Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 14.7 k / Year(s) Deadline: Apr 1, 2025
251–300 place StudyQA ranking:2387 Duration:4 years

Dalhousie University's School of Nursing offers you the opportunity to conduct important nursing research in the process of earning your PhD (Nursing) degree.

The skills and knowledge you acquire from our experienced faculty prepare you for a career in nursing research and scholarship. In our collegial, collaborative learning environment, you will critique and analyze issues relevant to health policy and nursing practice, with an emphasis on community, family and women's health outcomes.

Join the ranks of graduate students who have earned a PhD (Nursing) degree from Dalhousie and gone on to make valuable contributions to nursing knowledge and practice.

The PhD program is a full-time program and students are limited to no more than one day of work unrelated to their degree per week. Students are expected to complete the program in four years.

Supervisors conduct performance and progress reviews quarterly in December, April and July.

Course work

  • Course work is to be completed in the first 15 months of the program.
  • Comprehensive exams are taken in the second year of the program.


  • Thesis supervisory committees will be structured by the end of the first year in the program.Students must prepare a research proposal draft for the committee to review to determine the student's readiness for comprehensive exams.
  • Within six months of completing comprehensive exams, students must refine and defend their research proposals. Ethics applications must also be prepared simultaneously.
  • Students are expected to commit a minimum of four hours per weeks on research activities such as grant preparations, ethics applications and preparation of scholarly presentations.

Publications and seminars

  • Scholars Seminars are held on a regular basis and students will be scheduled at least once per year to present. Students are required to attend all sessions.
  • Publications are considered evidence of scholarly performance. Students are required to prepare a minimum of two manuscripts as first author for submission to scholarly journals during their time in the program.

Required courses are

  • Contemporary Views of Nursing Science: Philosophy, Research and Practice
  • Two courses in the student’s substantive area of research, one of which will be  Nursing Sensitive Health Outcomes or  Women’s Health Outcomes
  • An advanced research methods/design course, for example, Measurement in Nursing Phenomena or Qualitative Research Methods
  • Doctoral Seminar


  • Hold a first-class master's degree in nursing or a relevant discipline, or its equivalent, from a recognized university*
  • Be licensed to practice as a registered nurse (active practitioner) in a Canadian province or a foreign country
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.3 in their previous graduate degree
  • All PhD applicants must apply online
  • Pay $100 application fee
  • A study plan (4-5 pages) outlining the applicant's area of research interest, how this interest fits with the School of Nursing research foci, a statement of the preliminary plans for thesis research, goals in undertaking doctorate work, initial intentions regarding course work and future career plans
  • Three examples of the applicants written scholarly work, such as publications, research reports or grant proposals
  • Funding information (funding already applied for and potential sources of funding)
  • Curriculum Vitae. This document should be formatted to include post-secondary education, certification, registration, awards and honours, professional employment, committees, presentations and publications, professional affiliations and activities (specify role) and relevant volunteer activities (specify role)
  • Two sets of official transcripts. This includes transcripts of all post-secondary course work.
  • Three letters of reference. Academic references from two professors familiar with the candidate's earlier graduate work (or, where appropriate, one letter must be from a thesis supervisor). One reference must be from an employer. 
  • Copy of current active nursing College or Association membership
  • If you plan to self-fund your studies, please include an original teller stamped or equivalent bank statement showing that you have sufficient funds for your full program fees plus $1200 per month for the full term of your studies.
  • International applicants whose primary language is not English must also provide official English proficiency test score results directly to the School of Nursing. Minimum scores for English proficiency are: IELTS - 7, TOEFL - 600 (written); 237 (computer). Applicants taking the non-computer TOEFL test should also take the TWE component
  • A personal interview with the Associate Director, Graduate Studies is required for all PhD applicants.


  • Bursaries
  • Faculty of Graduate Studies Scholarships
  • Eliza Ritchie Doctoral Scholarship for Women
  • The President's Awards
  • Phi Kappa Pi Joe Ghiz Memorial Award
  • Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship
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