2020–2021 Walden University Catalog (September 2020) 
    Aug 11, 2022  
2020–2021 Walden University Catalog (September 2020) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Program - PhD in Human Services

Return to: PhD in Human Services  

Students can create their own learning experience through the General Program. They will have the flexibility to design a program that may include courses on criminal justice, clinical studies, or child and family services. Students will explore the topics that interest them most and that closely match their personal and professional goals.

Fast-Track Option Program of Study (For Students Entering With an MS Degree [Track I])

This program is no longer accepting new students. Current students must complete their programs of study in accordance with Walden’s Time-to-Degree Completion policies.



Walden offers a Fast-Track Option. With the Fast-Track Option, students take up to three courses and a dissertation preparatory course to expedite their path through the program.

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Professional Development Plan and Program of Study
  • Foundation course (3 cr.)
  • Core courses (25 cr.)
  • Specialization or Elective courses (15 cr.)
  • Research courses (20 cr.)
  • Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation
    • Dissertation support course (5 cr.)
    • Dissertation writing courses (continuous enrollment in 5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 terms until completion)
    • Quarter Plans
  • Four residencies

Students must also

  • Pass a writing assessment.
  • Submit an application essay.
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Walden students have 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation course shell.

To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

Note on Licensure

The PhD in Human and Social Services program, including its specializations, is not designed to lead to professional licensure including licensure as a professional therapist, counselor, social worker, or psychologist.