Explore our Online PhD in Human Services
There is a strong global need for human services professionals in government and nongovernmental organizations. Underserved populations across the world require a range of human services such as healthcare, social work, financial aid, criminal justice, food aid, education, and housing.
As a professional in human services, you are committed to empowering your community. Through our online PhD in Human Services degree program, you can deepen and broaden your ability to help others around the world live more productive, fulfilling, and independent lives.
The PhD in Human Services program empowers you to promote positive change through effective policy and practice in a global context. Coursework emphasizes a holistic, interprofessional approach to human services, preparing you to help individuals, families, organizations, and communities navigate the social support systems and identify other professionals available to assist them.
Choose from the General Program or from 10 career-focused specializations that reflect trends in the profession and support your interests.
Gain skills you can apply immediately, including cross-agency collaboration, professional networking, policy implementation, and global leadership competencies.
Broaden your international understanding of the field with global content and case studies.
Engage with Interactive Learning Community, a learning tool that brings concepts to life through simulations and animated case studies.
Focus on professional skills such as grant writing and the development of an ePortfolio that reflects your student experience and helps you plan for future career growth.
Available exclusively in our PhD in Human Services program, the Advanced Customized option gives you the flexibility to tailor your coursework to your career objectives and personal interests.
With a degree from Walden University, you can make a greater difference
Growing up in poverty, Jack knew that education was key. See how this Walden grad used his Walden degree to help a wrongfully convicted man gain his freedom.
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 Your Master of Philosophy 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) degree upon completion of program requirements, prior to completion of your dissertation.
Walden is one of a few universities that offer this advanced research master’s degree. Highlight your academic achievement and show employers and others that you possess comprehensive knowledge in your field of study.
At the end of this program, students will be able to:
- Analyze theories, models, historical foundations, and conceptual frameworks related to the profession of human services through a process of scholarly inquiry.
- Appropriately apply ethical, social, multicultural, diversity, and political considerations to scholarly inquiry and professional practice.
- Evaluate qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed methods research published in professional journals, textbooks, and other scholarly resources.
- Appropriately apply principles of quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods to research design.
- Appropriately apply social change theories to human services practice and research.
- Evaluate social systems and organizational theories related to human services research and practice.
With a PhD in Human Services, you can be a transformational voice for those in need. You’ll be ready to pursue a leadership role as a practitioner, researcher, scholar, or administrator, and in helping others live more productive, fulfilling, and independent lives.
There’s a growing global need for people with doctoral degrees in human. The job market for social and community service managers is expected to grow by 17% through 2029—much faster than the national average for all occupations.1
Become an agent of positive change, implementing effective policies and practices at the highest level in governmental and nongovernmental organizations, universities, foundations, and nonprofits.
A PhD in Human Services can prepare you to pursue career options such as:
A PhD in Human Services can prepare you to work in settings such as:
- Nongovernmental organizations
- Government agencies
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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