SoNursing_GradDegree_2

The emphasis on theory and practice of nursing prepares nurse scientists to: develop and/or test theory that drives nursing practice; design and conduct clinical efficacy and effectiveness trials of nursing interventions to improve health; and build a program of research around a clinical problem, phenomenon, or population of interest that will shape patient care across various settings. The emphasis on policy and leadership prepares nurse scientists with the conceptual strategies and methodological skills to assess and address the biobehavioral, social, and economic public policy factors that influence the definition of what constitutes health problems and the manner in which they are treated.

The School of Nursing offers a program leading to the doctor of philosophy degree. The school also has a unique early entry Ph.D. program to bridge or accelerate progression to the Ph.D. level for undergraduate nursing students. Postdoctoral training opportunities are also available.

The mission of the School of Nursing is to prepare nurse leaders who improve human health through practice, education and research. Our strategic priorities are to advance science through research and scholarship, prepare nurse leaders for the health challenges of the 21st century, foster strategic partnerships to promote human health, achieve the school's commitment to diversity, and create the preferred future of the School of Nursing.

Nursing faculty members are well prepared for their roles as scholars, clinicians, and teachers. Many have postdoctoral experience in nursing and related disciplines. They have wide-ranging clinical expertise foundational to their experiences with doctoral students. Many faculty have been awarded prestigious federal and private research and training awards and are well known for their expertise in university, local, national, and international communities. Our faculty have a wide variety of research interests. Areas of particular strength and depth include the following:

  • Aging
  • Chronic illness & symptom management
  • Care of children & families
  • Health systems & care delivery

World-renowned facilities for clinical practice and research are available in and around Madison. These include University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, American Family Children's Hospital, UW Carbone Cancer Center, and William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital; hospitals and clinics in urban and rural settings; nursing homes; and public health agencies. The University’s location in Wisconsin's capital offers opportunities for involvement in state government and policy making.

Signe Skott Cooper Hall, the School of Nursing's new facility, features state-of-the-art classrooms, simulation labs, meeting and research facilities, and social gathering spaces in an environment dedicated to the health and wellness of students, faculty, staff, and the communities and populations served. Adjacent to Cooper Hall, the Health Sciences Learning Center (HSLC) brings together students in nursing, medicine, and pharmacy, and includes the Ebling Library and University Book Store.

The school's mission is to develop leaders for the profession and society—we make discoveries, enhance systems, and improve health through research, education, and practice.

Early Entry Ph.D. Option

The early-entry Ph.D. option is designed for undergraduate students who are interested in research as a career and the Ph.D. as a goal. With the assistance of a faculty advisory committee, early entry students plan an individualized program of study and research, drawing on existing undergraduate and graduate courses in nursing and related disciplines. Two degrees are awarded to students who complete this option: bachelor of science in nursing (B.S.), granted by the School of Nursing, and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.), granted by the Graduate School.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The purpose of the Ph.D. program is to prepare researchers to develop, evaluate, and disseminate new knowledge in nursing and health science. The program is characterized by early and continuous training in research through a close mentoring relationship with faculty, a strong scientific base in nursing, and supporting courses in a related (i.e., minor) discipline.  Graduates with a research doctorate are prepared to assume positions as faculty as well as research scientists and research directors in a variety of educational, clinical, and governmental settings.

The program is designed to be completed in four years of full time study and requires a minimum of 52 credits.  Students may be accepted into the Ph.D. program either post-baccalaureate or post-master's. Students are encouraged to enroll full-time. If part-time study is necessary, a minimum of 6 credits per semester is required.

In collaboration with the faculty mentor(s), students plan a course of study that constitutes a unified program and fulfills the program requirements. Students select an emphasis in one of the following tracks:

  • Theory & practice of nursing
  • Policy & leadership

The emphasis on theory and practice of nursing prepares nurse scientists to: develop and/or test theory that drives nursing practice; design and conduct clinical efficacy and effectiveness trials of nursing interventions to improve health; and build a program of research around a clinical problem, phenomenon, or population of interest that will shape patient care across various settings. The emphasis on policy and leadership prepares nurse scientists with the conceptual strategies and methodological skills to assess and address the biobehavioral, social, and economic public policy factors that influence the definition of what constitutes health problems and the manner in which they are treated.

