Ph.D. Program

Preparing Nurse Science Leaders

Our Ph.D. program integrates science, theory, and research to educate the next generation of nurse scientists, educators, policy-makers, and practitioners. 

Application Deadline

January 15 
 

Financial Support

100%

The Connell School fully funds every full-time Ph.D. student’s tuition, fees, and insurance for three years.

At a Glance

How many courses?


Most students take 21 courses (48 total credits). 

How long will it take?


Students typically complete the program in 4 years. 

When can I start?


The program begins in the fall semester.

 

Curriculum

Fall Semester

Course Course Title Credit
NURS9806
Philosophical Inquiry for Knowledge Development in Nursing  3
NURS9807
Strategies for Knowledge Development in Nursing 3
NURS9808 Research Design and Methods I 3
NURS9810 Responsible Conduct of Research 1

Spring Semester

Course Course Title Credit
NURS9712
Integrative Review for Nursing Science                                  3
NURS9809
Research Design and Methods II  3
NURSXXXX Intermediate Statistics 3

Fall Semester

Course Course Title Credit
NURS9751
Advanced Qualitative Research Methods 3
NURS9812
Research Seminar: Developing the Purpose, Aims & Questions 2
  Cognate / elective or Advanced Statistics 3
  Cognate / elective or Advanced Research Methods 3

Spring Semester

Course Course Title Credit
NURS9716
Healthcare Policy & Social Justice 3
NURS9813
Research Seminar: Refining the Research Plan 2
NURS9901
Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination 1
  Cognate / Elective or Advanced Statistics 3
  Cognate / Elective or Advanced Research Methods 3

Fall Semester

Course Course Title Credit
NURS9902 Dissertation Advisement 3
OPTIONAL
Cognate, Elective or Teaching Course   

Spring Semester

Course Course Title Credit
NURS9903 Dissertation Advisement 3
OPTIONAL
Cognate, Elective or Teaching Course   

Each Semester Until Graduation

Course Course Title Credit
NURS9911
Doctoral Continuation
1

Featured Faculty

Andrew Dwyer

Andrew Dwyer, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN

From day one, you’ll work with a faculty member who is devoted to your development as a nurse scientist. We’ll help you learn new ways of thinking and assist you in defining how you will impact nursing practice through scientific inquiry. You’ll graduate prepared to lead nursing research and influence how nurses care for individuals, families, and communities.
Andrew Dwyer, Interim Associate Dean, Graduate Programs

Our Students

CSON's Ph.D. Program attracts students from a variety of backgrounds and with an array of research interests.

CSON Doctoral Student Research

Our Ph.D. students regularly disseminate research findings in respected forums and receive prestigious awards, including being inducted into the American Academy of Nursing and named Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence Scholars.

Learn about CSON Research

CSON provides an atmosphere of academic rigor. The faculty are incredibly supportive and have been wonderful mentors to me. It is inspiring to be surrounded by so many respected nurse scientists and educators.
Lauren Pfeifer, Doctoral Student

Recent Dissertation Topics

News from the Connell School

Opportunities at the Connell School

Graduate Nurses’ Association

Learn More

The GNA facilitates professional development opportunities and sponsors social events, connecting you to your fellow students and serving as a voice for the CSON graduate community.

Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing

Learn More

The KILN program helps students maximize their leadership potential, prepares them to provide nursing care in an increasingly multicultural society, and nurtures their ability to create positive social change.

Global Trips

Learn More

Participation in CSON's international programs can count toward nurse practitioner (NP) supervised hours for graduate students.

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Program Eiligibility

  • A master's degree from a nationally accredited university in nursing or a related field
  • A completed course in statistics (AP credits cannot be accepted)
  • A current RN license

 

Application & Deadlines

Apply Now

A non-refundable application fee of $40 is required; however, this fee is waived for select applicants.

Preference will be given to applicants with the following qualifications:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.5
  • GRE scores above the 50th percentile in each category
  • Research experience, written clarity in area of research, and match to faculty research or methodology as described by applicant and determined by Ph.D. committee
  • Publications preferred, as listed on curriculum vitae
  • Excellence in writing, sample essay of course paper, or manuscript submitted by applicant
  • Leadership/leadership potential

Deadline

  • January 15

Résumé or CV

To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

In addition to your academic history and relevant work experience, please include any licenses currently held, any social justice-related experience, any language skills other than English, and any research experience or publications.

Goal Statement & Writing Sample

1. Goal Statetment

Please submit a goal statement which will be used as a source of information about your educational objectives and as a sample of your writing ability. The goal statement should be typewritten (double-spaced) and no more than four pages in length.

Goal Statement Prompt & Guidelines

2. Evidence of Scholarly Writing

All applicants to this program are required to submit one piece of work that demonstrates graduate-level writing ability. This document may be an academic term paper, a published work in which you are the primary author, a training manual that you have created, a clinical case formulation, or another representative sample of your writing.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation:
  • A current or recent employer, preferably a nurse with a Ph.D. or a professional colleague
  • A professor with whom you have had recent academic interaction who can assess your potential for doctoral study and performance in your desired area of study
  • A person who is not a relative and who is well acquainted with your professional preparation and clinical practice
  • Letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically. When you register your reference writers through the application system, they will immediately receive an email with the link to the electronic reference form. For this reason, we suggest that you contact your references prior to registering them through the online application.
  • References will have the option to upload a supporting letter in Word or PDF format.
  • If you would like your references to receive the electronic form before you have completed the online application, you may go directly to the "Recommendations" link on the application and register your references before filling out the rest of the form.
  • You can log back into your application to check which letters have been received, as well as to send reminder emails to your references.

Transcripts

Offiicial transcripts are required for application. 

If available, please have official digital transcripts sent to csongrad@bc.edu

All hard copy transcripts may be sent to the following mailing address:

Boston College
Graduate Nursing Office
Maloney Hall - 2nd Floor
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

*If the last name on your transcript does not match the application name, please contact csongrad@bc.edu after submitting the application. 

Standardized Tests

Official GRE scores are a preferred component of the application, but are not required to apply.

Institutional code 3062


Please allow 2-4 weeks for test scores to be received in order to meet application deadline

Supplemental Forms

Based on the answers you provide in your application, you may need one or more of the following forms to complete your application:

International Students

  • Official transcript(s) evaluation (by the Commission on Graduate Foreign Nursing Schools or World Education Services) from all post-secondary institutions at which you have studied
  • CGFNS examination results
  • NCLEX-RN examination results/RN licensure
  • Official TOEFL (Evidence of English Proficiency) scores are required for students whose native language is not English. The following scores indicate minimum score requirements: 100 on the TOEFL iBT (internet-based test); 7.5 on the IELTS Band (academic); 600 or greater on the paper-based test; or 250 on the CBT test (computer-based test). Please request that your scores be sent to the William F. Connell Graduate School of Nursing by using our institutional code 3062 in the designated areas. Student copies or photocopies of TOEFL are not accepted.
    • You can get application forms and information about testing dates for the TOEFL from many U.S. consulates, USIA centers, and TOEFL centers overseas by writing to: TOEFL Registration, CN 6152, Princeton, New Jersey 08541 USA, or www.toefl.org.
    • The TOEFL score is not required if you meet both of the following criteria: You are a citizen of the United States, Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Guyana, an anglophone country of Africa, or an English-speaking country of the Caribbean AND your native language is English.