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PhD Course Structure & Curriculum

Our program is designed to be flexible in meeting your learning needs. The curriculum is implemented using a fall and spring semester distance learning approach complemented by on-campus summer sessions. A non-distance learning option is available for international students. Whether you are on campus or at home, the College provides you with a personalized experience -- one of the hallmarks of a Villanova Nursing program.  

Fall and Spring classes are delivered via distance learning and are scheduled between 4:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Eastern time on two weeknights, Monday through Friday.

Summer semester classes are taught on the Villanova University campus. All students are required to attend the summer sessions while they are enrolled in course work. Designed as a 46-credit program, the length of the program will vary depending on previous education, currency of graduate education and individual needs.

Students will begin the program with an orientation at the beginning of Summer Session I (late May/early June). At that time students will continue their on-campus course work over a period of two to three weeks.

The Doctoral Program is designed to prepare teacher-scholars in nursing for academic careers in higher education.

Graduates of the PhD program will be able to:

  • Conduct research that generates, tests, refines or extends theory and knowledge relevant to culturally competent nursing and nursing education. 
  • Evaluate critically and synthesize research findings for building knowledge that advances culturally competent nursing and nursing education, and use that knowledge in education, research, advocacy, policy development and leadership. 
  • Assume the role of academic nurse educator with the ability to design varied learning opportunities in clinical and didactic settings using diverse teaching strategies to meet the needs of diverse populations. 
  • Possess the skills and knowledge to collaborate with other disciplines in health research and preparation of culturally competent health care providers responsive to the needs and concerns of a global society. 
  • Collaborate with others to improve health care and advance policy for vulnerable and at-risk populations.
  • Advance the science of nursing education to improve education outcomes for learners, across all levels.


Courses in the PhD Sequence