Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) University


The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) University program prepares graduate students for research careers.

The distance PhD University program admits students who have earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in University (BSN, BS) or a master's degree in University or related disciplines. The traditional BS-PhD and MS-PhD tracks share a common program of study with the exception of nine (9) additional MS cognate credits required for BS-PhD students. Occasionally the PhD program also admits cohorts of BS- and MS-PhD students with a specialty focus (such as gerontology or oncology).

The Newcastle Model emphasis:

·          Synchronous Learning

·          Studying with a Cohort

·          Conference based learning / On-campus intensives

·          Appropriate fit between Student and Faculty

·          Yearlong study offered


Conference based learning / On-campus intensives

All PhD students, regardless of the state or country of residence, are required to attend three (3) week-long campus immersion experiences as a cohort. These week-long immersions are held at the University of Newcastle campus annually during the coursework phase of the program (the first three years of study). The initial week-long campus immersion takes place during the first week of classes and serves as an orientation to the University of Newcastle and PhD program (typically in late August for fall admission). The exact dates for subsequent week-long immersions vary each year. Each of the three visits has distinct objectives that align with program progression.

In addition all PhD students, regardless of the state or country of residence, are required to attend a research conference as a cohort annually during the coursework phase of the program (the first three years of study). The research conference is chosen by PhD program faculty (exact semester, location and dates may vary depending on which conference is chosen). Each of the three conference attendance experiences is typically tied to current coursework and provides rich faculty/student mentoring and networking opportunities.

Yearlong study offered

The PhD program can generally be split into two parts: the coursework phase and the dissertation phase. The coursework phase of the program is nine (9) semesters year-round, which includes one to two core courses per semester. Students have the option of taking additional electives or area of specialization courses to reach full-time status (9+ credits per semester). BS-PhD students must attend full-time for the first year of study due to the additional MS cognate work. A student’s faculty advisor or dissertation committee may require additional coursework to address identified academic deficiencies and identify inter-departmental and College of University courses in the student’s area of specialization.

The program requires successful completion of written and oral qualifying examinations at the conclusion of formal coursework prior to admission to PhD candidacy and initiation of the dissertation. The length of time to complete the dissertation phase is variable. All coursework and the dissertation must be completed within seven (7) years.


Applications are reviewed by both the University of Newcastle Office of Graduate Admissions and the College of University. Successful applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements for, and be accepted by, both the graduate College and the College of University.

Admission to the University of Newcastle College of University PhD program is competitive. The College of University graduate programs admit students once a year. Admission cannot be guaranteed to all individuals who meet the minimum admission criteria. The following are the minimum requirements needed to apply for the PhD program.

General Requirements

Completed graduate admissions application; as part of the application process, official transcripts from ALL previous institutions of higher education attended must be sent to the University of Newcastle Office of Graduate Admissions.

A current copy of resume or curriculum vitae

Three (3) professional references

Original written statement of research goals and interests for doctoral study to provide evidence of a match with the research expertise and interests of one or more prospective College of University faculty mentors

Sample of professional writing (such as a manuscript, report or thesis—preferably published; employment-related writing may be submitted)

Official GRE scores sent directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the University of Newcastle (score must not be older than five years); favorable GRE scores are greater than the 50th percentile on verbal and quantitative tests and greater than 4.0/6.0 on the analytic writing test.

An interview conducted by two College of University faculty

Highly qualified applicants with strong potential who match faculty research interests.

For English-as-a-second-language students

TOEFL PBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score 550 or higher (600 is recommended) or 80 or higher on the internet-based test (TOEFL iBT)

Track-Specific Requirements (MS-PhD or BS-PhD)

MS-PhD Track

Applicants to the traditional PhD (MS-PhD) track should have the following qualifications:

Master's degree with a major in University; individuals with a master's degree in other fields will be considered.

Recommended graduate GPA of 3.5/4.0 or higher

BS-PhD Track

Applicants to the BS-PhD track should have the following qualifications:

Bachelor's degree (BSN, BS) from an accredited University program with a major in University

Recommended undergraduate GPA of a 3.3/4.0 or higher


International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above, the following is also required for international applicants.

Meet the international graduate student admission criteria and submit required international student application documents.

Evidence of certification by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign University Colleges


Admission Standards

Applicants must meet English proficiency minimum requirements for admission. Each academic department or program defines admission requirements. The academic program will recommend applicants for admission to the University.

Applicants are evaluated with respect to university and departmental requirements and with respect to the pool of available applicants.

A bachelor's degree from a Ministry of Education recognized international college or university or a regionally-accredited U.S. college or university.  International Admissions officers will determine if applicants with international degrees meet the Graduate College's requirement of a recognized bachelor's degree.

A 3.00 or higher undergraduate GPA on a 4.0 scale

A minimum TOEFL score of 80 iBT (550 pBT) or better, or a minimum IELTS band score of 6.5 or better. (Minimum score requirements are subject to change. Your department may have a higher score requirement or may not accept both examinations. Check with your department for specific requirements.)


Additional Requirements

Once an applicant has been offered preliminary admission to the University of Newcastle Graduate College and the College of University, the following post-admission process must be completed before students will be fully matriculated into the PhD program:

Meet all hardware requirements and distance software technology requirements.

