Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science (PhD)

Earn your PhD at Texas Woman's University and you’ll receive the advanced nursing knowledge, investigative aptitude, and management skills needed to earn a spot at the leadership table for health care whether it’s in a hospital, clinical, or classroom setting.

If you already have your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and are looking for a DNP-PhD Bridge program, we offer that for you.

See DNP-PhD Bridge

Texas Woman's University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science (PhD) program is for the nurse ready to assume or further a leadership position. A PhD demonstrates ability to integrate nursing knowledge with that of other health care disciplines to research and solve problems as well as to teach and mentor other nurses.

Realizing that students have different needs and varying learning styles, TWU offers two formats for earning a PhD in Nursing Science. At the Denton campus, the PhD program is offered 100% online and has received the Quality Matters Implementation Plan award for online learning.

A hybrid program incorporating both face-to-face and online classes is available at our Houston campus. In both campus formats, students may attend either full-time or part-time.

For more info, check the degree plan below.

Degree Plan

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. in Nursing

Program Contacts

Dr. Sandra Cesario
Director, Ph.D. Program

Application Deadline
February 1, every year

Admission Requirements

  • Current U.S. RN license (unencumbered).
  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program.
    • Nursing credentials for international students will be assessed individually.
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing or bachelor’s degree in related field and entry-level nursing master’s degree.
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA for all prior graduate work.
  • Graduate-level research course*.
  • Graduate-level nursing theory course*.

*Provisional admission may be granted to students who have not taken a master’s level nursing theory and/or research course. Unconditional admission will be granted upon completing a master’s level nursing theory and/or research course with a minimum grade of B.

  • Collect and submit the following documents:  
    • Curriculum vitae or resume
    • A scholarly essay (1,000-1,500 word limit) that describes:
      • Professional goals
      • How a Ph.D. will help achieve professional goals
      • Potential area of research interest
      • How TWU is a match for your research interest, 
      • Accomplishments or experiences that you are proud of
  • Email addresses for two individual familiar with your academic capabilities, who can provide letters of recommendation to be requested through and submitted into the application.
  • An interview with PhD faculty will be required to complete the admission application process.

Graduate Admission

Begin by reviewing your program's website to see if there are additional admission requirements and application deadlines prior to applying.  

  1. Apply online.
    Apply to Graduate Programs  via the TWU Online Graduate Application Portal following instructions below.  
  2. Submit transcripts to TWU.
    • Domestic Applicants must submit official transcripts for each college or university attended, both undergraduate and graduate. See the Information on Transcripts website for more details.
    • International Applicants are now required to provide an evaluation prepared by a NACES or AICE member evaluation service. International transcripts should not be sent directly to TWU. See the International Admissions website for more details.
  3. Submit Recommendation Requests
    If your program requires you to submit names for recommendations you will need to do it in the application.
  4. Pay the application fee.
    The $50 fee ($75 fee for International applicants), which applies to all new and returning applicants, can be paid by:
    1. Credit card - Pay Online through the application as the last step before submitting the application. The second portion of the application will not be available until the application fee has been received.
    2. Certified check or money order by mail or electronically - Payable to TWU, sent by mail to:
      TWU Admissions Processing, 304 Administration Drive, Suite 102, Denton, Texas 76204
      (include your full name and ID number).
    3. Cash (no personal checks) - Pay at the Bursar's Office. After paying, bring the receipt to Admissions Processing (down the hall in ACT).
    4. Fee Waivers - Graduate applicants who are certified McNair Scholars are eligible for a McNair Scholar Application Fee Waiver. TWU Alumni may be eligible for the Alumni Advantage Fee Waiver. Check your eligibility here: If eligible submit the request using the Application Fee Waiver Submission
    5. Following fee payment return to the application dashboard where supplemental application documents can be uploaded. The online application will list which documents are needed to fulfill the program admission requirements. You can also check the program's website.

For more information or assistance with the application or graduate admissions, visit the Graduate Admissions website.

Students who wish to apply for a Graduate Assistantship must meet the General Criteria for Appointment of Graduate Assistants


Sandra Cesario, PhD, RNC, FAAN
Director, PhD Program 

Page last updated 4:05 PM, May 2, 2024