Finding a PhD Nursing Program in Illinois

If you want to truly make a positive contribution to millions of people, then consider the value of research into the science of nursing. A thrilling career can be made out of scholarly interests when you complete your Doctor of Philosophy degree. The results of your scientific research will be used to improve all aspects of health care and you are able to choose the discipline that interests you most. Research is continually needed on the health of populations, technology systems, pharmaceuticals, health policies, educational curriculums and many more. In order to ensure that people receive the best quality care, advanced practice nurses need to be knowledge about the latest diseases and how to diagnose and treat them. Your research results will make an astounding impact and you will be paid handsomely for your expertise. After an extensive search, we have listed all the schools offering PhD programs in Illinois below.

Schools with PhD Nursing Programs in Illinois

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...


  • Illinois State University has a PhD program available through their Mennonite College of Nursing. The emphasis is on leadership in research, education, development of health policies and the needs of vulnerable populations. Attendance on campus is required for all courses, but web-enhanced methods and video conferencing are also used. Students design a plan of study with their faculty advisor that they adhere to. Full-time study will ensure the program is completed in little over two years, while part-time students will require three years to obtain their degree. February 1st is the final deadline date for all candidates to submit their applications.
  • Rush University offers a PhD program through their Department of Nursing. Graduates are trained for clinical research in behavioral, biological and clinical sciences. There is a strong emphasis on acquiring the knowledge to sustain or launch externally funded research projects. All courses are studied in a completely online format and there are both full-time and part-time options available. Most full-time students complete the degree requirements in four years, while part-time scholars usually require five years. Accepted applicants begin annually in the Fall. Please contact the school to enquire about their latest posted deadlines.
  • The PhD program offered by the University of Illinois at Chicago is available through their College of Nursing. Graduates will be able to conduct research in a wide array of cutting-edge fields. All courses are attended on the campus and students design a study schedule with their faculty advisor. This sixty four semester credit program is designed for completion in approximately three years. Students are admitted once a year and all applications must be submitted before January 1st for consideration.

Illinois PhD Nurse Checklist

When you apply to any of these programs, ensure that your application is completed according to the specifications of the school and that it is delivered in a timely manner. With limited space available, prospective students are highly competitive. This is why we recommend becoming familiar with the application procedure and admissions policy of each school that interests you. Certain prerequisites are not negotiable. Your Master’s degree must have already been obtained before you will be considered for entry, but you are able to apply to a bridge program and consistently maintain high grades during graduate coursework. These are the necessary requirements when applying to a PhD program in Illinois:

  • You must have a license to practice unrestricted as a registered Advanced Practice Nurse in Illinois.
  • Nursing theory, statistics and research courses must have been completed during your graduate studies. If this was done over five years ago then these courses will need to be redone.
  • The overall Grade Point Average score must be a minimum of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0. Many schools actually require this to be at least 3.5.
  • Explain your career objectives clearly in a written essay. Detail your reasons for desiring the doctorate and describe how successful completion of the terminal degree will enable these goals to be met.
  • Only accredited programs may be responsible for your completed BSN and MSN degrees.
  • Your latest Curriculum Vita should include all academic achievements and professional experiences. Ensure that all voluntary work is clearly highlighted.
  • Scholarly papers or your creative written work will be required.
  • Attendance of a personal interview is compulsory. Ensure that you have enough time available for the school.
  • A background check is likely to be performed by the school and you will need to undergo a full medical checkup. Certain diseases will require vaccinations.
  • Provide evidence of the total number of clinical hours worked as a graduate student, as well as those experienced as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner.
  • You will need three letters of reference from relevant authorities. These include medical doctors, employers, professional peers and previous academic tutors.
  • Your post-secondary academic history must be proven with official transcripts from all universities or colleges previously attended.

Besides being among the top earners in the nursing community, you are also guaranteed many employment offers when you graduate from the PhD. Society has a strong need for the skills acquired through terminal education and your expertise will be in huge demand. The proven science of your dedicated research will be used to benefit people nationwide – and you will enjoy the many advantages of being among the most respected members of society.