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2022 Best Nursing Doctor's Degree Schools

358 Colleges in the United States
10,033 Doctor's Degrees
Ranked #5 in popularity, nursing is one of the most sought-after doctor's degree programs in the nation. So, there are lots of possibilities to explore when you're trying to determine where you want to get your degree.

In 2022, College Factual analyzed 358 schools in order to identify the top ones for its Best Nursing Doctor's Degree Schools ranking. When you put them all together, these colleges and universities awarded 10,033 doctor's degrees in nursing during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Jump to one of the following sections:

Choosing a Great Nursing School for Your Doctor's Degree

Best Nursing Doctor's Degree Schools Your choice of nursing for getting your doctor's degree school matters. Important measures of a quality nursing program can vary widely even among the top schools. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Overall Quality Is a Must

The overall quality of a doctor's degree school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges for a Doctor's Degree ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

Over 80% of the schools in this list are in the top 12% of our overall quality ranking while the lowest ranked school on the list is still in the top 27%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 81 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

One measure we use to determine the quality of a nursing school is to look at the average salary of doctorate graduates during the early years of their career. While doctor's degree recipients from schools in the United States earn an average starting salary of $115,628, the top 25 schools on this list made an average of $126,033.

Starting Salary  ( 100662 to 146137 )
$0
$157,100

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on nursing students vs. other majors.
  • Major Demand - The number of nursing students who choose to seek a doctor's degree at the school.
  • Educational Resources - The amount of money and other resources allocated to students while they are pursuing their degree. These resources include such things as number of students per instructor and education expenditures per student.
  • Student Debt - How easy is it for nursing to pay back their student loans after receiving their doctor's degree.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or accredited by a recognized nursing related body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for nursing students working on their doctor's degree.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Since picking the right college can be one of the most important decisions of your life, we've developed the Best Nursing Doctor's Degree Schools ranking, along with many other major-related rankings, to help you make that decision.

Best Schools for Doctorate Students to Study Nursing in the United States

Learn about the top ranked colleges and universities for nursing students seeking a a doctor's degree. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

25 Top Schools for a Doctorate in Nursing

69 Annual Graduates

Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia Inc is a great option for individuals interested in a doctor's degree in nursing. MTSA is a fairly small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Madison.

A popular major for nursing students, there were approximately 69 students who completed this degree at MTSA in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia Inc

#2

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Yale University is a great option for individuals interested in a doctor's degree in nursing. Located in the midsize city of New Haven, Yale is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #4 out of 741 schools nationwide means Yale is a great university overall.

A preferred major for nursing students, there were approximately 18 learners who completed this degree at Yale in the most recent year we have data available. Doctorate recipients from the nursing program at Yale University earn $16,772 more than the average graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Yale University

#3

Duke University

Durham, NC
140 Annual Graduates
$57,200 Median Student Debt

Every student pursuing a degree in a doctor's degree in nursing needs to look into Duke University. Located in the large city of Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #14 out of 741 schools nationwide means Duke is a great university overall.

There were about 140 nursing individuals who graduated with this degree at Duke in the most recent year we have data available. Doctorate graduates who receive their degree from the nursing program earn about $114,400 for their early career.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Duke University

17 Annual Graduates

Samuel Merritt University is one of the best schools in the United States for getting a doctor's degree in nursing. Located in the large city of Oakland, Samuel Merritt University is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population.

Samuel Merritt University is one of the most popular universities to study nursing in the United States with about 17 graduates in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Samuel Merritt University

114 Annual Graduates

Located in the city of Baltimore, UMB is a public university with a moderately-sized student population.

There were about 114 nursing individuals who graduated with this degree at UMB in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from University of Maryland - Baltimore

#6

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD
56 Annual Graduates

Johns Hopkins is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Baltimore. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #16 out of 741 schools nationwide means Johns Hopkins is a great university overall.

There were roughly 56 nursing individuals who graduated with this degree at Johns Hopkins in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Johns Hopkins University

112 Annual Graduates
$83,676 Median Student Debt

Located in the large city of New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #12 out of 741 colleges nationwide means Columbia is a great university overall.

There were roughly 112 nursing individuals who graduated with this degree at Columbia in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Columbia University in the City of New York

55 Annual Graduates
$61,500 Median Student Debt

UTHealth is a medium-sized public university located in the large city of Houston.

There were approximately 55 nursing individuals who graduated with this degree at UTHealth in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

#9

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN
73 Annual Graduates

Vanderbilt is a large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Nashville. This university ranks 1st out of 19 colleges for overall doctor's degree quality in the state of Tennessee.

There were roughly 73 nursing individuals who graduated with this degree at Vanderbilt in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Vanderbilt University

15 Annual Graduates

Bryan College of Health Sciences is a fairly small private not-for-profit college located in the city of Lincoln.

Bryan College of Health Sciences is a fairly popular college to study nursing in the United States with approximately 15 graduates in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Bryan College of Health Sciences

#11

Loma Linda University

Loma Linda, CA
25 Annual Graduates

Located in the suburb of Loma Linda, Loma Linda University is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population.

A preferred major for nursing students, there were roughly 25 individuals who graduated from this program at Loma Linda University in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Loma Linda University

#12

Georgetown University

Washington, DC
29 Annual Graduates

Located in the large city of Washington, Georgetown is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #9 out of 741 schools nationwide means Georgetown is a great university overall.

Georgetown University is one of the most popular universities to study nursing in the United States with approximately 29 graduations in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Georgetown University

#13

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX
70 Annual Graduates
$87,171 Median Student Debt

Located in the large city of Fort Worth, TCU is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. This university ranks 3rd out of 44 colleges for overall doctor's degree quality in the state of Texas.

