2021–2022 Walden University Catalog (September 2021) 
    
    Dec 01, 2021  
2021–2022 Walden University Catalog (September 2021)

PhD in Human Services


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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 and Social 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. Develop strategies for assessing the needs of diverse populations based on human services theory and research.
  2. Make ethical decisions based on the needs of diverse populations.
  3. Conduct original research in human services to promote positive social change.
  4. Advocate for individuals who are seeking human services supports.
  5. Communicate effectively with others to promote the effective delivery of human services.
  6. Develop a professional identity as a human services researcher.

For Students Entering With an MS Degree (Track I)


Minimum Degree Requirements


  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Professional Development Plan and Program of Study
  • Foundation course (3 cr.)
  • Core courses (20 cr.)
  • Specialization or Elective courses (15 cr.)
  • Research courses (20 cr.)
  • Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation
    • Dissertation support course (5 cr.)
    • Communities of Practice and Research (CPR) courses (5 cr.; continuously enrolled in 1 cr. per term for a minimum of 5 terms until CPR completion)
    • Dissertation writing courses (continuous enrollment in 5 cr. per term for a minimum of 3 terms until completion)
    • Quarter Plans
  • Four residencies

Core Curriculum


Specialization Courses (15 cr.)


These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course list on each specialization page. For the elective courses, students choose from any PhD in Human Services specialization courses.

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 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 Course (5 cr.)


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. 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 as soon as you begin your program; should be completed within 90 days of completing your Foundations course.
  • Complete Residency 2 within 18 months of your start date or linked to your registration for or completion of your first research course.
  • Complete Residency 3 by the end of your third year.
  • Complete Residency 4 during your third year or beyond as:
    • 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 Student Success Advising to register.
  • Optional: Complete a PhD dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during your dissertation. Contact Student Success Advising to register.

Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation


Course Sequence for Students Entering With an MS Degree (Track I)


Students undertake courses in the following sequence.

Quarter Course Credits
1    3 cr.
   5 cr.
    
2    5 cr.
   5 cr.
   1 cr.
3    5 cr.
Elective/Specialization Course 5 cr.
   1 cr.
    
4    5 cr.
   5 cr.
   1 cr.
5 Elective/Specialization Course 5 cr.
   5 cr.
   1 cr.
    
6    1 cr.
Elective/Specialization Course 5 cr.
   5 cr.
7   OR   OR    5 cr.
    
8–10+   5 cr. per term for a minimum of 3 terms; taken continuously until completion
  Optional: Complete a PhD dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during your dissertation. Contact Student Success Advising to register.  

* Students take this course for a minimum of three quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval. 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.

For Students Entering With a BS Degree (Track II)


Minimum Degree Requirements


  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Professional Development Plan and Program of Study
  • Foundation course (3 cr.)
  • Core courses (45 cr.)
  • Specialization or Elective courses (15 cr.)
  • Research courses (20 cr.)
  • Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation
    • Dissertation support course (5 cr.)
    • Communities of Practice and Research (CPR) courses (5 cr.; continuously enrolled in 1 cr. per term for a minimum of 5 terms until CPR completion)
    • Dissertation writing courses (continuous enrollment in 5 cr. per term for a minimum of 3 terms until completion
    • Quarter Plans
  • Four residencies

Core Curriculum


Specialization Courses (15 cr.)


These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course list on each specialization page. For the elective courses, students choose from any PhD in Human Services specialization courses.

Foundation Research Courses (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 is a prerequisite for Residency 2 of the academic residencies.

Advanced Research Course (5 cr.)


Those enrolled in this specialization are required to complete an advanced research course. The university offers three advanced research courses: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods. When the prospectus is approved, students will take the advanced research course selected as the methodology approved for the dissertation.
 
Students are required to complete one of the following courses:

Residency Requirements


  • Complete Residency 1 as soon as you begin your program; should be completed within 90 days of completing your Foundations course.
  • Complete Residency 2 within 18 months of your start date or linked to your registration for or completion of your first research course.
  • Complete Residency 3 by the end of your third year.
  • Complete Residency 4 during your third year or beyond as:
    • 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 Student Success Advising to register.
  • Optional: Complete a PhD dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during your dissertation. Contact Student Success Advising to register.

Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation


Course Sequence for Students Entering With a BS Degree (Track II)


Students undertake courses in the following sequence.

Quarter Course Credits
1    3 cr.
   5 cr.
    
2    5 cr.
   5 cr.
   1 cr.
3    5 cr.
Elective/Specialization Course 5 cr.
   1 cr.
4    5 cr.
   5 cr.
   1 cr.
    
5    5 cr.
Election/Specialization Course 5 cr.
6    5 cr.
   5 cr.
    
7    5 cr.
Elective/Specialization Course 5 cr.
   1 cr.
8    5 cr.
   5 cr.
    
9    5 cr.
  OR   OR    5 cr.
   1 cr.
10+   5 cr. per term for a minimum of 3 terms; taken continuously until completion
  Optional: Complete a PhD dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during your dissertation. Contact Student Success Advising to register.  

* Students take this course for a minimum of three quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval. 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.

Master of Philosophy (Embedded Degree)


Walden awards the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree to recognize PhD students for academic achievement leading up to their dissertation. With an MPhil, students will be able to demonstrate to employers and others that they have an advanced knowledge base in their field of study as well as proficiency in research design and evaluation.

  • Students are eligible to apply for this credential while continuing their PhD program once they have completed:
    • All required PhD core courses (or KAMs)
    • All required PhD specialization courses (or KAMs)
    • All required doctoral research and advanced research courses
    • Program prospectus development course
    • Residencies 1, 2, and 3
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA is mandatory.
  • The MPhil requires a minimum of 45 quarter credits. Maximum transfer of credit varies by program but is not to exceed 50% of the overall, or embedded, program requirements.

Doctoral Writing Assessment


Students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog for academic year 2017 or later will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment. 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.

Note on Licensure


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

8-Year Maximum Time Frame


Students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements (see Enrollment Requirements). Students may petition to extend the 8-year maximum time frame, but an extension is not guaranteed.

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