Online Nursing Program student on laptop studying

The College of Nursing online PhD program integrates science, theory and research to educate the next generation of nurse scientists and leaders. Our students strive to advance nursing knowledge and translate research into practice that promotes the health and care of patients.

Ranked in the top 10% of graduate nursing programs by U.S. News and World Report, the UWM online PhD in nursing is a research-intensive program that prepares doctoral students as scientists who generate knowledge to advance nursing.

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About UW-Milwaukee College of Nursing

As the largest College of Nursing in the state of Wisconsin, 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.

Joshua Hardin, PhD, video placeholder for Online PhD in Nursing
Joshua Hardin, MSN, RN, CCRN, CPAN and UWM PhD student

About Our Online PhD Nursing Program

Similar to graduates of the college’s traditional PhD program, graduates of the online PhD nursing program are ready for careers in education, research and practice, and to assume leadership positions. Students work closely with faculty mentors to define their success early so students can plan and conduct cutting-edge research using a variety of research methods.

Students are admitted as a cohort and are required to attend a one-week orientation at the beginning of the program and return to campus at the end of their program of study. Online courses are offered every two years and must be taken in sequence.

Nursing PhD Handbook (PDF)

Students in the online PhD in Nursing program progress as a cohort, starting in the summer of odd years.

Summer Start

CourseCourse NumberCredits
One week, on-campus orientation
Foundations of Inquiry for Health NURS 801 3
Multivariate StatisticsNURS 8083

Year 1

CourseCourse Number Credits
Issues in Scholarship NURS 890 3
Science of NursingNURS 8023
Research PracticumNURS 8991
Qualitative Methods in Health ResearchNURS 8823
Quantitative Methods in Health ResearchNURS 8833
Research Practicum1
Measurement in Health ResearchNURS 8813
Specialty Course3
First Year Exam (Summer)

Year 2

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

NURS 885
NURS 886
Research PracticumNURS 8892
Specialty Course3
Analysis of Nursing PhenomenaNURS 8203
Specialty Course3
Health PolicyNURS 8033
Integrative StudiesNURS 8093
Two weeks, on-campus requirement (Summer)

Year 3

CourseCourse NumberCredits
Doctoral Independent Study (Comprehensive Exam)NURS 8971
Dissertator StatusNURS 9971
Dissertator StatusNURS 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 to the UWM Online PhD in Nursing must have:

  • 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;
  • Current GRE scores are required for applicants with an undergraduate and graduate GPA below a 3.20 on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by the Graduate School. Visit the GRE website for more information about preparation and registration.
  • completion of a graduate-level statistics course (within the last five years) with a grade of B or higher or must complete within the first semester of the program;
  • Bachelor-prepared applicants must complete fifteen credits PRIOR to entering the Online PD program: NURS 720, 725, 735, 728 and 804. Contact academic advisor to create a plan.

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

Jennifer Daood
  • Senior Advisor