May 27, 2022
The PhD in Social Work program is designed to prepare experienced social work professionals as leaders, researchers, educators, and supervisors in the field. This program offers students an opportunity to engage in a core body of social work knowledge and processes that focus on the history and development of the profession, contemporary issues in social work, advanced social work theory and practice, program planning and evaluation, and research methods leading to a dissertation experience designed to prepare students for their roles as leaders and advocates for social change in the field.
Graduates of this program are able to:
- Utilize current research, best practices, and theory to promote prevention and intervention strategies that address social problems and needs of oppressed and marginalized social groups.
- Employ various research and statistical tools to create data to address the etiology and dynamics of social problems and social needs.
- Evaluate the role of research and evaluation in social work in improving social interventions and advancing theory development.
- Critically evaluate the history of social work, its mission, and its core values.
- Promote social change by collaborating with leaders, agencies, and universities to advocate for policies and programs that advance the economic and social well-being of culturally diverse clientele.
- Demonstrate the ability to assess the role of diversity in characterizing and shaping the human experience.
- Apply ethical decision making and practices in social work.
- 81 total credits
- Foundation course (1 cr.)
- Core courses (25 cr.)
- Specialization courses (15 cr.)
- Research Courses (20 cr.)
- Dissertation (four terms for a total of 20 cr.)
- 10 quarters; 3 years estimated time to completion (based on individual student progress)
- Four residencies
Foundation Course (1 cr.)
Specialization Courses (15 cr.)
These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course list on each specialization page.
Foundation Research Sequence (15 cr.)
Courses comprising 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 8110 must be completed prior to Residency 2 of the academic residencies. RSCH 8210 and RSCH 8310 must be completed prior to beginning the dissertation or attending Residency 3.
Advanced Research Sequence (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:
- 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.
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.
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 Social Work 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.