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PhD Curriculum

The PhD curriculum consists of a core of PhD courses on philosophy of science, theory, statistics, health policy and research design. Students additionally choose from a selection of research methods courses, substantive area courses and electives. Students admitted under the BSN entry option complete 18 prerequisite credits before starting the PhD coursework.

Designed with you in mind.

You will start your experience at UNM with a theoretical foundation of science. Building on quantitative and qualitative approaches. And begin your research with one of our expert faculty members.


All courses within the PhD program are three-credit courses with the exception of N690 and N648.

  • N600* Philosophy of Science
  • N601* Theoretical Foundations of Research
  • N606* Quantitative Methods of Health Research
  • N607* Qualitative Methods of Health Research
  • N620* Health Care Statistics I
  • N621* Health Care Statistics II
  • N640  Health Policy, Politics, and Research
  • N690  PhD Seminar

*Courses required to sit for the progression exam at the end of Year 1.

Required for Health Policy students; may serve as electives for students pursuing an individualized plan of study.


  • NURS 641 Understanding Health Disparities in Policy & Research
  • NURS 642 Health Care Economics
  • NURS 648 Introduction to Health Policy Field Placement (1 credit)
  • NURS 649 Health Policy Field Placement

All students are required to select at least one of the advanced courses (NURS 612 Health Outcomes Research or NURS 623 Advanced Qualitative Methods) PLUS one additional course.


  • NURS 612 Health Outcomes Research
  • NURS 613 Mixed Methods Research
  • NURS 616 Secondary Data in Health Research
  • NURS 623 Advanced Qualitative Methods
  • Students following an individualized plan of study will take at least seven elective courses (21 credits) in the student's area of interest approved in advance by the student's Dissertation Committee Chair.

  • Health Policy students take three elective courses (9 credits) related to health policy, approved in advance by the student's Dissertation Committee Chair.

  • For all students, subject to the approval of the faculty advisor, up to 6 credits of electives may be taken as independent study as part of the program of studies; however, no more than 3 credits of independent study in nursing may be applied to the degree requirements.

Note: Students are strongly advised against replacing a methods course with an independent study. Such substitutions will be considered only in special circumstances.


  • NURS 602 Theory II: Synthesis of Knowledge for Nursing Inquiry
  • NURS 605 Symptom Management Science
  • NURS 608 Environments of Human Health and Nursing
  • NURS 609 Family Nursing: Concepts, Issues, and Outcomes
  • NURS 611 Rural and Cultural Health
  • NURS 615 Critical Ethnography and CBPR in Health Care Research
  • NURS 641 Health Disparities and Policy
  • NURS 693 Topics
  • NURS 694 Research Practicum
  • NURS 715 Genetics and Genomics for Advanced Practice Nursing
  • NURS 727 Health Care Innovations and Informatics

Students must:

  • Enroll for 6 credits of NURS 699 each semester between the conclusion of the courses in their program of study until degree completion. However only 18 credits of NURS 699 will be counted toward graduation.
  • Students must make satisfactory progress in each semester they are registered for NURS 699. Failure to make progress in any semester will result in a grade of NC (no credit) for that semester.

PhD Program Plan Options

  • Individualized Plan of Study 51 credits of coursework + 18 credits of dissertation (69 credits in total)
  • Health Policy Concentration 52 credits of coursework + 18 credits of dissertation (70 credits in total)
  • BSN Entry Option* 69 credits of coursework + 18 credits of dissertation (87 credits in total) *includes 18 credits of bridge coursework

PhD Program

Learn more about our program, what to expect in your education and how we prepare for your career.

NEXus Doctoral Elective Courses

The College of Nursing is part of NEXus (the Nursing Education Exchange), a collaboration among several Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) doctoral programs that offer graduate courses through distance education.

 Explore NEXus

Support for Your Education

The majority of our students received some form of financial aid – scholarship, grant, loan, work study or teaching assistant position.

We also offer more than $270,000 in UNM College of Nursing scholarships. Individual scholarship amounts range from $200-$4,000 annually.

Admissions, Tuition & Financial Aid

PhD Program Contact

PhD Coordinator, Professor
Roberta P. Lavin, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAAN

College of Nursing
Building 291
Room 3632
1 University of New Mexico

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