Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
Whether you want a deeper understanding of the law or are encountering public policy questions in the workplace, this specialization can prepare you with vital foundational knowledge. Examine key legal concepts, landmark cases, and current trends as you explore the link between law and public policy. You will also gain access to important legal knowledge that is available to public policy practitioners.
Track I is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. If you have a master's degree in an unrelated discipline, see Track II.
The majority of our students take over 2 years to complete their doctoral study or dissertation.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will 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.
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 a scholar-practitioner and social change agent. 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 as they relate to practice in public policy and administration.
This course looks at the evolution of crime—from lone criminals to worldwide syndicates—using the scientific rigor built into the selected readings and discussions. Among the topics examined are the philosophy of community- and problem-oriented policing, transnational crime, terrorism, and the new nexus between them. The course equips current and future leaders with the knowledge and depth of understanding to assess and manage the opportunities, innovations, and challenges in their profession.
This course reviews key court decisions and explores the tension between constitutionally guaranteed individual rights and crime-prevention and public-safety efforts. The course also covers policy analysis and planning in the criminal justice field, and offers an understanding of the policy context in which the criminal justice system functions.
This course introduces students to the problems that currently confront the administration of the criminal justice system, as well as problems predicted for the future. So that students are prepared to lead efforts to address these challenges, this course offers powerful models for strategic, critical, and reflective thinking. This course also immerses students in discussion about the major components of effective justice administration: organizational thought and theory, leadership, human capital, policy development and implementation, and collaboration with other public safety and community organizations.
Legal decisions and the law have an impact on the creation of public policy. This course explores the relationship between laws and public policy and the impact court decisions have on policy and policy leaders. Topics include legal concepts and terminology, legal jurisdictions, case law, seminal cases, and the Supreme Court’s roles and procedures. Students apply fundamental legal concepts and principles to case studies and contemporary problems.
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. They are also introduced to 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.)
There is a wealth of vital legal knowledge available to public policy practitioners. In this course, students will be introduced to a number of print and electronic resources available for legal research and will gain an understanding of how the law is used to inform the creation of public policy. Topics include navigating legal libraries, citing cases, and using research to support public policy. Students apply legal research to case studies and contemporary issues.
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.)
Major issues in the Supreme Court have an impact on public policy at the state and local levels. This course examines major past and current U.S. Supreme Court decisions and explores how these decisions affect public policy. Topics include individual rights, property rights, administrative law, immigration law, and foreign policy. Students apply legal research and verdicts to case studies and current issues. Outsourcing of public programs is also examined.
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 8100.)
This course provides an introduction to the tools used by policymakers and policy analysts to evaluate the impact of social programs. Topics include selecting programs to evaluate, crafting program descriptions, identifying stakeholders and their interests, developing logic models, framing evaluation questions, applying utilization-focused evaluation techniques, using quantitative and qualitative tools to complete formative and summative evaluations, and providing evaluation reports and feedback to decision-makers. By the end of the course, each student will develop a program-evaluation design for a social program.
The prospectus is a brief paper, typically 15-20 pages in length, which helps students organize, delineate, and make decisions regarding their doctoral study and appropriate research methodology. Students create a prospectus to establish 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 five-credit course focus specifically on the process of writing the dissertation prospectus. They employ their preliminary research plan to develop a problem statement for their dissertation. Students further refine the problem statement and carry out the planning and the library research that lends to the formulation of a dissertation prospectus. (Prerequisites include RSCH 8100J, RSCH 8200J, RSCH 8300J)
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.)
This course is part of Walden’s commitment to help prepare students to meet the university’s expectations for writing in courses at the doctoral level. In this course, students write a short academic essay that will be scored by a team of writing assessors in the Center for Student Success. Based on the essay score, students will be guided toward any further recommended or required writing support needed to meet writing proficiency standards. This required course is free. Students will be enrolled automatically in it after they complete their first full quarter or semester in their doctoral program.
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 CRJS 9000, they will be registered each term until successful completion of the dissertation.
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