Jul 13, 2024  
University of Alberta Calendar 2023-2024 
University of Alberta Calendar 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Philosophy (Nursing)

Program Mission

Embedded in a research-intensive academic context, the Faculty of Nursing’s PhD Program is renowned for global leadership. The program develops nursing scholars who generate and mobilize knowledge, speak as influential voices for nursing, and lead with purpose and inclusivity to enhance healthcare outcomes and nursing within a global context.

Program Vision

Students in the PhD Program demonstrate excellence in the development, organization and evaluation of new knowledge. The Program is characterized by rigour in the quality of scholarship and relevance to nursing and the student’s career goals and research interests.

Program Requirements

Program learning outcomes for the doctoral nursing curriculum are guided by the National Nursing Education Framework of the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, and informed by the PhD Learning Outcomes as articulated by FGSR in the University of Alberta Calendar. Program outcomes are achieved through a constellation of experiences within the program, including formal coursework, teaching and research assistantships, conferences and workshops, research training opportunities, and mentorship and coaching by the graduate supervisor and supervisory committee members. These activities may occur within the Faculty of Nursing and other faculties, and within relevant professional and community networks.

It is anticipated that by completion of the program, all doctoral students will achieve these learner outcomes, recognising that there is a spectrum of attainment based on individual career goals.

Students will take the following required courses (18 credits), typically in the first two years.

In consultation with the supervisor and based on individual program plans, students typically take a total of approximately 30 credits of doctoral level courses. Elective courses focus on the substantive scholarship in the field of the student’s anticipated dissertation, and research design and methods relevant to the emerging research project. The number and type of courses will vary according to students’ academic backgrounds, experiences and career goals.

Elective graduate courses offered by the Faculty of Nursing have the prefix of either NURS or INT D. All NURS courses require permission of the Faculty for registration by students from other faculties.

Ethics Requirement

Doctoral students must meet the FGSR Ethics and Academic Citizenship Requirement  through the completion of INT D 710  (if not previously completed as a master’s student) and INT D 720  by the end of the first term of registration in their degree program.


There are two examinations during the PhD program: The Doctoral Candidacy Exam which must be completed by the end of the third year; and the Doctoral Final Oral Exam. English is the language of study. All requirements for the degree must normally be completed within six years from the time a student first registers as a graduate student.

Financial Assistance and Scholarships

The Faculty of Nursing and Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research offer many opportunities for scholarships and assistance to qualified graduate students.

Residence Requirement

There is no requirement for a minimum period of residence on campus. Individualized plans for period(s) of on-campus study are based on supervisory expectations and student needs and goals. These plans may be influenced by opportunities for scholarly socialization, networking, and mentorship; as well as research training, funding opportunities, graduate teaching and research assistantships, and student career plans. An agreement for on-campus study must be explicitly negotiated and documented by the graduate supervisor and the student as part of the application and admission process.