Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
Members of the armed forces face a variety of challenges, both during their service and after they have fulfilled their duties. In this specialization, you’ll explore the topics of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and vicarious trauma and learn about the emotional impact of parent-child separation, frequent family relocations, extensive deployments, and other issues experienced by military families. You can gain the knowledge and insights needed to address the unique needs of military personnel, veterans, and their loved ones as they deal with the challenges inherent in military life.
The Advanced Customized option gives you a unique way to meet the coursework requirements in this specialization. Gain a deeper level of knowledge in your specific area of interest and benefit from an independent, self-directed learning experience under the guidance of a mentor. Learn more.
Accelerated Path to Your Ph.D.
If you hold a master’s degree in human services, counseling, social work, or psychology, you have an opportunity to shorten your path to the Ph.D. in Human Services and earn your degree faster. Call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336 to learn more.
Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at
Students in this course are introduced to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. Students work toward building a foundation for academic and professional success as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. They assess the relationship of mission and vision to professional goals and develop a program of study and strategies for online success. Students also explore resources used throughout the program, such as the online Walden University Library. Students engage in course assignments focused on the practical application of professional writing, critical-thinking skills, and the promotion of professional and academic excellence.
This course is designed to provide students with a doctoral foundation in the history and development of the various human services professions. Students engage in coursework that integrates content from various specializations, in areas such as counseling, social work, psychology, family studies, and criminal justice. Examining both the strengths and weaknesses of the human services delivery systems, students review the origins of the profession as well as its various responses to the changing needs of society. Through critical literature reviews related to research, policy, and practice; discussions about human services and contemporary society; and practical assignments, students begin to develop their identities as leaders, researchers, and informants in the area of human services. Students focus on the competencies and ethics of human services professionals.
Understanding the connection among theory, research, and practice is a vital skill for human services scholar-practitioners. In this course, students critically review traditional and contemporary theories in human services and how they inform practice. In addition, students examine the strengths and weaknesses of the existing body of research in serving a dynamic society, placing special emphasis on cultural bias and traditional theory. Throughout the course, students review how theories and research studies apply to communities, individuals, problems, and policies. Students culminate their study with the development of a conceptual framework in which they address a critical issue in human services practice.
This course explores the cultural components, research, and theory of cross-cultural psychology. In addition to the previously listed goals, this course focuses on the impact that culture has on the field of psychology around the world. The scope of this course is broad, with the core theme being cross-cultural psychology (focusing on cultures representing different parts of the world) and comparing cultural influence on human psychology. Many of the topics addressed in the course are related to human development. Additionally, interactions between culture and social behaviors, health, mental health, and mental illnesses are emphasized throughout the duration of this course.
Students in this research course are provided with the opportunity to develop core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the doctoral level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the importance of theory in research, and research processes. The course also introduces students to the quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method research designs and methods. Students devote special attention to understanding the ethical and social change implications of conducting research and engaging in scholarship. They apply their knowledge and skills by developing elements of simple research plans for quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods studies. (Prerequisites: Foundations course or first course in a program.)
Ethics is a foundational element of leadership. In this course, students examine the philosophy of ethics as well as responsibility and social justice—basic tenets of public service. Students explore the complex social, political, and related ethical challenges leaders face as they seek to meet the needs of diverse constituents. They examine ethics and social justice related to economic disparity, power, and privilege. Students also assess demographic data and current social trends and themes to understand, analyze, and address ethical and social justice issues that impact service delivery in a global community. Applying concepts presented in the course, students engage in an in-depth assessment of an emerging or persistent ethical or social justice issue, through which they demonstrate their ability to make recommendations for improvement or change.
Diminishing resources compound societal challenges facing contemporary human services agencies. In this course, students examine the core competencies required of human service administrators to address these challenges and make a greater difference in the communities they serve. Students discuss a broad range of skills and innovative approaches, including cross-agency collaboration, stakeholder communication, supervision of people and processes, creation and implementation of policies, and strategic planning and management. Through course discussions and practical applications, students demonstrate knowledge and skills of human services administration, which they can translate into current work environments.
This course introduces students to evaluation research and provides students with a foundation in the design of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method approaches to counseling research and evaluation. Students learn the strengths and limitations of each method and under what circumstances each approach would be the most appropriate research design. Students learn how to identify a topic for research, how to conduct a literature search, and the importance of scholarly writing. Other topics include the history and theory underlying program evaluation, approaches to evaluation, procedures and techniques for entering a group for which one would provide evaluation services, and techniques used to perform the evaluation, strategies for getting gatekeepers to be invested in the development of the research and in the outcomes, demonstration of program effectiveness, and dissemination of results to stakeholders. Students learn to write a research proposal, addressing the following key elements: researching, writing an introduction, stating a purpose for the study, identifying research questions and hypotheses, using theory, defining the significance of the study, and collecting and analyzing data. Students are exposed to legal and ethical issues associated with human subjects’ protection.
This research course provides students with the opportunity to develop core knowledge and skills for designing quantitative research at the doctoral level, including understanding data analysis and applying statistical concepts. Students explore classical quantitative research designs and common statistical tests, the importance of quality assurance, and ethical and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. They approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting appropriate statistical tests for a research design. Students use statistical software to calculate statistics data and interpret and present results. Students apply their knowledge and skills by developing a quantitative research plan. (Prerequisites: RSCH 8100.)
In this course, students are provided with an overview of military culture. The focus of this course is on understanding military work culture, the sociocultural identity development of military personnel, the experience of military families, support for military personnel and their families, and socioeconomic and other lifestyle challenges for military personnel. After completing this course, students will be more informed about the mental health and social support needs of these populations.
