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PhD in Nursing

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)

Leading the Development of Nursing Science

Transform the Discipline

Advance the theoretical foundation of nursing practice and healthcare delivery with a Johns Hopkins PhD in nursing. By graduation, most Hopkins nurse scholars have been awarded grants that continue their research and set them well on their way to a successful career.

Learn From the Best

With access to world-renowned nursing faculty, cutting-edge facilities, and opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with noted researchers throughout Johns Hopkins University, you'll build the skills to develop and implement a scientific research program and launch your career.

Get Funded

Most full-time Johns Hopkins Nursing PhD students are 100% funded with a stipend for the first two years of study. Additional financial support is made available in following years. For full eligibility of scholarship opportunities, apply by January 15. View Funding Opportunities

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Why Hopkins?

Those who earn a Johns Hopkins PhD:

  • Possess knowledge and skills in theoretical, methodological, and analytical approaches that will enable you to conduct research to discover and apply knowledge in nursing science and healthcare
  • Are prepared to assume a leadership role in nursing and in the broader arena of healthcare
  • Demonstrate expertise within an area of study from a nursing and transdisciplinary viewpoint
  • Often serve as educators in a variety of classroom and clinical settings within academic program

Featured Areas of Research

A brief glimpse into things we study:  cardiovascular risk reduction, domestic violence, biologic basic of nursing therapeutics, health promotion, chronic disease management, symptom management, biobehavioral aspects of pain and stress, substance Abuse | Lactation and Breastfeeding | Health Disparities | Family Caregiver Stress | Forensic Nursing | Patient Health Care Decision Making | End of Life Care

Additional Information

View the recording of the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) virtual information session.

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Application Deadline

Fall Entry
January 1

January 1 for full eligibility

Apply Now

Mailing List

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Meet A Student

Take a glimpse into the life of a Hopkins Nursing doctoral student.

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Research Fellowships: Violence; Pain; Psychiatric & Mental Health; Global Health; Aging; Patient Safety & Quality

Top 15%

Among the top 15% of colleges, universities, and trade schools recognized by G.I.Jobs as “Military Friendly”  

Faculty Leadership

Faculty with leadership roles in membership organizations

Sponsored Projects

$14.7 Million in Sponsored Projects (FY2014)

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Rachel Walker
Rachel Walker
PhD '13, BS '07, RN, OCN®
I've learned to become a successful nurse scientist.

Within a year of launching her nursing career, Rachel Walker began to wonder how she could help more people. By conducting research, she discovered, she could make a tremendous difference for cancer patients and caregivers returning to their communities after treatment.

“I’ve been able to learn everything—from the ground up.”

Read Rachel's Story
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Admission Criteria

  • Graduate of an accredited Bachelor's or Master's in Nursing Program (if applicable. Applicants holding a degree in a non-nursing related discipline will be considered on an individual basis)
  • A written statement of research goals including reason for interest in Johns Hopkins
  • Research interests that match faculty expertise and School resources
  • GRE scores from within the past five years (school code: 5767)
  • A minimum scholastic GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Interview with faculty
  • Writing sample (publication or graded paper)
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation (two academic, one professional)
  • Copy of official RN license(s) (if applicable. Applicants holding a degree in a non-nursing related discipline will be considered on an individual basis)

Admissions Application


Physical Examination
Students must present appropriate documentation of medical history, physical examination, immunization status and tuberculosis screening prior to registration. Specific information will be sent to you prior to your first semester.

Transfer of Credits

Transfer of credit is granted on an individual basis. Up to 6 credits of graduate coursework taken at Johns Hopkins University or elsewhere within the last five years may be accepted for transfer.

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Each student completes a core curriculum and works closely with faculty advisors to complete an individualized course of study that fulfills the student's goals and develops the basis for a program of research.


  • Nursing Core (19 credits)
    • NR 110.800 Philosophical Perspectives in Health
    • NR 110.814 Scientific Perspectives in Nursing
    • NR 110.809 Quantitative Research Design and Methods
    • NR 110.815 Qualitative Research Design and Methods
    • NR 110.816 Mixed Methods Research Design
    • NR 110.827 Grant Writing Seminar
    • NR 110.828 Measurement in Health Care Research
    • NR 110.891 Responsibilities and Activities of the Nurse Scientist 
  • Statistics (9 credits)
    • PH 140.621 Statistical Methods in Public Health I
    • PH 140.622 Statistical Methods in Public Health II
    • PH 140.623 Statistical Methods in Public Health III
  • Electives (19 required credits)
    • NR 110.810 Theory and Concepts of Health Behavior
    • NR 110.811 Symptom Evaluation and Management
    • NR 110.818 Special Topics in Violence Research
    • NR 110.821 Advanced Nursing Health Policy
    • NR 110.824 Stress and Stress Response
    • NR 110.830 The Evolving Roles of the Nurse Educator (online)
    • PH 140.624 Statistical Methods in Public Health IV
    • NR 110.832 Writing for Publication (online)
    • NR 110.833 Advanced Seminar in Translational Research
    • NR 110.834 International Health Systems and Research 3
    • NR 110.835 Current Issues and Trends in Cardiovascular Health Promotion  Research
    • NR 110.836 Critical Applications of Advanced Statistical Models
    • NR.110.837 Technology and eTools to Conduct, Facilitate, Implement and Manage Research (online)
  • Dissertation (3 credits per semester until completion)
    • NR 110.890 Dissertation Seminar
    • NR 110.899 Dissertation

