Several factors contribute to criminal behavior in modern society, from homelessness to substance abuse to poverty. In the Criminal Justice specialization, you will explore traditional and contemporary intervention and rehabilitation approaches for both offenders and victims. By examining the factors that contribute to criminal behavior, you can identify the key challenges facing the criminal justice system today—and what you as a human services professional can do to help address these problems. This program leads to a dissertation that will add to the body of knowledge in the field of criminal justice.
This specialization can prepare you to lead programs within prisons, and probation and parole programs. Other career opportunities include policy and planning in the Bureau of Prisons, the Department of Justice, or halfway and rehabilitation programs.
This program of study is for students who hold a master’s degree in human services, counseling, social work, or psychology from an accredited university. 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 a master’s degree in a non-related field of study (any discipline other than human services, counseling, social work, or psychology) or a bachelor’s degree in any field of study from an accredited university choose Track II.
Fast Track to Your PhD
If you are eligible for Track I, you may also be eligible to choose the Fast-Track Option, which allows you to earn your degree more quickly by taking additional courses per term. If you are a highly motivated student with discipline and a flexible schedule, learn more about this accelerated path to a doctoral degree or contact an enrollment advisor today.
Minimum Completion Requirements
- Foundation course (3 cr.)
- Core courses (25 cr.)
- Specialization courses (15 cr.)
- Foundation research sequence (15 cr.)
- Advanced research course (5 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.