PhD Program

The Columbia University School of Nursing PhD program is a full-time, research-intensive curriculum that prepares nurse scientists to conduct research in clinical outcomes and health policy, both independently and as part of interdisciplinary teams.

The program provides students with an understanding of the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of nursing science and a strong foundation in research methods (design, statistics, measurement) for clinical, translational and health services research. All students are mentored by research advisors with active programs of research as they move toward independent research and assume the roles of doctorally prepared nurse scientists.

As a Columbia University School of Nursing PhD student, you will:

  • Design, conduct, direct, and report research studies that increase knowledge about the outcomes of nursing and other clinical practice
  • Provide leadership in improving the health care delivery system at local, national, and international levels
  • Collaborate with other professionals to evaluate and develop policies for the organization and delivery of health service;
  • Translate evidence accumulated through research into practice and policy at multiple levels

Areas of Research

Featured areas of research include:

  • Infection prevention
  • Nursing informatics
  • Improving the health of women and children
  • LGBT health
  • Understanding health disparities
  • Health care policy
  • Comparative effectiveness

Both post-masters and post-BSN students admitted to the program will complete a minimum of 47 credits. The curriculum plan is designed to facilitate program completion in 3 years for those students with clearly defined plans for their dissertation research. The PhD program director is Arlene Smaldone, PhD, CPNP, CDE.


Why Choose Columbia Nursing?

  • Columbia University School of Nursing provides opportunities for mentorship in research.
  • Columbia Nursing is one of only two schools of nursing nationwide with three institutional training (T32) grants.  
  • These grants currently support nine pre-doctoral and five post-doctoral fellows
  • Columbia Nursing was selected as one of 14 schools to launch the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars program.
  • Columbia University Medical Center provides a myriad of opportunities for interprofessional collaboration in research. A focus of research is improving health disparities and inform health policy.
  • The majority of Columbia Nursing PhD faculty members have active research grants
    • Federal sources of funding include NIH, CDC, HRSA, AHRQ
    • Foundation sources include Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare