PhD Degree in Nursing

Earn your PhD from one of the best nursing programs in the country – CU Nursing

Did you know that fewer than 1% of nurses hold doctoral degrees? You can change that and be a leader in your field. Become a nurse scientist, faculty member, senior clinical member, or policy leader and help improve patient safety and outcomes. The birthplace of the nurse practitioner program, CU Nursing boasts a reputation as a leader and pioneer in nursing education. You’ll learn with state-of-the-art technology and advanced learning methods developed at the world-class Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado.

Now is the time to advance your career in nursing. Start today!


Why CU Nursing?

Work with nationally funded researchers, editors of major nursing journals, and faculty recognized for excellence in teaching and mentorship (16 AAN fellows)

Our hybrid format is composed of online, self-paced courses combined with periodic intensives on campus

Opportunity for in-state tuition through Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) program

Receives thousands of dollars in grant monies from Jonas Philanthropies, a leading national philanthropic funder of graduate nursing education, to assist our students

Two pathways to choose from

Areas of focus

  • Biobehavioral Science
    Research the prevention, progression, or management of a disease, symptom, or other health state across the lifespan. Study with faculty experts in your specific clinical area of interest (children and families, women’s health, maternal/newborn, or adult and senior health).
  • Health Care Systems
    Examine interrelationships between organizations, populations, communities, and outcomes across care delivery and information systems with a goal of improving population health, safety, and quality systems. Study with faculty experts in health services research, population-based quality of life, informatics, and healthcare outcomes.
  • Caring Science*
    Research the intellectual, reflective, philosophical, and theoretical underpinnings of Caring Science, building on the work of CU Nursing’s former Dean and world-renowned theorist Jean Watson, PhD, RM, FAAN. Study the relationships between nursing science caring theory, knowledge of humanities, and healthcare outcomes.

*Caring Science is not admitting for the Fall 2024 semester.

Want to Learn More?

Attend an upcoming information session. Faculty and staff will provide a program overview as well as present on admission, tuition and scholarship opportunities and include time for Q&A.

Apply by March 1 to start this August

Admit TermsProgram FormatApplication Open/CloseClasses Start
Fall (Priority Decision)Hybrid (online with limited on-campus attendance)*Aug. 15/Dec. 31August
Fall (Regular Decision)Hybrid (online with limited on-campus attendance)*NA/March 1August

*On-campus time is communicated well in advance and respects the demands of working nurses.

Because it’s one of 4 PhD programs in the US with a Health Care Systems research-focus, CU Nursing topped my list. And its strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion made the decision for me.

– Anthony Velasco, PhD candidate, director (director-at-large) for the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care

Anthony Velasco