This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2021-2022 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

The VCU School of Nursing Doctor of philosophy program in nursing prepares scholars to develop knowledge in the discipline of nursing to become teacher-scholars or pioneering researchers committed to the highest ideals of nursing excellence. The program examines knowledge development in nursing through an understanding of the impact of a wide range of historical influences on the discipline and through analysis of how emerging societal issues influence knowledge development. Knowledge in the humanities and social sciences and an understanding of knowledge development in other disciplines is viewed as foundational to a full understanding of knowledge development in nursing. Methodologic competency (i.e., knowledge of research designs, methodologies and tools) is also essential to a full understanding of the scope, range and path of knowledge development and the relevance to nursing practice.

The online Ph.D. program includes a combination of online courses and on-campus immersions each semester to offer students a dynamic, interactive learning experience that will prepare them to become nurse scholars and scientists. This format is designed to expand the Ph.D. program’s reach to a wider range of highly motivated, independent students who aspire to become scholars, make a significant difference in the field of nursing and study with nationally recognized nurse scientists.

During the first year of the B.S. to Ph.D. option, there are some required face-to-face courses.

Student learning outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Synthesize and critically appraise extant knowledge and theory
  2. Design, conduct and disseminate theoretically sound research that is relevant, rigorous, culturally competent and consistent with standards of scientific integrity
  3. Lead and collaborate in team science to develop knowledge that enhances health in ways that reflect nursing’s unique perspective
  4. Communicate effectively to the scientific community, policy-makers and the public through appropriate scholarly mechanisms

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

VCU School of Nursing Student Policy and Information handbooks are located on the school’s website.

Our international and non-native English-speaking students bring different perspectives and new thinking to our nursing programs. To ensure that all incoming student are prepared for the school’s academic rigor, all international applicants and non-native English speaking applicants without a degree from a U.S. high school, college or university must provide additional information with their applications according to the English language proficiency guidelines on the program admission tab.