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Course Requirements

Knowledge/Theory (6 courses required)24 units
GNRS 700
Philosophy of Science
GNRS 701
Nursing Knowledge Development
GNRS 702
Nursing Theory
GNRS 703
Spirituality and Health
GNRS 704
Faith Integration and Nursing Scholarship
GNRS 705
Social Ethics and Social Change
Statistical Analysis (1 course required)4 units
GNRS 713
Advanced Statistical Analysis
Research (3 courses required)9 units
GNRS 706
Methods of Inquiry
GNRS 707
Quantitative Nursing Research Designs
GNRS 708
Qualitative Research Designs
Method of Inquiry3 units
(Students are required to choose one of following courses.)
GNRS 709
Advanced Quantitative Methods
GNRS 710
Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
GNRS 711
Advanced Research Methods in the Humanities
GNRS 712
Advanced Evaluation Research
Two areas of concentration courses6 units
Two areas of elective courses6 units
Dissertation Research12 units
Total64 units

Study Progression and Graduation Requirements

Progression in the program requires active enrollment status and maintaining a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA. Graduation requirements include a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA, successful completion of the preliminary and qualifying exams, and completion of original dissertation research.

Leaves of Absence

Students in good standing and making satisfactory progress toward their degrees who must interrupt their studies for a compelling reason (e.g., illness, study abroad, family conditions, or crises) may petition for a leave of absence for a stated period of time not to exceed two years. Requests for a leave must be in writing and state both the reasons for the leave and the semester in which the student will re-enroll. Leaves of absence must be approved by the director of doctoral studies program and the dean of the School of Nursing in advance of the semester for which the leave is requested.

The petition for return to enrolled status should be filed one full term before the intended date of re-enrollment. If the student went on leave with conditions for re-enrollment, these must be fulfilled before re-enrollment may occur. If a student is on leave for two years, the Doctoral Admissions Committee, as well as the student’s advisor, the doctoral studies chair, and the dean will review her/his re-enrollment petition. Depending upon the amount of time elapsed, the student’s stage of study in the program, and the student’s academic activity during the leave, readmission may be contingent.


Qualifying Examination

The preliminary examination is taken upon the completion of between 19 and 32 units of doctoral work, including GNRS 700, 701, 702, 704, and 706. (The student must petition for exceptions.) The examination is comprised of a relatively brief paper (i.e., 25–30 pages) and oral review by a committee of faculty. The purpose of the paper is to encourage synthesis of first-year coursework as it relates to the student’s current research interest area. The focus of the paper specifies the student’s interest area with potential researchable questions and methodological approaches, together with relevant aspects of nursing theory, nursing knowledge development, faith integration, and methods of inquiry. The subsequent oral examination provides the student an opportunity to formulate a synthesis of her/his thinking in response to questions.

Dissertation Proposal Defense

Successful completion of the dissertation proposal signifies competence to pursue independent research with the advice and guidance of the dissertation committee. The dissertation proposal defense allows the student to demonstrate familiarity with the state of the science in a particular area; awareness of currently active topics of investigation in the area; theoretical dimensions and design issues related to potential questions; and recognition of potential, practical, and ethical challenges arising at the intersection of research questions, population, and instruments.

Dissertation Defense

The dissertation reports the results of original, independent research of substantial but circumscribed scope, undertaken in consultation with the student’s dissertation committee. The student presents a prospectus or proposal specifying the question, method, design, data collection instruments or strategy, projected data analysis, plan for access to subjects/participants/data, and projected timeline for data collection, analysis, and dissertation completion.

The dissertation committee serves in an advisory capacity to the student and ensures that the dissertation research and the written dissertation demonstrate the student’s competence to conduct independent research in the discipline. Committee members work with the student throughout the process of data collection, analysis, and writing, with primary support provided by the chair/sponsor. When the student has substantially finished the work to the satisfaction of each committee member, the committee meets to hear the student’s defense of the overall work and the decisions it entailed, and to discuss the student’s plans for publication and post degree program of research.

Students may not participate in commencement or have the degree posted to their transcript until the document has been accepted by the library. Any exceptions are by petition only.

Note: This information is current for the 2013-14 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.