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Doctoral Program

Submitted by kathleen.local on Mon, 04/20/2015 - 3:36pm

Our goal in the doctoral program is to develop nurse scientists who are expert clinical scholars equipped to provide leadership in nursing practice, research and education. The program is designed to educate professionals for excellence in nursing scholarship through original research with identified populations.

The program offers opportunities to become research intensive, gain core disciplinary knowledge and develop expertise within a substantive field. Applicants are required to seek out faculty who they believe would be a good “fit” with their focus of study prior to submitting an application. Find out information about our faculty members and their research areas here



  • 3.0 Grade Point Average:  will vary depending on the previous degree(s) held.
  • Scholarly work:  Examples of applicant’s written work such as publications, research reports/proposals, previous master’s thesis, etc.
  • Successful completion of one master’s level half-course in each of the following areas: 

    • quantitative methods
    • qualitative methods
    • statistics


  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Two sets of transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions. This includes transcripts from the institutions where the degree was awarded, from any institution where any transfer credit was received towards a program of study, or from where any independent coursework was taken.
    • Please request that official transcripts be sent to the attention of:
      Laura Thomas, Graduate Program Administrator, Faculty of Nursing, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary AB T2N 1N4
  • Three letters of reference, one of which must be from the applicant’s supervisor of his/her master’s program.
  • For applicants required to provide proof of proficiency in English, submit a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (written test) or 100 (internet-based test); IELTS score of 7.0; MELAB score of 83; or Level 3 on the EAP program.
  • If the applicant is a Registered Nurse, eligibility for active nursing registration in Alberta will be required. Please visit CARNA’s website for details.


As part of the application package, you are required to submit:

  • Study plan – outlining the areas of proposed concentration, goals in undertaking doctoral work, initial intentions regarding course work, and a statement of the preliminary plans for thesis research.
  • Proposed Academic Plan – outlining your academic background and proposed plan of study.
    • This form is available below under APPLY ONLINE and is to be completed with the proposed supervisor.
  • Proposed supervisor’s Notice of Support.
    • This form is available below under APPLY ONLINE and is to be completed by the proposed supervisor.
  • Letter of commitment from the identified supervisor indicating willingness to provide supervision throughout the program of studies and supporting the applicant’s study plan. The letter should address the fit between the applicant’s focus of research and the supervisor’s program of research and area of expertise.


Doctoral Program (PhD)


Applicant's Proposed Academic Plan


Proposed Supervisor’s Notice of Support


Reference Request & Appraisal Form


PhD On-line Application



February 1 for the following September admission
September 15 for the following January admission

Please note that all supporting documentation must be received by the deadline in order for applications to be considered complete and available for faculty to review.


The University of Calgary is committed to assisting new doctoral students to achieve funding support through awards, faculty research programs, teaching assistantships, and research scholarships. All doctoral students are expected to apply for internal and externals awards, fellowships, and studentships to support subsequent years of their program. Funding support should be discussed with the potential supervisors at the time of application to the program.

In addition, the Faculty of Graduate Studies website has information on graduate student funding offered through the University. 


A minimum core of six half courses is required. The number and type of courses included beyond those courses identified as core will vary according to the applicant’s academic background, research and practice experience, and career goals.  The core courses are as follows:

Offered in the Fall term:

  • Nursing 705, Philosophy of Science in Nursing
  • Nursing 711 Doctoral Scholarship in Nursing – in Block Week at the start of the term
  • Nursing 721* Advanced Quantitative Research Methods

Offered in the Winter term:

  • Nursing 769 Contemporary Issues in Health Care
  • Nursing 783* Advanced Qualitative Research Methods

Offered in the Spring/Summer term:

  • Nursing 733 Doctoral Thesis Seminar

* Students must take two advanced research methods courses at the doctoral level, one in quantitative research methods and the other in qualitative research methods, and of which one must be either Nursing 721 or 783.

The program must be completed within six years of initial registration.  Candidacy examination normally must be completed within 28 months of initial registration.


PLEASE NOTE: Once you received an offer of admission to the program, you will be expected to provide the following:

  • Immunization record: All graduate students will be required to meet the U of C immunization standards (Click here for the Forms page)
  • Security Clearance Letter: Alberta Health Services requires security clearance checks for all nursing students including graduate students who will be doing a practicum or research in the region.
    • Applicants should request the Police Security Clearance check no longer than 3 months prior to entering their program.
    • The Graduate Programs Office will need to receive the original document; photocopies are not acceptable. Once the Graduate Programs Office records necessary information from a security clearance letter, the original will be returned to the applicant.
    • A copy of your current CPR Certification at the Basic Rescuer or Basic Cardiac Life Support or “C” level.

PLEASE do not submit these documents until you have received an offer of admission to the program.