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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Nursing Science University of California Irvine




Course info


The Ph.D. program advances the scholarly discipline of nursing through development of theory and empirical research; contributes to the growing body of knowledge in the field of nursing; and creates the future academic leaders of the nursing profession.

The specific field of emphasis for the Ph.D. program is Nursing Science. Generally, this involves increasing the quality of life for the community that nurses serve. Consistent with faculty research expertise, the Ph.D. program will specifically promote the development of scientific and theoretical expertise that contributes to scholarly endeavors in four key areas: health promotion/disease prevention, health disparities and diversity, disease and symptom management, and health services and health policy. These areas of research emphasis intersect as they contribute to healthy communities. Emphasis will be placed on building expertise in the use of translational science methods in conjunction with traditional models for research. Research emphasis areas are described below.

Health Promotion/Disease Prevention. According to the World Health Organization (2010), health promotion is empowering others to modify and improve their health. This happens at the individual, family, and community level. Health promoting activities often lead to disease prevention. Students choosing this focus may work with UCI faculty (Nursing Science and others) on stress and coping, women’s health, and obesity prevention and nutrition, to name a few specific areas.

Health Disparities and Diversity. The focus on Health Disparities acknowledges that there are individuals, families, and communities who are not equally treated in the quest for health. Many do not have equal access to quality health care nor the means to achieve an equal level of desired health outcomes. The emphasis will be to examine these health disparities among diverse populations who encounter differences in treatment and outcomes. Students choosing this focus will have an opportunity to work with diverse community members in Orange County and beyond, and they will be mentored by researchers who study the experiences of these community members.

Disease and Symptom Management. Many individuals face challenges in managing chronic illness. The focus is to aid individuals to be healthy within the context of living with a chronic illness by investigating factors influencing self-management and developing best intervention strategies for symptom management. Students choosing this focus will have an opportunity to study chronic illness demands and the experiences, coping efforts, and challenges that patients face. Research at UCI covers a wide variety of diseases such as asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, mental illness, dementia, cancer, and other illnesses.

Health Services and Health Policy. Health policy and the economics of delivering health care are important issues affecting health outcomes. Students choosing this focus will have an opportunity to examine the implications of a variety of policies and services on health and health system outcomes. There will be opportunities to study with researchers who have expertise in health care system management, law, organizational theory and behavior, and quality of care.

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Nursing Science.

Full Time (The normative time to degree is five years)

Tuition fees

$42,158.00 (31,42,672) per year


23 Sep, 02 Jan, 25 Mar


Sue and Bill Gross School of Nursing

Berk Hall, 802 West Peltason,



92697, United States

Entry requirement for international students

To be considered for admission, applicants must have a Bachelor or Master of Science degree in Nursing from a regionally and CCNE accredited institution with degree standards equivalent to the University of California. Degrees from international programs must have accreditations satisfactory to the Graduate Division and the Program in Nursing Science and be equivalent to UC educational requirements. Applicants are required to submit transcripts showing a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 for undergraduate work and 3.5 for graduate work from an accredited institution and a scholarship record commensurate with requirements of the Graduate Division and the Program in Nursing Science.

TOEFL Score Requirements for Admission Consideration:

  • On the TOEFL iBT minimum score of 80
  • For the paper-based test, a minimum score of 550

IELTS Score Requirements for Admission Consideration:

  • An overall minimum score of 7 for admission, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module.
  • Applicants who qualify for admission by the above criteria, and also achieve a score of 8 or higher on the Speaking module may be eligible to serve as a Teaching Assistant.

University of California Irvine*

Find your nearest IELTS test centre and test dates

* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.

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