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Explore our PsyD in Behavioral Health Leadership General Program

The PsyD in Behavioral Health Leadership is a non-licensure program that provides doctoral training for behavioral health professionals who want to gain the practical skills to lead, consult, create, evaluate, and improve behavioral health systems in today’s integrated care settings.

In this program, you will build cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills in leadership, financial management and procurement, instruction and training, entrepreneurship, and program evaluation. You will also be prepared with entrepreneurship and advocacy skills to promote positive social change in behavioral healthcare settings.

You will also complete a consulting skills intensive retreat and a virtual doctoral residency. The program requires a non-dissertation action research project that addresses a problem or issue within the behavioral health practice.

PROGRAM SAVINGS

Receive a $4,000 grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 30, 2020. Contact one of our enrollment specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Curriculum

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Foundation course (3 cr.)
  • Core Courses (40 cr.)
  • Research Courses (15 cr.)
  • Optional specialization courses (15 cr.)
  • Completion of Doctoral Capstone
    • Doctoral capstone support courses (5 cr.)
    • Doctoral capstone writing courses (5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
  • Residencies
    • Consulting Skills Intensive (Residency 1, face-to-face)
    • Doctoral Project Development (Residency 2, virtual)

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.

Please refer to Walden’s catalog for more information about degree requirements.

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 Specialist at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Course Code Title Credits

DOCTORAL WRITING ASSESSMENT

DRWA 8880G

Doctoral Writing Assessment

This course is part of Walden's commitment to help prepare students to meet the university's expectations for writing in courses at the doctoral level. In this course, students write a short academic essay that will be scored by a team of writing assessors. Based on the essay score, students will complete or be exempted from additional required writing support needed to meet writing proficiency standards. This required assessment course is free. Students will be enrolled automatically in it at the beginning of their doctoral program.

(0 cr.)

FOUNDATION COURSE

PBHL 8002

Foundations of Graduate Study

Students in this course are introduced to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. Students work toward building a foundation for academic and professional success as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. They assess the relationship of mission and vision to professional goals, and they develop a program of study, a professional development plan, and strategies for online success. Students also explore resources used throughout the program, such as the online Walden University Library. They engage in course assignments focused on the practical application of professional writing, critical-thinking skills, and the promotion of professional and academic excellence.

(3 cr.)

CORE COURSES

PBHL 8012

Behavioral Health Management

Management in modern healthcare organizations has become increasingly more complex and challenging. Leaders in behavioral healthcare management can expect their roles and responsibilities to be multifaceted. In this course, students will explore the commonalities and differences between healthcare management in general and behavioral healthcare in particular. They will also consider what it means to be an effective leader and an effective manager and how to apply theories of leadership to the behavioral healthcare setting. Additionally, the range of management roles and functions will be identified and applied to a behavioral healthcare setting. 

(5 cr.)
PBHL 8214

Consulting for Organizational Change

Organizational and professional development (OPD) professionals promote and implement organizational change by using fundamental techniques of change management. Students in this course examine and apply these tools, including consulting competencies, approaches, and organizational change models to learn the skills of an OPD consultant. Students explore methods for accelerating individual, group, and organizational performance through consulting, coaching, and change management. They also explore related topics, such as organizational assessment; team development; strategic planning; group dynamics; power, politics, and influence; leadership; and conflict management. Students apply course concepts to the assessment of an organization and the development of strategies to address identified needs for change.

(5 cr.)
PBHL 8200

Behavioral Health Social Entrepreneurship and Advocacy

The focus of this course is on applying the concepts of sustainable value to create behavioral health business sustainability through investment strategies, market insight, and operational excellence. Students will gain an understanding of how sustainable development and sustainability principles are used as drivers for innovation, collaboration, and transformation. Topics will also include business planning and decision making using strategic management principles and the model of strategic planning for the public and private sectors. Students in this course use the case-based method of learning in applying concepts from strategy, leadership, decision analysis, and behavioral health management to the development of situational analyses, corporate- and operational-level decision making, implementation plan development, and strategic evaluation. DRWI 8504).

