Nursing

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

For admission to the Nursing program, an applicant must hold either:

  • a bachelor's degree in Nursing from a U.S. regionally accredited institution or
  • a postsecondary degree in Nursing that is equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree earned from an officially recognized degree-granting international institution. Students entering the doctoral program via the traditional post-master’s route must have earned a master’s degree with a major in nursing from a program accredited by a national accrediting agency for nursing. Well-qualified Ph.D. applicants with a baccalaureate degree in nursing and master’s degree in a related discipline (e.g., public health) will be evaluated individually to assess the need for prerequisite master’s-level course work in nursing for doctoral program admission.

Applicants must submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. For M.S.N. applicants, a cumulative grade-point average of 3.3 (on a 4.0 scale) for the baccalaureate degree is expected with a B or better in all science and nursing courses. For M.S. applicants, a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) for the baccalaureate degree is expected with a B or better in all science and nursing courses. College chemistry and statistics are also required (chemistry is not required for the nurse administrator option). B.S.N. to D.N.P. applicants are expected to have a cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale). For master's to Ph.D. or D.N.P. applicants, a cumulative grade-point average 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) for master's and subsequent course work is expected.

Two letters of reference are required for the M.S.N. degree program and three letters of reference are required for the M.S., D.N.P., and Ph.D. degree programs. The letters should be solicited from professional supervisors and faculty who can attest to the applicant's ability. If a degree was completed in the last 5 years, an academic reference is required.

All applicants must submit a statement of purpose. In addition, M.S., D.N.P., and Ph.D. degree applicants must also submit a published or unpublished scientific paper, thesis, or other scholarly writing sample and a complete curriculum vitae.

GRE scores are optional for admission to the M.S. and Ph.D. programs. GRE scores are not required for the M.S.N. or D.N.P. applicants, but if the scores are submitted to Penn State they will be reviewed as part of the application.

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants. See GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Applicants to the Nursing program must have a minimum TOEFL total score of 80 with a 25 on the speaking section for the internet-based test (iBT). For the paper-based test, taken prior to July 2017, a minimum of 580 is required. The minimum composite score for the IELTS for applicants to the Nursing program is 7.

Applicants to the M.S.N. options and D.N.P. degree offered online via the World Campus must hold a current license to practice professional nursing in at least one U.S. state or in a foreign country. All other applicants to the M.S. and M.S.N. degree programs must hold a current Pennsylvania license to practice professional nursing. Applicants to the Ph.D. degree program must be licensed to practice professional nursing in at least one state or in a foreign country.

Applicants to the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Option are required to have two years of acute care hospital experience.

Applicants to the M.S.N. degree program are encouraged to discuss program options with the faculty; however, an interview is not required. Doctoral (B.S.N. - Ph.D., B.S.N.- D.N.P., D.N.P., and Ph.D.) applicants will be contacted by the College of Nursing to schedule a required interview (either in person or via internet-based video conferencing).

Degree Requirements

Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies.

The Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) requires a minimum of 30 credits, with at least 6 credits at the 500 level, including:

  • 9 credits of M.S.N. Program Core courses,
  • 18 credits of electives, and
  • at least 3 credits in a capstone course or project.
Required Courses
M.S.N. Program Core
NURS 501Issues in Nursing and Health Care3
NURS 510Theoretical and Scientific Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice3
NURS 830Evidence-Based Practice I: Inquiry and Research Methods3
Electives
Additional courses that will count as electives towards this degree can be chosen from a list of approved elective courses maintained by the graduate program office.18
Culminating Experience
Students in the M.S.N. degree program are required to complete a capstone course or project, which demonstrates the application of theory and research to a clinical problem based on review of the literature and research utilization for that problem. For M.S.N. students who do not choose to complete an option, a capstone project is completed while enrolled in NURS 596 (3 credits).3
Total Credits30

The five advanced role options offered in the M.S.N. degree program include nurse educator, nurse administrator, family/individual across the lifespan nurse practitioner, adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, and adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. Students in these options complete the 9 credits of M.S.N. Program Courses as described above. The option-specific course requirements described below replace the requirement for 18 credits of electives.

Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner Option

Students must earn a minimum of 45 credits for the M.S.N. with the Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner option.

