Doctor of Philosophy


Program Description

UCLA School of Nursing offers a course of study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.  The Ph.D. program is research oriented with a focus on clinical nursing research and designed to provide the theoretical and scientific knowledge necessary for scholarly pursuit in nursing. Students will show competence in an appropriate cognate area relevant to their major area of study by completing theory courses in nursing and related disciplines. Additional courses may be required if the student's record indicates academic deficiencies. The purpose of the Ph.D. program is to educate scholars who, through the conduct of original research and the generation of theory, will build the scientific knowledge base for the advancement of nursing practice, research and health care policy. This research focuses on the individual, family, community, and organizational systems within the context of cultural diversity and across the life span to optimize health outcomes. The program emphasizes specific areas of study in which nursing makes a significant contribution towards health. These areas are defined by the research expertise of faculty in the context of the interdisciplinary resources available at the academic and health sciences campus and the local, national and international community. The breadth of focus of the Ph.D. curriculum ranges from nursing research in the biologic sciences to health services research.  The core strands focus upon research that describes, explains and predicts phenomena in the domain. Ethical considerations and policy decisions that impact and advancement of research in all of these domains are addressed. These areas or core strands are:

Biobehavioral Sciences – the influence of both biologic and behavioral factors on health beliefs and health promotion, sense of well-being and quality of life, symptom management and adherence to and utilization of prevention and treatment services.

Biologic Sciences – phenomena in the biologic, physiologic and pathophysiologic sciences, including cellular adaptations and injury, genetics, neoplasia, inflammatory, immune and neuroendocrine responses and the effect of these on tissue and organ system function in the context of human health.

Health Disparities/Vulnerable Populations – nursing science in the area of community-based interventions to prevent disease, decrease morbidity and mortality for populations at relative higher risk for poor health and in the context of a culturally diverse environment for care.

Health Services – the interrelationships of structure, process and outcomes of care in the context of a wide range of health care delivery systems, from inpatient settings to outpatient and home care and community-based prevention and treatment delivery systems.