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2022 Best Nursing Doctor's Degree Schools

315 Schools Ranked
$99,654 Avg Student Debt

It's not easy to decide which nursing program to enroll in when you have so many options available. You're no longer limited to schools in your local area, either, since online programs are becoming more prevalent. Also there are many trade schools and bpptcamp that offer short-term programs that open up more career options.

To help you arm yourself with the information you need to make your decision, Nursing Degree Search has developed this Best Nursing Doctor's Degree Schools ranking. Our analysis looked at 315 schools in the United States to see which doctor's degree programs offered the best educational experiences for nursing students. The factors used to develop this ranking include those related to how in-demand the school us, the overall quality of the school, and post-graduation wages, and more.

View our full ranking methodology.

Top Nursing Doctor's Degree Schools in the United States

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Saint Vincent College

Latrobe, Pennsylvania
$14,310 Average Tuition & Fees
$114,183 Avg Student Debt

Our analysis found Saint Vincent College to be the best school for nursing students who want to pursue a doctor’s degree in the United States.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $114,183 in loans while pursuing their degree.

Online graduate courses are available at Saint Vincent, but you will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your field of interest. To give an idea of how popular online courses are at the school, 9% of graduates took at least one course online in 2019-2020.

Full Saint Vincent College Report

#2

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, Texas
$32,268 Average Tuition & Fees
$98,314 Avg Student Debt

A rank of #2 on this year’s list means Texas Christian University is a great place for nursing students working on their doctor’s degree.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $98,314 in loans while pursuing their degree.

TCU does have options available for those who want to take online graduate classes. You will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your specific major. During the 2019-2020 year, about 82% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

Full Texas Christian University Report

#3

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland
$59,425 Average Tuition & Fees
$66,845 Avg Student Debt

Out of the 315 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Johns Hopkins University landed the # 3 spot on the list.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from Johns Hopkins accumulate an average of $66,845 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since Johns Hopkins does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. To give an idea of how popular online courses are at the school, 85% of graduates took at least one course online in 2019-2020.

Read More…

#4

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut
$94,074 Avg Student Debt

A rank of #4 on this year’s list means Yale University is a great place for nursing students working on their doctor’s degree.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from Yale accumulate an average of $94,074 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

You may have the opportunity to take online graduate classes at Yale. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2019-2020 academic year, around 98% took at least some of their classes online.

Full Yale University Report

#5

Mount Marty University

Yankton, South Dakota
$8,175 Average Tuition & Fees

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Mount Marty University. The school came in at #5 on this year’s Best Nursing Doctor’s Degree Schools list.

One thing to take note of is that Mount Marty does offer online graduate classes in some areas. During the 2019-2020 year, about 91% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

Read More…

#6

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, Virginia
$15,200 Average Tuition & Fees
$101,709 Avg Student Debt

Virginia Commonwealth University came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Doctor’s Degree Schools ranking.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $101,709 in loans while pursuing their degree.

Depending on your major, you may be able to take online graduate classes at VCU. In fact, around 62% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2019-2020.

Read More…

#7

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, Tennessee
$50,624 Average Tuition & Fees
$102,888 Avg Student Debt

Vanderbilt University landed the #7 spot in the 2022 rankings for the best doctor’s degree nursing programs.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $102,888 in loans while pursuing their degree.

One thing to take note of is that Vanderbilt does offer online graduate classes in some areas. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2019-2020 academic year, around 67% took at least some of their classes online.

Read More…

#8

Duke University

Durham, North Carolina
$59,140 Average Tuition & Fees
$117,114 Avg Student Debt

Duke University came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Doctor’s Degree Schools ranking.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $117,114 in loans while pursuing their degree.

Online graduate courses are available at Duke, but you will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your field of interest. In fact, around 2% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2019-2020.

Read full report on Duke University

#9

Texas Wesleyan University

Fort Worth, Texas
$16,992 Average Tuition & Fees

Texas Wesleyan University came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Doctor’s Degree Schools ranking.

Depending on your major, you may be able to take online graduate classes at Texas Wesleyan. In fact, around 59% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2019-2020.

Read More…

#10

Fairfield University

Fairfield, Connecticut
$19,267 Average Tuition & Fees
$84,342 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #10, Fairfield University did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their doctor’s degree.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from Fairfield U accumulate an average of $84,342 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Fairfield U does have options available for those who want to take online graduate classes. You will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your specific major. In fact, around 78% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2019-2020.

Read full report on Fairfield University

#11

University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York
$14,238 Average Tuition & Fees
$77,656 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #11, University at Buffalo did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their doctor’s degree.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from University at Buffalo accumulate an average of $77,656 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Online graduate courses are available at University at Buffalo, but you will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your field of interest. In fact, around 76% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2019-2020.

Read full report on University at Buffalo

#12

Thomas Jefferson University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
$21,978 Average Tuition & Fees
$153,813 Avg Student Debt

Thomas Jefferson University landed the #12 spot in the 2022 rankings for the best doctor’s degree nursing programs.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from Thomas Jefferson University accumulate an average of $153,813 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Thomas Jefferson University does have options available for those who want to take online graduate classes. You will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your specific major. In 2019-2020 about 65% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

Read More…

#13

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, Virginia
$20,184 Average Tuition & Fees
$98,272 Avg Student Debt

University of Virginia - Main Campus ranked #13 on this year’s Best Nursing Doctor’s Degree Schools list.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from University of Virginia accumulate an average of $98,272 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Online graduate courses are available at University of Virginia, but you will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your field of interest. During the 2019-2020 year, about 75% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

Read More…

#14

Point Loma Nazarene University

San Diego, California

Point Loma Nazarene University landed the #14 spot in the 2022 rankings for the best doctor’s degree nursing programs.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since PLNU does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2019-2020 academic year, around 56% took at least some of their classes online.