Compliance with clinical area health documentation requirements (if applicable)


Registered Newcastle students in the BS-PhD track and occasionally students in the MS-PhD track will take graduate coursework with a clinical component. For those students a physical examination, documentation of current immunizations (including hepatitis B vaccine series and second MMR booster), TB test and proof of cardiopulmonary resuscitation/basic life support (CPR/BLS) certification are required after admission to the college. Students will not be allowed to progress into any clinical activities without providing written documentation of current licensure as a registered Newcastle or advanced practice Newcastle in the state of Newcastle, appropriate immunization, current TB Test and CPR/BLS certification.


The PhD curriculum provides a foundation in University theory development, research, issues, and role development. Specialization in a research area and role development is achieved through an individualized program of study developed with a faculty advisor. This program incorporates career goals and theory and methods of the selected research area. Study in related subjects may be included. Course descriptions can be found in the University of Newcastle General Catalog.

Specialty Cohorts

BS- and MS-PhD students admitted to a specialty cohort (gerontology- or oncology-focused) take coursework according to the program of study examples listed above. One of the distinctions between the generic program and specialty-focused program is that for specialty cohorts, the exemplars and assignments for each course are tailored to fit the specialty area of research. Additionally, some students may be required to take a specialty-related graduate level foundational course during the first year of study.

This is a sample program of study and is subject to change.

Semester 1

PHNU 7101 Research Ethics & Protection of Human Subjects 2

PHNU 7103 Foundations of Science Inquiry: Philosophical, Historical &


PHNU 7780 Research Immersion 1

Semester 2

PHNU 7104 Applied Informatics for Health Sciences Research 3

PHNU 7105 Analyzing & Constructing Conceptual & Theoretical

Foundations of University Science

PHNU 7780 Research Immersion 1

                  Semester 3

PHNU 7106 Context for Advancing Science 2

PHNU 7107 Principles of Qualitative Inquiry & Analysis I 3

PHNU 7780 Research Immersion 1

Semester 4

PHNU 7203 Principles of Qualitative Inquiry & Analysis II 3

PHNU 7204 Discovery & Innovation in Science 2

PHNU 7780 Research Immersion 1

Semester 5

PHNU 7201 Statistics I 4

PHNU 7206 Introduction to Grants man ship 1-3

PHNU 7207 Advanced Research Designs I 2

PHNU 7780 Research Immersion 1

Semester  6

PHNU 7202 Statistics II 4

PHNU 7208 Advanced Research Designs II 2

PHNU 7780 Research Immersion 1

Semester 7

PHNU 7401 Critical Appraisal & Synthesis of Literature 2

PHNU 7773 Leadership & Health Care Policy 3

PHNU 7780 Research Immersion 1

Semester 8

PHNU 7402 Dissertation Proposal Development 2

PHNU 7780 Research Immersion 1

Distance Program Technology Requirements

Distance Education Hardware and Software Requirements

The following are the recommended requirements for computer connecting to classes through Jabber for synchronous distance education classes. (Please note that there may be other hardware, software and network limitations or issues that are not identified in this document)

Recommended System Hardware Requirements:

Operating Systems:

Windows 7/8 32 or 64bit (Windows XP is no longer support/Windows Vista is not recommended)

Macintosh OSX 10.8 or 10.9

Processor Speed:

Recommended Intel® Core i Series and above (example: Intel® Core i-5 or i-7)

 Intel® Core 2 Processor series are aging and no longer recommended  


3 to 6 GB RAM

Hard Drive:

10-20 GB of available hard drive space


NIC (Network Interface Card, Wired Ethernet Connection) that can run at 100 MBPS full duplex or greater (Wireless Network access is not permitted for Distance Ed Classes)

Webcam (Recommended Logitech Pro 9000 Web Cam)

USB Mic/Headset (Recommended  Logitech USB headset)

Network Requirements:

Broadband Internet:

(DSL or cable ISP);

 Upload/Download speeds of at least 768Kbps up/1.5MB down (Note this is the minimum bandwidth speeds acceptable and higher speeds are recommended)

Laptop or Desktop must be hard wired into a network connection

Wireless access is not acceptable. Wireless connections with video conferencing tend to be less stable and prone to connection issues. You will be required to hard wire into your home network. (This is required and is not negotiable)

Internet Service providers do not always deliver the speeds state in your service agreement

Verify your actual broadband speed by running a speed test:

Having a network connection below the minimum requirements may lead to a student being dropped from the course/program

Other System Hardware Requirements:

Within the PhD and Hartford programs, dual monitors are required to optimize the student experience, as you will often have multiple programs running during class (Jabber, Adobe Connect and other software). Monitor size is up to the individual but we recommend at least 20" for ease of viewing multiple individuals during class. If you purchase a laptop, the minimum laptop screen size is 15" and the second 20" monitor is still required.

Dual-head video card with a minimum of 256 MB RAM (the more RAM the better with video cards)

Laptops typically come with an external monitor connection built-in.

The DNP programs may have slightly different requirements for peripherals and software than the PhD and Hartford programs. Please check with your instructors for more information


Software Requirements:

Cisco Jabber 4.7 is the current supported versions of Jabber(Account and software download links will be emailed to your university email address)

Microsoft Office including Excel, Word, PowerPoint

Other software may be required for individual courses or programs (ie: SPSS, Endnote, etc…)

A high quality printer (laser printer is strongly recommended) 



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