The specific focus of this course is on combat trauma, crisis, and stress experiences and responses of military personnel—both wartime and post-war. Students develop an understanding of the short-term and long-term impact of post-traumatic stress and vicarious trauma. In addition to focusing on how combat and wartime experiences impact individual military personnel, students also explore the effects on families. As a result, students will be better prepared to provide services and mental health support to military personnel dealing with trauma, crisis, and stress.
Counselor educators have a responsibility to foster social change, provide leadership, and service the counseling professional. Students have the opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of this responsibility as well as the prospect of enhancing their professional development plans by identifying specific goals for professional involvement and service, including advocacy for their own community, clients, students, or profession. Students examine the processes of advocacy and social change. They use contemporary research to analyze the current trends and issues of the profession. Students also identify how community, national, and international issues affect the counseling profession.
Students in this research course are provided with the opportunity to develop core knowledge and skills for designing qualitative research at the doctoral level, including understanding data analysis. Students explore the nature of qualitative inquiry; fieldwork strategies and the nature of observation; theoretical approaches to qualitative research; the importance of quality assurance; and the ethical, legal, and social change implications of conducting qualitative research and producing knowledge. They use software to code data and interpret and present results. Students apply their knowledge and skills by developing a qualitative research plan. (Prerequisites: RSCH 8100C.)
This course provides an overview of physiological, psychological, and social aspects in the study of motivation and includes an exploration of historical and contemporary theories and perspectives. The course emphasizes both conceptual understanding of theories associated with motivation and their applications to personal, professional, and social issues. Major topics include physiological, learned, cognitive, and emotional aspects of motivation. Themes of diversity are threaded throughout the course.
The nature of military work responsibilities impacts not only military personnel but their families as well. Frequent relocations, extended deployments, parent-child separation, and high-risk jobs all contribute to unique family dynamics. This course is designed to educate students about the experience and unique support needs of military personnel and their families.
This course is focused specifically on the process of writing the dissertation prospectus. Students will use their preliminary research plan, developed previously, and develop a problem statement, to be used in the dissertation. They will further refine the problem statement and carry out the planning and the library research that will bring them to the formulation of a dissertation prospectus. The prospectus is a brief paper, typically 15–20 pages in length, that lays out the background for the problem statement, the problem statement itself, a survey of the relevant literature, typically 25–75 references, and a research, implementation, and evaluation plan for the solution of the problem.
Students in this research course build upon their established qualitative research proficiencies and provides them with practical experience in application. Students are also provided with the opportunity to develop specialized knowledge and skills within each of the common qualitative traditions for designing qualitative research at the doctoral level. Students explore more complex qualitative research designs and analyses; multiple approaches to coding and organizing data; core components of a qualitative write up; the importance of quality assurance; and the ethical considerations and social change implications of conducting qualitative research and producing knowledge. They apply their knowledge and skills by developing a qualitative research plan. (Prerequisites: RSCH 8300P)
Students in this research course build upon their established qualitative and quantitative research proficiencies. Students are also provided with the opportunity to develop specialized knowledge and skills for designing mixed-methods research at the doctoral level. Students gain an understanding of the types of mixed-methods designs and how to select the most appropriate approach for the research question. Students engage in assignments that emphasize the integration of quantitative and qualitative elements into true mixed-methods studies, focusing on reliability and validity in mixed-methods approaches. They also practice data analysis and integration of qualitative and quantitative data within a research write up leading to proposal development. Students apply their knowledge and skills by developing a mixed-methods research plan that appropriately incorporates qualitative and quantitative elements. (Prerequisites: RSCH 8200P and RSCH 8300P.)
An understanding of the psychological principles of leader development often enhances leadership skills and ability to influence others to work toward common goals. In this course, students examine the psychology of leadership and leader development through cross-cultural, social, psychological, and political contexts. They identify and assess the psychological theories of leadership, leadership styles, qualities of great leaders, global leadership competencies, and instruments used to assess leadership and leadership potential. Students apply these psychological theories to assess and develop their own capacity for leadership.
Public and nonprofit leaders in all areas of public administration require a thorough understanding of the expectations of their roles as leaders and managers of diverse and complex organizations. Students use theoretical and applied perspectives from which they study the intricacies of these roles, including the distinction between leadership and management, organizational culture, change management, systems theories, and organizational development. Students gain a practical understanding of these topics through the application of principles and concepts to public, private, and nonprofit organizational settings.
Sound financial practices are crucial to managing scarce funds in both public and nonprofit operations. Students in this course examine finance and budgeting concepts, policies, and practices related to organizations as well as the fiscal climate within which they operate. They assess theories for motivating major fiscal-policy debates, and they explore and discuss auditing practices, tax systems, financial management, budgetary reform, financial technology systems, the use of dashboards for financial reporting, and the impact of globalization on finance and budget. Students read and analyze budgets, financial statements, and reports. They contextualize their learning as they apply knowledge gained from their analysis to develop a new budget and financial plan for either a public or private organization.
This course offers doctoral students the opportunity to integrate their program of study into an in-depth exploration of an interest area that includes the completion of a research study. Students complete the dissertation independently, with the guidance of a dissertation supervisory committee chair and committee members. Students complete a prospectus, proposal, Institutional Review Board application, and dissertation. Once students register for HUMN 9001, they are registered each term until successful completion of the dissertation. (Prerequisites: RSCH 8100U, RSCH 8200U, and RSCH 8300U.)
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