PhD Program

The PhD Program in Nursing prepares scholars to be nursing scientists, educators and leaders who seek to improve health across the lifespan with a concentration on urban, vulnerable and underserved populations.

“After attending Northeastern University for my Master’s Degree in Nursing, I fell in love with the campus and superb faculty, and never considered applying to any other nursing program for my PhD. I enjoy the interdisciplinary approach to learning, with a focus on urban health.” — Melissa Cyr, PhD Student 


  • Post-Baccalaureate and Master’s entry are available
  • Opportunities for interdisciplinary study and research


  • Assume leadership in the promotion of health and well-being of urban populations nationally and internationally.
  • Design a program of research that builds upon the historical and philosophical foundations of nursing science.
  • Implement research studies that advance health science outcomes.
  • Participate as a member of an interdisciplinary research team.
  • Conduct research that demonstrates the theoretical, methodological, and analytical knowledge, skills, and strategies to address population health.
  • Assume faculty, leader, and/or nurse scientist roles.
  • Apply principles of professional research ethics and judgment in the conduct of research.

“My experience at Northeastern is preparing me for leadership in the health care system in my country. I am learning how to approach both clinical and public health problems from a leadership perspective.” — Maram Alghabbashi, Alumna


All students are expected to participate in a Mentored Research Practicum with a seasoned researcher and his/her research team. In addition, you will have the opportunity to study with nursing faculty and faculty from other Northeastern departments. Collectively, the nursing faculty has expertise in a variety of research interests, such as health issues of women, children and families, HIV, cancer, mental health, depression, substance abuse, and perinatal injury. Our close ties with the University’s Institute on Urban Health Research and School of Social Science, Urban Affairs and Public Policy, as well as with the Center for Community Health Education, Research and Service and other organizations provide opportunities to work across disciplines and access populations and sites for your dissertation.

Our graduates pursue careers within academia and beyond.

  • Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew Senior Life
  • Mount Auburn Hospital
  • Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions
  • University of New Hampshire School of Nursing
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Laboure College
  • University of New Hampshire
  • Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Isreal
  • University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Application Materials

  • Application
  • Application fee – US $80
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Minimum GRE of 300 or equivalent for the verbal and quantitative combined, within the last 5 years
  • Three letters of recommendation that address your potential for a career in nursing research, with at least 2 recommendations from persons who have a PhD and can speak to the applicant’s ability to be successful in a PhD program.
  • Satisfactory completion of a basic statistic course
  • Satisfactory completion of an epidemiology course (not required for post-baccalaureate entry)
  • Personal Statement describing your goals and reason for pursuing a PhD in nursing and your research area of interest
  • TOEFL or IELTS for applicants who do not hold a degree from a U.S. institution and whose native language is not English
  • Current Nursing licensure