Required Courses
NURS 501Issues in Nursing and Health Care3
NURS 510Theoretical and Scientific Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice3
NURS 830Evidence-Based Practice I: Inquiry and Research Methods3
Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner Option Required Courses
NURS 802Advanced Health Assessment of Adult Populations3
NURS 802AAdvanced Health Assessment of Pediatric Populations1
NURS 803Pathophysiology3
NURS 804Pharmacologic Therapy3
NURS 870Nurse Practitioner Role with Healthy Individuals and Families3
NURS 871Nurse Practitioner Role with Individuals and Families with Complex and/or Chronic Health Problems3
NURS 872Family Nurse Practitioner Practicum I3
NURS 873Family Nurse Practitioner Practicum II4
NURS 875Nurse Practitioner Role with Children and Families2
NURS 876Family Nurse Practitioner Practicum with Pediatric Populations2
Electives
Students in this option are required to take 3 additional elective credits chosen from a list of approved nursing elective courses maintained by the graduate program office.3
Culminating Experience
NURS 874Family Nurse Practitioner Integrative Practicum (Capstone Course)6
Total Credits45

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Option

Students must earn a minimum of 41 credits for the M.S.N. with the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner option.

Required Courses
NURS 501Issues in Nursing and Health Care3
NURS 510Theoretical and Scientific Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice3
NURS 830Evidence-Based Practice I: Inquiry and Research Methods3
Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Option Required Courses
NURS 802Advanced Health Assessment of Adult Populations3
NURS 803Pathophysiology3
NURS 804Pharmacologic Therapy3
NURS 870Nurse Practitioner Role with Healthy Individuals and Families3
NURS 871Nurse Practitioner Role with Individuals and Families with Complex and/or Chronic Health Problems3
NURS 872AAdult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Practicum I4
NURS 873AAdult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Practicum II4
Electives
Students in this option are required to take 3 additional elective credits chosen from a list of approved nursing elective courses maintained by the graduate program office.3
Culminating Experience
NURS 874AAdult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Integrative Practicum (Capstone Course)6
Total Credits41

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Option

Students must earn a minimum of 43 credits for the M.S.N. with the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner option.

Required Courses
NURS 501Issues in Nursing and Health Care3
NURS 510Theoretical and Scientific Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice3
NURS 830Evidence-Based Practice I: Inquiry and Research Methods3
Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Option Required Courses
NURS 802Advanced Health Assessment of Adult Populations3
NURS 803Pathophysiology3
NURS 804Pharmacologic Therapy3
NURS 860Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Role I3
NURS 861Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Role II3
NURS 862Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Practicum I4
NURS 863Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Practicum II4
NURS 865Pharmacology for Acute Care Nurse Practitioners1
NURS 866Health Assessment of the Adult Gerontology Population in Acute Care1
Electives
Students in this option are required to take 3 additional elective credits chosen from a list of approved nursing elective courses maintained by the graduate program office.3
Capstone Course
NURS 864Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Integrative Practicum (Capstone Course)6
Total Credits43

Nurse Administrator Option

Students must earn a minimum of 36 credits for the M.S.N. with the Nurse Administrator option.

Required Courses
NURS 501Issues in Nursing and Health Care3
NURS 510Theoretical and Scientific Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice3
NURS 830Evidence-Based Practice I: Inquiry and Research Methods3
Nurse Administrator Option Required Courses
NURS 808Population Health Perspectives3
NURS 836Healthcare Informatics3
NURS 845Healthcare Economics and Policy for Nurse Administrators3
NURS 846Leadership Concepts and Theories for Nurse Administrators3
NURS 847Human Resource and Work Force Issues for Nurse Administrators3
Electives
Students in this option are required to take 6 additional elective credits chosen from a list of approved elective courses maintained by the graduate program office.6
Culminating Experience
NURS 848Synthesis and Application of the Nurse Administrator Role (Capstone Course)6
Total Credits36

Nurse Educator Option

Students must earn a minimum of 36 credits for the M.S.N. with the Nurse Educator option.

