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PhD in Nursing

Prepare for roles in research, academia, and leadership


One Day A Week

On-site courses during the first 2 years of core coursework


Steward the discipline of nursing

With mentorships from PhD prepared faculty


Faculty Loan Program

Loan cancellation of up to 85% with commitment to serving as full-time faculty for a minimum of 4 years

The focus of the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing PhD Program is on the development and transformation of scholars who will lead the discipline of nursing.

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 is constructed to meet the quality indicators the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recommends for research-focused doctoral programs. Graduates will have a strong foundation in nursing inquiry and be prepared to assume investigator, academic, and leadership roles.

We embrace diversity and support inclusive pedagogy and practices within the PhD in Nursing Program in alignment with the diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic goals at UMass Chan. An important part of preparing tomorrow’s nurse scientists is to help them learn and grow as active members of a multicultural society. We do this in part by strengthening the cultural competence and empathy of our faculty, staff, and students; by committing to an inclusive and welcoming campus where all may thrive; and by fostering an environment where everything we do is strengthened by the richness of understanding that comes from a truly diverse and inclusive environment. Office of DIO

The NursingCAS application process will open August 2024 for Fall start 2025 Admissions 

Fall 2025: PhD

  • Priority Admission Deadline for Scholarship Consideration: 2/2/25
  • Application Deadline: 4/6/25

Priority Admission Deadline for Scholarship Consideration: Applicants who submit a completed application by this deadline will be considered for our limited Chancellor and Nightingale Scholarships.
Application Deadline: Applications completed after the Priority deadline will be considered based on seat availability, up until this final admission deadline. * For consideration after the Application Deadline, please contact our Admissions Counselor

Applicants must submit a completed application to NursingCAS by the deadline date to be considered for admission. Application status emails will be sent to the email provided on the application via NursingCAS. 




Funding Your PhD Education


Why choose Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing?

We develop and transform scholars who will lead the discipline. Our goal is to help you expand your horizons through understanding new phenomena, raising questions for scientific inquiry, applying research methods, and fulfilling a professional responsibility to nursing and society. Consider joining us if you are you looking for:

  • A Graduate School only campus
  • Teaching assistant opportunities
  • Pre-Doctoral Traineeship opportunities
  • A rich academic health sciences environment
  • Excellent mentoring from PhD prepared faculty
  • A research-intensive degree that prepares nurse scientists
  • One day/week on-site offerings for core coursework completed within 2 years
  • Access to experts and resources through the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science

Program Outcomes

At the completion of the PhD in Nursing Program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the core program values in all scholarly endeavors
  • Apply philosophical and theoretical principles to scholarly inquiry
  • Design, conduct and disseminate independent and collaborative research
  • Critique and synthesize knowledge to advance nursing science and human health
  • Assume leadership roles in research, education, policy, administration and/or professional practice.            


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.

PhD Program Requirements


  • An Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred
  • Master's GPA 3.0 or higher is perferred


  • Statistics (has no time limit B- or higher)

Letter of Recommendations 

Submit 2 letters of recommendation from an academic or professional source

  • A professional reference should be from a supervisor or professional colleague who can speak to your experience, competence, readiness, leadership, work ethic and dedication to your work.
  • An academic reference should be from a former faculty member or advisor.

Personal Statement (500 word total)

  • Why are you pursuing a PhD to become a faculty member or nurse scientist?
  • What do you see as nursing's professional responsibility to society?
  • How might you address this responsibility with your PhD preparation?
  • Why is this a good time for you to begin a PhD program?


BOOK, a meeting with the  Admissions Counselor 



LEARN MORE, join us for an information session

Learn more about the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing