Curriculum: MSN to PhD

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2020-2021, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on April 1, 2020. Access the catalog of record at

The program of study includes a minimum of 48 units of post-master’s coursework. This includes 15 units for the dissertation. A minimum grade of B- is required in degree courses with an overall GPA of 3.0.

Core Component9
Designed to develop analytical abilities and provide the knowledge base and skills requisite to the development of the nurse scholar.
PHDN 601Philosophy of Science in Nursing-
PHDN 602Theory Development in Nursing-
PHDN 649Research Seminar in Health Policy-
Research Component15
Designed to enhance the knowledge and skills necessary to develop and implement a program of research.
PHDN 607Applied Statistics and Quantitative Research Methods-
PHDN 608Applications of Multivariate Statistics-
PHDN 670Quantitative Designs in Research-
PHDN 673Introduction to Qualitative Research: Background, Processes, and Approaches-
PHDN 676The Practice of Qualitative Research 1-
Dissertation students using qualitative methods enroll in PHDN 676
PHDN 677Advanced Quantitative Designs in Research-
Dissertation students using quantitative methods enroll in PHDN 677
Areas of Emphasis9
Three graduate courses selected by the student and advisor related to the student's specific research topic
Dissertation Component (15 units minimum) 15
PHDN 650Nursing Research Seminar-
PHDN 651Nursing Research Seminar-
PHDN 652Dissertation Research-
PHDN 653Dissertation Research -
PHDN 654Nursing Research Seminar-
PHDN 695Dissertation-
Total Units48

The presentation of the proposal and dissertation findings are required. After the completion of 15 units of dissertation research (six units of PHDN 650-653, three units of PHDN 654, and six units of PHDN 695), candidates must continue to register for PHDN 695 (1 unit) and PHDN 655 (1 unit) each semester to maintain candidacy until the dissertation is completed. See the Doctoral Student Handbook for guidelines on producing the dissertation.