Admission requirements for the Ph.D. program are:

  • A bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited (CCNE or NLN) program
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) on the last 60 credits of the most recent baccalaureate degree
  • Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Satisfactory academic references from individuals who can speak to your scholarly activities, research capabilities and potential for success in the doctoral program
  • Satisfactory examples of two original papers or other scholarly work
  • Essay
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • English proficiency scores: Applicants whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency test score. Minimum English proficiency test score: TOEFL = 580 (paper)/92 (internet-based), MELAB = 82 or IELTS = 7. Please refer to the Graduate School for more information. Applicants are exempt if any of the following applies to their situation:
    • English is the exclusive language of instruction at the undergraduate institution attended
    • Applicant earned a degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. college or university not more than five years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment
    • Applicant completed at least two full-time semesters of graded course work, exclusive of ESL courses, in a U.S. college or university, or at an institution outside the U.S. where English is the exclusive language of instruction, not more than five years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment

Applications should be submitted for priority consideration by December 1 for admission in the fall semester.

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.  

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

Several forms of financial aid are available for graduate students in the School of Nursing. These include fellowships, traineeships, scholarships, research, project and teaching assistantships, and loans. Most graduate assistantships cover the cost of tuition and provide a monthly stipend. Awards are made in the spring or early summer for the following academic year. Full-time Ph.D. students receive priority for teaching and research assistantships administered by the School of Nursing. Students in the Ph.D. program have also been successful in competing for federal National Research Service Awards (NRSA) which are individual predoctoral fellowships.

Graduate Research Scholars (GRS) Fellowships are designed to support highly qualified underrepresented students in the doctoral programs. Doctoral students who are preparing to be full-time faculty in nursing programs are also eligible for the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP). These loans, supported by the federal government, are available to cover tuition and other educational expenses. When graduates become full-time faculty members, up to 85 percent of the NFLP loan will be canceled over a four-year period.

Additional information on financial aid including application procedures is available in the School of Nursing Academic Affairs Office.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 52 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (26 credits out of 52 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (http://my.wisc.edu/CourseGuideRedirect/BrowseByTitle).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements A student may not receive more than one grade below a B (or a U grade) in any 12 month period.
Assessments and Examinations To be eligible for the comprehensive candidacy examination, candidates must have completed all formal coursework requirements.
Language Requirements No language requirements.
Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements All doctoral students are required to complete a minor.

Required COURSES

Core
NURSING 802 Ethics and the Responsible Conduct of Research1
NURSING 803 Advanced Quantitative Design and Methods3
NURSING 804 Advanced Qualitative Design and Methods3
NURSING 815 Knowledge Development in Nursing3
NURSING 816 Proseminar in Nursing Research1
Advanced Methods/Statistics6
Theory and Practice of Nursing3-9
All students are required to take a minimum of 3 credits in a population or phenomenon course:
Contemporary Practices in Nursing (Topic: Chronic Illness Management)
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Diverse Communities
Advanced Practice Nursing Theory: Adults and Older Adults
Advanced Practice Nursing Theory: Family Process & Child Development
Advanced Practice Nursing Theory: Psychiatric Mental Health
Students who select an emphasis in Theory and Practice of Nursing will complete at least 6 additional credits including:
Patient-centered Research
Clinical Field Practicum
Policy and Leadership3-9
Health Care and Public Policy in the US
Students who select an emphasis in Policy and Leadership will complete at least 6 additional credits including:
Research in Communities, Populations, and Systems
Policy and Leadership Practicum
Nursing Education 13
NURSING 785 Foundations of Curriculum Development and Evaluation in Nursing Education3
NURSING 786 Foundations of Teaching and Learning in Nursing3
NURSING 787 Nursing Education Practicum1-3
Minor9
Guided Research10
Students are expected to take at least 1 credit of Independent Study adn participate in their faculty mentor's research group (or another research group agreed upon with the mentor) each semester.

Sample full-time course schedule

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
NURSING 8153NURSING 8033NURSING 9991-3
NURSING 8161NURSING 70323NURSING 8021
NURSING 9991-3NURSING 9991-3 
Population/phenomenon13Advanced Statistics3 
Statistics13  
 11-13 10-12 2-4
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
NURSING 8043NURSING 9991-3NURSING 9991-3
NURSING 9991-3Nursing Education13NURSING 819 or 84733
Additional Statistics3T&P: Minor, or3 
Minor3P&L: Health Policy Course1 
 10-12 7-9 4-6
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
NURSING 8161NURSING 9995NURSING 9903
NURSING 9991-3Remaining Minor, Methods/Stats, Population13 
Additional Minor, Methods/Stats, Population13  
NURSING 818 (or Minor)1, 4, 53  
 8-10 8 3
Total Credits 63-77