Sample Course of Study

  • Fall I (12 credits)
    • NR110.800 Philosophical Perspectives in Health
    • NR110.809 Quantitative Research Design and Methods
    • PH140.621-2 Statistical Methods in Public Health I & II
    • Research Residency – 15 hours per week
  • Spring I (12 credits)
    • NR110.814 Scientific Perspectives in Nursing
    • NR 110.815 Qualitative Research Design and Methods
    • NR 110.816 Mixed Methods Research Design
    • NR110.828 Measurement in Health Care Research
    • PH140.623 Statistical Methods in Public Health III
    • Research Residency – 15 hours per week
  • Summer I (1 credit)
    • NR110.827 Grant Writing Seminar
    • Comprehensive Examination
  • Fall II (13 credits)
    • NR110.890 Dissertation Seminar*
    • NR110.899 Dissertation*
    • Electives (10 credits)
    • Research Residency – 20 hours per week
    • Teaching Residency – 10 hours per week
  • Spring II (14 credits)
    • NR110.890 Dissertation Seminar*
    • NR110.899 Dissertation*
    • NR110.891 Activities and Responsibilities of the Nurse Scientist
    • Electives (9 credits)
    • Research Residency – 20 hours per week
  • Summer II
    • Preparation for Doctor of Philosophy Board Examination
    • Research Residency – 20 hours per week
  • Fall III Through Completion (3 credits per semester)
    • NR110.890 Dissertation Seminar*
    • NR110.899 Dissertation*

*PhD students having successfully completed the written Comprehensive Examination must be registered for at least three credits consisting of two credits dissertation advisement plus one credit dissertation seminar each semester they are progressing toward the degree.
*Part-time students who have completed the Comprehensive Examination must register for two credits dissertation advisement plus one credit dissertation seminar each semester they are progressing toward the degree after completing half (10) the required elective credits. 

Per Doctor of Philosophy Board policy, students must either be registered during fall and spring semesters, or be on an approved leave of absence.

View Course Descriptions


* Up to 15 credits may be applied from the JHUSON MSN: Entry into Nursing program to the PhD Program.

Academic Manual

Important policies, procedures, and resources for easy reference.

View Manual

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Tuition & Other Costs

Billed Expenses

(September 2017 - May 2018)

Tuition: $41,580 (full-time per year)1
Per credit cost: $2,310
Matriculation fee: $500 (one time only fee for first-time enrolled JHU students)
Health Insurance: $3,8562
Health fee: $475
Total Billed Expenses: $46,411

Estimated Other Expenses3

Room: $10,971
Board: $3,726
Books/Supplies: $800
Loan fees: $1,056
Personal Expenses: $2,385
Travel Expenses: $3,564
Total Other Expenses: $22,502
Total Expenses: $68,913

1Full-time: 9 credit hours per semester. Students enrolling less than full-time will incur less charges.
2All students must have health coverage. Purchase of the School’s plan is optional.
3Amounts for other expenses vary based upon student's selection of books, supplies, and living arrangements.

Billed expenses are subject to change without prior notice. Changes to a student’s program or course load may result in additional tuition charges and fees. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How well-defined does my research proposal have to be in my application?

    Your essay should be as specific as possible, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to develop a full-length, sophisticated research proposal. Reviewers will look for a summary of your previous experience, qualifications, and information about your interest in a specific area of research. We will also consider your writing skills and determine whether there is a good match between your research interests and our faculty expertise.

  • Should I contact a faculty member with similar research interests prior to applying?

    Although contacting a faculty member in your research area is not required, it is an opportunity to become familiar with researchers in your area of interest and to ask questions not addressed on the school's website.

  • How are faculty advisors selected?

    Once you are admitted to the PhD program and decide to matriculate, the PhD Admissions Committee determines who will be your advisor(s). Generally, one advisor is selected, but in some instances-depending on your research area-two advisors are assigned, one of them serving as the primary advisor and the second serving as a co-advisor. We try to match students with faculty members who have similar research interests.

  • What are the differences between the PhD and DNP programs?

    The PhD program prepares the nurse scholar to develop and conduct scientific research that advances the theoretical foundation of nursing practice and healthcare delivery. The program is designed to prepare nurses for careers as research scientists, often in academic or governmental positions.

    The DNP program prepares nurse leaders for evidence-based practice in both direct patient care and executive roles.  View Comparison Chart

  • I've been accepted, can I delay matriculation?

    Yes, you can delay your matriculation for up to a year from the term for which you are accepted. Priority for scholarships is given to those who apply by January 15.

  • How long does it take to complete the PhD program?

    The time needed to complete the program varies, depending on how fast you progress. Some students in our program finish their degree in three years, others take four years or longer.

  • Is financial aid and/or scholarships available?

    Financial aid is available to all full-time students in various forms:

    • Trainee fellowships and scholarships
    • Research and teaching assistantships
    • Federally subsidized loans
    • Health-related organizational financial support

    Students who choose to work part-time are also eligible for scholarships and/or grants. 

  • English is not my first language, are there additional admissions requirements?

    Students whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language. More

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Funding Opportunities

Scholarships & Grants

Grants are awards based on financial need that do not have to be repaid. Many students also benefit from scholarships and awards based on merit.

Scholarships & Grants


Many students will avail themselves of loans to help finance their School of Nursing Education. If necessary, we encourage you to borrow only what is absolutely essential to cover your educational costs.



Many students locate part-time employment to help pay education expenses. Numerous positions are available on campus and within various community based organizations. These jobs provide students with opportunities to gain practical work experience. Most positions are funded through the Federal Work-Study Program. 


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