(5 cr.)
PBHL 8600

Governance, Law, and Policy for Healthcare Leaders or Behavioral Healthcare

Many economic, financial, and political factors influence the delivery of behavioral health healthcare, making healthcare reform a challenging task. In this course, students examine these factors and challenges, and they consider policy reform through legal, regulatory, ethical, societal, and organizational contexts. Topics include behavioral healthcare policy, advocacy, laws, mandates, contracts, and ethical obligations to provide quality behavioral healthcare by being stewards of their organization. They examine the political and policy process, including agenda setting, stakeholder analysis, and application of policy analysis frameworks. DRWI 8504).

(5 cr.)
PBHL 8755

Leadership and Leader Development

Effective leadership requires the ability to facilitate positive change, lead others in efforts to effect similar change, and work through challenges when met with resistance to change. Students in this course are provided with an extensive overview of leadership theories. Students explore definitions of leadership, major theoretical leadership models, and contextual and situational factors related to leadership and change. Students also examine various perspectives on leadership and the role of leadership in the achievement of organizational, group, and team goals. Students engage in practical assignments and discussions, focusing on effective leadership issues and practices during the process of organizational change.

(5 cr.)
PBHL 8300

Healthcare Financial Management and Economics

In this course, students gain knowledge of economic principles such as cost, quality, and access as they relate to the healthcare world. The principles of healthcare financial management, including accounting and finance, are vitally important to the viability and ongoing operations of a healthcare business. Students have the opportunity to interpret and analyze the financial statements of a business, use and analyze financial ratios, utilize variance analysis, understand and implement operating and capital budgeting, and develop knowledge of the business planning process. Students create portions of a business/financial plan using these techniques and analyze the viability of their plan using accepted financial management tools.

(5 cr.)
PBHL 8465

Strategic Planning: Collaboration, Cooperation, and Coordination

In an increasingly complex world, leaders and managers in public, private, and not-for-profit organizations need to be strategic in planning and creating effective, collaborative programs and services. In this course, students explore the role and process of strategic planning, with an emphasis on collaboration, cooperation, and coordination within and among organizations. Students apply these concepts to real-life situations and organizations.

(5 cr.)

Choose one course from the following courses:

PBHL 8315

Program Evaluation

The skills required to assess research and work effectively with stakeholders are among the many proficiencies required of professionals who evaluate and develop programs. In this course, students examine these skill sets as well as the history, theory, and major approaches underlying program evaluation. Students learn how to select appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative models and techniques to perform evaluations, demonstrate program effectiveness, and disseminate results. Additionally, students explore the procedures and techniques involved in offering their evaluation services to a specific group or organization. They also examine strategies to gain stakeholder interest in developing appropriate standards, research progress, and evaluation outcomes. Students acquire practical experience evaluating a program of interest through which they outline organizational structure, identify stakeholders, employ evaluation models, explain steps in planning, and predict possible challenges or stakeholder fears, for which they recommend solutions.

(5 cr.)
PBHL 8207

Grant Writing

Grant writing is a highly marketable skill that requires many not-for-profit, educational, and community organizations to secure external funding in order to provide needed services to the community. In this course, students will explore the basic skills needed for grant writing including identifying potential funding sources, creating objectives and a need statement, preparing and justifying a budget, identifying appropriate assessment plans, and writing an executive summary. Through their course assignments, students can directly apply what they are reading and discussing by writing a full grant proposal based on an actual Request for Proposal (RFP).

(5 cr.)

SPECIALIZATION COURSES

You may choose three courses from any of the PsyD BHL specialization courses to earn an optional specialization.

RESEARCH COURSES

RSCH 8110

Research Theory, Design, and Methods

In this research course, students are provided with core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the graduate level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the role of theory, and research processes. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research designs and data collection methods are introduced. The alignment of research components is emphasized. Students also explore ethical and social change implications of designing and conducting research. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing an annotated bibliography. (Prerequisite(s): RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)
RSCH 8210

Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

In this research course, students are provided with the opportunity to develop core knowledge and skills for designing and carrying out quantitative research at the doctoral level, including the application of statistical concepts and techniques. Students explore classical common statistical tests, the importance of the logic of inference, and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. Students approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting appropriate statistical tests for a research design. Students use statistical software to derive statistics from quantitative data and interpret and present results. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110, and RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)
RSCH 8310

Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

Students in this research course are provided with the opportunity to develop basic knowledge and skills for conducting qualitative research at the doctoral level. Students explore the nature of qualitative inquiry, how theory and theoretical and conceptual frameworks uniquely apply to qualitative research, data collection procedures and analysis strategy, and how the role of the researcher is expressed in the ethical and rigorous conduct of qualitative research. Students practice collecting, organizing, analyzing, and presenting data, and they develop a detailed research topic for conducting a qualitative study. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110, and RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)

COMPLETION OF DOCTORAL CAPSTONE - DISSERTATION PREPARATION COURSES

PBHL 8900

Doctoral Research Project Lab

Through this course, doctoral students have a platform for the ongoing collaborative learning communication between them and their doctoral study chairs and as a repository for drafts and documentation materials related to the doctoral study. The final doctoral study is a demonstration of students' scholarly ability to examine, critique, and synthesize knowledge, theory, and experience, so that new ideas can be tested; best practices identified, established, and verified; and theoretical, practice, or policy constructs evaluated and advanced. In all cases, students engage in rigorous inquiry that results in new knowledge, insight, or practice, demonstrating efficacy in the world of behavioral health leadership. (Prerequisite(s): PBHL 8207.)

(5 cr.)

DISSERTATION WRITING COURSES

PBHL 9001

BHL Doctoral Study 1

This course represents the final phases of study for Walden University doctoral students enrolled in the Behavioral Health Leadership program. Walden requires the doctoral study to reflect a high level of scholarly effort and to either expand existing knowledge or contribute to professional practice. In this capstone course, doctoral students have the opportunity to integrate their academic learning with their applied skill set by demonstrating their ability to conduct an in-depth examination and/or assessment of a behavioral health practice problem. Students complete an applied practice-based study independently, with the guidance of their doctoral study supervisory committee chair and committee members, in a learning platform classroom in which weekly participation is required. Students complete a prospectus, proposal, Institutional Review Board application, and carry out and analyze a research protocol and study. (Prerequisite(s): PBHL 8900.)

(5 cr. per term until completion)
PBHL 9002

BHL Doctoral Study 2

This course represents the final phases of study for Walden University doctoral students enrolled in the Behavioral Health Leadership program. Walden requires the doctoral study to reflect a high level of scholarly effort and to either expand existing knowledge or contribute to professional practice. In this capstone course, doctoral students have the opportunity to integrate their academic learning with their applied skill set by demonstrating their ability to conduct an in-depth examination and/or assessment of a behavioral health practice problem. Students complete an applied practice-based study independently, with the guidance of their doctoral study supervisory committee chair and committee members, in a learning platform classroom in which weekly participation is required. Students complete a prospectus, proposal, Institutional Review Board application, and carry out and analyze a research protocol and study.

(5 cr. per term until completion)
PBHL 9003

BHL Doctoral Study 3

This course represents the final phases of study for Walden University doctoral students enrolled in the Behavioral Health Leadership program. Walden requires the doctoral study to reflect a high level of scholarly effort and to either expand existing knowledge or contribute to professional practice. In this capstone course, doctoral students have the opportunity to integrate their academic learning with their applied skill set by demonstrating their ability to conduct an in-depth examination and/or assessment of a behavioral health practice problem. Students complete an applied practice-based study independently, with the guidance of their doctoral study supervisory committee chair and committee members, in a learning platform classroom in which weekly participation is required. Students complete a prospectus, proposal, Institutional Review Board application, and carry out and analyze a research protocol and study.

(5 cr. per term until completion)
PBHL 9004

BHL Doctoral Study 4

This course represents the final phases of study for Walden University doctoral students enrolled in the Behavioral Health Leadership program. Walden requires the doctoral study to reflect a high level of scholarly effort and to either expand existing knowledge or contribute to professional practice. In this capstone course, doctoral students have the opportunity to integrate their academic learning with their applied skill set by demonstrating their ability to conduct an in-depth examination and/or assessment of a behavioral health practice problem. Students complete an applied practice-based study independently, with the guidance of their doctoral study supervisory committee chair and committee members, in a learning platform classroom in which weekly participation is required. Students complete a prospectus, proposal, Institutional Review Board application, and carry out and analyze a research protocol and study.

(5 cr. per term until completion)
VIEW ALL COURSES Less Courses

Students are continuously enrolled in PBHL 9001, 9002, 9003, and 9004 for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion of their doctoral capstone with final Chief Academic Officer (CAO) approval.

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.

Note on Licensure: The PsyD in Behavioral Health Leadership is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.

8-Year Maximum Timeframe
Students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements. See the policy in the Walden University Student Handbook. Students may petition to extend the 8-year maximum timeframe, but an extension is not guaranteed.

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.

Tuition and Fees

Curriculum Requirements Cost Total *
Tuition-Coursework 63 quarter credits  $585 per quarter hour for coursework credits $36,855^
Tuition-Doctoral Study/Project  20-130† quarter credits $585 per quarter hour for dissertation credits $11,700-$76,050*
Technology Fee $160 per quarter $1,600-$5,120*
Consulting Skills Intensive One in Program $1,475 (travel, lodging and other expenses are additional) $1,475
 Virtual Residency  $1,475   $1,475
Estimated Range:     2.5-Year Minimum 8-Year Maximum
 
$53,105
$119,220*+
(assuming completion in a 2.5-year timeframe) (assuming completion in a 8-year timeframe)

These are ranges of what a student can expect in terms of time and tuition cost to complete a degree. It does not include other fees, nor is it adjusted for tuition increases over time. Walden faculty has concluded that generally students who do not complete their program in eight years are unlikely to complete and only allow students to exceed that time frame when a student petitions for an extension and provides good reason for the delay and assurances that obstacles to completion can be overcome. Time is calculated using the time allowed for each semester or unit that the student completes. Students are encouraged to work continuously during the program so as not to extend the time needed to complete the degree as work can become stale and students lose focus. Students who earn two grades of “Unsatisfactory,” who repeatedly drop a course before a semester or unit has been completed, or are unable to complete in the eight year time frame, should expect that they may be dismissed from the program. Walden believes that it is in the best interest of a student who is unable to complete the degree in the stated ranges to strongly consider withdrawal or obtaining a lesser degree.

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 and/or the student’s transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; writing, research and editing skills; use of external data for their doctoral study/dissertation; and/or individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations; care giving responsibilities or health issues; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; leaves of absence; and/or other personal circumstances.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included. Students may incur additional costs for remedial writing assistance, if necessary.

^This assumes students successfully complete their coursework on the first attempt.

† Based on a 2.5-year minimum completion requirement and an 8-year maximum timeframe as outlined in Walden academic policy.

*Tuition and fees will be higher if students petition to extend the 8-year maximum timeframe or choose to take more expensive elective courses.

+Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition discounts. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-642-0198.

FINANCIAL AID

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.

Find Ways to Save

PROGRAM SAVINGS

Receive a $4,000 grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 30, 2020. Contact one of our enrollment specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Admissions Requirements

Program Admission Considerations

:

  • An official transcript of a master’s degree (or higher) from a U.S. school accredited by a regional, professional/specialized, or national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education, or from an appropriately accredited non-U.S. institution.
  • A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in post-baccalaureate degree coursework.
  • One year of post-master’s degree related work experience required
  • Completed application form.
  • The Office of Admissions reserves the right to request the names and contact information for two persons, professional or academic, qualified to comment knowledgeably on the applicant’s skills and qualifications.
  • Official transcript(s) of highest degree or coursework completed to date.
  • Access to a computer and the internet.

More information for international applicants.


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