Latest information and updates about COVID-19 (coronavirus) from McMaster University
Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

Ph.D Degree in Nursing

Program at a Glance

The Ph.D. graduate will be expected to function as a leader in the profession who can direct and carry out independent research.  The students will, through course work, complete a comprehensive examination and a research thesis:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to integrate scientific principles and theory in the solution of health care problems.
  2. Communicate effectively in educational and professional settings.
  3. Complete at least one required and two selected half courses, as well as a Doctoral Seminar.
  4. Plan, develop, and carry out research which makes an original contribution to nursing knowledge
  5. Present research results both orally and through peer reviewed publication.
  6. Complete and defend a written thesis.

Please see the Program website for more information:

How to Apply

Apply to the Ph.D in Nursing Program through the McMaster University Application Site.

Admission Requirements

  1. Completed Master’s degree with the equivalent to a McMaster B+ GPA.
  2. Completion of a Master’s level research thesis or equivalent (e.g. the candidate has already conducted funded research).
  3. Obtain two academic and one clinical references.
  4. Submit a personal essay responding to the five questions outlined here to provide us with insight into your motivation and interest in the PhD program. (one page per question, single spaced, 12 font)
  5. Identification of a faculty member who agrees to supervise the student. NOTE: It is expected that applicants will approach potential supervisors at least three months prior to the application deadline.
  6. Provide evidence of current registration or eligibility for registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario.

The appropriate foundation for graduate level entry is a professional degree. Candidates must comply with the School of Graduate Studies regulations for the Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees.

English-Language Proficiency

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to supply evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language. The most common evidence is a score of at least 92 (iBT), 580 (paper-based test) or 237 (computer-based test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The Nursing Graduate Program requires a minimum score of 7.0 for IELTS (Academic Test).

Pre-Clinical Communicable Disease Screening

The Ontario Public Hospitals Act requires that all persons working in a hospital setting meet certain criteria regarding surveillance for infectious diseases. In order for the requirement of the legislation to be met, once students have been enrolled in the Nursing Program, they must complete the Pre-Clinical Communicable Disease Screening on an annual basis. More information will be sent to specific applicants prior to registration.

Specific questions can be directed to the Office of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (Health Sciences).

Indigenous Applicants

With an understanding that Indigenous learners can face specific barriers or challenges when pursuing higher education, schools and programs within McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences have facilitated admissions streams for applicants with Indigenous North American (First Nations, Inuit or Métis) ancestry. This process is intended to provide equitable access to Indigenous applicants and aligns with the intent of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action. Applicants wishing to apply through McMaster’s FIAP need to complete the supplementary self-identification application in addition to  McMaster university and program specific application processes. Full details are found on the Indigenous Students Health Sciences Website:

All Indigenous applicants who meet the admission criteria will be considered within the Indigenous applicant cohort.