Drive Global Social Change With a PhD in Human Services
Do you want to further develop your scholarly expertise in human services delivery and practice? Let your passion drive your success. Whether you’re interested in teaching, leadership, or research, Walden’s online PhD in Human Services program can empower you to drive societal change on both a local and a global scale.
From your very first course, our program equips you with key research skills to help guide you through your dissertation. You’ll continue to be supported throughout your studies with our ongoing Community of Practice and Research (CPR) forums. Excel in your learning as you create new knowledge that can influence a better quality of life for individuals, families, communities, and society.
A PhD in Human Services program prepares human services scholar practitioners to address systemic societal issues and make a meaningful difference through effective policy, practice, teaching, and research.
Starting early in your program, you’ll build key research and writing skills to help you begin your dissertation with confidence.
By developing a solid research skill set, you’ll prepare to inform effective solutions to real and pressing social problems.
Our academic centers and online Doctoral Degree Coach tool are just some of the ways we help you realize your dream of earning your PhD.
Refine your networking skills and create your professional portfolio with the Human Services hub of Walden’s Career Center.
With a degree from Walden University, you can make a greater difference
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General Program and Specializations
TRACK I: Choose this track if you have a master's degree from an accredited university in human services, counseling, social work, or psychology.
TRACK II: Choose this track if you hold a bachelor’s degree (in any field of study) from an accredited university or a master’s degree from an accredited university in a non-related field of study (any discipline other than human services, counseling, social work, or psychology). This track provides you with the option of earning your MS in Human Services as you progress toward your PhD.
Program Admission Considerations: A master’s degree or higher.
General Admission Program 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.
Four academic residencies support your progress at key points in your doctoral journey. Residencies also strengthen your scholarly and professional connections.
Earn a Master’s Degree Along the Way
Walden understands the rigors involved with preparing for your doctorate. To signify how far you’ve come on your journey, you will be eligible to be awarded a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or an MS in Human Services degree upon completion of all the master’s degree program requirements, prior to completion of your dissertation or doctoral study.
Highlight your academic achievement and show employers and others that you possess comprehensive knowledge in your field of study.
Earn a Doctoral Degree With Broad Impact
Aligned with Council for Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE) guidelines, Walden’s online PhD in Human Services program equips you with a versatile skill set designed to help you succeed. This non-licensure program can unlock your leadership potential while building your teaching, research, and consulting skills. Explore how to test current assumptions, develop new theories, and create a platform for new knowledge that drives the evolution of human services delivery and practice.
With Walden since 1998, Dr. Barkley has been a full-time core faculty member in the online PhD in Human Services program since 2011. He was on the faculty of Vanderbilt University in the Human Development Counseling and Community Development and Action graduate programs for 30 years.
Kristin Faix WilkinsonProgram Director
Dr. Faix Wilkinson holds certification as a Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP). She began her 20-year human services career in vocational rehabilitation as a program specialist and working with children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
At the end of this online PhD in Human Services program, you will be able to:
- Develop strategies for assessing the needs of diverse populations based on human services theory and research.
- Make ethical decisions based on the needs of diverse populations.
- Conduct original research in human services to promote positive social change.
- Advocate for individuals who are seeking human services supports.
- Communicate effectively with others to promote the effective delivery of human services.
- Develop a professional identity as a human services researcher.
Employment in community and social service occupations is projected to grow 12% through 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.1
With a PhD in Human Services, you can pursue opportunities throughout the globe as a transnational human services generalist and work in various settings and positions within human service organizations. Rise to the top of your field as a leader, researcher, or educator.
#1granter of doctoral research degrees.2
A PhD in Human Services can prepare you to work in settings such as:
- Colleges, universities, and professional schools
- Social assistance organizations
- Executive, legislative, and other general government support areas
Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
When I encounter any student, I always encourage folks to look for a program that will get them to the goal and give them the opportunity to interact at a different level—that’s what Walden was about for me.
Philip Terry-Smith PhD in Human Services Graduate
I received the lifetime achievement award from the National Association of Black Social Workers at the 50th anniversary celebration and national conference.
Renata Hedrington Jones PhD in Human Services Graduate
My PhD at Walden was my fourth degree. I wanted to continue my research on self-determination and creative administration and decision-making.
Olga Zbarskaya PhD in Human Services Graduate
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