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Post-MS to PhD Program

PhD nursing students benefit from faculty expert knowledge of quantitative, qualitative and large database research methods.

The Post-MS to PhD program at the University at Buffalo School of Nursing equips masters-prepared nurses to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in nursing. The program prepares students to become global and national leaders, scientists and scholars who make significant contributions in theory generation and knowledge development.

About the Post-MS to PhD Program

The post MS to PhD program requires 57 credits hours beyond the master’s degree in nursing. All doctoral classes are scheduled just two days per week in order to accommodate the working student. The program features a flexible learning environment with all required courses available online in a distance learning format.  

Students may proceed on a full- or part-time basis. The program must be completed within seven years.

Nursing research encompasses a wide scope of scientific inquiry that provides a body of knowledge to advance nursing practice, shape health policy, and impact the health of people, families and communities both locally and globally. The University at Buffalo School of Nursing has a number of scholarly teams with diverse interest interest areas. Graduate students are encouraged to join one of our many scholarly teams.

Program Requirements


Post-MS to PhD Curriculum

Foundation Courses Credits
  CITI Course 0
NGC 632 Interpreting Health Care Policy 3
NUS 691 Advanced Information Technology in Practice, Education & Research 1
NGC 692 Seminar in Grantsmanship 1
NUS 700 Advanced Theory Construction and Development 3
NGC 701 State of Nursing Science 3
NUS 739 Philosophy of Science 3

Core Credits: 14

Research Courses Credits
NUS 694 Quantitative Methods in Health Care Research                                   3
NUS 695 Advanced Statistical Techniques 3
*NUS 697

Advanced Qualitative Research Methods

NUS 705 Designing and Testing Interventions and Innovations 3
NUS 706 Psycho-Social Measurement & Questionnaire Construction 3
NUS 708 Research Practicum 2
*NUS 710 Interpretive Phenomenology 3

Research Credits: 17
*Students may choose to take NUS 697 OR NUS 710

Elective Courses for Dissertation and Professional Role                              Credits

Elective Credits: 12

Dissertation Courses

NUS 702 Dissertation Seminar ≥ 2
NUS 699 Dissertation Guidance 12

Dissertation Credits: 14

Minimum Required Post-Master's Credits : 57

Additional Curriculum for Optional Advanced Certificate

Optional Advanced Certificate in Nursing Education


NUS 691

Advanced Information Technology in Practice, Education, & Research


NUS 691L

Education Technology Laboratory


NSG 533

Teaching in Nursing



A minimum of nine (9) additional credits in an area chosen by the student, with approval of his/her faculty advisor, which fit the student's professional objectives.*


Minimum Required Advanced Certificate Credits: 15

* These courses may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Assessment and Measurement


CEP 502

Assessment of Learning and Instruction


CEP 503

Tests and Measurements


CEP 509

Educational and Psychological Measurement


NUS 706

Psycho-Social Measurement & Questionnaire


Educational Technology


CEP 506

Introduction to Educational Technology


CEP 508

Educational Uses of the Internet


CEP 555

Learning, Teaching, and Technology


CEP 565

Computers and Learning


LAI 678

Digital Media in Education


Learning, Cognition, and Development


CEP 546

Topical Seminar in Human Development


CEP 560

The Psychology of Learning and Instruction


CEP 564

Cognitive Psychology


CEP 566

Topical in Human Learning


Higher Education and Student Development


ELP 501

Higher Education in the U.S.


ELP 508

Community College


ELP 509

The American College Student


ELP 514

Student Development


ELP 533

College Impact on Students


Qualifying examination and dissertation proposal

Successful completion of a written qualifying examination developed by the student’s dissertation committee and an oral defense of the proposed research for the dissertation are required of every PhD student before beginning their dissertation research.

The qualifying examination is generally attempted following the completion of all (or the majority) of coursework. Defense of the dissertation proposal provides an opportunity for the faculty, in addition to the student’s committee, to contribute to the scholarly development of the student’s work and promotion of science. The dissertation must represent the outcome of independent, original research mentored by the Chair and committee and is defended orally at the direction of the student’s dissertation Chair. 

Additional Information

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Find out more about the School of Nursing:
Nursing Education Exchange (NEXUS)
Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing
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