Hero Image of Dr. Griffith

PhD in Nursing

A PhD in nursing is essential for influencing improvements in patient care and our health care system.  GW Nursing offers an executive format, low-residency PhD in nursing taught by expert faculty conducting clinical, educational, health services, and health policy research.  Student research interests are matched with those of a research faculty member who will serve as an advisor.  A full list of faculty research areas can be found under the Faculty Research Areas tab below.

Graduate assistantships, which include full-time tuition remission and a stipend, are available for well-qualified students during the first two years of study.

Contact Us


clipboard and stethoscope

Flexible Format

The curriculum is delivered in a flexible, low residency, executive style format, which includes on-campus residencies twice a semester during didactic courses.

Online Learning

Online Learning

Synchronous online sessions are delivered most weeks of the semester to maximize student engagement with faculty, classmates, and the program.

Faculty member at chalkboard

Exceptional Faculty

Our faculty are nationally recognized leaders with focus areas in clinical, educational and health services research. Faculty research areas will accommodate student matching for PhD study .

Apply Now 


About the Program

Complete applications that are submitted by the priority deadline will be reviewed first. Applications do not have to be verified by the priority deadline, only completed and submitted. Questions? Contact the Office of Admissions at [email protected]

View Deadlines


A completed application includes the following components:

  • Application
  • GRE scores (within five years of test date)
  • Current RN License
  • Master's degree in nursing or related field (health)
  • Resume/CV
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose (addressing research and potential GW research mentors)
  • Writing sample (published article or graded academic paper)
  • Score > 100 TOEFL (international applicants)


Other Considerations

  • 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) preferred GPA
  • Interview if selected as a top candidate
  • Graduate statistics class taken within the past five years with a grade of B or better


The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program consists of 57 credit hours. Questions about program requirements should be directed to the program director, Kathleen Griffith.


Program of Study

PhD program of Study (Fall entry, full-time)



For full listing of courses and descriptions, please visit the University Bulletin.


On-Campus Requirements

  • Orientation on GW campus the summer before year 1
  • 2 weekends on GW campus per semester in years 1 and 2


Technology Requirements

Beginning fall 2018, each student admitted to the PhD program is expected to own and have ready access to a laptop or tablet with basic productivity software for classroom use.

View Policy

  • Palliative/end of life care in chronic disease
  • Symptom management in cancer
  • Maternal health/post-partum outcomes
  • Clinical trials performance
  • Health care workforce
  • HIV and health disparities
  • Transgender care
  • Educational interventions
  • Alzheimer's disease/measurement of cognition
  • Autism/neurocognitive development in children
  • Geriatric feeding interventions
  • HPV prevention/cancer screening and minority health
  • Health services research/vaccine policy/drug safety
  • Sleep, fatigue and occupational safety

Graduate tuition is charged per credit hour, unless otherwise noted, and is listed under “School of Nursing” by the university’s Student Accounts Office. Rates vary by program and are subject to change without prior notice. Changes to a student’s program or course load may result in additional tuition charges and fees.

Learn more about financial aid opportunities at GW Nursing.


Our proximity to federal agencies, legislators and policymakers offers nurses a unique learning experience to hone their research skills in the nation's capital.

Pamela R. Jeffries, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF

Dean and Professor
The George Washington University School of Nursing