Required Courses
NURS 501Issues in Nursing and Health Care3
NURS 510Theoretical and Scientific Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice3
NURS 830Evidence-Based Practice I: Inquiry and Research Methods3
Nurse Educator Option Required Courses
NURS 802BPhysical Assessment Through The Lifespan3
NURS 803Pathophysiology3
NURS 804Pharmacologic Therapy3
NURS 836Healthcare Informatics3
NURS 840Nursing Education Theories and Strategies3
NURS 841Assessment and Evaluation in Nursing Education3
NURS 842Curriculum and Program Development in Nursing Education3
Culminating Experience
NURS 843Synthesis and Application of the Nurse Educator Role (Capstone Course)6
Total Credits36

Master of Science (M.S.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

Students in the Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in nursing (B.S.N.- Ph.D.) are required to complete a minimum of 30 credits, with at least 18 credits in the 500 and 600 series combined, to be awarded an M.S. degree. A minimum of 12 credits in course work (400, 500, and 800 series), as contrasted with research, must be completed in the major program. There are 18 credits required in M.S. core course work, including:

Required Courses
NURS 501Issues in Nursing and Health Care3
NURS 510Theoretical and Scientific Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice3
NURS 596Individual Studies (Practicum Experience)3
NURS 808Population Health Perspectives3
NURS 830Evidence-Based Practice I: Inquiry and Research Methods3
NURS 836Healthcare Informatics3
Additional Required Courses
9-12 credits are required in research and statistics courses approved in advance by the student's adviser. 9-12
Electives
Additional courses that will count as electives towards this degree can be chosen from a list of approved elective courses maintained by the graduate program office.0-3
Culminating Experience
Students choose to complete either a thesis or a scholarly paper:3-6
Thesis Research
Thesis Research Off Campus
Individual Studies (Scholarly Paper)
Total Credits30

If the M.S. student chooses to complete a thesis, at least 6 credits in thesis research (NURS 600 or NURS 610) must be taken in conjunction with the thesis. The thesis must be accepted by the advisers and/or committee members, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School, and the student must pass a thesis defense. If the student chooses the non-thesis track, the students must submit a satisfactory scholarly paper while enrolled in NURS 596 (3 credits). If no thesis is required, at least 18 credits of course work must be in 500-level courses.

DOctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies.

Students may enter the program directly with a B.S.N. degree or following completion of a Master's degree in nursing.

For the B.S.N. to the D.N.P., a core of master's courses is required. A minimum of 60 credits, 1000 hours of practicum time, and a DNP project is required. The 60 credits include:

Required Courses
Master's Core Courses
NURS 501Issues in Nursing and Health Care3
NURS 510Theoretical and Scientific Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice3
NURS 830Evidence-Based Practice I: Inquiry and Research Methods3
Nurse Administrator Option Courses
NURS 845Healthcare Economics and Policy for Nurse Administrators3
NURS 846Leadership Concepts and Theories for Nurse Administrators3
NURS 847Human Resource and Work Force Issues for Nurse Administrators3
NURS 848ASynthesis and Application of the Nurse Administrator Role4
D.N.P. Core Courses
NURS 831Evidence-Based Practice II: Translating Inquiry into Practice3
NURS 832Doctor of Nursing Practice: Leadership I3
NURS 833Doctor of Nursing Practice: Leadership II3
NURS 837Evidence-Based Practice III: Project Development3
Other Required Courses
NURS 590Colloquium1
NURS 587Ethics in Nursing Research1
NURS 808Population Health Perspectives3
NURS 836Healthcare Informatics3
Advanced Practice Clinical
(Needed to meet the 1000 hour practicum requirement)
NURS 834Doctor of Nursing Practice Clinical Practicum3-4
Electives
9-10 credits of electives chosen from a list of approved elective courses maintained by the graduate program office9-10
Culminating Experience
NURS 835Doctor of Nursing Practice Project6
Total Credits60

The Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) to D.N.P. program requires a minimum of 30 post-master’s degree credits completed at Penn State. The curriculum is individualized based on previous course work and number of practicum hours completed during the master’s program. A maximum of 550 practicum hours from the previous master’s program will be accepted to fulfill to 1000 hours of required practicum hours. The curriculum is composed of 5 components, for a minimum of 38 credits:

