Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The doctoral program in the Faculty of Nursing develops nurse scientists who are expert clinical scholars equipped to provide leadership in nursing practice, research and education.

The degree is designed to educate professionals for excellence in nursing scholarship through original research. Our thesis-based degree offers opportunities to become research-intensive, gain core disciplinary knowledge and develop expertise within a substantive field.

Before applying, candidates are required to seek out members of our award-winning faculty who they believe would be a good “fit” with their research plans.

The University of Calgary is committed to helping new doctoral students get funding support through awards, faculty research programs, teaching assistantships, and research scholarships.

Important Notes on Admission

Applicants who are interested in the graduate programs with the Faculty of Nursing should contact the Graduate Programs Office prior to applying. We encourage international applicants to reach out to learn more.

Academic Requirements

  • A Master’s degree in most cases is required for admission to a doctoral program
  • Minimum 3.0 Grade Point Average
  • Scholarly work: Examples of applicant’s written work i.e. publications, research reports/proposals, master’s thesis, etc.
  • Successful completion of one master’s level course in each of the following areas: 

    • quantitative research methods
    • qualitative research methods
    • statistics

Technology Requirements  

To successfully engage in learning experiences at the University of Calgary, students taking online, remote and blended courses are required to have reliable access to the following technology:

  • A computer with a supported operating system, as well as the latest security, and malware updates.
  • A current and updated web browser. 
  • Webcam (built-in or external).
  • Microphone and speaker (built-in or external), or headset with microphone.
  • Current antivirus and/or firewall software enabled.
  • Broadband internet connection.

Documents for Application Package

Below are links to forms that need to be completed after you have submitted your online application for admission.

Applicant's Proposed Academic Plan

Arrange to meet with your proposed supervisor to discuss your academic background and proposed plan of study. Review the courses that are required for your program, plan your course progression, and complete the attached Proposed Academic Plan.

Download Proposed Academic Plan

Supervisor's Notice of Support

After you have submitted your online application, please ask your proposed supervisor to complete the attached Notice of Support. As well, the proposed supervisor must provide a letter in support of your application for admission to

Download notice of support

Reference Request & Appraisal Form

The application for admission to the doctoral program requires three references. One from your previous supervisor from your Master’s degree, and two academic references.

Your referees will receive a link to the reference request form after you submit the online application.

Further information is available in Grad Programs FAQs.

Download reference request form

Transcripts from ALL post-secondary

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.

Official hard copy transcripts can be sent to the attention of:

Faculty of Graduate Studies
University of Calgary ES 1010
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Electronic transcripts are now being accepted, please forward to:

FGS & Nursing

After Admission into the Program

Documents required following offer of admission

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 UCalgary immunization standards. Please refer to FN008-01: Immunization Requirements for All Nursing Students on the Policies and Procedures 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.
  • 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.

Required Courses

  • NURS 705 - Fall - Philosophy of Science in Nursing
  • NURS 711 - Fall - Doctoral Scholarship in Nursing
  • NURS 721 - Fall - Advanced Quantitative Research Methods
  • NURS 769- Winter - Contemporary Issues in Health Care
  • NURS 783 - Winter - Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
  • NURS 733 - Spring - Doctoral Thesis Seminar

Our doctoral courses are designed to be completed in one academic year. Extra time may be required if additional courses are required.

For more details on these courses, review the Grad Calendar.

Still have questions? Contact the Graduate Programs Office