Following the award of a HRSA Advanced Nursing Education Grant, the School of Nursing has implemented a new distance learning component to the already existing PhD program. As one of only 2 public PhD programs in New York State, the University at Buffalo School of Nursing is working to address the shortage of nursing faculty and research in the state and surrounding areas, by offering this distance learning option.
The program is geared toward the student who, due to geographic location of home or workplace, is unable to access an affordable, convenient PhD program. The distance learning program follows the same mission and objective as the current PhD program, and truly acts as a bridge to connect local and non-local students to the same in-class academic experience.
Students in the distance learning program will also follow the current PhD program's focus on research. Students will join the appropriate scholarly team(s) of faculty with similar research interest. The specific research foci can be found on the main PhD program page.
Unique Program Features
The distance learning program incorporates many new technologies and features in order to adequately provide for the non-local student, and connect them to the true classroom environment. The largest of these innovations is the new videoconferencing technology, which has been incorporated into the classroom so that non-local students have the opportunity to attend class in real-time, and interact with the professor and local students.
Faculty and staff have been provided with similar videoconferencing capabilities in order to more personally interact with the non-local students, rather than just by phone or email. Additionally, a virtual student lounge has been set up to allow the same level of interaction and collaboration with both local and non-local classmates. It is our goal to set up a true comprehensive academic environment for all students in the program.
The PhD Distance Learning program naturally relies heavily on the use of technology. High speed internet access (1MB download and 1MB upload speed) and video-conferencing capability are a must. We highly suggest that a computer be designated for personal and educational use (NOT for family use) in order to maintain a secure, reliable way to keep educational and research materials together.
Each distance student will need to pass a “technology test” prior to beginning the PhD program, to ensure that their equipment and internet access meets the program standards. Failure to meet these requirements will result in the student being asked to be an on-campus student, or else be denied admission to the PhD program.
Students who choose to participate in any DL course are subject to the policies outlined in the Graduate School Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures as well as the University's Computer and Network Use Policy.
Here is a list of the computer requirements to participate:
Computer Specs - required
- Windows 7 Computer (no Macs yet)
- Intel i3, i5, i7 Series Processor
- 4GB RAM
- 256MB dedicated video RAM
- 500GB Hard Drive
- DVD+/-RW drive
- Headset with microphone recommended (Earbud headphones at minimum)
Broadband Specs - required
- 1MB Download speed
- 1MB Upload speed
You can test your speed at www.speedtest.net
Software Specs - required
Other Strong Recommendations
- Printer & Scanner
- 16GB Flash Drive (Portable backup)
- UBFS cloud storage space – 250MB (http://ubit.buffalo.edu/ubfs/index.php)
– free for UB students and you can request more space
You need to backup all papers, presentations, and research regularly!!!
- External Hard Drive 1TB (for data collection backup)
Options for easier use
- External Computer monitor (dual monitor setup)
- Mouse for use with Laptops
Questions regarding the technology requirements, or computer purchase recommendations?
Distance Learning Analyst
Socialization Requirement: Distance learning students will be required to come to campus annually for a week of orientation and socialization activities, as well as attending a yearly professional conference with their advisor. These activities serve to strengthen cohort bonding, encourage socialization, facilitate advising, and problem solving technical difficulties. Additionally students are required to attend brown-bag and scholarly team meetings each semester via videoconference.
If you have questions about the PhD or PhD Distance Learning program, please contact:
Mary J. Busch, Ed.M
Project Assistant, PhD Program