Doctor of Human Services Online

Gain the practical and leadership skills you need to address vital social issues with a Doctor of Human Services degree from Walden.
Gain the practical and leadership skills you need to address vital social issues with a Doctor of Human Services degree from Walden.

Ready to Get Started?

Fill out the form and we will contact you to provide information about furthering your education.

Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.

  • Current 01 Step 1: About You
  • 02 Step 2: Contact Information

Doctor of Human Services

Ready to Get Started?

Fill out the form and we will contact you to provide information about furthering your education.

Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.

  • Current 01 Step 1: About You
  • 02 Step 2: Contact Information

Why Choose Walden?


Through our Communities of Practice experience, you’ll start on your capstone project early in your program.


Focus your studies with one of two relevant specializations that prepare you for leadership roles in your area of interest.


Through immersive, hands-on content, you’ll gain greater self-assurance by practicing the skills and tools you’ll use out in the field.


Explore networking best practices and build a professional portfolio with the Human Services Hub in Walden’s Career Center.

Program Details

Admission Requirements

Program Admission Considerations: A master’s degree or higher.  Some restrictions apply – ask your Enrollment Specialist for details.

General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.

Your Doctoral Journey

At Walden, we’ll guide you every step of the way with a comprehensive suite of support resources designed to help you confidently pursue the finish line, including our Doctoral Degree CoachTM. Are you ready to reach a higher level in your field?

A smiling woman wearing a graduation gown.


A Personalized Guide to Completing Your Doctorate

Earning your online Doctor of Human Services requires commitment, perseverance, and hard work. You can do it, and Walden is here to help—with our Doctoral Degree Coach™.

  • Map and Track Milestones: Break your research down into manageable, sequential steps. See where you are, what’s ahead, and what you’ve already accomplished—all in one place.
  • Meet Weekly Targets: No more guesswork. Set prompts based on your to-do list and receive reminders and updates directly to your inbox.
  • Connect With Faculty: Stay on the same page and keep your progress on track. With shared access to your dashboard, your chair can easily guide you through your checklists, goals, and timelines.
  • Access Helpful Resources: Quickly find support from the right person at the right time. Our comprehensive resource guide points you in the right direction—no more frustrating searches.

Use Immersive Learning Technologies

Walden’s online Doctor of Human Services program includes simulation technologies and other approaches to bring course content to life. Master critical skills in a safe and supportive environment. Build confidence as a human services practitioner-scholar while learning how to apply your new knowledge and competencies to your current job and future roles. You’ll have the opportunity to engage with tools such as:

  • Virtual-Simulation Videos to help you practice intake interviews, educational sessions, and working with clients and community members.
  • Hart City, a virtual city that allows you to visit different locations, find resources, and complete assignments using these resources. See perspectives of different agencies and populations as well as the bigger picture of how it’s all connected.

Start on Your Capstone Early

Walden’s Doctor of Human Services program includes our exclusive Communities of Practice experience. In these five companion courses, you’ll be introduced to the doctoral journey through a supportive, cohort-style approach led by a faculty advisor. Choose a research topic that aligns with your passion and learn how to use course assignments to build your knowledge and literature base. Develop key doctoral competencies that give you greater confidence and comfort in your capstone preparation.

During these courses, you will also learn how to:

  • Navigate Walden’s tracking and support systems, classrooms, and doctoral forms.
  • Develop a plan of study and create timelines.
  • Differentiate between scientific study and advocacy.
  • Improve your critical thinking, research, and scholarly writing skills.
  • Complete a prospectus form.

Learn How to Make Change Happen

One of the central themes of Walden’s online Doctor of Human Services program is force field analysis, which involves exploring the forces working for and against achieving the ideal resolution to a problem. Through force field analysis, our courses empower you to identify the factors that stand in the way of positive social change—and those that support it. You’ll learn how to minimize opposing forces while increasing the favorable forces that make change more likely and more sustainable.

