Finding a PhD Nursing Program in Pennsylvania

The terminal degree in nursing science offers the most coveted qualifications in the nursing industry – and graduates of these programs are privy to fantastic opportunities. Their dedication to scientific research is the backbone of healthcare development and responsible for the growth that is essential for improvement. Such efforts ensure that all populations will receive quality health care in the future and millions of people have access to advanced care because of their innovative research. Regardless of the discipline they have specialized in, their expertise involves the use of cutting-edge resources. Choices of specialty abound and many dedicate their careers to health policy, advanced nursing practices, systems analysis, education, curriculum development, population health, global health, pharmaceuticals and more. Many conduct research into diseases and how to better diagnose, manage, control and treat them. These are the most respected members of the nursing industry and the research has been done for you. A comprehensive list can be found below of all the schools offering PhD programs in Pennsylvania.

Schools with PhD Nursing Programs in Pennsylvania

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...


  • An online PhD program is available through the School of Nursing at Duquesne University. Onsite residencies are required for one week each spring. Students are prepared for careers in scholarly inquiry, research and creative scholarship; they become leaders of the healthcare profession. Options for part-time and full-time study are on offer. Depending on the number of courses taken each semester, the program may be completed in three to five years. All applications must be received by the school no later than January 15th every year.
  • The Department of Nursing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania has a PhD program on offer. Students graduate as expert Nurse Educators with skills in faculty role development, educational research, pedagogy and all aspects of academic advancement. Courses are delivered in a hybrid format involving online-learning and flexible class schedules. Classes are held sequentially and the curriculum is fixed at a set pace. Students complete the program in between three and four years. Please submit all enquiries related to the final deadline dates directly to the school.
  • Pennsylvania State University in Erie-Behrend offers a PhD program through their College of Nursing. Leaders are developed for roles as clinical scholars, educators and researchers with advanced skills in innovative practice and scientific inquiry. Personalized study plans are available with part-time and full-time options. While online technology is used, the program requires high onsite attendance. Most students complete the program in three to five years. Please contact the school to obtain details about enrollment information.
  • Scientific researchers, faculty and clinical scholars are developed into experts through the PhD program offered by Pennsylvania State University in Fayette-Eberly. Graduates are skilled leaders adept at scientific inquiry and masters of innovation. High residency requirements involve many onsite visits, but online technology is also used for course delivery. Individualized study plans are available in a flexible class schedule. The majority of students complete the degree requirements in three to five years. Do not hesitate to contact the school to get their deadlines for enrollment.
  • A PhD program is available through the College of Nursing at Pennsylvania State University in Hershey. The purpose of the program is the development of leaders of innovative practice and scientific inquiry in clinical scholarship, education and research. This is primarily on onsite program that uses occasional online components for course assignments. There are flexible study options consisting of personalized plans. The program may be completed in three to five years, depending on your choice of study schedule. Application information may be obtained through the school directly.
  • The College of Nursing at Pennsylvania State University offers a PhD program at their Mont Alto campus. Students are prepared for leadership positions that involve researching the advancement of healthcare development and the improvement of advanced practice within family, community and individual health needs. Courses are mainly delivered in a classroom setting but students also utilize online technology. Students study according to an individual plan and usually finish the degree requirements in three to five years. The latest deadline dates for applications are available through the school.
  • A PhD program is available at the College of Nursing through Pennsylvania State University in Worthington Scranton. It focuses on the development of leaders knowledgeable about scientific inquiry and research into advanced nursing practices in a wide array of delivery systems. While online technology is used, many classes involve onsite attendance. Students generally complete the degree requirements in three to five years. While many incentives are offered to full-time students, part-time options are also available. Your choice of study plan will determine the length of the program. Kindly contact the school to ensure you have the latest deadline dates for applications.
  • A research-intensive PhD degree is offered by the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. Graduates are leaders and researchers responsible for developing the nursing science behind the best nursing practice. The program is not available online and students enjoy the intensive cohort experience. While full-time study is encouraged, many students participate part-time. The majority of students complete their final dissertations in four years. There is a seven year time limit for all the degree requirements to be met. The deadline date for applications each year is November 1st.
  • A PhD program is offered by the University of Pittsburgh and their School of Nursing. Students graduate with a solid understanding of research in consumer informatics, patient management, critical care, chronic illness, behavior management and technology. They dedicate their careers to discovering ways of improving all health care outcomes. There is a residency requirement of at least one term of full-time study. It will take between three and six years to complete this program, depending on whether studying full-time or part-time. The timeframe for completion is a maximum of eight years. Ensure that all application materials are finalized and submitted prior to May 1st.
  • The College of Nursing at Villanova University offers an online PhD program that requires onsite summer intensives. Graduates of this degree will be well equipped to fulfill leadership positions in nursing education, scholarly research and critical inquiry. They specifically desire an alleviation of the nationwide nursing shortage. This is a fifty one semester credit program that will be completed according to your study schedule and prior education. Most part-time students obtain their degree in four years, while full-time students usually achieve this in three years. December 1st is the annual deadline for application delivery.

Pennsylvania PhD Nurse Checklist

Admittance into these programs requires several prerequisites that are not negotiable. The scholarly nature of this degree involves a long record of outstanding academic achievement and ambitious dedication. While bridge programs are offered at the BSN level, the MSN must still be completed prior to enrolment into the doctorate. Deadline dates for applications are strict and candidates are reviewed accordingly. It is imperative that your application package is complete and reflects your seriousness about becoming a student in these programs. Space is limited and applicants are chosen through a rigorous process. We advise contacting the schools that interest you directly in order to ensure knowledge about their requirements. This is list of what is needed when applying to a PhD program in Pennsylvania:

  • Your latest resume must clearly describe all academic achievements, clinical experiences and voluntary nursing missions.
  • Specific core graduate courses in nursing theory, statistics and research must have been completed in the last five years with a grade of C or higher.
  • An essay must be written about your career ambitions. It is essential that you explain how your professional aspirations can only be achieved through successful completion of your doctorate.
  • Proof is required for all clinical hours worked as an advanced nurse and those accumulated during your Master’s coursework.
  • It is compulsory for you to be vaccinated against certain diseases. This must be proven, along with a record of your latest medical checkup. An investigation into your criminal history and background will occur.
  • A registered Advanced Specialty Nursing license is imperative and it must enable unrestricted practice throughout Pennsylvania.
  • A personal interview will be requested by the school. This must be accepted without delay and attended without any time limitations.
  • Evidence that you have completed your BSN and MSN degrees through accredited programs must be provided.
  • An overall Grade Point Average of 3.5 must have been accumulated on a scale of 4.0, but some schools only require this to be a minimum of 3.0.
  • Creative written work examples must be provided. Scholarly papers are accepted.
  • Professionals able to testify to your academic ability must be sourced for three reference letters. Some good examples are doctors, academic mentors, nursing colleagues, supervisors and employers.
  • Each school responsible for your education since graduating from high school will need to submit official transcripts for you.

Graduates of this degree are pivotal for ensuring that developments are found for health care improvement. Their expertise is sought after and solely responsible for their staggering salaries. The respect that they inspire is a great personal satisfaction and they are offered a variety of job opportunities. All of them are employed in the position of their choice within a few months of graduation and they are fulfilling leadership positions that give them the authority to make changes where necessary. There is such a great need for nurses with these skills that you are encouraged to pursue a doctoral education.