With a PhD in Human and Social Services from Walden, you can be a leader in effecting change and addressing the needs of those struggling with illness, addiction, violence, and poverty.

There is a strong global need for human and social services professionals in government and nongovernmental organizations. Underserved populations across the world require a range of human and social services such as healthcare, social work, financial aid, criminal justice, food aid, education, and housing.

As a professional in human and social services, you are committed to empowering your community. Through our PhD in Human and Social Services degree program, you can deepen and broaden your ability to help others around the world live more productive, fulfilling, and independent lives.

The PhD in Human and Social Services program empowers you to promote positive change through effective policy and practice in a global context. Coursework emphasizes a holistic, interprofessional approach to human and social services, preparing you to help individuals, families, organizations, and communities navigate the social support systems and identify other professionals available to assist them.

Earn Your PhD in Human and Social Services While Balancing Priorities

In It Together

At Walden we understand that you likely work full time and may care for children or other family members. Explore our support services  designed to help you balance family commitments with your work and school responsibilities. We’re all in it together.

Acquire the Professional Skills You Need

When you earn With your Walden’s PhD in Human and Social Services degree program from Walden, you can:

  • Choose from two tracks, which are designed to align with your academic background.
  • Choose from the General Program or 14 career-focused specializations that reflect trends in the profession and support your interests.
  • Gain skills you can apply immediately, including cross-agency collaboration, professional networking, policy implementation, and global leadership competencies.
  • Broaden your international understanding of the field with global content and case studies. The program also offers a Global Social Services specialization.
  • Engage with Interactive Learning Community, a learning tool that brings concepts to life through simulations and animated case studies.
  • Focus on professional skills such as grant writing and the development of an ePortfolio that reflects your student experience and helps you plan for future career growth.

Earn Your PhD Faster

If you hold a master’s degree in a related field, you may be eligible to apply previously earned credits toward a PhD in Human and Social Services, significantly reducing your time to completion and total cost.*

If you are a highly motivated student with discipline and a flexible schedule, you may also be eligible to choose the Fast-Track Option, allowing you to earn your degree more quickly by taking additional courses per term. Contact your enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336 for details.

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

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 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.
  • Grants and tuition reductions available.

  • Scholar of Change

    Carol Zoffinger

    “We are changing generations to come,” says Carol Zoffinger, PhD in Human Services Student. Watch her story.

  • Getting Recognition for Your Research

    A Walden PhD in Public Health graduate offers advice about how doctoral students can gain more exposure for their research.

    View this article.

  • Speak With Our Faculty


    Talk directly to School of Counseling faculty about what it’s like to earn your degree at Walden.

    Learn More

  • Tau Upsilon Alpha


    Learn about the Walden chapter of Tau Upsilon Alpha, the national human services honor society that recognizes students for their integrity, academic excellence, and dedication to empowering people through education and service.

    Learn More

  • How Do I Choose the Right Degree?


    Psychology and counseling career guide cover.Download Walden’s interactive career guide to find the counseling or psychology program that aligns best with your professional goals.


  • Dollar signReceive a $5,000 grant if you reside in the US and start this program on August 29, 2016. Contact one of our enrollment advisors to learn more.



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