The University of Massachusetts Amherst
PhD Program

PhD Program

Gain Advanced Knowledge and Research Expertise with the Nursing PhD

The University of Massachusetts Amherst PhD in Nursing Program offers a wealth of educational opportunities. The campus is a Carnegie-designated research extensive public university offering more than 70 graduate and 50 doctoral programs in eight schools and colleges. The PhD program builds on previous nursing education and consists of courses in nursing knowledge, theory, research methods, statistics, and cognates; as well as a mentored research experience, a comprehensive examination, and a dissertation.

Graduates of the PhD program will have a strong foundation in inquiry and three major areas of expertise:

  • Knowledge of the discipline of nursing
  • Knowledge of a specific clinical or practice population
  • Knowledge and strategies for research and scholarship

The goal of the PhD Program is to prepare nurse researchers, scholars, and educators who will:

  • Advance nursing knowledge and improve nursing practice
  • Synthesize knowledge from nursing and other disciplines to address complex health problems
  • Provide leadership in nursing research and nursing education

To achieve this expertise, students are educated through coursework, seminars, tutorials, a mentored research experience, grant writing, and independent research.

Students work with faculty whose research is focused on the following areas:

  • Self/symptom management, chronic illness, addiction care
  • Health disparities, social justice, vulnerable populations
  • Healthcare systems, quality, safety, and informatics

Plan of Study Overview

The PhD program requires a minimum of 57 credits for master’s-prepared students and 78 credits for baccalaureate students.  The course of study prepares students to synthesize knowledge from nursing and a range of other disciplines in order to address complex healthcare issues and fill leadership roles in nursing research and education.

Information Sessions

Check back frequently for information about upcoming information sessions.



If you have a specific question about the PhD programs, please complete an information request form or contact: 

Cynthia Mendoza, Program Support
026 Skinner Hall