Tuition and Fees

CurriculumRequirementsCostTotal *
Tuition-Coursework48 quarter credits $655 per quarter hour for coursework credits$31,440^
Tuition-Doctoral Study/Project 20-120 quarter credits$655 per quarter hour for dissertation credits$13,100–$78,600*
Program Fee $175 per quarter$1,400–$5,600*
Estimated Range:  2-Year Minimum8-Year Maximum
   (assuming completion in a 2-year time frame)(assuming completion in an 8-year time frame)

These are ranges of what a student can expect in terms of time and tuition cost to complete a degree. It does not include other fees, nor is it adjusted for tuition increases over time. Walden faculty has concluded that generally students who do not complete their program in eight years are unlikely to complete and only allow students to exceed that time frame when a student petitions for an extension and provides good reason for the delay and assurances that obstacles to completion can be overcome. Time is calculated using the time allowed for each semester or unit that the student completes. Students are encouraged to work continuously during the program so as not to extend the time needed to complete the degree as work can become stale and students lose focus. Students who earn two grades of “Unsatisfactory,” who repeatedly drop a course before a semester or unit has been completed or are unable to complete in the eight year time frame, should expect that they may be dismissed from the program. Walden believes that it is in the best interest of a student who is unable to complete the degree in the stated ranges to strongly consider withdrawal or obtaining a lesser degree.

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 and/or the student’s transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; writing, research and editing skills; use of external data for their doctoral study/dissertation; and/or individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations; care giving responsibilities or health issues; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; leaves of absence; and/or other personal circumstances.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included. Students may incur additional costs for remedial writing assistance, if necessary.

^This assumes students successfully complete their coursework on the first attempt.

Based on a 2-year minimum completion requirement and an 8-year maximum timeframe as outlined in Walden academic policy.

*Tuition and fees will be higher if students petition to extend the 8-year maximum timeframe or choose to take more expensive elective courses.

+Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition discounts. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-642-0198.

Program Outcomes

Advance as a Leader and Practitioner

Walden’s Doctor of Human Services program is designed to help you become a next-level practitioner and hands-on problem-solver. Expand your understanding of human services leadership, professional practice, research, and ethics. Gain actionable skills and tools relevant to running organizations, leading programs, consulting in applied research, and advocating for social justice issues.

To ensure our students are prepared for today’s human services field, coursework in this program is aligned with professional standards set forth by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE).

Career Preparation

With a Doctor of Human Services degree, you can pursue opportunities as a human services leader, researcher, or educator. Open the door to new career possibilities in settings such as universities, hospitals, government agencies, and social assistance organizations.

Whether you’re looking to teach in academia or start your own nonprofit agency, Walden supports your goals through the Human Services Hub of our Career Center. Build a professional portfolio that you can show to potential employers as evidence of your capabilities. Learn about high-impact networking as well as job search best practices that can help you propel your career and ambitions forward.

Employment in community and social service occupations is projected to grow


through 2029.1

Walden is the


granter of doctoral research degrees.2

Program Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  • Assess the needs of clients accessing human services programs using a variety of evidence-supported approaches.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the human service programs using a variety of evidence-supported approaches.
  • Develop strategies for working collaboratively with interdisciplinary teams of professionals to deliver support services to diverse populations.
  • Design research that contributes to positive social change related to human services.
  • Advocate for the needs of diverse populations in order to promote positive social change.
  • Develop an advanced human services practitioner professional identity.


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1Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social and Community Service Managers, SOC Code 11-9151. Retrieved September 2020. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual job growth, and are subject to change.

2Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Database (IPEDS). Retrieved January 2021; includes 2018–19 data and all classifications of instructional programs (CIP) codes. A doctoral research degree (Award Level 17 and 19) is a PhD or other doctoral degree that requires advanced work beyond the master’s level, including the preparation and defense of a dissertation based on original research or the planning and execution of an original project demonstrating substantial artistic or scholarly achievement. Some examples of this type of degree may include EdD, DMA, DBA, DSc, DA, DM, or others, as designated by the awarding institution.