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.*
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.
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 an enrollment advisor today.
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.
|Quarter||1||Course Code||HUMN 8000||Course||Foundations of Graduate Study in Human Services||Credits||1|
|Quarter||1||Course Code||HUMN 8150||Course||Helping Individuals, Organizations, and Communities: Introduction to Human Services||Credits||5|
|Quarter||1 or 2||Course Code||RESI 8401||Course||PhD Residency I||Credits||0|
|Quarter||2||Course Code||RSCH 8110||Course||Research Theory, Design, and Methods||Credits||5|
|Quarter||2||Course Code||HUMN 8210||Course||Management and Leadership Development in Human and Social Services||Credits||5|
|Quarter||3||Course Code||HUMN 8403||Course||Military Culture||Credits||5|
|Quarter||3||Course Code||RSCH 8210||Course||Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||5|
|Quarter||3 or 4||Course Code||RESI 8402||Course||PhD Residency 2||Credits||0|
|Quarter||4||Course Code||HUMN 8207||Course||Grant Writing||Credits||5|
|Quarter||4||Course Code||RSCH 8310||Course||Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||5|
|Quarter||4 or 5||Course Code||RESI 8403||Course||PhD Residency 3||Credits||0|
|Quarter||5||Course Code||HUMN 8402||Course||Working With Military Spouses, Families, and Children||Credits||5|
|Quarter||5||Course Code||HUMN 8237||Course||Advanced Program Evaluation||Credits||5|
|Quarter||6||Course Code||HUMN 8401||Course||Trauma, Crisis, and Stress with Military Personnel||Credits||5|
|Quarter||6||Course Code||HUMN 8550||Course||Preparing for Dissertation||Credits||5|
|Quarter||6 or 7||Course Code||RESI 8404||Course||PhD Residency 4||Credits||0|
|Quarter||7 or 8||Course Code||
Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis
|Quarter||8-12||Course Code||HUMN 9001||Course||Dissertation||Credits||20|
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.
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.
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 and nonprofit organizational settings in different cultures and societies depicted in case studies, a virtual city environment, and through relevant material provided by students themselves. Students will also explore how to promote interprofessional collaboration within and among organizations.
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of military culture. The focus of this course is on understanding the world of work for military personnel; 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. As a result of this course, students will be more informed about the mental health and social support needs of these populations.
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. They apply their knowledge and skills by developing a quantitative research plan.
Grant writing is a highly marketable skill that can enable students to help nonprofit, educational, and community organizations secure external funding in order to provide needed services to the community. In this course, students will explore the basic skills needed for non-research grant writing, including identifying potential funding sources, creating objectives and a needs statement, preparing and justifying a budget, identifying appropriate assessment plans, and writing an executive summary. Course assignments will allow students to directly apply what they are reading and discussing by writing a full grant proposal based on an actual Request for Proposal (RFP).
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.
The nature of military work responsibilities impacts not only military personnel, but their families as well. Frequent family relocations, extensive 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.
Doctoral-level practitioners are often called upon to conduct rigorous evaluations of programs, and the results of their evaluations often determine the fate of the programs they evaluate and the clients served by those programs. Therefore, it is important that students learn how to conduct both formative and summative evaluations and evaluate the fidelity of program implementation prior to evaluating program outcomes. In this way, program evaluation also tests the theory or logic model on which the program is based. Students will use hands-on activities to develop their ability to create evaluation plans, provide constructive critiques of other students’ projects, and accept feedback from others. They will also connect with other professionals engaged in evaluation research through various professional forums (e.g., listservs, blogs, and professional associations). In addition, they will explore how the process, pressures, and outcomes of evaluation research could differ across cultures and and professions.
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.
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.
This research course builds upon knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8200Z Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis and provides experience applying them. It provides students with more specialized knowledge and skills for designing quantitative research at the doctoral level, including understanding multivariate data analysis and applying more advanced statistical concepts. Students explore comprehensive quantitative research designs and suitable statistical tests, the importance of quality assurance, and ethical considerations and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. This course approaches statistics from a problem-solving perspective, with emphasis on selecting the appropriate research design and statistical tests for more complex research questions or problems. Students use statistical software to perform analyses and interpret and present results. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a quantitative research plan.
This research course builds upon knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8300Z Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis and provides experience applying them. It provides students with more 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. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a qualitative research plan.
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 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.)
|Course Code||DRWA 8000G||Course||Doctoral Writing Assessment||Credits||0|
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.
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.
*The number of credits eligible for transfer from a Walden or another accredited university master’s degree program may vary depending upon the date the master’s degree was completed.
†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.