Required Courses
D.N.P. Core Courses
NURS 830Evidence-Based Practice I: Inquiry and Research Methods3
NURS 831Evidence-Based Practice II: Translating Inquiry into Practice3
NURS 832Doctor of Nursing Practice: Leadership I3
NURS 833Doctor of Nursing Practice: Leadership II3
NURS 837Evidence-Based Practice III: Project Development3
Other Required Courses
NURS 590Colloquium1
NURS 587Ethics in Nursing Research1
NURS 808Population Health Perspectives3
NURS 836Healthcare Informatics3
NURS 845Healthcare Economics and Policy for Nurse Administrators3
Electives
6 credits of electives chosen from a list of approved elective courses maintained by the graduate program office6
Culminating Experience
NURS 835Doctor of Nursing Practice Project6
Total Credits38

In addition to the minimum 38 credits, up to 7 credits of NURS 834 may be required for M.S.N. to D.N.P. students, depending on the number of practicum hours completed in the student’s M.S.N. program.

For both entry options, students are required to participate in 2 intensives offered at the University Park or Hershey Medical Center campus. For full-time students, the first intensive is August of semester I for M.S.N. to D.N.P. and Semester III for B.S.N. to D.N.P. students. Intensive 2 is at the end of semester II for M.S.N. to D.N.P. and semester IV for B.S.N. to D.N.P. students. For part-time M.S.N. to D.N.P. students the first intensive is August of semester III and intensive 2 is the end of semester IV.

In addition to course work, all students are required to complete a series of three benchmarks, Qualifying Examination, Comprehensive Examination, and a Final Oral Presentation.

D.N.P. Doctoral committee Composition

The doctoral committee will consist of the student’s academic adviser and two additional members of the Graduate Faculty. The academic adviser will be the chair of the committee.

Qualifying Examination

All students must satisfactorily complete the qualifying examination, which is designed to evaluate the student’s past performance and potential for successfully completing the program. The qualifying examination occurs prior to the 2nd intensive, which follows completion of one semester of full-time study for the M.S.N. to D.N.P. student, and within three semesters of full-time study for the B.S.N. to D.N.P. student. Students who fail the examination on the first attempt may repeat it once. Students who fail the examination the second time are terminated from the program.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination marks the student’s progression into their D.N.P. project. This occurs during the 2nd intensive, when students present their D.N.P. project proposal. The comprehensive examination needs to be successfully completed prior to the submission of the proposal for human subjects’ review or carrying out the project (if it does not require a review). Students who fail the examination on the first attempt may repeat it once. Students who fail the examination the second time are terminated from the program.

Final Oral Presentation

Upon completion of the project, the Final Oral Presentation is scheduled. Students are required to present the project for approval by their doctoral committee. The Associate Dean for Graduate Education & Research will sign off on the final paper, following completion of the paper during NURS 835 and the student’s passing of the oral presentation. Students who fail the presentation on the first attempt may repeat it once. The student’s final paper will be made publicly available through ScholarSphere.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

Students may enter the program directly with a B.S.N. degree (and may receive an M.S. degree en route to the Ph.D.) or a concurrent M.S.N. (nurse practitioner option) or following completion of a B.S.N. and a Master's degree (either in Nursing or non-Nursing).

Students entering with an M.S.N. will complete a minimum of 43 credits. The curriculum is composed of 3 components:

Required Courses
Nursing Science Core Courses
NURS 580Epistemology of Nursing Science3
NURS 582Literature Synthesis for Nursing Sciencce4
NURS 583Advanced Seminar in Nursing Science3
NURS 587Ethics in Nursing Research1
NURS 588Healthcare Policy for Nurse and Healthcare Scholars3
NURS 590Colloquium2
Research Methodology and Statistics
Minimum of 15 credits approved by the student's adviser and/or Ph.D. committee15
Courses for Individual Specialty
Minimum of 12 credits; minimum of 15 credits for a minor12-15
Total Credits43

In addition to course work, all students are required to complete a series of examinations: the Qualifying Examination, the Comprehensive Examination (written and oral components), the Dissertation Proposal Defense, and Final Oral Examination. Students are required to pass the Final Oral Examination, have the dissertation approved and submitted, and graduate within five years of passing the qualifying examination.

