The Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) degree option is for students interested in a career focused on research and graduate education. Post-master’s level course work emphasizes the statistical and analytic methods required to conduct original research, such as epidemiology and biostatistics, and topics specific to the student’s dissertation topic. The program generally takes a minimum of three years of full-time study to complete after completing the equivalent of masters’ level occupational health nursing course work. Many opportunities are available for students to develop their dissertation topics from funded research projects.

Detailed PhD OEHN Curriculum Information (PDF)

Students must have earned a baccalaureate degree and hold a current nursing license prior to admission. Additionally, at least one year of professional nursing experience is highly recommended before seeking admission.

The admissions committee reviews applicants according to their personal statements, background and experience, record of academic achievement, demonstrated academic potential, letters of recommendation, compatibility of interests with program faculty, and other factors. Test scores and GPAs provide competitive points of reference for admission but are not alone decisive in the admissions review. Doctoral applicants are expected to substantially exceed the general admission preferences.

Preferred Performance Levels

  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00

GRE Test Scores

  • Pre-August 2011 test – A combination of 1000 on the quantitative and verbal sections of the test and a score of 3.5 on the analytical writing assessment.
  • Post August 2011 test – A combination of 300 on the quantitative and verbal sections of the test and a score of 3.5 on the analytical writing assessment.

Also Acceptable:

  • DAT, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT. (The test is not required for applicants with a doctoral-level degree from an accredited U.S. or Canadian school.)
  • TOEFL score of at least 600/250 (for applicants whose native language is not English)
  • GRE test scores or other standardized post bacc test scores (e.g. MCAT, LSAT, DAT) are required of all PhD applicants to the EnHS program.

The University of Minnesota offers affordable and competitive graduate tuition while also being situated in one of the most affordable metropolitan areas in the country. See SPH Tuition & Finances for full details.


See a full list of scholarships available to Public Health students

Applicants who meet our priority deadline (December 1) are given first consideration for all school-awarded funds.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides funding for tuition and fees for eligible full- and part-time MPH students and a partial stipend for eligible full-time students through the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety(MCOHS). Students have been funded through the MCOHS for more than three decades; however, awards are dependent on annual funding approval from NIOSH.

Student funding may also be available through research and teaching assistantships across campus.

Other Costs to Consider

  • Average cost of living in Minneapolis for a one-bedroom apartment is $899
  • Minnesota offers no tax on clothing
  • Minnesota students may receive an unlimited bus pass for $100/semester
  • Free use of the light rail train and shuttles between Twin Cities campuses
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