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.

Can I pursue this degree program at the same time as another graduate or professional degree program at Ohio State?

Students who enroll in two graduate degree-granting programs concurrently are called Dual Degree students. Please review this information on the Graduate School website to learn more about the Dual Degree designation.

Dual Degree students must satisfy the credit hour requirements for each degree program. There may be little overlap between the two sets of coursework, which can result in students being required to fully complete the degree requirements for both programs in order to graduate. This can extend time to graduation. Due to the rigorous nature of some of our graduate clinical programs, prospective students interested in a Dual Degree option with the College of Nursing are advised to closely examine the curriculum requirements of our programs before applying. For degree programs with clinical components, it is important to recognize that adjustments to the standard curriculum plan may not be possible.

To learn more about the process for applying as a Dual Degree student, please visit the Graduate School’s website. After you have reviewed this information, please contact the director of the program in which you are interested for further discussion. The director’s name and contact information can be found by visiting the homepage of the program on the college’s website. This discussion should occur before you begin applying in order to gain a better understanding of program requirements. Applicants interested in applying to a College of Nursing graduate program as a Dual Degree student must follow the application process listed on the program admission webpage and adhere to all deadlines. Please email if you have any questions about how to apply.

How many times per week would I need to travel to campus?

The number of times per week you will need to travel to campus will depend on whether you are attending full-time or part-time. Students enrolled in full-time plans of study will have classes offered through the College of Nursing on campus approximately two days per week. Students enrolled in part-time plans of study will have classes offered through the College of Nursing on campus approximately one day per week. In some semesters, the PhD curriculum requires enrollment in courses outside the College of Nursing to meet the statistics and cognate requirements. Depending on the courses selected by students to meet these requirements, the number of days required on campus may increase, as the College of Nursing does not have oversight of the schedule for courses offered outside of the college.

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Portia Zaire, student
Portia Zaire, student

“The PhD program has completely changed the way I think about my role in healthcare. I am gaining the tools, skills, and resources needed to generate new knowledge to improve outcomes for underserved communities.”