Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)

The Loewenberg College of Nursing Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program is a seven-semester (3.5 years), full-time program offered online. The PhD program prepares nurse researchers, scholars, and educators in academic nursing and/or healthcare settings. PhD graduates will be prepared to conduct health equity research through experimentation and theory application, and thus will generate knowledge to impact education, practice, and policy. 

The goal of the PhD Program in Nursing is to prepare nurse scholars who will build nursing science by leading transdisciplinary or interdisciplinary health equity research. The purpose of health equity research is to generate new knowledge, to develop and test innovative interventions, to translate research into practice, and to impact on practice, education, and policy toward achieving health equity.

The PhD Program provides the student with:

  • A broad perspective on philosophy of science and its application to solve challenging health problems facing the United States and across the globe.
  • Application of middle-range theories to guide research inquiry.
  • Experience with common and emerging research design and methods including rigorous training in biostatistics.
  • Designed research seminars and practicum to mentor and guide research experience.
  • Mentored research and experiences that foster scientific inquiry and to reinforce knowledge acquisition and skill development.
  • Commitment to professional growth, leadership, stewardship, social justice, equity, and accountability.

Application & Interview dates
Spring Admission: May 1 - December 1
Fall Admission: September 15 - July 1


Apply to LCON PhD Program

     Post DNP Sample Plan of Study        Post  
For detailed information about the PhD program, including policies, course names and descriptions, visit the Graduate Catalog 
and view the PhD Program Brochure.

The applicant must meet all criteria for admission to the graduate school. A master's degree is required for admission and international applicants will be expected to submit a minimum score of 550 on the paper, a 210 on the computer-based, or 79 on the internet based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Additionally, applicants will:

  1. Possess an unencumbered RN license or equivalent in the student's state/nation of residence.
  2. Earned Master's Degree with minimum GPA of 3.0. If a GPA is not available, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required with scores from the last five years with a minimum of verbal and quantitative score of 140 and analytical writing score of at least 3.0.
  3. Provide three letters of reference from individuals familiar with the applicant's capabilities for doctoral study and for future performance as a nurse scholar and researcher. Generally, two letters from former professors will be expected.
  4. Submit a personal statement of approximately 750-1000 words indicating his/her present interests and career goals, including how the PhD in Nursing will prepare the student to achieve those goals.
  5. Provide a writing sample (e.g., published paper, or coursework from previous degree program is acceptable).
  6. Provide a copy of the applicant's curriculum vitae (CV) or resume.
  7. Interview via phone, face-to-face, or Skype will be required.

The PhD Program Committee will review all submitted materials. Admissions decisions are made on the overall quality of the applicant's professional background in nursing, scholarship, academic ability, as well as the applicant's "fit" for the program in terms of academic background, research interests, and career goals.

There is a non-refundable application and processing fee of $35.00 required of every domestic applicant, $60.00 for international applicants. Application fees are paid after submission of your application by going into the status portal. Please wait 30 minutes after submission to see the application fee item added to your checklist. The Graduate School does not offer application fee waivers.

For the most current information regarding our limited program funding options, please contact Dr. Genae Strong, and for costs associated with tuition, visit the University & Student Business Service.

All applicants must apply to the Loewenberg College of Nursing PhD program through the University of Memphis Graduate School portal, Tiger Tracks Portal. There are also additional admission requirements for international students.

Application & Interview dates
Spring Admission: May 1 - December 1
Fall Admission: September 15 - July 1


Contact Us

Leanne Lefler
Dr. Leanne Lefler

Associate Dean for Research & William A. and Ruth F. Loewenberg
Endowed Chair of Excellence/Professor
  annapoorna mary
Dr. Annapoorna Mary
Associate Professor
  Leila Schroeder
Leila Schroeder
Graduate Academic Services Coordinator