Nursing PhD student discussing research poster

The School of Nursing offers entry into the PhD program for students holding a bachelor’s degree in nursing or health-related field from a professionally accredited or approved program. The BS to PhD in Nursing option is designed to promote knowledge development for reflective, theory-based, and research-guided nursing practice.

Program Type


Program Format

On Campus

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About UWM School of Nursing

As the largest School of Nursing in the state, UW-Milwaukee partners with over 160 agencies to prepare nurse scientists, researchers and educators. Go beyond the bedside and make an impact on the world around you with a PhD in nursing from UWM.

Nurse Media Esser, holding a sign that says
Media S. Esser, NNP-BC, APNP, CWN, and UWM PhD in Nursing Alumna

About the BS to PhD in Nursing

The PhD in Nursing Program is a research–intensive program that prepares nurse scientists for roles in research, education, practice, health policy and leadership.

The BS to PhD in Nursing Program is a campus–based program that prepares baccalaureate nurses as scientists. Under the guidance of world-renowned professors and mentors, students will work with professors to define success early. They will develop a plan of study that prepares them to devise and conduct independent and collaborative interdisciplinary research.

Scholarships & Funding

We understand that financial support is important to every student. A variety of options are available to help students finance their education at UWM, including over $500,000 in nursing scholarships & funding awarded annually, as well as loans, grants, student employment, fellowships, military education benefits and more. UWM offers generous aid options for students seeking to be nurse educators or nurse faculty.

Five year, full time BS to PhD Plan of Study

Year 1

CourseCourse NumberCredits
Health Care Organizations and Systems LeadershipNURS 8043
Theoretical Foundations of Advanced NursingNURS 7353
Biostatistics (Pre-req)NURS 720
Evidenced-Based PracticeNURS 7253
EpidemiologyNURS 7273
Research PracticumNURS 8991

Year 2

CourseCourse NumberCredits
Foundations of Inquiry for HealthNURS 8013
Science of NursingNURS 8023
Issues in ScholarshipNURS 8903
Multivariate StatisticsNURS 8083
Qualitative Methods in Health ResearchNURS 8823
Quantitative Methods in Health ResearchNURS 8833
Research PracticumNURS 8992
Measurement in Health ResearchNURS 8813
Qualifying Exam is taken in Summer

Year 3

CourseCourse NumberCredit
Choose one advanced methods course:
Advanced Quantitative
Advanced Qualitative

NURS 885
NURS 886
Research PracticumNURS 8991
Specialty Elective3
Health PolicyNURS 8033
Analysis of Nursing PhenomenaNURS 8203
Specialty Elective3
Specialty Course3
Integrative StudiesNURS 809 3

Year 4

CourseCourse NumberCredit
Doctoral Independent Study (Comprehensive Exam)NURS 8973
DissertatorNURS 9973

Year 5

CourseCourse NumberCredit
DissertatorNURS 9973
DissertatorNURS 9973

All applicants must apply through the Graduate School’s application system and upload the following:

  • a nonrefundable application fee;
  • unofficial transcripts from each academic institution attended where at least nine or more credits were attempted or completed. Applicants are required to submit official transcripts after an admission offer is accepted;
  • current curriculum vitae;
  • references from three different people who know about your academic experience and your potential for graduate study in nursing.
  • a written statement from the applicant that includes previous professional experience, professional career goals, research interests, motivation for PhD study and educational objectives for the program.
  • Two examples of original work that demonstrate the applicant’s academic potential.
  • A conversation with a faculty member is required as part of the application process. A telephone conversation or video meeting (e.g. Zoom, Skype) may be used when travel is prohibitive.


Applicants must have the following prerequisites for the UWM BS to PhD in Nursing program:

  • a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in nursing or health-related field from a professionally accredited program with a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 (4.0 scale) for all previous graduate coursework;
  • completion of a graduate-level statistics course (within the last five years) with a grade of B or higher;

UWM College of Nursing Approved Graduate Statistics Courses:

University/CollegeCourseCourse Number
UW-Milwaukee Biostatistics (Online/On-Campus)NURS 720
UW-Stevens PointBasic Statistical Methods for Social Science (On-Campus)SOC 590
UW-Stevens PointBasic Statistical Methods in Education (Online)EDUC 705
Penn State World campusApplied StatisticsSTATS 500
UMass OnlineIntroduction to Probability and Applied StatisticsEEOS 601
University of PhoenixApplied Business Research and StatisticsQNT 561
University of PhoenixStatistics For The Behavior SciencesPSYC 625
UCLA ExtensionAdvanced Statistics and Quantitative MethodsSTATS 402.1

Program Advising

Jennifer Daood
  • Graduate Program Manager
Important Dates
Priority Application Deadline

February 1
(Fall start)

October 1
(Spring start)

Upcoming Information Sessions
Register for Information Sessions
Jennifer Daood
  • Graduate Program Manager