Finding a PhD Nursing Program in South Carolina

There is a big shortage of qualified nurses with the leadership skills needed to improve healthcare. Not only do populations lack these services, but many receive inadequate care. Nurses with PhD qualifications dedicate their careers to researching all aspects of nursing science. Their job is to find evidence that can be used to improve healthcare outcomes; whether for academic curricula, advanced practices, pharmaceuticals, systems technologies, disease control, disease diagnosis, disease prevention, treatment, health policy and more. There are so many disciplines requiring continual study and PhD graduates are able to specialize in their preferred field. The research has already been done for you and these are the schools offering PhD programs in South Carolina.

Schools with PhD Nursing Programs in South Carolina

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...


  • Clemson University and their School of Nursing offer a PhD program with a focus on Healthcare Genetics. Students gain knowledge in researching the genomes of real health issues and potential diseases, as well as develop theories and implement their findings into the health care profession. A traditional classroom environment is used for delivery of courses. The program consists of seventy semester credit hours that must be completed to obtain the degree. This takes students approximately four years to achieve on average. Please inquire through the school about their application deadline dates.
  • The College of Nursing at the Medical University of South Carolina has a PhD program available. Preparation of Nurse Scientists for careers involving intellectual pursuit through research and scholarship is the goal of this program; particularly relating to policy, education, administration and extensive research. Available online, there are yearly residency requirements that involve on-campus classes. It will take three to four years of full-time study or four to five years of part-time study to complete this degree. Students are admitted annually into the Fall semester. Applications close on March 1st each year.
  • A CCNE accredited PhD program is available at the University of South Carolina and is offered by their College of Nursing. Professional nurses are prepared for extensive careers involving the research of academics, clinical practice and health care systems. Students develop individual study plans and attend seminars onsite. The curriculum format is hybrid and includes video conferencing and web technologies. Full-time students typically take three to four years to obtain their degree. It will take longer for those studying at a slower pace. February 1st is the final deadline for applicants enrolling into the annual Fall start term.

South Carolina PhD Nurse Checklist

When applying to these programs, it is advisable that you complete all the required documentation and submit applications in advance of the deadline dates. Each school has their own application procedure and admissions policy that you should be familiar with. Acceptance is a competitive decision based on a lengthy record of academic success. Only the most suitable students are admitted into these programs as there is a massive shortage of available space. A completed MSN degree is compulsory but may be obtained through the offered bridge programs – and it is imperative that high scores are maintained throughout these programs. Here are the prerequisites needed when applying to a PhD program in South Carolina:

  • A well written essay will need to clearly describe your reasons for requiring a doctoral qualification. Detail your career goals and how the program is essential to these objectives.
  • Ensure that your academic history, voluntary endeavors and professional experiences are updated prior to submitting your resume.
  • All clinical hours accumulated throughout your graduate coursework and advanced nursing career must be proven with evidence.
  • Completion of baccalaureate and graduate degrees is compulsory and must be proven to have come from nationally accredited programs.
  • Scholarly papers will be required or examples of your creative written work.
  • On a scale of 4.0, 3.0 or 3.5 is the minimum overall Grade Point Average allowed. This will depend on the school to which you are applying.
  • Official transcripts must be requested from every college or university ever attended.
  • Doctors, professional colleagues, academic tutors, employers, supervisors; these are acceptable sources for the three letters of reference that you will need.
  • Core courses in research, statistics and nursing theory must have been completed as a graduate student. The minimum grade acceptable is C and this must have been achieved within the last five years.
  • Accept the invitation to attend a personal interview with the school. Make sure that your schedule will not restrict the time you have available.
  • Protection in the form of vaccinations against certain diseases is not negotiable and must be proven with your medical record. You will also be the subject of a thorough background check.
  • A registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner license is compulsory and must enable unrestricted practice in South Carolina.

Nurses graduating from PhD programs are guaranteed employment. In fact, most receive multitudes of offers for a variety of leadership positions. These are the highest earners in the nursing industry because of their in-depth knowledge of scientific practices. Responsible for finding new improvements to aid the delivery and quality of healthcare services, they fulfill critically important roles in society. In order to take advantage of the opportunities available to doctoral graduates, we recommend obtaining this terminal research-focused degree.