There were roughly 70 nursing students who graduated with this degree at TCU in the most recent data year. Doctorate recipients from the nursing degree program at Texas Christian University make $41,472 above the average college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Texas Christian University

20 Annual Graduates

Located in the large city of Los Angeles, UCLA is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 6th out of 61 schools for overall doctor's degree quality in the state of California.

A popular choice for nursing students, there were about 20 individuals who graduated from this program at UCLA in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from University of California - Los Angeles

196 Annual Graduates
$47,589 Median Student Debt

Located in the rural area of Hyden, Frontier Nursing University is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population.

There were roughly 196 nursing individuals who graduated with this degree at Frontier Nursing University in the most recent data year. After graduation, nursing doctorate recipients usually make an average of $101,400 in the first five years of their career.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Frontier Nursing University

30 Annual Graduates

Mayo Clinic School of Medicine is a small private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Rochester.

Mayo Clinic School of Medicine is a fairly popular school to study nursing in the United States with approximately 30 graduates in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Mayo Clinic School of Medicine

78 Annual Graduates
$73,584 Median Student Debt

Located in the medium-sized city of Charleston, MUSC is a public university with a small student population.

There were approximately 78 nursing students who graduated with this degree at MUSC in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Medical University of South Carolina

#18

Mount Marty University

Yankton, SD
34 Annual Graduates

Mount Marty is a small private not-for-profit university located in the remote town of Yankton. This university ranks 1st out of 5 schools for overall doctor's degree quality in the state of South Dakota.

There were roughly 34 nursing individuals who graduated with this degree at Mount Marty in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Mount Marty University

#19

Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT
47 Annual Graduates
$71,750 Median Student Debt

Fairfield U is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit university located in the large suburb of Fairfield. This university ranks 2nd out of 12 schools for overall doctor's degree quality in the state of Connecticut.

There were roughly 47 nursing individuals who graduated with this degree at Fairfield U in the most recent data year. Those nursing students who get their doctor's degree from Fairfield University receive $30,272 more than the typical nursing grad.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Fairfield University

#20

Rush University

Chicago, IL
219 Annual Graduates
$61,898 Median Student Debt

Located in the large city of Chicago, Rush University is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population.

There were about 219 nursing individuals who graduated with this degree at Rush University in the most recent data year. Doctorate students who receive their degree from the nursing program earn about $105,000 in the first couple years of working.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Rush University

29 Annual Graduates

RFUMS is a small private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of North Chicago.

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is one of the most popular universities to study nursing in the United States with approximately 29 graduations in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

#22

Gonzaga University

Spokane, WA
48 Annual Graduates

Located in the city of Spokane, Gonzaga is a private not-for-profit university with a moderately-sized student population. This university ranks 4th out of 12 schools for overall doctor's degree quality in the state of Washington.

There were approximately 48 nursing students who graduated with this degree at Gonzaga in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Gonzaga University

16 Annual Graduates

Located in the city of Houston, Baylor College of Medicine is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Baylor College of Medicine is one of the most popular colleges to study nursing in the United States with about 16 graduates in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Baylor College of Medicine

#24

Saint Vincent College

Latrobe, PA
4 Annual Graduates

Located in the suburb of Latrobe, Saint Vincent is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 4th out of 51 schools for overall doctor's degree quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

A popular choice for nursing students, there were roughly 4 learners who graduated from this program at Saint Vincent in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from Saint Vincent College

#25

New York University

New York, NY
17 Annual Graduates

Located in the large city of New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #27 out of 741 schools nationwide means NYU is a great university overall.

A popular choice for nursing students, there were roughly 17 students who graduated from this program at NYU in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in nursing from New York University

Rest of the Top Best Nursing Doctor's Degree Schools

#25

New York University

New York, NY
#26

Quinnipiac University

Hamden, CT
#27

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
#29

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA
#30

Emory University

Atlanta, GA
#31

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

#32

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA

#44

Texas Wesleyan University

Fort Worth, TX
#45

Touro University Nevada

Henderson, NV
#49

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

Remaining Award Winners

This list shows the rest of the colleges awarded a Best Nursing Doctor's Degree Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 358 different United States nursing schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY
51 Wagner College Staten Island, NY
52 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
53 George Washington University Washington, DC

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Nursing students that almost earned our Best Nursing Doctor's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
54 Western University of Health Sciences Pomona, CA
55 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
56 The University of Tennessee - Health Science Center Memphis, TN
57 Creighton University Omaha, NE
58 Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA
59 University of Delaware Newark, DE
60 University of Portland Portland, OR
61 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
62 The College of Saint Scholastica Duluth, MN
63 Molloy College Rockville Centre, NY
64 American Sentinel University Aurora, CO
65 Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA
66 University of San Diego San Diego, CA
67 Augsburg University Minneapolis, MN
68 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
69 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
70 Northeastern University Boston, MA
71 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX

Nursing by Region

View the Best Nursing Doctor's Degree Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

View All Rankings >

Nursing is one of 30 different types of Health Professions programs to choose from.

Nursing Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Nursing Practice 5,710
Registered Nursing 1,065
Nursing Science 874
Nurse Anesthetist 835
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing 533
Nursing Administration 355
Other Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing 346
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse/Nursing 119
Adult Health Nurse/Nursing 87
School Nursing 27

Related Major Annual Graduates
Medicine 27,562
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 15,089
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 14,338
Dentistry 6,591
Chiropractic 2,596
Optometry 1,666
Communication Sciences 1,124
Alternative Medicine & Systems 1,044
Public Health 1,036
Allied Health Professions 470

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Aleksahgabrielle. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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