Nursing

Ph.D. in Nursing Program

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Program at UMass Lowell is a research-focused doctoral degree in nursing with a focus in health promotion.  The focus in health promotion allows students to acquire cutting edge knowledge in the field of health promotion, a top priority in the nation. The executive program model uses a cohort system, which allows students to progress through the program together, either part-time or full-time. Students generally attend core nursing courses once/month on a Saturday; the remaining course modules are conducted online.  Graduates will advance knowledge in the fields of nursing and health promotion at the individual, family and community level.

  The Ph.D. Program

Established in 1996, the program has produced graduates who are leaders in nursing and health promotion research. All nursing courses are offered using a weekend-blended model with two courses offered completely online. This is the only Nursing Ph.D. program in New England that uses this flexible approach to learning.

Graduates of the Ph.D. in Nursing program are prepared to:

  1. Extend the body of knowledge in nursing and health promotion through research and theory development.

  2. Create change in health outcomes among targeted populations through the development and implementation of health promotion research.

Admission Requirements

Students who wish to apply for admission to the Ph.D. program must submit a graduate admissions application form. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The preferred deadline is April 1 for Fall admission; new students are only accepted in the Fall. The graduate application form can be obtained from the UMass Lowell Graduate Admissions Office.

Requirements include:

  1. B.S. degree in nursing with a minimum G.P.A. of 3.3
  2. A master’s degree in Nursing or health-related field with a minimum GPA of 3.3 
  3. A current Massachusetts R.N. license or eligibility (International students may waive this requirement but must have an equivalent nursing degree and will be evaluated on an individual basis)
  4. An official transcript of all previous academic records (both graduate and undergraduate) 
  5. A personal statement about the applicant’s interest in the program that includes professional goals
  6. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can assess the applicant’s potential for doctoral work
  7. A recent Curriculum Vitae
  8. International students must submit evidence of an equivalent undergraduate program in nursing and master’s program in nursing or related field.
  9. International students must submit an acceptable TOEFL or IELTS score.

NOTE: GRE’s are not required; Completion of a graduate course in statistics is strongly recommended; Writing examples are also highly recommended to accompany the personal statement. 

The Ph.D. Admissions Committee is chaired by the Ph.D. Program Director and comprised of at least one other faculty member who teaches in the graduate program. The Admission Committee will interview applicants and make the final decision. There are three types of decisions: 

  1. Accept
  2. Accept with conditions, or 
  3. Deny
  • The application process is described as follows:
  • The applicant logs onto Graduate Admissions website to obtain all required application forms and documents.
  • The applicant completes the application form online and pays the fee.
  • The applicant submits documents online to Graduate Admissions Office as they are ready.
  • The Graduate Admissions Office notifies the Director of Ph.D. Program in Nursing once the application is complete.
  • The Ph.D. Admissions Committee reviews all applicants to determine candidates to interview.
  • The Ph.D. Admissions Committee conducts interview for those who passed the initial review.
  • The Ph.D. Admissions Committee makes a decision and submits it to Graduate Admissions
  • The applicant receives a letter from Graduate Admissions for either acceptance or denial

Degree Requirements

The doctoral program in nursing with a focus in health promotion requires a total of 48 semester credits beyond the master’s degree. Students may enroll full or part-time. Part-time students are expected to enroll with their cohort for a minimum of 2 courses/semester in the first two years. A sample program of studies for full and part time students includes: 

Sample Course of Study (Full Time)

Sample Full Time Plan of Study Credits
UMass Lowell Ph.D. Nursing Program

Fall Semester Year 1


33.701 Philosophy of Science (weekend blended format; 1 Saturday/month with 3 online modules)  3
33.702 Theoretical Foundations of Health Promotion 3
33.707 Epidemiology in Health Promotion (online) 3
TOTAL
9

Spring Semester Year 1

19.577 Biostats for Health Data (evening on campus) 3
33.730 Quantitative Research Methods and Grantsmanship ONLINE 3
33.716 Qualitative Methods 3
TOTAL
9

Summer Semester Year 1

Elective 3
TOTAL
3

Fall Semester Year 2

19.689 Advanced Regression Modeling (evening on campus) 3
33.731 Health Promotion Research 3
33.713 Curriculum and Teaching in Nursing ONLINE 3
TOTAL
9

Spring Semester Year 2

33.706 Measurement  OR 33.737 Advanced Qualitative Methods 3
33.739 Mentored Research Experience 3
Qualifying Examination

TOTAL
6

Fall Semester Year 3

33.753 Dissertation Credits (Proposal Hearing) 3

Spring Semester Year 3

33.753 Dissertation Credits 3

Fall and Spring Semester Year 4

33.753 Dissertation Credits (Dissertation Defense 3-6
Elective (if only 9 dissertation credits in total taken) 3
3
TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS
48

Sample Course of Study (Part Time)

Sample Part Time Plan of Study Credits
UMass Lowell Ph.D. Nursing Program

Fall Semester Year 1

33.701 Philosophy of Science (weekend blended format; 1 Saturday/month with 3 online modules)  3
33.702 Theoretical Foundations of Health Promotion 3
TOTAL
6

Spring Semester Year 1

19.577 Biostats for Health Data (evening on campus) 3
33.730 Quantitative Research Methods and Grantsmanship ONLINE 3
TOTAL
6

Summer Semester Year 1

Elective 3
TOTAL
3

Fall Semester Year 2

19.689 Advanced Regression Modeling (evening on campus) 3
33.707 Epidemiology in Health Promotion (online) 3
TOTAL
6

Spring Semester Year 2

33.716 Qualitative Methods 3
33.706 Measurement  OR 33.737 Advanced Qualitative Methods 3
TOTAL
6

Fall Semester Year 3

33.731 Health Promotion Research 3
33.713 Curriculum and Teaching in Nursing(online) 3
TOTAL 6

Spring Semester Year 3

33.739 Mentored Research Experience - Qualifying Examination 3
TOTAL

Fall and Spring Semester Year 4

33.753 Dissertation Credits (Proposal Hearing) 3

Spring Semester Year 4

33.753 Dissertation Credits 3

Fall and Spring Semesters Year 5

33.753 Dissertation Credits (Dissertation Defense) 3-6
Elective (if only 9 dissertation credits in total taken) 3
TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS
48


Nursing Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination is designed to determine the student’s ability to analyze and synthesize conceptual, theoretical and methodological knowledge as it pertains to health promotion within a substantive research area. The examination provides a method of assessment to ascertain if the student is ready to advance to the dissertation stage.  It consists of two written publishable papers, that are focused on: a concept or theory; a systematic review on a specific topic related to the student’s research area; or a paper related to research methods. Both papers will be original, critical evaluations that relate to the student’s identified research area. Students are eligible to complete the qualifying examination after completion of all of the core courses (33 credits). 

Dissertation

Dissertation planning may be initiated in the first year, but formal work begins following successful completion of the Nursing Qualifying Examination and all course work. At this time a Dissertation Committee is formed to direct the student’s research. The dissertation requirement is designed to demonstrate that the student has acquired a substantial body of knowledge related to the selected field of study, has developed the ability to use appropriate data analysis methods, and has contributed to the advancement of nursing knowledge related to health promotion. The student’s dissertation work must be original and represent a unique contribution to the literature.

Contact:

Barbara Mawn, RN, Ph.D. 

Ph.D. Program Director  

113 Wilder Street, Suite 200 Lowell MA 01854 

Office Location: Health and Social Science Building, Room 204 

Barbara_Mawn@uml.edu 978-934-4485