Qualifying Examination

All students must satisfactorily complete the qualifying examination, which is designed to confirm the student's mastery of basic nursing theory and research methods. For students entering the doctoral program with a master's degree, the qualifying examination must be taken at the end of the first year of full-time study or the equivalent. Students who fail the examination on the first attempt may repeat it once. Students who fail the examination the second time are terminated from the program.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination is designed to test the student's mastery of and ability to synthesize and integrate the theoretical basis for nursing science, advanced research methods, and the chosen specialty area. This examination is taken when a student has substantially completed all course work. Students who fail the examination on the first attempt may repeat it once. Students who fail the examination the second time are terminated from the program.

Dissertation and Final Oral Examination (the Dissertation Defense)

Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. Each student is required to conduct an original and independent research project which adds to nursing's body of knowledge, and to communicate the research report in a written dissertation. A written dissertation proposal is required and must be approved at a proposal hearing by a majority vote of the student's Ph.D. committee. A majority vote is also required for approval of the completed written dissertation at the Final Oral Examination (the dissertation defense). The dissertation must be accepted by the Ph.D. committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Dual-Titles  

Dual-Title Ph.D. in Nursing and Bioethics

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in GCAC-208 Dual-Title Graduate Degree Programs.

Nursing Ph.D. students may pursue additional training in bioethics through the dual-title Ph.D. program in Bioethics. Students must apply and be admitted to the graduate program in Nursing and the Graduate School before they can apply for admission to the dual-title degree program. Admission to the dual-title is determined upon review of all application materials (forwarded from the College of Nursing) by the admissions committee in Bioethics. Refer to the Admissions Requirements section of the Bioethics Bulletin page. Students must apply and be admitted to the dual-title degree program in Bioethics prior to taking the qualifying exam.

To qualify for the dual-title degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the Nursing Ph.D. program. In addition, they must satisfy the requirements described below, as established by the Bioethics program committee. Refer to the Degree Requirements section of the Bioethics Bulletin page. Within this framework, final course selection is determined by the student, their Nursing adviser, and their Bioethics program adviser.

The dual-title Ph.D. in Nursing and Bioethics requires a minimum of 1 credit of course work beyond the requirements for the Ph.D. in Nursing (17 credits of the 18 Bioethics credits are part of the current degree requirements in Nursing), as follows:

Required Courses 1
BIOET 501Perspectives and Methods in Bioethics3
BIOET 502Perspectives in Macro-Bioethics3
BIOET 590Bioethics Colloquium1
At least 3 additional BIOET credits at the 500 level.3
Electives
8 additional credits from a list of approved electives at the 400 or 500 level, at least two of these courses must be at the 500 level. 28
Total Credits18

Qualifying Examination

Students must meet the Ph.D. qualifying examination requirements specified by Nursing; a single qualifying examination will be administered that includes assessment of both Nursing and Bioethics. At least one member of the qualifying examination committee must have a Graduate Faculty appointment in Bioethics. Because students must first be admitted to a graduate major program of study before they may apply to and be considered for admission into a dual-title graduate degree program, dual-title graduate degree students may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements for both areas of study and, therefore, the qualifying examination may be delayed one semester beyond the normal period allowable.

Comprehensive Examination

In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for Ph.D. committees, the Ph.D. committee of a Nursing and Bioethics dual-title Ph.D. student must include at least one member of the Bioethics Graduate Faculty. Graduate faculty members who hold appointments in both programs may serve in a combined role. If the chair of the committee representing Nursing is not also a member of the Graduate Faculty in Bioethics, the member of the committee representing Bioethics must be appointed as co-chair. The faculty member (or members) affiliated with the Bioethics Program will be responsible for administering a portion of the comprehensive exam that will require the student to demonstrate an understanding of various theoretical and methodological approaches to bioethics, and an ability to apply them to issues and problems (including, where appropriate, practical problems) in their nursing.

Dissertation and Final Oral Examination (the Dissertation Defense)

Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. Students enrolled in the dual-title program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that is approved in advance by their Ph.D. committee and reflects their original research and expertise in Nursing and Bioethics. The dissertation must be accepted by the Ph.D. committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Dual-Title Ph.D. in Nursing and Clinical and Translational Sciences

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in GCAC-208 Dual-Title Graduate Degree Programs.