Approved course options/substitutions

Substitutions for NURSING 818
ED PSYCH 946 Advanced Assessment and Intervention Techniques3
ED PSYCH/​COUN PSY/​RP & SE  736 Seminar in Psychology of Individual Differences3
SOC WORK 741 Interventions with Children, Youth, and Families2
Population/phenomenon
SOC WORK 921 Child Welfare2-3
SOC WORK 644 Issues in Developmental Disabilities2-3
SOC WORK 874 Advanced Practice in Health, Aging, and Disability2
SOC/​C&E SOC  971 Seminar-Topics in Demography and Ecology3
POP HLTH 786 Social and Behavioral Sciences for Public Health3
NURSING 722 Advanced Practice Nursing Theory: Adults and Older Adults3
NURSING 741 Advanced Practice Nursing Theory: Family Process & Child Development3
NURSING 751 Advanced Practice Nursing Theory: Psychiatric Mental Health3
RP & SE 560 Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Illness and Disability3
HDFS 516 Stress and Resilience in Families Across the Lifespan3
OTM 753 Healthcare Operations Management3
NURSING 817 Research in Communities, Populations, and Systems3
POP HLTH 709 Translational and Outcomes Research in Health and Health Care3
POP HLTH 876 Measuring Health Outcomes3
POP HLTH 786 Social and Behavioral Sciences for Public Health3
POP HLTH 785 Health Systems, Management, and Policy3
ED PSYCH/​HDFS/​NURSING/​SOC WORK  880 Prevention Science3
Statistics options
ED PSYCH 760
ED PSYCH 761
Statistical Methods Applied to Education I
and Statistical Methods Applied to Education II
6
ED PSYCH 762 Introduction to the Design of Educational Experiments3
ED PSYCH 763 Regression Models in Education3
ED PSYCH 861 Statistical Analysis and Design in Educational Research3
ED PSYCH/​ELPA  822 Introduction to Quantitative Inquiry in Education3
ED PSYCH/​ELPA  964 Hierarchical Linear Modeling3
B M I/​STAT  541 Introduction to Biostatistics3
B M I/​STAT  641 Statistical Methods for Clinical Trials3
B M I/​STAT  642 Statistical Methods for Epidemiology3
POP HLTH/​B M I  551 Introduction to Biostatistics for Population Health3
POP HLTH/​B M I  552 Regression Methods for Population Health3
POP HLTH/​B M I  651 Advanced Regression Methods for Population Health3
POP HLTH/​B M I  652 Topics in Biostatistics for Epidemiology1-3
STAT 849 Theory and Application of Regression and Analysis of Variance I3
STAT 850 Theory and Application of Regression and Analysis of Variance II3
STAT 601 Statistical Methods I4
Nursing education options
NURSING 785 Foundations of Curriculum Development and Evaluation in Nursing Education3
NURSING 786 Foundations of Teaching and Learning in Nursing3
NURSING 787 Nursing Education Practicum1-3
ELPA/​CURRIC  746 The Adult Learner: Implications for Curriculum and Instruction3
ELPA 701 Introduction to Higher and Post-Secondary Education3
CURRIC 735 Epistemic Practice and Science Teaching2
Additional courses may be approved by faculty advisor and program director

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 18 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Graduate work should be less than five years old to be considered; additional justification and/or documentation are needed for work taken between five and ten years. Work ten or more years prior to admission to the program will not be considered.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval up to 7 credits numbered 300 or above will be allowed to count toward the Ph.D. degree. This applies to students in the Early Entry Ph.D. route in the School of Nursing.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. These credits are considered part of the total allowable credits available for a student to transfer. Coursework should be less than five years old to be considered; additional justification and/or documentation is needed for work taken between five and ten years. Work ten or more years prior to admission to the program will not be considered.

ProbatioN

A semester GPA below 3.0 will result in the student being placed on academic probation. If a student has not returned to satisfactory progress by the determined deadline, a decision about whether the student will be permitted to continue will be made by the graduate programs committee (or appropriate subcommittee) with input from the student’s advisor.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

Ph.D. students complete an annual progression review which includes a written review from the advisor. This is submitted to the Ph.D. Admission, Progression and Funding (APF) Subcommittee of the GPC. APF reviews the student CVs and advisor comments to gain an overall sense of student progression in the program Comments from the APF regarding progression are then sent to the advisor who shares the result of the review with the student.

Graduate School policy specifies the following with regard to dissertation committees:

Dissertation committees advise and evaluate satisfactory progress, administer preliminary and final oral examinations, evaluate a dissertation, and/or sign a degree warrant. A student arranges a committee with appropriate expertise to afford the breadth and depth needed in degree examinations. In all cases, a student’s advisor (major professor) chairs the committee. The executive committee (or its equivalent) is responsible for approving the composition of all dissertation committees.

