Aging populations with special needs are creating a greater demand for professionals who can facilitate the integration of services for the older adult, including health and home care, financial and lifestyle, and issues of daily living. The Gerontology specialization prepares you to meet this growing need. In this program, you will explore the impact of societal expectations on the elderly and demographic trends, including global cross-cultural issues in aging. You will develop a broad understanding of factors that affect the quality of life for the geriatric population, from the physiological changes of aging, to the effects of chronic disease, to the challenges of independent living.
This program of study is for students who hold a bachelor’s degree (in any field of study) from an accredited university or a master’s degree in a non-related field of study (all disciplines other than human services, counseling, social work, and psychology). 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 855-646-5286 for details.
If you hold an MS in Human Services or a master’s degree in a related field (counseling, social work, or psychology) from Walden or another accredited institution, choose Track I.
Minimum Completion Requirements
- Foundation course (3 cr.)
- Core courses (50 cr.)
- Foundation research sequence (15 cr.)
- Advanced research course (5 cr.)
- Specialization courses (15 cr.)
- Dissertation (minimum 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.
Walden students have 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.
In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.
To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.