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PhD in Nursing


The Fitzpatrick College of Nursing (FCN) PhD Program reflects a unique Teacher-Scholar Model educating PhD-prepared Nurses as academic educators and nurse scientists. The richness and depth of our faculty support students pursuing a program of research to advance nursing education science, as well as those seeking a career focused on clinically-based research. We educate our graduates with the knowledge and skill to conduct high-quality studies that reflect topics that are significant, timely and support quality patient outcomes among diverse populations.
Based on a college or university’s Carnegie Classification of Institutions®, a PhD-prepared nurse can hold an academic position focused primarily on teaching, while others will dedicate their time and effort to conducting research. All nurses who hold a faculty role are expected to engage in scholarship. Our recently revised curriculum supports the range of responsibilities among doctorly-prepared educators and enhances research and scholarship skill.

Accelerated PhD

Starting in 2023, an annual cohort of five PhD Nursing students will be enrolled in the accelerated PhD option over each of the next five years. This program—the Joanne and William Conway PhD Fellows Program—enables Villanova Nursing to build upon its rich history of developing nursing faculty in the Augustinian teacher-scholar model. It allows the College to launch an accelerated PhD track to decrease the time to graduation, and also reduce the financial barriers that prevent many nurses from pursuing a doctoral degree by providing comprehensive financial support for qualified students. To learn more about the new Accelerated Track, register for the Online Information Session scheduled for September 29.

Explore the PhD  

Important Notices for Online Prospective and Current Students

The following includes important information regarding the University’s authorization status, students’ responsibilities related to relocation and programs leading to professional licensures, and the complaint process for online students.

Read the Notices for Distance Education Programs

Villanova University is accredited by the Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education and is authorized by the Pennsylvania Department of Higher Education to grant the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Villanova PhD programs do not have specialized accreditation. PhD programs exist within regionally accredited universities.