Read More…

#15

Hampton University

Hampton, Virginia
$13,134 Average Tuition & Fees
$149,100 Avg Student Debt

Hampton University landed the #15 spot in the 2022 rankings for the best doctor’s degree nursing programs.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $149,100 in loans while pursuing their degree.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since Hampton does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. To give an idea of how popular online courses are at the school, 27% of graduates took at least one course online in 2019-2020.

Read More…

#16

Quinnipiac University

Hamden, Connecticut
$20,090 Average Tuition & Fees
$91,915 Avg Student Debt

Quinnipiac University ranked #16 on this year’s Best Nursing Doctor’s Degree Schools list.

By the time they get their doctor’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $91,915 in student loans.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since Quinnipiac does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. During the 2019-2020 year, about 52% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

Read More…

#17

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota
$12,796 Average Tuition & Fees
$69,754 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #17, University of North Dakota did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their doctor’s degree.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from UND accumulate an average of $69,754 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Depending on your major, you may be able to take online graduate classes at UND. During the 2019-2020 year, about 71% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

Read full report on University of North Dakota

#18

Gonzaga University

Spokane, Washington
$17,675 Average Tuition & Fees
$104,061 Avg Student Debt

Gonzaga University came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Doctor’s Degree Schools ranking.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from Gonzaga accumulate an average of $104,061 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since Gonzaga does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. In fact, around 92% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2019-2020.

Read More…

#19

Wagner College

Staten Island, New York
$23,180 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #19, Wagner College did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their doctor’s degree.

Read More…

#20

Duquesne University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
$90,237 Avg Student Debt

Duquesne University ranked #20 on this year’s Best Nursing Doctor’s Degree Schools list.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $90,237 in loans while pursuing their degree.

You may have the opportunity to take online graduate classes at Duquesne. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2019-2020 academic year, around 72% took at least some of their classes online.

Read full report on Duquesne University

#21

Villanova University

Villanova, Pennsylvania
$20,719 Average Tuition & Fees
$95,946 Avg Student Debt

Villanova University came in at #21 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Doctor’s Degree Schools ranking.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from Villanova accumulate an average of $95,946 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Depending on your major, you may be able to take online graduate classes at Villanova. In 2019-2020 about 89% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

Read More…

#22

Georgetown University

Washington, District of Columbia
$53,591 Average Tuition & Fees
$143,903 Avg Student Debt

Georgetown University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a doctor’s degree. It came in at #22 on the list.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from Georgetown accumulate an average of $143,903 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Since the graduate programs at Georgetown are online, the school is an excellent choice for graduate students who need more flexibility than what is offered at some other schools.

Read More…

#23

Bradley University

Peoria, Illinois
$17,040 Average Tuition & Fees
$73,828 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #23, Bradley University did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their doctor’s degree.

By the time they get their doctor’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $73,828 in student loans.

Bradley does have options available for those who want to take online graduate classes. You will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your specific major. In fact, around 95% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2019-2020.

Read full report on Bradley University

#24

Salve Regina University

Newport, Rhode Island
$11,370 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #24, Salve Regina University did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their doctor’s degree.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since Salve Regina does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2019-2020 academic year, around 91% took at least some of their classes online.

Read More…

#25

University of Portland

Portland, Oregon
$80,871 Avg Student Debt

University of Portland came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Doctor’s Degree Schools ranking.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from University of Portland accumulate an average of $80,871 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

If you are interested in distance education, University of Portland is an excellent choice, since graduate classes are offered online.

Full University of Portland Report

Rest of the Top 15% Best Nursing Doctor's Degree Schools in the United States

Not only did these schools make the top 48 list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

#26

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina
#27

University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California
#28

Winona State University

Winona, Minnesota
#29

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, California
#31

Molloy College

Rockville Centre, New York
#32

University of Scranton

Scranton, Pennsylvania
#33

Gannon University

Erie, Pennsylvania
#34

University of Missouri - Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri
#36

Wilkes University

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
#37

Emory University

Atlanta, Georgia
#38

Samford University

Birmingham, Alabama
#39

University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
#40

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania
#41

Salisbury University

Salisbury, Maryland
#42

University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas
#43

University of Delaware

Newark, Delaware
#44

University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi
#46

University of Rochester

Rochester, New York
#47

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida
#48

Saint Louis University

Saint Louis, Missouri

Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our best nursing schools ranking:

Rank School Location
49 New York University New York, NY
50 Endicott College Beverly, MA
51 Clemson University Clemson, SC
52 Lewis University Romeoville, IL
53 Otterbein University Westerville, OH
54 Saint Mary’s College Notre Dame, IN
55 York College of Pennsylvania York, PA
56 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI
57 Augsburg University Minneapolis, MN
58 Monmouth University West Long Branch, NJ
59 The College of Saint Scholastica Duluth, MN
60 Creighton University Omaha, NE
61 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
62 Chatham University Pittsburgh, PA
63 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
64 University of Nevada - Reno Reno, NV

Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • 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 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).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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