Wayne State University


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) frequently asked questions

  • Why should I consider a Ph.D. in nursing?

    Consider a Ph.D. if you want a career as a nurse researcher in a clinical, academic, or scientific environment. Ph.D. prepared nurses conduct research at the bedside, in the community, and in the laboratory. The opportunity to identify gaps in knowledge and conduct research to fill the gaps is one of the roles of a Ph.D. prepared nurse scholar and scientist.

  • What types of career opportunities exist?

    Ph.D. prepared leaders are needed in nursing education, administration, and clinical research. Our alumni hold prominent professorships and deanships; receive millions of dollars in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, professional organizations, and/or foundations; serve as journal editors; publish books and articles in prominent refereed journals, and hold positions as Directors of Research in clinical facilities.

  • What is the curriculum of the doctoral program?

    The Ph.D. curriculum is comprised of three core areas: (1) theory development, which enables the student to critique, use, test, and develop theory from a nursing perspective; (2) domain of knowledge, which enables students to focus on substantive areas of knowledge unique to nursing in the areas of human health and human-environment relationships. The Ph.D. program at Wayne State University focuses on symptom science and health promotion/risk reduction in an urban environment, (3) research and statistics, which includes course work in statistical analyses, research design, data collection and measurement, and advanced research methods.

  •  What is expected of the Goal Statement (a component of the completed application)?

    The Goal Statement should clearly identify the particular area of research interest, potentially a research question, and include related clinical, teaching, and/or research experience. It is important that the research interest of the applicant match or be related to the expertise of faculty in the College of Nursing. You will want to identify at least one faculty member who shares a similar research focus. Future career goals, such as academia, clinical practice, etc, after doctoral education should also be addressed.

  •  What does it mean that I need to have a "match" with a faculty research mentor?

    A mentor, also known as a faculty advisor, advises, counsels, and provides support to the mentee. A mentor also provides individual guidance to assist a student in reaching his or her educational goals. Mentor-mentee relationships are effective and productive when the mentor and mentee have similar research interests.

  •  What is the cost of the program?

    You may visit the Registrar's website for the most up-to-date fee information.
    Residents of certain counties in Ohio and the province of Ontario may have the non-resident portion of tuition waived. Information on this option is available at the following:



    Remember that the fees charged by the Registrar do not include books, housing, meals, transportation, supplies, or other living expenses. Information about residential living at WSU can be obtained at http://www.housing.wayne.edu

  • What is the availability of financial aid and/or scholarships?

    In almost every case, financial assistance of some kind is available. Ideally students concentrate full-time on their program of study and take advantage of a number of federally subsidized loans such as the nurse faculty loan program, CON scholarshipsGraduate School fellowships and scholarships, and research and teaching assistantships. A number of national health-related organizations also provide financial support.  Information for submitting a Free Application for Student Assistance form (FAFSA) and a College of Nursing financial aid application will be provided via email after acceptance into the program.

  • What other advice do you have for potential applicants?

    Schedule a meeting with one or more faculty members whose research is in your general area of interest. If a meeting cannot be arranged in person, a telephone or email exchange with the faculty member may be possible. The Research section of the website will help you identify the scope of research conducted by our faculty members. Additional information on faculty research interests can be found through the Faculty Directory and the Faculty Research Interest Guide through the Office of Health Research