Frequently Asked Questions

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Nursing & Healthcare Innovation, PhD

1. Why get a PhD in nursing and healthcare innovation?

University professorships require a doctoral degree and doctoral study is essential to establish an independent research career. PhD preparation allows one to contribute to the development of science by conducting research both independently and collaboratively. It also provides the credentials necessary for teaching. Finally, it provides a basis for leadership skills necessary to influence health processes, outcomes, and policy.

2. Is a nursing degree required to apply to the program?

No, a nursing degree is not required. While many students who apply to the program have nursing degrees, students from health and behavioral health-related fields are also eligible to apply. It is up to each applicant to make a case for how their educational background has prepared them for the Nursing and Healthcare Innovation PhD program.

3. Is full-time enrollment required?

Most students enroll full-time to promote timely completion of the program and continuity in the development of research. However, there is a part-time option which requires a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester.  

4. Can students work full-time and be successful in the program?

On admission, we ask students to work only part time, if at all, to maximize their chances of success. Based on our previous experience, the most successful students focus strongly on their program of study, with work taking a secondary place. Students who choose to work full-time after admission are often at higher risk for academic problems and program dropout.

5. Is the program on-site or online?

The program is a hybrid of on-site immersions, distance coursework, and on-campus requirements (e.g., dissertation defense). Students meet on on-campus for the first week of the fall and spring semesters. For the remainder of the semester, the courses are held on a set day and time each week, and students must be available to attend on-site or login for the live course.

6. What is the purpose and nature of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program?

The PhD degree is designed for persons who wish to pursue careers as leaders in health research, education, and policy, consistent with scientific and academic roles.

7. Why choose ASU Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation?

The Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation has a long history of excellence in education, research, practice, and leadership. Our faculty are widely recognized as scholars and researchers – and they will be your teachers and mentors.

8. How long does it take to complete the PhD program?

It usually takes four years of full-time study for students who enter the program with a master's degree. Additionally, it typically takes five years of full-time study for students entering the program with a bachelor's degree. 

9. What types of financial assistance are available?

Students in the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation are eligible for loans and scholarships from various sources. Traineeships are available to a limited number of graduate students. All students admitted will be considered for scholarship funds and research and teaching assistantships. For more information about financial assistance, contact ASU's Student Financial Assistance office at (480) 965-3355, or online at