PhD in Nursing Science Program


  Applications for Fall 2024 will open on August 1, 2023.
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Vanderbilt’s PhD in Nursing Science prepares nurse scientists who will engage in multidisciplinary and team-based research that aims to transform the discipline of nursing through scientific discovery. Our students’ academic experience is closely aligned with our faculty’s scholarship and area of research focus. Graduates of our program conduct and disseminate research that responds to regional, national and international priorities. Vanderbilt University School of Nursing offers a rich array of resources through Vanderbilt University and the nonprofit Vanderbilt University Medical Center. PhD in Nursing Science student tuition is fully funded, covering up to four years of required didactic and research coursework. Additionally, admitted students receive annual stipends, for the same period, while enrolled in the PhD in Nursing Science program. 

PhD Webinar

Our webinars include an outline of the PhD in Nursing Science Program, program format, application process, components of funding, etc. Webinars are conducted throughout the academic year, and particularly ahead of a new application cycle (which open annually on August 1). Contact the PhD Program Manager to request information on upcoming live webinars. You may also click here to view a previously recorded webinar (August 10, 2022).

 Why Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt provides an interdisciplinary, inclusive, collegial and supportive environment with close faculty interaction promoting team science. Our atmosphere is unique and stimulating, and includes rich mentoring experiences. Our faculty represent diverse backgrounds and are committed to preparing nurse scholars who can lead the nation in extending the body of nursing knowledge. Our research is organized into signature areas and include:

  • Acute and Chronic Illness
  • Data Science and Health Technologies
  • Palliative Care Science
  • Pregnancy Outcomes and Mother, Infant, Child and Family Health

PhD students benefit from close mentoring and collaboration with Vanderbilt faculty in the area of the faculty’s scholarly expertise and area of research focus. Collaborative and interdisciplinary experiences are further strengthened through the many resources available at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanderbilt University and the School of Nursing.


PhD students are offered highly competitive financial aid packages that include full tuition scholarships and annual stipends for up to four years of full-time study. At the same time, students have a crucial role in the financial obligation of their PhD education. They are asked to make a continuing effort to obtain external grants and/or fellowships throughout the tuition and stipend support stage. In this, they are supported by faculty advisers who engage and support students as they seek and apply for external funding opportunities. Receiving competitive external fellowships and grants advance student success and distinction; students receive ample opportunities to enhance grant-writing expertise, which provide additional benefits well into their prospective careers. 

PhD Admissions

Admission to the Vanderbilt PhD in Nursing Science program is competitive. Students are selected on the basis of their scholastic preparation and intellectual capability. Admission to the program requires research and career goals that are consistent with the school's research foci and faculty expertise. We will only accept a student if we have faculty who are actively engaged in that area of research. For more information or to speak with someone regarding the program, please email

Program Overview

The PhD in Nursing Science Program at Vanderbilt University prepares diverse scholars for research and academic careers in public or private sectors of health care. Graduates of our program serve as global leaders in advancing the discipline and practice of nursing through research, education and health policy. Our ultimate goal—and the ultimate goal of nursing science—is to improve health and health care for all individuals, families and communities. Learn more

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