into the PhD program, will be considered for a one-year Fellowship. Those applying after the November 1 deadline may also be considered for financial support. Monetary amounts range from $7,000 - $25,000, based on admission scores and full time/part time status. Competitive continuing fellowships are available after year one, based on timely academic progression and scholarly activities. Other small scholarship opportunities (usually $1,000-$2,000, but may be higher) may be available yearly through the School of Nursing. Additionally, doctoral students may work as Research Assistants, Teaching Assistants, and Assistant Instructors. These appointments have tuition and benefits assistance based on appointment hours/week.

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Highlights of the Doctoral Program

  • UT Austin offers unique opportunities for interdisciplinary study (doctoral portfolio programs) in fields such as gerontology, Mexican American studies, and women's studies.
  • UT Austin’s School of Nursing received “Best School Of Nursing for Men” Award by AAMN.
  • Internationally recognized nursing faculty with over $10 million in NIH research funding.
  • The School of Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin is ranked in the top 20 of the country's 200+ accredited graduate nursing programs. It is the highest ranked US nursing school located on the campus of a non-health-science institution.
  • Nursing faculty at UT Austin have diverse backgrounds in preparation and experience.
  • Thirteen of the current 26 graduate nursing faculty are Fellows in the prestigious American Academy of Nursing.
  • Approximately 55 doctoral students are currently enrolled in nursing.
  • The doctoral program emphasizes development of a sound foundation in nursing science.
  • Participation in faculty research projects is an integral part of the doctoral program.

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Admission Requirements for the PhD Program

All students interested in applying for PhD in Nursing at the University of Texas at Austin must meet the admission requirements established by the University’s Office of Graduate Studies and the School of Nursing. Applicants are expected to be graduates of accredited colleges or universities. Below are the minimum requirements for admission.

  1. A bachelor's or a master's degree in nursing from a program accredited by the National League for Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution.
  2. A GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or comparable GPA in upper-division work (junior- and senior- level courses) and in any graduate work already completed
  3. Completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within past five years (School code: 6882)
  4. Current RN licensure

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Application Procedures for the PhD Program

All students applying for formal admission to the Master’s and PhD programs must complete the online application and submit the following application materials by the November 1 deadline.

Application for Admission

Complete online application for admissions and pay application fee at School of Nursing application is only open between September 1st and November 1st yearly. The online application is data entry only all supporting application documents are uploaded on the My Status Check after the application is complete.

*Note: The online application should be completed at minimum 1 week prior to the November 1 deadline to allow time for all required documents to be completed and uploaded by the deadline. Recommendation: Complete online application as early as possible to allow enough time for recommendations to be completed and submitted before the deadline.

Supporting Application Documents

Note: All materials are to be submitted electronically to the My Status Check (available two days after online application is submitted) after completion of the application on

  1. Official transcripts from all 4-year institutions attended. Upload an official copy to the Status Check page and if admitted the official hard copy transcripts are required.
    1. Transcript for Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is required if applicable
  2. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores taken within the past five years. University code 6882, no department code required. Note: GRE scores take 10-14 days to reach UT Austin.
  3. Curriculum Vitae
  4. Statement of Purpose: See application checklist for content details.
    1. Maximum two (2) pages
    2. (Times New Roman, 12-point, double-spaced, 1-inch margins)
  5. Three references:
    1. Provide the name, position, and email address for three recommenders on the application for admissions. Recommenders are sent an email with instructions on completing the recommendation form 48 hours after the application is completed, paid and submitted.
  6. Official TOEFL or IELTS scores taken within the past two years (for International Applicants only).

For additional details on how to prepare your graduate application materials and personal statement instructions, please view PhD Application Checklist (PDF).

Please follow all directions carefully. It is the applicant's responsibility to confirm that all materials have been received on time.

Upon application completion visit My Status Check web page to upload application documents and to track progress of your application status.

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Acceptance to Graduate Programs in Nursing

The School of Nursing Graduate Admissions and Progression Committee (GAPC) may begin preliminary admission reviews as soon as an applicant’s file is complete; however, admission decisions are not made until after the program’s application deadline. All application materials are required to be submitted by the program’s application deadline; files that remain incomplete will not be reviewed or acted upon by GAPC.

If admitted, applicants will be notified of the admission decision by early March and will receive two separate notices: (1) an unofficial e-letter from the School of Nursing informing you of the Committee’s decision, and (2) an official e-letter from the Graduate and International Admission Center notifying you of the admission decision of the Office of Graduate Studies. Acceptance by both the School of Nursing and the Office of Graduate Studies is necessary before enrollment is permitted. Please be aware that if admitted, you will be required to meet all compliance requirements at least one month prior to the first day of class.

NOTE: Email is the official means of communication for all university business.

If not admitted, applicants will be notified by the Graduate and International Admission Center only.

Please feel free to email Graduate Student Services Office or contact the Graduate Coordinators if you have questions about the admission process.

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Important Forms/Documents

All files are in PDF format.

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