Effective fall 2020 and until further notice, we are not accepting applications for admission to the PhD program.

The PhD program requires completion of a minimum of 58 credits, which includes 57 credits of coursework and at least 1 credit of dissertation enrollment. The program is designed to be completed in three years (nine semesters). It uses a full time cohort model, and most classes are delivered in the face to face format. The program curriculum is interdisciplinary in nature and classes are taken across a variety of schools. Each student in the program works closely with their advisor to identify coursework that will support their education and development as a scholar in a focused area of research.

During the first five semesters of the program the student completes 51 credits of foundational doctoral coursework. During the sixth semester (includes summer sessions 1 and 2) the student enrolls in a dissertation proposal writing seminar course, and sits for the PhD comprehensive exam. Once the student passes the comprehensive exam they complete and schedule the dissertation proposal defense. After the dissertation proposal defense is passed, the PhD student secures IRB approval and enrolls in 1 credit of dissertation (NURS 800). PhD students are expected to design a PhD dissertation study that can be completed and defended in 12 months.

Fast Facts

  • Two-step application process
  • Full-time, on-campus cohort program designed to be completed in 3 years (Please note that a sufficient number of qualified applicants must be accepted for admission and enroll to start a new cohort)
  • Individualized advising and guidance from faculty advisor
  • Interdisciplinary graduate coursework that fosters team science and research collaboration
  • 57 didactic credits plus 1 additional credit per semester for dissertation work until completed

Program Outcomes / Competencies

Students completing the PhD degree in Nursing will demonstrate the ability to conduct original publishable research, ability to communicate to various audiences, conduct research in an ethical manner, integrate and apply key concepts, information, and methods into their work. The program will graduate nurse scholars capable of leading and functioning on scientific teams addressing complex health concerns.


The required foundational coursework for the PhD degree includes content and credits in the following areas.

  • Philosophy (3 credits)
  • Nursing disciplinary knowledge (3 credits)
  • Research methods (19 credits)
    • Coursework in: quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, big data analysis, community based participatory research, and a research practicum
  • Statistics (12 credits)
    • Coursework in: measurement, applied regression, multi variate analysis, and other statistical specialties applicable for the students scholarly inquiry
  • Scholarship (9 credits)
    • Coursework in: grant writing, dissemination and a dissertation proposal seminar
  • Cognate (3 credits)
  • Guided research practicum (8 credits)
  • Dissertation (NURS 800) (1 credit minimum)

Each semester the student selects classes that fulfill the coursework requirements for the PhD program outlined above.

Partnership in the Nursing Education Exchange

University of Hawaii at Manoa is a member of NEXus (The Nursing Education Exchange). NEXus is a collaboration between participating doctoral programs in nursing that allows doctoral students enrolled at member colleges and universities to take courses that may not be offered at his/her home institution for a common tuition price. Students may fulfill requirements by enrolling in NEXus courses.


Picture of Raymond Jarman, PhD
Raymond Jarman, PhD
Associate Specialist, Master of Science and PhD Program Advisor

Contact for applicants and current students in the Master of Science and PhD programs.

Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2528 McCarthy Mall, Webster Hall 201
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: (808) 956-3519
Fax: (808) 956-5977

Schedule an Advising Appointment
via Star Balance
Picture of Alice M. Tse, PhD, APRN, FAAN
Alice M. Tse, PhD, APRN, FAAN
PhD Program Director & Professor; Dental Hygiene Department Chair

Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2528 McCarthy Mall, Webster Hall 405
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Phone: (808) 956-5225
Fax: (808) 956-3257

Back To Top