Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.)


We appreciate your looking at the FSU College of Nursing’s Ph.D. program. We will be recruiting our second class beginning in the fall of 2024. We established the program to address the profound shortages of nurse scientists and nursing faculty. Our program is heavily focused on health disparities and efforts to address them through thoughtful interventions tailored to the needs of the vulnerable. We will open our admission window this fall. We will be doing rolling admissions. This means that once your materials are complete, we will provide an admissions decision within two weeks. We have limited places in the program, so please apply as early as possible.

If you would like more information, please contact me. I am happy to answer e-mails or even schedule individual or group Zoom calls.

Jim Whyte, Ph.D., ND, FNAP, FAAN
Director of PhD in Nursing Science


The Florida State University College of Nursing, Ph.D. program is a research-intensive doctoral program that prepares nurses for careers as nurse scientists to conduct research; contribute to disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge in nursing and healthcare; and disseminate research findings through scholarly publications and presentations. 

Why Choose a Ph.D. in Nursing from Florida State University?

The Florida State University is a Carnegie Very High Research Activity Tier 1 University. Our faculty are world-renowned experts in evidence-based research practices and dissemination of scholarly works. Our aim is to develop the next generation of nurse scientists within research, practice, and education settings. Our students are provided access to cutting-edge facilities and opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with noted researchers throughout Florida State University. With a Ph.D. in Nursing from FSU, you'll build the skills to develop and implement a scientific research program and launch your career.

Degree Requirements

Standard Admissions

1)    A Bachelor of Science degree in nursing with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.5.  
2)    MSN/ DNP with a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0. All transfer courses require a grade of B or greater. Students will complete, in collaboration with their Major Professor, a plan of study. As the Ph.D. in Nursing exceeds the 32-credit threshold, courses may be applied to the study plan as appropriate (e.g. courses are either duplicated in the required courses delineated in the curricular plan, or directly support the area of study selected for the Ph.D.). These courses may not have been used to meet the requirements for another FSU degree. Students must complete the majority of course work at FSU (51%). The Ph.D. committee will approve each student’s plan of study including transfer credit. Further, all changes to the study plan will be approved in a similar manner.
3)    There will be no GRE/GMAT requirement. A GRE waiver application is pending with the Graduate School/GPC.
4)    Eligibility for licensure in Florida. Unencumbered RN licensure prior to candidacy.
5)    Evidence of writing skill based on the applicant’s admission essay reflecting on the student’s reasons for seeking a Ph.D. in Nursing and their associated aspirations related to contributions to nursing science.
6)    Evidence of skill in oral communication based on interview by the potential Major Professor and Ph.D. committee.
7)    Three professional letters of reference which reflect on the applicant’s potential for a career as a Nurse Scientist..

* GRE/MAT Waiver Criteria

The GRE requirement will be waived for outstanding applicants meeting ONE of the following criteria:

-A completed master’s degree with a 3.0 or better GPA from an accredited institution.

-A completed BSN (60 hours of nursing or RN to BSN courses) with a 3.5 GPA from an accredited institution.

GRE/MAT waiver request form

Applicants must provide evidence to satisfy the criteria being applied.  

Applicants with a competitive GRE or MAT score will still be able to apply to the program and will not be held to these additional criteria.

For those accredited institutions that are competency-based (no GPA assigned) the applicant must submit a GRE/MAT score.

International Students (F-1 Visa Holders)

While this is an online program, international students may enroll with the following additional requirements to meet the statutory requirements of their visa:
1)    International students from non-English speaking countries require an Internet based Test of English as a Foreign Language (IBTOEFL): 100. Paper based TOEFL: 550. International English Language Testing (IELTS) with a score of 7 is acceptable as well.
2)    While this is an on-line program, international students must meet the following face-to-face requirements for immigration purposes (F-1 Visa). For fall and spring semesters students must enroll in a minimum of 6 hours of face-to-face course work. There is no summer requirement, However, all students must enroll in a minimum of 2 credits during the final semester.
3)    J-1 Visa holders are not eligible for on-line classes.

 Apply Today!

 Deadline to apply for fall consideration is July 1st

Learning Outcomes

Research and Knowledge

⦁    Integrate nursing and other healthcare theories into the student’s program of research.
⦁    Conduct original research
⦁    Critique and integrate different scientific perspectives in the conduct of original research
⦁    Lead research teams and participate in team science in collaboration with other disciplines.


⦁    Integrate nursing and other healthcare theories into the student’s program of research.
⦁    Conduct original research
⦁    Critique and integrate different scientific perspectives in the conduct of original research
⦁    Lead research teams and participate in team science in collaboration with other disciplines.

Health Policy

⦁    Generate and disseminate knowledge and theory relevant to health policy
⦁    State the influence of politics and policy on knowledge generation


⦁    Apply the history and philosophy of science during the development of research deliverables.
⦁    Structure research deliverables that include the evolving nature of the nursing discipline
⦁    Utilize professional and research ethics and judgment in the conduct of research

Dissemination and Grantsmanship

  • Communicate research through publications and presentations for professional, interdisciplinary, and lay audience

Summer Intensives 

Summer intensive sessions require in-person visits to Florida State University College of Nursing main campus located in Tallahassee, Florida. Each will span 5 days and will include extensive class work, presentations and opportunities for direct faculty and student contact.
1)    Year-1: This session will center around the course entitled “Literature Synthesis for Nursing Science”. The goal will be that students will receive classroom sessions and direct interactions with faculty to facilitate their compilation of the beginning stages of the literature review that will eventually support the dissertation.
2)    Year-2: This session will focus on the course entitled “Preliminary Exam Preparation”. During this intensive session students will receive classroom sessions and guided faculty support as they prepare for their preliminary examination.
3)    Year-3: This session will be centered around a minimum of two dissertation hours. During this session, students will present their prospectus for the dissertation to their committee and student colleagues. This is meant to be a formal presentation but will be attended by all of the students to build a sense of academic community and facilitate academic engagement.

Ph.D. in Nursing Plan of Study


James Whyte IV, ND, Ph.D., FNAP, FAAN
PhD Program Coordinator
Phone: (850) 644-5359