Minimum Graduate School requirements for the dissertation committees are as follows:

  1. The chair or co-chair of the committee must be Graduate Faculty* from the student's program.
  2. PhD dissertation committees must have a minimum of 4 members, 3 of whom must be UW–Madison graduate faculty, former UW–Madison graduate faculty up to one year after resignation or retirement. At least 1 of the 4 members must be from outside of the student’s major program or major field (often from the minor field).
  3. The chair may designate 1 of the 4 members of the committee as a non-reader
    1. Readers are committee members who commit themselves to closely reading and reviewing the entire dissertation. While graduate programs cannot have fewer than three readers, they may require all members to be readers. The rationale for specifically designating non-reader status is to facilitate faculty participation in dissertations without automatically expecting the level of commitment associated with deeply engaging a PhD thesis. Given faculty workloads, designating a non-reader in some cases may permit faculty participation where engagement would otherwise be impossible.
  4. The required 4th member of a dissertation committee, as well as any additional members, all retain voting rights.
  5. * Graduate Faculty are those who hold tenure track appointments. Non-tenure track faculty (e.g., CHS professors) may participate as 4th or extra committee members, but do not count toward the four “Graduate Faculty” members.

The student and major professor should work together to identify dissertation advisory committee members with appropriate breadth and depth of knowledge. In addition to the Minimum Graduate School requirements for the dissertation committees outlined above, the School of Nursing has additional expectations for committee membership:

  1. At least 2 members will be from the School of Nursing faculty.
  2. In general, all committee members will serve as readers. However, in line with UW-Madison Graduate School Policy and Procedures of Graduate Advisor Committees, the chair may designate 1 of the 4 members of the committee as a non-reader.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

15 credits

Time Constraints

A candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within five years after passing the preliminary examination may by require to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.

Other

The School of Nursing makes a strong commitment to funding students admitted into the Ph.D. and DNP program who are enrolled full-time. Sources of funding include extramural, campus, and internal School of Nursing funding. The majority of funding decisions are made in the Spring for the following academic year. Continuing and newly admitted students are encouraged to apply for funding.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Program Resources

Career advising, funding, and professional development opportunities are shared with all students by a member of the School of Nursing Academic Affairs staff. Information on these support services can be found on the Student Site.

1. Master in-depth knowledge in a substantive area of nursing.

2. Articulate research problems, potentials, and limits with respect to nursing theory, knowledge, and practice.

3. Formulate new ideas, concepts, designs, and/or techniques based on critical evaluation of knowledge in nursing and other relevant disciplines.

4. Assume leadership in the creation of original research that makes a substantive contribution to health. 

5. Demonstrate cultural knowledge and cross-cultural skills in nursing scholarship.

6. Demonstrate breadth in learning experiences through intra- and cross-disciplinary study, and integration of research, teaching, mentoring, and service to the profession.

7. Negotiate and work successfully with interprofessional teams.

8. Develop and disseminate nursing knowledge to meet the health needs of local, national, and global populations.

9. Communicate complex research findings and implications in a clear and understandable manner to lay and professional audiences.

10. Demonstrate knowledge of professional obligations, codes of ethics, and institutional policies and procedures that guide nursing scholarship.

11. Demonstrate the capacity to identify ethical issues, seek guidance from appropriate resources and adhere to ethical principles and professional norms in the resolution of moral dilemmas.   

Faculty

Professors Scott (Dean), Bowers, Kintner, Kwekkeboom, Lauver, May, Oakley, Zahner; Associate Professors Tluczek, Ward; Assistant Professors Bratzke, Gilmore-Bykovskyi, Jang, King, Pecanac, Roberts, Snedden, Steege, Torres, Whitmore

Administration

Linda D. Scott, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Dean and Professor
ldscott@wisc.edu

Dan G. Willis, DNS, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
dgwillis@wisc.edu

Karen Mittelstadt

Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs (Academic Dean)
mittelstadt@wisc.edu
608-263-5284

Diane Lauver, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAAN

PhD Program Director, Professor
drlauver@wisc.edu
608-263-5268

Advising and Student Services

Katie Bleier

Director of Advising and Student Services
katie.bleier@wisc.edu
608-263-5172

Kristi Hammond
Graduate Academic Services Coordinator
kristi.hammond@wisc.edu
608-263-5258

Admissions and Recruitment

Mandi Moy

Director of Admissions and Recruitment
mandi.moy@wisc.edu
608-263-5261

Monica Messina

Graduate Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator
mlmessina@wisc.edu
608-263-5158