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The Graduate School

Nursing (PHD)

Program Overview

Ranked the eighth best nursing school in New York state, the Decker School of Nursing provides excellent preparation in nursing education, scholarship and practice, and offers graduate level programs of study ranging from certificates to the PhD. The Decker School of Nursing graduate nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) through June 19, 2019.

The PhD program in nursing offered by the Decker School of Nursing is designed to prepare graduates for research and active scholarship in nursing that will extend the knowledge base of the field and improve the delivery of healthcare for rural and vulnerable populations. Students will be prepared to conduct research and develop theory related to these populations. Graduates of the program will also be able to design future practice models, direct the development of policy initiatives and effect meaningful change within healthcare delivery systems. The program is research-based with an emphasis on rural and vulnerable populations.

Beginning in spring 2018, the Decker School of Nursing will offer courses for the PhD in nursing on Fridays. By holding courses for the doctorate on the same day, students will have an easier time fitting the program into their schedules.

Degrees Offered

  • PHD in Nursing

Internships, research opportunities and more

Primary components of the program include research and conceptualization, nursing and health policy, cognate courses and a dissertation. The student develops a strong working relationship with faculty and staff throughout the duration of the program. Many students are full-time registered nurses and attend classes part-time. Research centers, such as the Innovative Simulation and Practice Center and the Kresge Center for Nursing Research, are available on campus to provide students with practical clinical experiences.

After You Graduate

Decker boasts high employment rates for graduates, with many alumni taking positions in healthcare agencies such as Albany Medical Center, Lenox Hill Hospital, Lourdes Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, Stony Brook University Hospital, SUNY Upstate Medical University, UHS and University of Rochester Medical Center. Many of our PhD alumni have obtained positions in academia at acclaimed universities and research institutions, while others are pioneers in research, development and practice initiatives.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

To be eligible for the PhD, you must have: 

  • An undergraduate degree in nursing from an ACEN- or CCNE-accredited nursing school
  • Successfully completed a statistics course within the last 5 years
  • A current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered professional nurse in the United States
    • Applicants must have passed the NCLEX-RN examination before starting clinical courses
    • International students are additionally required to provide proof of a current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in their home country
    • Prior to beginning clinical experiences in a New York clinical facility, students must present a copy of their current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in New York; this is a requirement of the New York State Department of Education Office of the Professions

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
  • Personal statement of 2 to 3 pages that specifically addresses the your research interests and professional goals with a mention of possible current Decker School of Nursing faculty member(s) whose current research may best coincide with the your background and interests
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae that specifically detail a progressive record of continued development in nursing practice and scholarship in addition to employment and education history
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Nursing licensure
  • Writing sample: two scholarly papers that demonstrate your ability to analyze and/or synthesize nursing phenomena
  • A personal interview may be required

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website. Consult with the Decker School of Nursing before submitting an application, to ensure that the desired program meets international student requirements.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic scores)

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend that you contact the department with questions about program-specific requirements.

Class Profile

Total Enrollment: 27
GPA: 3.46*

*This GPA represents the AVERAGE for the recently admitted class; scoring lower does not result in automatic rejection and scoring higher does not guarantee acceptance.


Degree Fall Spring
PHD in NursingRolling15-Nov

For more information, visit the Nursing department page.

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