2014-2015 Walden University Catalog (March 2015) 
    Apr 12, 2021  
2014-2015 Walden University Catalog (March 2015) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PhD in Human Services

Return to: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences  

“I believe in Walden’s scholar-practitioner model and appreciate the care, concern, and dedication that Walden offers through enrollment advisors, academic advisors, 24-hour online support and overall responsiveness.”

Sha-Rhonda M. Davis, PhD in Human Services Student

Social service practitioners face an increasingly diverse clientele, as delivery systems and client populations become more multicultural and include a broader range of complex issues. The PhD in Human Services program prepares students to excel within a diverse service-delivery system by equipping them with action-oriented research skills and context-sensitive knowledge for application within unique practice environments.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze and evaluate theories, models, historical foundations, and conceptual frameworks related to the profession of human services through a process of scholarly inquiry.
  2. Evaluate and apply ethical, social, multicultural, diversity, and political considerations to scholarly inquiry and professional practice.
  3. Evaluate qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed-methods research published in professional journals, textbooks, and other scholarly resources.
  4. Apply principles of quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods to research design.
  5. Apply qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed-methods research in the investigation of problems or phenomena in human services practice.
  6. Evaluate and apply social change theories to human services practice and research.
  7. Evaluate and apply lifespan human development theories in human services research and practice.


The Advanced Customized Specialization (15 cr.)  option gives students a unique way to meet specialization requirements. They can gain a deeper level of knowledge in a specific area of interest and benefit from an independent, self-directed learning experience under the guidance of a mentor.

Degree Requirements

  • 112 total quarter credits
  • Foundation course (1 cr.)
  • Professional Development Plan and program of study
  • Core courses (60 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
  • Foundation Research Sequence (12 cr.)
  • Advanced Research Course (4 cr.)
  • Elective courses (15 cr.)
  • Proposal, dissertation, and oral presentation (20 cr.)
  • Four 4-day residencies

Core Curriculum

Foundation Research Sequence (12 cr.)

Courses composing the Foundation Research Sequence are conducted online and require weekly readings, participation in discussions, and assignment completion. Course instructors guide discussions and evaluate discussion and application assignments. RSCH 8100U must be completed prior to Residency 2 of the academic residencies. RSCH 8200U and RSCH 8300U must be completed prior to beginning the dissertation or attending Residency 3.

Advanced Research Course (4 cr.)

 All PhD students are required to complete one advanced-level research course that mirrors the methodology of their intended dissertations. The university offers three advanced courses; individual programs may have other advanced options.  Students should refer to their specific programs of study to determine program-specific requirements.  
 One of the following three courses is required:

Elective Courses (15 cr.)

Choose any three elective courses from any PhD in Human Services specialization or the specialization courses (5 cr. each for a total of 15 cr.).

Dissertation (20 cr.)

Program Data

Walden is committed to providing the information you need to make an informed decision about where you pursue your education. Click here to find detailed information for the PhD in Human Services program relating to the types of occupations this program may lead to, completion rate, program costs, and median loan debt of students who have graduated from this program.