Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
Legal decisions and the law have a significant impact on the creation of public policy. Discover the relationships between law and public policy and access vital legal knowledge available to public policy practitioners. Gain a solid background in legal concepts, cases, and current trends that will give you a head start if you decide to pursue a law degree or if you encounter legal questions in your workplace.
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 1-866-492-5336.
Choose one of the following three courses to complete the Core Courses requirement:
This course introduces students to Walden University and the requirements for successful participation in a doctoral program in an online learning environment. It also provides a foundation for academic and professional success as a scholar-practitioner and social change agent. Course assignments focus on the practical application of critical reading and thinking, scholarly writing, and academic integrity. Students also become familiar with Walden's library, scholarly resources, and APA style rules.
Successful participation in a doctoral program in an online learning environment. It also provides a foundation for academic and professional success as a scholar-practitioner and social change agent, from an international student perspective. Course assignments focus on the practical application of critical reading and thinking, scholarly writing, and academic integrity, addressing themes and issues that are most relevant to international students or students who live and work outside the United States. Students also become familiar with Walden's library, scholarly resources, and APA style rules.
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.
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.
In an increasingly complex world, leaders and managers in public and nonprofit organizations plan strategies to fulfill the organizational mission and enhance stakeholder satisfaction. Students in this course explore the role and process of strategic planning, including collaboration, cooperation, and coordination. They also examine the benefits, challenges, and pitfalls of strategic planning, in addition to the impact of globalization. Students apply these concepts to real-life scenarios and develop a strategic plan for a nonprofit or public organization.
Successful organizations in a rapidly changing and complex world require leaders who embrace change and are able to engage others in change. In this course, students use traditional literature, current articles, and interactive media to explore the qualities, characteristics, and skills of effective leaders as well as the theories, models, and relationships between leadership and organizational change. They assess the ethical issues and standards as well as the opportunities and challenges related to leading diverse organizations through change. Students also examine how current leaders employ leadership and organizational change to contribute to social change, and they consider how to use these lessons to make further positive changes within an organization or their own community.
This course prepares students for the Dissertation phase of their doctoral education. It focuses on increasing students’ understanding of the Dissertation process, including how the research must fit within the context of public policy and administration, the alignment required among all components of the Dissertation, and the role of the Prospectus. To pass the course, students must complete the first draft of their Prospectus. In this course, students identify a Dissertation topic and potential Dissertation committee members; begin to conduct a literature review; identify a theoretical framework appropriate to public policy and administration; develop a problem statement and research questions; and evaluate research designs, methods, and types of analyses to use for their Dissertation research. Students also complete their initial Premise and an annotated outline of their Prospectus. Following successful completion of this course, the students will work with their Dissertation committee chairs and committee members to refine their problem statement and carry out the other work necessary to develop a final Dissertation Prospectus. When this process has been completed, the chair and committee member must approve the Prospectus, using the Prospectus Rubric, at which point students have a “blueprint” to begin work on their three-chapter Dissertation Proposals.
Democracy is the foundation of modern life. The course provides students with an overview of democratic governance in public administration, public policy, and nonprofit or nongovernmental organizations in modern society. Students explain the theoretical underpinnings of democratic governance and public policy in their chosen area of specialization necessary for doctoral-level research. They describe the context in which public and nonprofit leaders function and the social institutions that influence public policy and guide administrative decision making. Students also review fundamental theories of governance, research current literature on a specialized topic, and apply best practices as they relate concepts to complete practical application assignments and a final case scenario project.
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.)
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)
Legal decisions and the law often have a major impact on the creation of public policy. In this course, students explore and discuss the relationship between laws and public policy and the impact that court decisions have on policy and policy leaders. They examine the role of administrative agencies in the creation and execution of law and public policy and the role of the courts in resolving challenges to agency rule making; conflicts between executive and legislative branches of government; and conflicts between and among federal, state, and local laws. Students have the opportunity to sharpen their critical-thinking and research-database skills as they search for real-world examples of how fundamental legal concepts and processes affect the creation and execution of law and public policy.
There is a wealth of vital legal knowledge available to public policy practitioners. In this course, students explore the many print and electronic resources available for legal research. Students examine how practitioners use the law to inform the creation of public policy. They engage in assignments designed to provide practical application of content to learn how to navigate legal libraries, cite cases, and employ research to support public policy. Students also gain experience in applying legal research to case studies and contemporary issues.
Major issues in the Supreme Court continue to have an impact on public policy at the state and local levels. In this course, students examine major past and current U.S. Supreme Court cases related to abortion, privacy, due process, personal property, and freedom of religion and speech. They also examine major cases related to state powers, government entitlement, and powers of the judicial and federal branches of government. From this assessment, students determine how outcomes of such cases affect public policy. Students also explore and discuss individual rights, property rights, administrative law, immigration law, and foreign policy as well as contemporary issues and case studies, to which they apply legal research and verdicts.
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: A Foundations course or first course in a program.)
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 8100P.)
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 8100P.)
The final dissertation demonstrates students’ scholarly ability to examine, critique, and synthesize knowledge and experience, so that new ideas can be tested; best practices identified, established, and verified; and theoretical, practice, or policy constructs evaluated and advanced. Doctoral students have the opportunity to integrate their program of study into an in-depth exploration of an interest area, culminating in the completion their dissertation research study in this course. Students complete the dissertation independently, with the guidance of a supervisory committee chair and committee members. Students complete a prospectus, proposal, Institutional Review Board application, and a final oral presentation and written dissertation. Ultimately, every dissertation should make a fresh contribution to the field of public policy and administration. (Prerequisites: Core KAMs, RSCH 8100P, RSCH 8200P, and RSCH 8300P.)
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