2021–2022 Walden University Catalog (September 2021) 
    
    Dec 06, 2021  
2021–2022 Walden University Catalog (September 2021)

PhD in Psychology


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The university’s mission includes broad access to high-quality postsecondary education through a distance-learning environment and preparation of its graduates to achieve professional excellence and to effect positive social change. Consistent with this mission, the PhD in Psychology program is designed to prepare scholar-practitioners to meet real-world challenges and facilitate positive change in individuals, groups, organizations, and local, national, and global communities.

Specifically, the program prepares lifelong learners to integrate psychological theory, research, established methods of scientific inquiry, and evidence-based practices that incorporate cultural and individual diversity. The School of Psychology training model encompasses an integrated, developmental, and sequential plan of study that includes web-based and face-to-face coursework; residencies that provide opportunities for knowledge and skill acquisition, ethical practice, and professional socialization; field training; and demonstration of research competency.

Learning Outcomes


As graduates of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Apply principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research.
  2. Apply relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA) to decision making with diverse populations in various settings.
  3. Promote social change through the integration of principles of psychology in scholarly and/or professional activities.
  4. Communicate effectively to a variety of stakeholders and audiences.
  5. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of psychology-specific knowledge and theory to improve the condition of individuals, groups, and organizations.
  6. Demonstrate proficiency in utilizing empirically supported models for teaching, consultation, and research.
  7. Develop a professional identity appropriate to one’s professional goals.

Specializations


Changing specializations may increase a student’s expected time-to-degree completion and cost.

For Students Entering With a BS Degree


Minimum Degree Requirements


  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Professional Development Plan and Program of Study
  • Foundation course (3 cr.)
  • Core courses (40 cr.)
  • Research courses (20 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (20 cr.)
  • Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation
    • Dissertation support courses (7 cr.)
    • Dissertation writing courses (5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
    • Quarter Plans
  • Four PhD residencies

Curriculum


Specialization Courses (20 cr.)


These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course list on each specialization page.

Residency Requirements


  • Residency 1 – Complete Residency 1 as soon as you begin your program; should be completed in Term 1 or Term 2.
  • Residency 2 – Complete Residency 2 at the beginning of your second year, around the time of second research course.
  • Residency 3 – Complete Residency 3 once you have a prospectus in Walden’s review system.
  • Residency 4 – Complete Residency 4 while in the development stage of your Proposal:
    • residency (RESI 8404)
      OR
    • an approved professional conference (RESI 8900 based on program availability)
      OR
    • a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during PSYC 9000 to progress toward completion and defense of the dissertation. Contact Student Success Advising to register. Note: Intensives are not included in Fast Track tuition.
  • Optional: Complete a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during PSYC 9000. Contact Student Success Advising to register. Note: Intensives are not included in Fast Track tuition.

Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation


  • (5 cr.) OR
  • (5 cr.)
  • AND

  • (2 cr.)
  • Students take this course for a minimum of four 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.

Course Sequence for Students Entering With a BS Degree


Students undertake courses in the following sequence.

Quarter Course Credits
1    3 cr.
   5 cr.
  Complete Residency 1 as soon as you begin your program; should be completed in Term 1 or Term 2.  
2    5 cr.
   5 cr.
3    5 cr.
   5 cr.
4    5 cr.
Complete Residency 2 at the beginning of your second year, around the time of second research course.  
Specialization Course* 5 cr.
5    5 cr.
Specialization Course* 5 cr.
6    5 cr.
   5 cr.
7    5 cr.
Specialization Course* 5 cr.
8    5 cr.
   2 cr.
9   OR    5 cr.
Specialization Course* 5 cr.
10   OR    5 cr.
  Complete Residency 3 once you have a prospectus in Walden’s review system.  
11+  ** 5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 terms; taken continuously until completion
 

Complete Residency 4 while in the development stage of your Proposal:

  • residency (RESI 8404) OR
  • an approved professional conference (RESI 8900 based on program availability) OR
  • a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during PSYC 9000 to progress toward completion and defense of the dissertation. Contact Student Success Advising to register. Note: Intensives are not included in Fast Track tuition.
 
