Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree at The University of Southern Mississippi prepares scholars with a leadership focus to contribute to the science, practice, and profession of nursing through systematic research inquiry and theory development. Our program is designed to prepare scholars for research, academic careers, and leadership positions in universities or health related organizations. We embrace a student-centered learning approach with flexible learning strategies and the use of technology to facilitate meaningful scholarly interactions. Students work closely with faculty mentors who guide and oversee their educational program from admission through completion of degree requirements.

The PhD program offers two tracks: Post-Masters and BSN to PhD. The Post-Masters track requires 48 hours credits during a minimum of 24-30 months of full-time study. The BSN to PhD track requires 60 hours credit during a minimum of 36-42 months of full-time study. Both full-time and part-time study is available.



Application Deadline for both PhD programs is

March 1 for Fall Admission


Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application to The University of Southern Mississippi Graduate School and College of Nursing.
  • Graduated from a baccalaureate or master’s program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA for the most recent nursing degree.
  • Submission of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores.
  • An unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license to practice in the state in which the student will perform clinical activities.
  • Curriculum vitae or professional resume'.
  • Submission of three letters of reference from individuals (doctoral level nursing individuals preferred) familiar with the applicant's academic/professional background and experience in nursing practice, specifying in detail the applicant's capabilities for doctoral study. 
  • Cover letter of introduction and a personal statement of research or clinical research interests submitted with application. 
  • Interview (face - to - face or telephone). 
  • Proof of Current CPR certification, Criminal Background Check and/or affidavit, hepatitis immunization, TB skin test, and Tdap.
  • DNP program prerequisite: Completion of an approved advanced graduate statistics course achieving a grade of B or higher within the past 5 years.