2018–2019 Walden University Student Handbook (September 2018) 
    Sep 21, 2019  
2018–2019 Walden University Student Handbook (September 2018) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Residencies

Return to: Academic Residencies and Requirements  

PhD residencies follow a sequence designed specifically to match students’ academic progress, as outlined below.

Residency Required or Optional Timing
Residency 1 Required face-to-face

Complete Residency 1 face-to-face as soon as you begin your program; should be completed within 90 days of completing your Foundations course.

Focus: Socialization into Walden, community building, introductory skill and professional identity development, team building and scholarly writing.
Residency 2 Required face-to-face OR virtual

Complete Residency 2 as face-to-face or virtual within 18 months of your start date or linked to your registration for or completion of your first research course.

Focus: Introduction to research skills, self-assessment, dissertation and research skill development as well as professional development.
Residency 3 Required face-to-face

Complete Residency 3 face-to-face by the end of your third year. 

Focus: Prospectus writing and completion, proposal development, and dissertation processes.
Residency 4 Required face-to-face OR virtual


dissertation intensive retreat

Complete Residency 4 during your third year or beyond as:

  • a face-to-face or virtual residency (RESI 8404) OR
  • an approved professional conference (RESI 8900 based on program availability) OR
  • a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during your 9000 course. Contact Academic Advising to register.

Focus: Advanced dissertation skills, presentation of research and dissertation publishing.

Dissertation Intensive Retreat Optional face-to-face

Complete a PhD Dissertation Intensive retreat (DRWI 8500) face-to-face during your dissertation.

Contact Academic Advising to register.


Residency 1: Socialization

Residency 1 is designed to socialize students into the Walden doctoral community. Topics include doctoral competency development, orientation to academic support services and networking, community building, writing at the doctoral level and using American Psychological Association (APA) style, library search skill building, and professional development. By the end, students will have completed a self-assessment and identified goals for continual development of the skills and practices required of new doctoral students.

Residency 2: Research Methods

Residency 2 develops students’ skills in reviewing and performing scholarly research. Topics include refinement of research questions, research question and methodology alignment, and literature critique and synthesis. Upon completion, students will have developed key components of a research plan.. 

Residency 3: Prospectus and Proposal

In Residency 3, students will continue to develop their research skills and begin the foundation for their prospectus or dissertation proposal. Topics include qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research designs; data collection, management, and analysis considerations; and development of the prospectus. Upon completion, students will have completed a research alignment tool to inform and guide their dissertation research planning.

Residency 4: Scholar-Practitioner

Residency 4 strengthens students’ abilities as a scholar-practitioner. Topics include practicing presentation and critique, research dissemination, implications for social change, and dissertation writing. Upon completion, students will have composed a draft presentation of their doctoral research and created a plan for research dissemination.

Virtual Residencies

Candidates are eligible to attend a PhD virtual residency in order to satisfy the Residency 2 or Residency 4 requirement if they are:

  • PhD candidates participating in a four-residency model.
  • PhD candidates who have completed Residency 1 and/or Residency 3 and are ready to complete Residency 2 or Residency 4. Residency 1 and Residency 3 must be completed through the face-to-face residency.
  • PhD candidates who are not in a program requiring the Academic Year in Residence and are not in the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program.

Dissertation/Capstone Intensive Retreats  (Optional)

Candidates may attend a dissertation intensive retreat in order to satisfy the Residency 4 requirement. Capstone intensive retreats are designed to help candidates make progress in writing their dissertation proposals. Retreat participants work directly with faculty members who have extensive experience with qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research design, and Writing Center faculty, who can help students strengthen skills required to write the capstone.

  • To be eligible to attend a dissertation intensive retreat, students need to meet the requirements below:
  • Have an approved committee chairperson on file at the university.
  • Have a completed prospectus on file at the university.
  • Be currently enrolled in one term of your degree program’s dissertation course.

Candidates interested in attending a Dissertation Intensive retreat should review the Capstone Intensives website and contact Academic Advising to register.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of these residencies, students will be able to:

  1. Use critical-thinking skills expected of doctoral students.
  2. Engage faculty and peers in discourse that contributes to the collective advancement of scholarship in their discipline.
  3. Use university support services to contribute to the successful completion of the dissertation and doctoral degree.
  4. Analyze research ideas through engagement with faculty members and student colleagues to formulate appropriate research questions to be pursued in the doctoral dissertation.
  5. Conceptualize, design, and execute dissertation research studies that reflect doctoral-level thinking and have the potential to contribute to positive social change.
  6. Conduct peer review to receive and provide critical feedback to shape the dissertation proposal and results that follow from the data analysis.
  7. Demonstrate proficiency in quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis approaches to support what is learned in research courses and what is required for the dissertation.
  8. Articulate and demonstrate competency in professional practice skills required by student’s discipline.
  9. Write a plan for research dissemination (e.g., peer-reviewed journal article, conference presentation, book, workplace settings, or other venues).
  10. Identify strategies for continued professional development as scholar-practitioners.

PhD Residency Session Abstracts

Residency Session Abstracts—PhD