PhD FAQs

Is it possible to continue working while I am enrolled in the PhD program?

The part-time plan of study for a post-master’s PhD allows for more flexibility when balancing employment, school, and other responsibilities. The full-time plan of study is rigorous and requires significant time commitments in and out of the classroom. Part-time employment may lend itself better to your success as a PhD student.

The plan of study for post-baccalaureate PhD students is full-time, requiring at least 12 credit hours in the autumn and spring semesters and six in the summer semester. This rigorous course of study is designed to allow students to fully immerse in their development as a researcher. We recommend that as a student you find the best way to balance your responsibilities, which may include limiting the amount of time at work to in order to have sufficient time to dedicate to your studies.

Many faculty offer students part-time employment as research assistants. These opportunities vary yearly.

If I only have my BSN, do I have to earn a master’s degree before earning my PhD?

No, you are not required to be awarded a master’s degree at Ohio State in order to obtain your PhD. Post-baccalaureate students are required to earn a minimum of 80 credits to graduate from the PhD program. You can elect to complete a master’s degree while progressing towards the PhD program in nursing or in another discipline; earning a master’s degree will require more than 80 credits however, and will extend your program of study. However, some students do choose to earn a master’s degree while in the PhD program as they are interested in securing advanced certification in a specialty area or would like to obtain a master’s degree for their development and advancement. Some students have a goal as serving as an educator in their future careers, and there are some states (not Ohio) that require nurse educators to have a master’s degree in order to teach in accredited programs. It is the responsibility of the student to explore these options and requirements in order to determine the best pathway.

How does the PhD in nursing differ from the DNP?

The PhD in nursing is a research focused, terminal degree. It is designed to prepare individuals to generate research, advance new knowledge, and prepare future faculty members. Conversely, a DNP prepared nurse will translate the research generated by their PhD colleagues into practice.

How many days per week are classes held?

Nursing specific courses are usually offered on either Monday or Wednesdays. Students will be required to attend these classes weekly, depending on their plan of study. Courses taken outside of the College of Nursing are scheduled by their respective departments and schedules can vary.

Why is it important to identify a potential faculty match in my application materials?

The College of Nursing wants to ensure that we are able to provide you with the best, most supportive educational opportunity. Faculty members who share your academic interests can help facilitate connection to resources, provide meaningful feedback on assignments, and promote optimal development as a nursing scientist, which creates a positive experience for you as the student.