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Ph.D. in Nursing FAQs

Why is UMass Amherst a good choice for me?

This program offers students the educational advantages of the Amherst campus with numerous graduate programs. UMass Amherst is the only public institution in Massachusetts with a designation from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a research university with "very high research activity," known as RU/VH.

What are the areas of research the College of Nursing?

Please see the PhD flyer for faculty areas of research. Students will work with an advisor in a closely linked research area. There is a strong emphasis on research in: health care systems, chronic illness and health disparities.

Who can apply?

Nurses with a baccalaureate degree in nursing and those with a masters degree may apply. The course of study for each group varies; the post-baccalaureate is an 78 credit degree and the post masters a minimum of 57 credits. For more information about courses, see our PhD Program flyer.

How do I apply?

Applicants apply directly to the UMass Amherst Graduate School. All original materials accompanying your Graduate School application should be sent to the Graduate School. You can download a paper application form, or apply online. After review, the Graduate School will forward all materials to the College of Nursing.

Applicants submit official transcripts from colleges/universities attended, two letters of recommendation, two examples of scholarly writing, and a clinical research interest congruent with that of a potential faculty research adviser. Master's degrees must have been earned from a program accredited by the National League for Nursing (NLN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Do I need to apply to the Nursing Program seperately?

No – only to the UMass Amherst Graduate School.

Do I need to take the GRE?

No. The GRE is not required.

What does the program involve?

The program consists of 57 credits, including 15 credits in nursing research and statistics courses, 12 credits in core doctoral courses, 12 credits in electives, and 18 credits for the dissertation. For BS-PhD students there are an additional 15 credits in electives and congnates, 3 additonal credits in statistics and 3 additional credits in core doctor

How are courses delivered?

The College of Nursing uses a combination of face to face and distance technology.  This allows for real time audio and video conferencing. Courses also utilize our web-based learning management platform.  Courses are held live every Tuesday on the Amherst campus.

When are courses offered?

Core courses within the College of Nursing are generally offered on Tuesday; however, other courses at the University vary. Some courses are available on-line. Online courses and all summer courses are offered through Continuing and Professional Education and may incur a separate fee structure.

Can I take courses before I am accepted into the program?

We strongly encourage you to talk with faculty at the University first, since doctoral courses support your area of research. For post-masters students we strongly encourage you to take an intermediate statistics course if this was not a part of your graduate program. Post-baccalaureate students will take this course in their program of study.

How long will it take me to complete the PhD program?

A full time student with a baccalaureate degree will take 4-5 years and consists of 78credits. A full time post masters student’s course of study will take approximately 3-4 years and consists of a minimum of 57 credits. Please see the PhD flyer for curriculum requirements.

What kind of credential will I receive when I finish the program?

You will receive a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts.

Are information sessions scheduled?

Information sessions are offered twice each semester.

What are the costs?

Costs are determined by the UMass Amherst Graduate School, and may change from year to year. Please refer to the fee schedule posted by the Bursar’s Office, or contact the Bursar’s Office directly at (413) 545-2368.

What kind of financial aid is available?

Information on financial aid resources may be accessed through the university financial aid office.