Our researchers are distinguished scientists who are internationally and nationally recognized for their contributions to science and academia. Consistent with faculty research expertise, our PhD program specifically promotes the development of scientific and theoretical expertise that contributes to scholarly endeavors in six key areas:

Integrative health is an approach to care that puts the patient at the center and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect a person’s health. Employing a personalized strategy that considers the patient’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances, integrative health uses the most appropriate interventions from an array of scientific disciplines to heal illness and disease and help people regain and maintain optimum health and wellness. Students choosing this focus may work with UCI faculty (Nursing Science and others) on stress and coping, women’s health, complementary alternative medicine, obesity prevention and nutrition, to name a few specific areas.

Community health is a blend of primary health care and nursing practice with public health nursing to provide care that is preventive, curative and rehabilitative. The philosophy of care is based on the belief that care directed to the individual, the family and the group contributes to the health care of the population as a whole. Students choosing this focus will have an opportunity to study the development of community activities that contribute to the promotion of, education about and maintenance of good health. These activities require comprehensive health programs that pay special attention to social and ecological influences and specific populations at risk.

While empirical scholarship is a critical element of nursing, generating evidence for sound interventions that improve the health of patients, families, and communities, philosophical/theoretical scholarship is also vital for the development of the discipline. Students choosing this focus will have the opportunity to work with leading scholars to advance understanding of the nature of nursing science and practice.

Health policy and the economics of delivering health care are important issues affecting health outcomes. Students choosing this focus will have an opportunity to examine the implications of a variety of policies and services on health and health system outcomes. There will be opportunities to study with researchers who have expertise in health care system management, law, organizational theory and behavior, and quality of care.

Digital technology is the integrated use of electronic information and telecommunications technology to support remote clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration to deliver relevant and up-to-date, real-time, information to researchers in a more efficient way, given the sheer amount of data being produced every day. Students choosing this focus may work with UCI faculty (Nursing Science and others) on support and enhancement of a collaborative informatics community; promotion of software standards for interoperability; growth of collaborative innovation across informatics tools, methods and processes; data science education for clinicians and researchers; and development of novel methods and tools for the evaluation of the impact of these activities to enhance health care through data and informatics.

The focus on Health Disparities acknowledges that there are individuals, families, and communities who are not equally treated in the quest for health. Many do not have equal access to quality health care nor the means to achieve an equal level of desired health outcomes. The emphasis will be to examine these health disparities among diverse populations who encounter differences in treatment and outcomes. Students choosing this focus will have an opportunity to work with diverse community members in Orange County and beyond, and they will be mentored by researchers who study the experiences of these community members.

Prospective PhD students

Working with a research advisor who is an expert in your projected area of research is instrumental to success. We encourage you to meet individually with faculty to discuss your interests and any questions about doctoral study.

Review potential faculty mentors below. You can filter faculty by key areas of focus and send a meeting request through the form at the bottom of this page.

Prospective PhD candidate contact form