Doctoral Programs

Rivier University offers distinguished doctoral programs in Education, Nursing, and Psychology to prepare professionals for the highest level of qualification in their fields. Doctoral students at Rivier join a community of learners committed to the Rivier mission of transforming hearts and minds to serve the world.

Rivier’s doctoral programs build on more than 80 years of experience serving the need for outstanding professionals in New Hampshire and beyond. Doctoral students at Rivier will be challenged not only by a group of accomplished faculty who are leaders in the fields of education, nursing, and psychology, but also by fellow students who share a passion for leadership and the transformational role of education as well as counseling and school psychology in today’s society.

Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning (Ed.D.) 

Rivier University’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership and Learning provides educators with an understanding of the social, cultural, economic, and political influences and forces in society that affect education. Rivier’s Ed.D. program seeks to prepare leaders who anticipate the need for effective policies, practices, and interventions based on current research to promote and enhance leadership in learning and teaching.

The Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning is designed to enable students to complete course work and examinations in three years, begin their dissertation advisement and research in the fourth year, and conduct and complete original research on a topic of local, regional, and national significance. The Ed.D. program is structured to allow students to engage in doctoral study in their current employment while developing their career goals, meeting their personal aspirations, and expanding their professional networks.

Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning (Ed.D.) with a Nursing Education specialization

The nursing shortage and complex demands of practice put nursing education in a position of opportunity and responsibility to both expand and improve the field. Yet the pool of qualified nursing faculty is too small and rapidly shrinking. Over the last decade, the number of available nursing faculty has decrease to the extent that colleges and universities face severe shortages of qualified professors. The Nursing Education specialization of the Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning includes courses and content that help qualify nursing professionals to become faculty in this critical need area.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP is a clinically focused, terminal degree for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). The curriculum features online courses, a Saturday session on campus once per semester and practicums customized to meet each clinician’s career aspirations. Graduates will be prepared for leadership roles on multidisciplinary healthcare teams working to improve systems of care, patient outcomes, and population health.

DNP students learn how to conduct complex diagnostic and treatment modalities, utilize informatics to enhance clinical decision-making and critically evaluate scholarly research. This degree enables nurses to work at their highest potential and support advances in worldwide quality of care and patient safety.

Doctor of Psychology in Counseling and School Psychology (Psy.D.) 

Rivier University’s Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Counseling and School Psychology is a terminal degree program in the field of psychology which allows graduates to obtain licensure for independent practice, professional opportunities in a variety of school, agency, community, and public service settings, as well as the ability to teach at the university level.

Rivier’s Psy.D. program provides individuals who already hold a master’s degree or Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S.) in mental health counseling or school psychology with an opportunity to obtain advanced training in their respective fields. Students may also enter the program with a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a closely related field.

Rivier University is the first college or university in the state of New Hampshire to offer a combined doctoral program in counseling and school psychology, and is one of only eight other similar programs in the country.


Notice of Nondiscrimination

Rivier University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, veteran or marital status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability in admission or access to, treatment in or employment in its programs and activities, and Title IX requires that the University not discriminate on the bases stated above. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding Title IX and the nondiscrimination policies: Director of Human Resources in Molloy Hall, ext. 8210 for employees; Vice President for Student Affairs in the Dion Center, ext. 8249 for students. You may reach them at their office extensions, email or at Inquiries concerning the application of nondiscrimination policies may also be referred to the Regional Director, Boston Office, Office for Civil Rights, US Department of Education, 8th Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109-3921, P: (617) 289-0111, F: (617) 289-0150; TDD: (877) 521-2172,