Is your dissertation the only thing standing between you and your doctorate? Transfer your doctoral coursework, complete your research, and earn your doctorate through our online PhD completion program.

Our PhD dissertation completion program is designed specifically for returning doctoral degree candidates who have completed all coursework for a PhD, except the prospectus and dissertation process, at an accredited university.

With our PhD completion program, you’ll:

  • Receive step-by-step guidance from a faculty mentor who will advise you during the research process and keep you on track through continuous feedback.
  • Attend two intensive in-person writing workshops designed to prepare you for successful completion of your dissertation.
  • Obtain support with your research and scholarly writing through our Center for Research Quality, Writing Center, online library, and other doctoral support programs.
  • Complete your dissertation online while you balance current work and family commitments.

You’ll also have the opportunity to progress through the dissertation completion process with a cohort of students. Attend the residencies with your cohort and enjoy greater opportunities for peer support, networking, and collaboration.

Admission Requirements

Your coursework from another institution must fit within these time frames:

  • No more than 5 years since you were last enrolled in a doctoral program
  • Only coursework completed in the last 10 years is eligible for transfer of credit
  • You must have completed all doctoral coursework at the prior institution, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • You must not have been academically dismissed from your prior institution.
  • You must complete a phone or video interview with Walden
  • GRE or GMAT scores (no minimum score or time limit)

You’ll also need to submit the following documents:

  • A Walden application form
  • Transcripts showing your completed coursework in the program of study from your previous doctoral program
  • A written statement on your intent to complete doctoral programs (i.e., role of degree in your career path) and your planned focus for your dissertation
  • One letter of reference (academic or professional)
  • Scholarly work sample (optional)

Program guidelines, processes, and procedures:

  • Milestones and time to completion: Students will complete a learning agreement contract with their faculty mentor. This contract will include the specific milestones and gateways that must be followed for the students to be successful in completing the dissertation process. Students will be allotted up to 3 years to complete the dissertation, but will be encouraged to complete the dissertation within 1 to 2 years. Students who cannot complete the dissertation within 3 years will be academically dismissed from the program.
  • Faculty mentor and dissertation committee: Each student’s dissertation will be guided by a dissertation committee consisting of the faculty mentor as chair, a faculty member, and a University Research Reviewer (URR). Program leadership appoints all committee members.
  • Prospectus: Students will develop a prospectus that provides the framework for the topic, problem, research questions, literature review, research method/design, data collection, and analysis procedures. Once the prospectus is approved by the faculty mentor, committee, and program director, the student—with guidance from the faculty mentor—will develop a draft proposal that outlines the problem, literature, and methodology. APA format templates for both the prospectus and dissertation are available.
  • Oral presentation: Once the proposal has been approved by the mentor, there will be a telephone oral presentation for committee review and evaluation. After the proposal has been approved, the student may proceed to the IRB process.
  • Completion/final review: After the IRB application has been approved, the student may begin data collection and develop the final chapters (presentation of the data; and summary, conclusions, and recommendations). This will be followed by a final telephone oral presentation. All documents must be in APA style and meet university form and style requirements. If problems arise, at the discretion of the faculty mentor, the student will engage an APA editor at the student's expense. Once the dissertation meets all of the requirements, it will be forwarded to Walden’s chief academic officer (CAO) for final review/approval.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates who complete their dissertation through this program will be prepared to:

  1. Utilize critical-thinking and assessment skills in order to analyze barriers, assess needs, and advance the knowledge and practice of public health.
  2. Evaluate and apply population-based theories and strategies used in the prevention of disease and disability.
  3. Lead and inform professional communication, marketing, and public relations on key issues in public health.
  4. Apply fiscal and organizational tenets to public health program leadership.
  5. Demonstrate advanced competency in health informatics and surveillance techniques used in public health programs.
  6. Apply public health research to promote positive social change concerning the health of diverse populations.
Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.
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