  Optional: Complete a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during PSYC 9000. Contact Student Success Advising to register. Note: Intensives are not included in Fast Track tuition.  

* See each specialization page for specific courses.

** Students take this course for a minimum of four 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.

Fast-Track Option Program of Study


Walden offers a Fast-Track Option. With the Fast-Track Option, students take additional courses and begin their dissertation early 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 (40 cr.)
  • Research courses (20 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (20 cr.)
  • Completion of Doctoral Dissertation
    • Dissertation support courses (7 cr.)
    • Dissertation writing courses (5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
    • Quarter Plans
  • Four PhD residencies

In addition, students must

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

Walden students have up to 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.

Course Sequence


The Fast-Track Option course sequences for students entering with a BS degree are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course sequence on each specialization page.

For Students Entering With an MS Degree


Minimum Degree Requirements


  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Professional Development Plan and Program of Study
  • Foundation course (3 cr.)
  • Core courses (25 cr.)
  • Research courses (10 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (20 cr.)
  • Completion of Doctoral Dissertation
    • Dissertation support courses (7 cr.)
    • Dissertation writing courses: (5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
    • Quarter Plans
  • Four PhD residencies

Curriculum


Specialization Courses (20 cr.)


These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course list on each specialization page.

Residency Requirements


  • Residency 1 – Complete Residency 1 as soon as you begin your program; should be completed in Term 1 or Term 2.
  • Residency 2 – Complete Residency 2 at the beginning of your second year, around the time of second research course.
  • Residency 3 – Complete Residency 3 once you have a prospectus in Walden’s review system.
  • Residency 4 – Complete Residency 4 while in the development stage of your Proposal:
    • residency (RESI 8404)
      OR
    • an approved professional conference (RESI 8900 based on program availability)
      OR
    • a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during PSYC 9000 to progress toward completion and defense of the dissertation. Contact Student Success Advising to register. Note: Intensives are not included in Fast Track tuition.
  • Optional: Complete a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during PSYC 9000. Contact Student Success Advising to register. Note: Intensives are not included in Fast Track tuition.

Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation


  • (5 cr.) OR
  • (5 cr.)
  • AND

  • (2 cr.)
  • Students take this course for a minimum of four 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.

Course Sequence for Students Entering With an MS Degree


Students undertake courses in the following sequence.

Quarter Course Credits
1    3 cr.
   5 cr.
  Complete Residency 1 as soon as you begin your program; should be completed in Term 1 or Term 2.  
2    5 cr.
Specialization Course 5 cr.
3    5 cr.
Specialization Course 5 cr.
4    5 cr.
Complete Residency 2 at the beginning of your second year, around the time of second research course.  
   5 cr.
5 Specialization Course 5 cr.
   5 cr.
6    2 cr.
  OR    5 cr.
7 Specialization Course 5 cr.
  OR    5 cr.
  Complete Residency 3 once you have a prospectus in Walden’s review system.  
8+  * 5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 terms; taken continuously until completion
 

Complete Residency 4 while in the development stage of your Proposal:

  • residency (RESI 8404) OR
  • an approved professional conference (RESI 8900 based on program availability) OR
  • a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during PSYC 9000 to progress toward completion and defense of the dissertation. Contact Student Success Advising to register. Note: Intensives are not included in Fast Track tuition.
 
  Optional: Complete a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during PSYC 9000. Contact Student Success Advising to register. Note: Intensives are not included in Fast Track tuition.  

* Students take this course for a minimum of four 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.

Fast-Track Option Program of Study


Walden offers a Fast-Track Option. With the Fast-Track Option, students take additional courses and begin their dissertation early 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 (40 cr.)
  • Research courses (20 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (20 cr.)
  • Completion of Doctoral Dissertation
    • Dissertation support courses (7 cr.)
    • Dissertation writing course (5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
    • Quarter Plans
  • Four PhD residencies

Students must also

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

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

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

Course Sequence


The Fast-Track Option course sequences for students entering with an MS degree are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course sequence on each specialization page.

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 Psychology program is not a licensure-leading program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.

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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