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PhD Program in Nursing

Stewarding the Discipline of Nursing

NursingCAS application opens August 15, 2021 for the Fall 2022 Admissions Cycle.

GEP to PhD:
   Priority Deadline: 12/01/21
   Completed Application Deadline: 12/15/21

MS to PhD:
   Priority Deadline: 2/1/22
   Completed Application Deadline: 3/15/22

DNP to PhD:
   Priority Deadline: 2/1/22
   Completed Application Deadline: 3/15/22

BS to PhD:
  Completed Application Deadline: 10/1/21 **For Spring 2022 Admission** 

Join us for a Virtual Info Session Oct. 27th or Dec. 1st at 6:00 pm: Register Here

The focus of the UMass Chan Medical School Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing PhD program is on the development and transformation of scholars who will lead the discipline of nursing. Our goal is to help students to expand their horizons through seeking new phenomena, raising further questions for scientific inquiry, applying qualitative and quantitative research methods and fulfilling their professional responsibility to nursing and society.

Our program is influenced by the cognitive philosophy of Bernard Lonergan, a Canadian philosopher. We engage the emerging scholar in a transformative process of wonder and discovery, self-reflection, critical thinking and genuine dialogue with other students and faculty. We emphasize the need for scholarship that addresses the broader conditions that influence human health.

The PhD program meets the standards established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for research-focused doctoral programs. Graduates will have a strong foundation in nursing inquiry and be prepared to assume investigator, academic, and leadership roles.

First year PhD students created THIS VIDEO as a class assignment in which they are challenged to apply nursing theory to science supporting the link between nature and health. Its message of healing through nature is also particularly fitting during this stress-filled time in which many people are turning to nature for restoration. The photographs were taken by the students.

Program Benefits

  • Rich Academic Health Sciences Environment
  • Excellent Faculty Mentorship 
  • Supportive, Successful, Small Class Environment
  • All-day Tuesday On-Site Degree Program
  • Pre-Doctoral Traineeship and Teaching Associate opportunities 
  • Access to experts and resources through the UMass Center for Clinical and Translation Science 

Four Pathways to PhD in Nursing

Graduate Entry Pathway to PhD

  • Admits students with a bachelor's degree in another field to first become a registered nurse then complete the PhD in Nursing Program.

BS to PhD

  • Admits students who are registered nurses with a bachelor's degree to complete the PhD in Nursing Program.

Masters to PhD

  • Admits students who are registered nurses with a master's degree and non-nurses with a master's degree in a health-related field to complete the PhD in Nursing Program.

DNP to PhD

  • Admits students with a DNP degree to complete the PhD in Nursing Program.


For students enrolled prior to Fall 2022
DNP to PhD
MS to PhD
BS to PhD

For students enrolled as of Fall 2022
DNP to PhD
MS to PhD
GEP to PhD
Accelerated BS to PhD

Learn more about the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing PhD Program:

Potential Student Financial Support

Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP)  
     The NFLP provides loans to students enrolled in advanced education nursing degree programs who are committed to becoming nurse faculty. In exchange for completing up to four years of post-graduation full-time nurse faculty employment in an accredited school of nursing, the program authorizes cancelation of up to 85% of any such student loan (plus interest thereon).
     For further information or any specific questions contact the NFLP Project Director, Nancy Morris (508) 856-3661 or

UMMS GSN PhD Predoctoral Traineeship Program
     This program provides up to three years of support  (tuition, fees, and a stipend) for research training leading to the PhD in Nursing. Our intent is to increase the number of nurse scientists who are traditionally underrepresented in nursing including men, individuals from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds, individuals with disabilities, as well as individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
     Applicants must submit a detailed training plan that goes beyond traditional course work e.g., grant submissions, participation in extra coursework, seminars, presentations at scientific meetings, publications and leadership opportunities to be pursued alongside their PhD educational program plan.
     Applications must be submitted with your admission application. Clinic for the application form and instructions.  
     For additional information contact Dr. Susan Sullivan-Bolyai ( )

Learn more about the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing