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Explore our PhD in Human Services Disaster, Crisis, and Intervention specialization

In this specialization, you will examine the theory and strategies to respond to the initial needs of a community in an emergency situation and how to assist victims and caregivers after the initial crisis has passed. You can study the skills and practices specific to crisis counseling, including theories of crisis intervention and models for working with different populations. You examine the actions and behaviors that follow a disaster; address stress, coping, and adjustment difficulties; and study psychological disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Coursework gives you the opportunity to explore a crisis at the community and regional levels and design a crisis plan to prepare for future emergencies. This specialization also addresses the psychology and impact of terrorism on communities. Your dissertation will focus on adding to the body of knowledge in this field.

Demand for professionals trained in this relatively new discipline is anticipated to be high, as evidenced by the number of job openings in crisis management and emergency planning.

Choose the Path That Is Right for You

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.

An Advanced Customized option is also available to give you a unique way to meet the coursework requirements in this program. Gain a deeper level of knowledge in your specific area of interest and benefit from an independent, self-directed learning experience under the guidance of a mentor.


Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.

*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.

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Admissions Requirements

Program Admission Considerations: A master’s degree or higher.

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.


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