Nursing Ph.D. students may pursue additional training in CTS through the dual-title Ph.D. program in CTS. Students must apply and be admitted to the graduate program in Nursing and the Graduate School before they can apply for admission to the dual-title degree program. Admission to the dual-title is determined upon review of all application materials (forwarded from the College of Nursing) by the admissions committee in CTS. Refer to the Admission Requirements section of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Bulletin page. Students must apply and be admitted to the dual-title degree program in CTS prior to taking the qualifying exam.

To qualify for the dual-title degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the Nursing Ph.D. program. In addition, they must satisfy the requirements described below, as established by the CTS program committee. Refer to the Degree Requirements section of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Bulletin page. Within this framework, final course selection is determined by the student, their Nursing adviser, and their CTS program adviser.

The CTS dual-title requires 26 credits:

Required Courses
CTS 590Colloquium2
Select 6 credits from the following:6
Clinical Science Internship
Translational Science Internship
Graduate Clinical Rotation
Electives
18 credits from a list of approved electives in each of the following areas (at least half of which must be at the 500 or 800 level):
Statistics3
Epidemiology3
Bioinformatics3
Experimental Design and Interpretation3
Regulatory Environment3
Scientific Communication3
Total Credits26

Of the 18 elective credits required, 12 credits can be double-counted from the required courses for the Ph.D. in Nursing: STAT 500/PHS 520 meets the 3-credit requirement for Statistics, and an additional 9 credits of Individual Specialization Coursework required for Nursing can be selected from the list of CTS approved electives to meet the 3-credit requirements in Epidemiology, Bioinformatics, and The Regulatory Environment. Therefore, dual-title Ph.D. students in Nursing and CTS may require a minimum of 14 credits of additional course work, consisting of approved electives in Experimental Design and Interpretation (3 cr.) and Scientific Communication (3 cr.), 2 credits of CTS 590; and 6 credits of CTS 595A, CTS 595B, or BMS 571.

Qualifying Examination

Students must meet the Ph.D. qualifying examination requirements specified by Nursing; a single qualifying examination will be administered that includes assessment of both Nursing and CTS. At least one member of the qualifying examination committee must have a Graduate Faculty appointment in CTS. Because students must first be admitted to a graduate major program of study before they may apply to and be considered for admission into a dual-title graduate degree program, dual-title graduate degree students may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements for both areas of study and, therefore, the qualifying examination may be delayed one semester beyond the normal period allowable.

Comprehensive Examination

In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for Ph.D. committees, the Ph.D. committee of a Nursing and CTS dual-title Ph.D. student must include at least one member of the CTS Graduate Faculty. Graduate Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs may serve in a combined role. If the chair of the committee representing Nursing is not also a member of the Graduate Faculty in CTS, the member of the committee representing CTS must be appointed as co-chair. The faculty member (or members) affiliated with the CTS Program will be responsible for administering a portion of the comprehensive exam that will require the student to demonstrate an understanding of various theoretical and methodological approaches to CTS, and an ability to apply them to issues and problems (including, where appropriate, practical problems) in their nursing.

Dissertation and Final Oral Examination (the Dissertation Defense)

Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. Students enrolled in the dual-title program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that is approved in advance by their Ph.D. committee and reflects their dissertation research and expertise in Nursing and CTS. The dissertation must be accepted by the Ph.D. committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.

World Campus students in graduate degree programs may be eligible for financial aid. Refer to the Tuition and Financial Aid section of the World Campus website for more information.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Nursing (NURS) Course List

Professional Licensure/Certification

Many U.S. states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.

Contact

Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Lisa Ann Kitko
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Lisa Ann Kitko
Program Contact

Xiaohong Sheng
203 Nursing Sciences Building
University Park PA 16802
xus1@psu.edu
(814) 863-2211

Program Website View
Campus World Campus
Graduate Program Head Lisa Ann Kitko
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Mariya Tankimovich
Program Contact

Xiaohong Sheng
203 Nursing Sciences Building
University Park PA 16802
xus1@psu.edu
(814) 863-2211

Program Website View