Synchronous and Distance Learning, Combined with Specialty Track Clinical Placements
The dual DNP-PhD program is offered through synchronous (videoconference) and online distance education, in addition to several weeklong on-campus intensives for PhD study, and multi-week clinical intensives for DNP specialty track clinical preparation. This approach allows students living outside of Salt Lake City, Utah to complete the program without relocating to Utah. However, students are not guaranteed specialty track clinical placement in their own geographic areas, which would require traveling to Utah for clinical intensives, such as 2-8 week assignments at contracted clinical sites in Utah.
On-Campus Intensives and Conference-Based Learning
All dual DNP-PhD students are required to attend three (3) week-long campus immersion experiences as a cohort. These week-long immersions are held at the University of Utah 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 Utah, as well as the DNP and PhD programs (typically in mid-August for fall admission). The exact dates for subsequent weeklong immersions vary each year. Each of the three visits has distinct objectives that align with program progression.
In addition, all dual students, regardless of the state or country of residence, are required to attend a professional 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.
The dual DNP-PhD program blends coursework required to meet the DNP Essentials as outlined by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and those of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, as well as coursework that develops the skillset for the design and conduct of research. Students complete core courses for both degrees in the first three years of the five-year program, followed by specialty track coursework and clinical training during the last two years. Core courses in the first three years provide the foundation for completing a DNP Scholarly Project, as well as preparation to conduct PhD Dissertation research. Clinical research immersion during years two to three fulfills requirements for the DNP scholarly project and sets the stage for dissertation work during the last two years of the five-year program of study.
The dual program requires full-time enrollment for five years (defined as nine credits minimum per semester), year-round. Programs of study for the dual DNP-PhD program can be viewed here.
The dual program requires successful completion of written and oral PhD qualifying examinations at the conclusion of formal coursework (end of year three), prior to admission to PhD degree candidacy and initiation of the dissertation. Students complete the PhD dissertation phase during the last two years of the program of study, with the possibility of extending into an additional two years, if needed.