2016-2017 Walden University Catalog (September 2016) 
    May 27, 2022  
2016-2017 Walden University Catalog (September 2016) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PhD in Health Services

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“Never stop learning, accepting, and seeking the services Walden University has to offer.”

Rhodora B. Cruz, PhD in Health Services Student

The PhD in Health Services program examines healthcare delivery and healthcare systems in the U.S. and internationally. Students are trained by scholar-practitioners to identify problems and solutions based on social science theories and models as well as a knowledge of historical and contemporary issues in health services and management. The program of study places an emphasis on healthcare practice and applied research. The program prepares students for careers in which doctoral-level education is desired, such as academia, research, government, and private sector positions within healthcare organizations.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Accurately evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare policy in a dynamic healthcare environment.
  2. Lead and inform the professional dialogue on key health services issues.
  3. Design, conduct, and analyze studies of economic evaluation in healthcare.
  4. Apply critical-thinking skills to the analysis of controversial issues and conflicting perspectives associated with healthcare ethics and law.
  5. Identify and mobilize human and institutional resources and services to meet the health services needs of diverse communities and populations.
  6. Engage in scientific inquiry that advances the knowledge base of research and practice in health services.

Degree Requirements

  • 106–108 total quarter credits
  • Foundation course (3 cr.)
  • Core courses (30 cr.)
  • Research courses (20 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (20 cr.)
  • Electives (8–10 cr.)
  • Proposal, dissertation, and oral presentation (20 cr.)
  • Minimum 10 quarters’ enrollment
  • Four residencies


Foundation Course (3 cr.)

Research Courses (20 cr.)

Foundation Research Courses (15 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 8100 or 8110 must be completed prior to Residency 2 of the academic residencies. RSCH 8200 or 8210 and RSCH 8300 or 8310 must be completed prior to beginning the dissertation or attending Residency 3.

Advanced Research Course (5 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:

Residency Requirements

  • Complete Residency 1 face-to-face as soon as you begin your program; should be completed within 90 days of completing your Foundations course.
  • 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.
  • Complete Residency 3 face-to-face by the end of your third year.
  • 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.
  • Optional: Complete a PhD Dissertation Intensive retreat (DRWI 8500) face-to-face during your dissertation. Contact Academic Advising to register.

PhD in Health Services for MHA Graduates

Students who hold a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree now have the opportunity to complete Walden’s PhD in Health Services in less time. The special program of study recognizes the academic progress previously achieved with an MHA degree and waives 30 credits of foundation courses and one elective course required for the PhD in Health Services, significantly reducing the time and money needed to complete the doctoral degree.

The program is available to current students and alumni of the Walden MHA program, as well as to students who hold an MHA degree from another accredited university.

Degree Requirements for Students Who Hold an MHA Degree

  • 69–71 total quarter credits
  • Foundation course (3 cr.)
  • Research courses (20 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (20 cr.)
  • Electives (4–5 cr.)
  • Proposal, dissertation, and oral presentation (20 cr.)
  • Minimum 10 quarters’ enrollment
  • Four residencies

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Students who start their doctoral program at Walden University in 2016 will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment on a rolling basis. Designed to evaluate incoming doctoral students’ writing skills, this assessment aims to help prepare incoming doctoral students to meet the university’s expectations for writing at the doctoral level. For more information, click here.

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 Health 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.

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