skip to main content columnskip to left navigationskip to horizontal navigation

ETSU Online

East Tennessee State University

Nursing, Ph.D. (Mostly Online)

Mostly Online Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

ETSU Online Nursing PhD

Program Overview

The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.) degree program at ETSU is to prepare expert practitioners and nurse scientists who are capable of conducting research that will improve health and provide leadership in the health care delivery system. Graduates of the program will meet an escalating need for nurse educators and researchers in schools of nursing, health agencies, and complex health care delivery systems across the state and nation.

The Ph.D. program prepares students with advanced knowledge and skills in the science of nursing, with an emphasis on the application of knowledge to improve the health of rural and/or underserved population groups. The student is expected to demonstrate a sound knowledge of research methods and techniques of data analysis, and acquire analytical and leadership skills for dealing with social, ethical, cultural, economic, and political issues related to nursing, health care education, and research.

This mostly online Nursing Ph.D. program was designed with working professionals in mind, offering the flexibility and convenience of online coursework and a limited number of on-campus meetings. Mostly online means that a limited number of on-campus meetings or on-campus coursework are required. Please contact us for more detailed information about this program.


Nursing Ph.D. Program of Study

Program of Study

The curriculum is designed to provide the student with coursework in the philosophy of science, ethics, statistical procedures, research methods, nursing science, and selected in-depth study in a selected cognate area.

The curriculum is also designed to accommodate working professionals and delivered in a blended online format with required on-campus intensive sessions once each semester. 

Information including the curriculum and graduation requirements can be found in the Nursing, Ph.D., entry of the ETSU Graduate Catalog.

Nursing Ph.D. Admissions Requirements

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the Ph.D. degree program at East Tennessee State University must fulfill all the requirements for admission to both the School of Graduate Studies and the College of Nursing.

The School of Graduate Studies requires that all students submit the following materials:

a completed application with payment of a nonrefundable application fee

official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work

a written essay

In addition, College of Nursing requirements for admission to the Ph.D. degree program include:

BSN from a nationally-accredited nursing program and a non-nursing master’s degree (longer program of study may be required), or MSN degree from a nationally-accredited nursing program or Master’s degree in a related discipline with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4 point scale.

* Submission of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores; Licensure in the United States as a registered nurse and eligibility for licensure in Tennessee or compact state;*

At least two (2)-years of full-time work experience (or equivalent) in nursing as a registered nurse

Three (3) letters of recommendation, one (1) from the applicant’s current (or most recent) supervisor, one (1) from a faculty member who worked directly with the applicant during previous graduate study, and one (1) from an individual selected by the applicant; Completion of an interview

Completion of a writing sample on a selected topic at the time of interview

A cover letter expressing the applicant’s personal goals for doctoral study (unless clearly articulated in the written essay requested by the university); and A résumé or vita, as appropriate.

Factors given consideration in the admission decision include:

previous graduate grade point average (GPA)

level of GRE performance

clarity of goals for doctoral study as stated in writing and during the interview, writing ability

professional work experience and achievements

professional honors and awards

interest in rural and underserved population groups, and quality of references/recommendations

The Ph.D. Admissions Committee may admit a promising applicant who has not met all the admission requirements on a conditional basis.


Tuition, Fee, and Financial Assistance


ETSU Tuition and Fees

ETSU eRate (for out-of-state students taking ALL course work online in any semester)

Border County Information: Students in North Carolina and Virginia living in counties bordering Tennessee may receive in-state tuition. For more detailed tuition information based on your specific situation, please contact the ETSU Office of Admissions.

Student accounts, payment calendars, and payment plan information

ETSU Bursar Office

(423) 439-4212

Financial Aid

Financial Aid Step by Step Guide

Types of Aid

(423) 439-4300


Scholarship Information

(423) 439-7094



Let Us Introduce You to The Program Advisor!

icon for left menu icon for right menu