Jun 04, 2020  
2017-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

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School of Nursing
3008 Human Health Building  (map)
(248) 370-4253 • Fax (248) 364-8740

Program director:
Laura Pittiglio
3039 Human Health Building
(248) 364-8756

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Graduate Catalog Addendum  

Program description

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in nursing program is designed to advance researchers and scholars to provide leadership in the profession and discipline of nursing. Students are prepared to become researchers and to assume roles as transformational leaders in both the academic setting and the health care delivery sector. This predominantly online program cultivates nurse scientists to develop, test, and implement innovation in health care quality and health outcomes with a global perspective. In addition, it will facilitate the mentoring of the next generation of nurse scientists through the process of methodical inquiry by adept researchers. A combination of conceptual approaches, challenging interactive seminar discussions, and work with active researchers provide a stimulating environment for scholarly development. Graduates of this program will serve as transformational leaders in the promotion and application of nursing and multidisciplinary research and knowledge.

Doctor of Nursing Practice program objectives

Building on the foundation of a bachelor’s program, a master’s program, or a Doctorate in Nursing Practice program, the PhD program will prepare graduates who:

  • Will demonstrate knowledge of the research process that contributes to the discipline of nursing, with specific focus on the program concentrations of health care quality and health outcomes in with a global perspective.
  • Will demonstrate expertise in the research process by contributing basic and applied knowledge to guide health care delivery.
  • Will obtain positions in academia and/or as nurse leaders in key health care areas in the state of Michigan, nationally, and globally.

Admission terms and application deadlines

BSN prepared applicants will be admitted for the winter semester. MSN and DNP prepared applicants will enter the program in the fall semester.  Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be uploaded in the Nursing CAS system by the semester deadlines listed below.

Current Deadlines

  • The application for BSN-prepared applicants is due December 1, 2018 for the Winter 2019 semester.
  • The application for MSN and DNP-prepared applicants is due February 15, 2019 for the Fall 2019 semester.

Beginning Summer 2019 Semester

  • The application for BSN-prepared applicants is due August 15, 2019 for the Winter 2020 semester.
  • The application for MSN and DNP-prepared applicants is due February 15, 2020 for the Fall 2020 semester.

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and any additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

Applicants do not submit an online Oakland University Graduate Application.  A completed application and required materials must be submitted through the Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS).  Information and instructions for applying through the NursingCAS can be found at the School of Nursing website. 

  • Hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) or international equivalent.
  • Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  • Have a final cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels.
  • Complete an application for admission to graduate study.
  • Submit official transcripts for all post-secondary educational institutions from which the applicant earned a degree (beginning with the first baccalaureate) and for all enrollment in graduate-level coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree. International university transcripts must be evaluated by a professional credential evaluation service.
  • Submit a written personal goal statement limited to 2-3 double-spaced pages. The personal goal statement should focus on why the applicant is pursuing a PhD in nursing and how this degree will advance career goals. Additionally, the statement should highlight the applicant’s specific topic/area of research and the identification of at least one faculty whose area of research might match the applicant’s topic/area of research interest. The personal goal statement will be evaluated on various criteria, including content and appropriate use of grammar.
  • Submit two professional letters of recommendation. 
  • Complete an interview with member(s) of the graduate faculty. 

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate study at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, professional statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department. 

Related links

Degree requirements

The Philosophy in Nursing degree requires Registered Nurses who graduated with a BSN, MSN, or DNP to complete a maximum of 80 credits. Up to 32 graduate credits might be counted towards the total number of 80 credits for those applicants entering the program with a MSN or a DNP per Graduate Policy. Therefore, for MSN entry the typical program is 60 credits and for DNP entry the typical program is 48 credits.

In the PhD program, graduate credit will not be awarded for courses in which a grade less than 3.0 is earned. All numerical grades earned are used in computing a student’s grade point average.

Course requirements

Curriculum Overview

For BSN entry the program is 80 credits. For MSN entry the program is 60 credits (*).
For DNP entry the program is 48 credits (+).

Philosophy of Science/Theory (8 credits)

Research (23 credits)

  • (3 credits)
  • NRS 7398   Graduate Research Practicum            ( 2 credits )
  • NRS 7399   Graduate Research Practicum            ( 3 credits )
  • NRS 9202   Advanced Health Care Statistics         ( 4 credits )*+
  • NRS 9312   Quantitative Research Methods          ( 3 credits ) *+
  • NRS 9311   Qualitative Research Methods            ( 3 credits )*+
  • NRS 9315   Measurement and Design/Big Data    ( 3 credits )*+
  • NRS 9696   Mentored Research Experience         ( 2 credits )*

Professionalism (10 credits)

Nursing Science Topical Seminars (6 credits)

  • NRS 9911   Health Care Quality  ( 3 credits )*+
  • NRS 9913   Health Outcomes with a Global Perspective  (3 credits )*+

Cognate Minor (minimum of 8 credits)

  • Two (or more) cognate courses    ( 8 credits )*+

Comprehensive/Qualifying Examination (1 credit )*+


  • NRS 9999    ( 12+, 16*, 24 credits )

Doctoral Week

Every student admitted to the PhD program will be required to come to campus for one week each year to attend “Doctoral Week”. For first year students, this week will include an orientation to the PhD program as well as provide the opportunity for students to meet their faculty mentor. Additionally, all the doctoral students will participate in hybrid classes for which they are enrolled that summer and for students who are further along in the program time will be allocated for presentation opportunities (including Dissertation Defense).

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0, as well as a 3.0 or above in all courses.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

School of Nursing requirements:  Students are required to follow university policies and procedures for graduate students, as described in the Oakland University Graduate Catalog. In addition to the university requirements, specific School of Nursing policies and procedures are outlined in the School of Nursing, Philosophy in Nursing Student Handbook.

Students are expected to earn a grade of 3.0 or above in each course in the PhD program. In courses graded Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory (S/U), students are expected to earn a course grade of satisfactory.

Students who are not making satisfactory progress in the program may be placed on probation with conditions imposed for retention in the program or may be recommended for dismissal from the program.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information


Students are responsible for requirements and policies stated in the School of Nursing, Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Student Handbook and each course syllabus. Every student admitted to the PhD program is assigned to an academic adviser who is available to assist with the interpretation and implementation of relevant policies and procedures.

Continuous enrollment

The continuous enrollment policy for doctoral students requires continuous registration of graduate students for at least 1 credit each semester in the academic year to maintain an active graduate student status. This includes semesters in which the comprehensive, preliminary or qualifying examination is taken, defense, and each subsequent term (fall and winter) until the degree requirements are met and the dissertation or project is submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Students are required to submit a leave of absence form if extenuating circumstances arise where the student has to take a semester off. Failure to submit this form may result in a loss of admission status.

Some agency and graduate assistantship eligibility may have course-load requirements that exceed the minimum registration requirements of the Continuous Enrollment Policy (e.g., Veterans Affairs, Immigration and Naturalization for international students, and federal financial aid programs). Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of credits that are required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific agency regulations under which they are governed.

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