The PhD in nursing research coursework assists the student in describing the state of the science surrounding a problem, identifying testable research questions and hypotheses; and selecting quantitative or qualitative methods, measurement and analyses to formulate and carry out research proposals. Courses in philosophy of science, nursing epistemology, research ethics and responsible scientific responsibility are required. Substantive cognate coursesrovide concentration in the student's focus area. Two courses emphasize study of vulnerable and diverse populations. One of the final courses is the prospectus seminar, where ideas for the dissertation are developed.
The Graduate College sets specific time limits for achieving milestones toward graduation in doctoral programs. A doctoral student who enters with a bachelor's degree is expected to pass the general examination within five calendar years of the student's first graduate enrollment in the department and a student who enters with a master's degree is expected to pass the departmental general examination within four calendar years of the student's first graduate enrollment in the department. A doctoral candidate is normally expected to complete all the degree requirements within five years after admission to candidacy.