Criminal Justice

Social issues such as economic decline, substance abuse, and a lack of educational or employment opportunities can all contribute to criminal behavior. With this specialization, you can study best practices related to traditional forms of intervention for both offenders and victims, including individual and group therapy. You will also explore recent developments in the legal system such as restorative justice. This program is designed for social work professionals involved in public safety fields including law enforcement and rehabilitation.

Minimum Completion Requirements

  • 78 quarter credit hours
    • Core courses (38 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Clinical seminar (5 cr.)
    • Capstone research project (minimum 20 cr.)
    • One 4-day residency

Walden students have up to 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/doctoral study, 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/doctoral study 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.


Course Code Course Credits
Course Code SOCW 8002 Course Foundations of Graduate Study Credits (3 cr.)
Course Code SOCW 8110 Course Advanced Social Work Theory and Practice Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code SOCW 8802 Course Clinical Seminar I Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code SOCW 8117 Course Diversity and Multiculturalism Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8110 Course Research Theory, Design, and Methods Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code SOCW 8350 Course Historical and Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code SOCW 8137 Course Contemporary Issues, Social Change, and Social Policy Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code SOCW 8138 Course Program and Practice Evaluation Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code SOCW 8351 Course Policy Analysis in the Criminal Justice System Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8210
RSCH 8310
Course Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
Credits (5 cr.)

(5 cr.)
Course Code SOCW 8785 Course Social Change in Action: Prevention, Consultation, and Advocacy Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code Course - Elective - Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code SOCW 8610 Course Capstone Research Project Credits (5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms until completion)

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code DRWA 8880G Course Doctoral Writing Assessment Credits (0 cr.)
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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Questions about our Doctor of Social Work (DSW)?
Questions about our Doctor of Social Work (DSW)?
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