Finding a PhD Nursing Program in California

In the constantly evolving nursing industry, those with a Doctor of Philosophy qualification are responsible for scientific research. The results of their academic pursuit are used to improve the quality of health care for all people. Without these scientists, the health care of millions will not be feasible. Their knowledge about discovering new methods for preventing, treating and diagnosing diseases are highly sought after and many of them focus on specific fields of research. Every aspect of health care must be continually upgraded and PhD graduates are the ones that find ways for optimal development. There is no need to do the research as we have done it all for you. These are the schools that offer PhD programs in California.

Schools with PhD Nursing Programs in California

Finding a PHD Nursing Program

There are a few different PHD programs to choose from. Though some people prefer campus based programs, the online option has become increasingly popular, especially in the nursing industry. See a Complete List of PHD Programs...


  • A PhD program is available through Azusa Pacific University and is accredited by BRN, WASC and CCNE. Concentrations include International Health as well as Health of the Family and Community. The program consists of 60 four semester credits and will take four years to complete. Some of these credits are transferable. Do not hesitate to contact the school personally to inquire about their deadline dates.
  • The PhD program available at Loma Linda University is accredited by WASC and develops advanced nurses for roles in education, administration and research. It can either be studied full-time on campus or as a summer program. Part-time and full-time options are available. Students finish the program in between four and seven years. While some credit hours are transferable, a total of ninety semester credits must be completed. To find out about their latest deadline dates, please contact the school.
  • The School of Nursing at the University of California in Los Angeles has a PhD program available that prepares students for advanced roles in healthcare systems, healthcare policies and research. Successful applicants are allocated a faculty advisor that helps plan a course of study. It will take either four or five years to complete this program in its entirety. Please inquire about the deadlines dates by contacting the school.
  • The University of California in San Francisco has a PhD program available through their School of Nursing. The focus is on research in family healthcare, community health systems, physiological nursing and social and behavioral sciences. Approximately four years of academic study is required to complete the program. Ensure all applications are delivered prior to December 15th in order to be eligible for the screening process.
  • The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing offers an extensive PhD program at the University of California – Davis Health System. Students focus on societal health issues and develop systems that will improve them. This is a full-time program. The program is four years in length and must be completed in the given timeframe. Contact the school personally to inquire about their deadline dates.
  • The University of San Diego has a PhD program available through their Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science. Concentrations include executive leadership, clinical nursing research, and the transfer of knowledge for the discipline of nursing. Full-time students take a minimum of six program credits each semester. They will finish in three years, but part-time students will take four years to complete their degree. February 1st is the final deadline on a yearly basis. Submit completed applications well in advance of this date.

California PhD Nurse Checklist

To be eligible for acceptance into these programs, you must provide evidence of academic study with repeatedly high grades. Although it is essential to have completed your baccalaureate and graduate degrees before continuing at the doctoral level, there are bridge programs for those that have not yet achieved this. These programs are competitive because of the limit on space. Only the most suitable candidates are selected for each cohort and the application process is strict. It is necessary to have proof of certain prerequisites and this is what you will need in order to apply to a PhD program in California:

  • An accredited university or college must have been responsible for your completed Master’s degree.
  • Your overall GPA must be at least 3.50 on a scale of 4.0. Some schools may allow this to be 3.0.
  • An updated Curriculum Vita must be submitted listing your academic and professional experiences.
  • You must be licensed to practice freely as a registered nurse in California.
  • You will need to obtain official transcripts from all schools ever attended and they must prove your completion of the BSN and MSN degrees.
  • A graduate statistics course must have been completed in the last five years.
  • A course in healthcare assessment at the graduate level must have been undertaken.
  • At the graduate level, you must have completed a course in nursing theory.
  • Include a statement of your PhD objectives in a written essay. Discuss your career goals and desires for pursuing this level of education.
  • You will need to provide three letters of recommendation from individuals with relevant authority.
  • You may need to submit evidence of scholarly papers or creative written work.
  • Ensure availability for an interview with faculty members at the school.

By obtaining your nursing doctorate in philosophy, you will be fully qualified to utilize research for scientific gain. Your skills will enable millions of people to receive the best quality health care; whether it is in advanced practice, pharmacology, medical policies, diseases or anything else in between. You will be paid the highest salary possible in nursing for your expertise; and you can be sure that your efforts will help shape the industry to cope with the increasing number of patients.