Military Families and Culture

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 topics such as 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 insight needed to address the unique needs of military personnel, veterans, and their loved ones as they deal with the challenges inherent in military life.

This specialization can prepare you for careers such as social and community worker for Veterans Affairs or community veteran services, human services program leader, and nontherapeutic counselor.*

This program of study is for students who hold a master’s degree in human services, counseling, social work, or psychology from an accredited university. To recognize your past academic progress, you may be eligible to apply previously earned credits toward your doctoral program, significantly reducing your time to completion and total cost.* Contact an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336 for details.

If you hold a master’s degree in a non-related field of study (any discipline other than human services, counseling, social work, or psychology) or a bachelor’s degree in any field of study from an accredited university choose Track II.

Fast Track to Your PhD

If you are eligible for Track I, you may also be eligible to choose the Fast-Track Option, which allows you to earn your degree more quickly by taking additional courses per term. If you are a highly motivated student with discipline and a flexible schedule, learn more about this accelerated path to a doctoral degree or contact your enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336 for details.

Completion Requirements

  • 83 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (3 cr.)
    • Core courses (25 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Foundation research sequence (15 cr.)
    • Advanced research course (5 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  • Professional Development Plan
  • Four PhD residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days

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

The majority of our students take over 2 years to complete their doctoral study or dissertation.

The sequence below 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.




The Advanced Customized option gives you a unique way to meet the coursework requirements in this program. 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.

*Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

†The number of credits eligible for transfer from a Walden or other accredited university master’s degree may vary depending upon the date the master’s degree was completed.

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