PhD in Human Services

Address the needs of diverse and underserved populations.

Walden’s PhD in Human Services program can broaden your understanding of the human services field within a global context through an interprofessional approach and course features such as:

  • Virtual simulations
  • Face-to-face residencies
  • Animated case studies

If you have earned either a master’s or a bachelor’s degree, you are eligible for Walden’s PhD in Human Services program, with an expedited path available for those who hold a master's degree.

Fast Facts

Next Start Date: January 8, 2024

Transfer Credits: Up to 54 credits

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In this specialization, you will explore advanced qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method research methodologies.
You will study strategies to promote well-being in a variety of settings, including schools, communities, and organizations.
In the Criminal Justice specialization, you will explore traditional and contemporary intervention and rehabilitation approaches for both offenders and victims.
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.
The Family Studies and Intervention specialization helps you understand the use of advanced clinical theory and research methodology within a unique, client-centered ecological context.
Explore the full spectrum of human services competencies and learn best practices for delivery systems, program planning, and evaluation methods.
Explore the impact of societal expectations on the elderly and demographic trends, including global cross-cultural issues in aging.
In this specialization, you will gain a broad understanding of the current educational environment and explore theories and best practices in adult learning.
Study the nature of leadership in a nonprofit setting, including domestic or international human services organizations.
This specialization explores the role of mental health facilitation in health behavioral changes, and you will gain a solid understanding of the assessment and referral system for mental health intervention and support.
Explore topics such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and vicarious trauma and learn about the emotional impact of parent-child separation, frequent family relocations, extensive deployments, and other issues experienced by military families.


Expedited Path to Your PhD

Do you have the time, the discipline, and the motivation to fully commit yourself to a doctoral program? For the ambitious student who wants to hit the ground running, Walden offers a full-time, accelerated path to a doctorate. If you hold a master’s degree in a related field, you can complete your PhD in Human Services degree in less time by taking advantage of this new path.

Earn Your PhD While Balancing Priorities

it_it_togetherWe now offer additional services to PhD in Human Services students to help you manage all of your priorities so you can achieve your goals.

Benefit from customized registration, doctoral support podcasts, virtual check-in groups, and accommodating faculty. To support family needs, residencies for this program are held in family-friendly locations such as Orlando, Florida, and Anaheim, California.

Learning Outcomes

In this program, you will:

  • Build competence in evaluating and applying various human development and social change theories in human services practice and research
  • Gain insight on how various research design models can inform human services practice
  • Engage in scholarly inquiry to build knowledge in the history, theories, and models related to the field of human services

Doctoral Degree Coach

A Personalized Guide to Completing Your Doctorate

Earning your online PhD in Human Services and Administration requires commitment, perseverance, and hard work. You can do it, and Walden is here to help—with our Doctoral Degree Coach™.

  • Man at Crossroads

    Map and Track Milestones

    Break your research down into manageable, sequential steps. See where you are, what’s ahead, and what you’ve already accomplished—all in one place.


    Meet Weekly Targets

    No more guesswork. Set prompts based on your to-do list and receive reminders and updates directly to your inbox.

  • Shaking Hands

    Connect With Faculty

    Stay on the same page and keep your progress on track. With shared access to your dashboard, your chair can easily guide you through your checklists, goals, and timelines.

  • Three Books Lined Up

    Access Helpful Resources

    Quickly find support from the right person at the right time. Our comprehensive resource guide points you in the right direction—no more frustrating searches.

More about our PhD in Human Services program

Become more than a scholar; gain skills to help you make a difference in your community. Depending on your specialization, your career options may include a role as a:*

  • Social and community service manager
  • Social and human services director
  • Community and social service coordinator
  • Social sciences teacher or professor
  • Nonprofit administrator
  • Elder services coordinator
  • Dispute resolution specialist
  • Mental health services coordinator

*Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

If you have earned either a master’s or a bachelor’s degree, you are eligible for this program. You will also be required to submit a completed online application, employment history, and official transcripts.

Your enrollment specialist will help you gather all of the required materials starting with your application all the way through your first day of classes.

Walden’s Enrollment Specialists are committed to helping you identify and leverage opportunities to save money on your education. Get in touch with an Enrollment Specialist today at 888-968-5331 to learn more.
Our Enrollment Specialists are ready to answer any questions you may have regarding this program. Fill out the form on this page to be contacted or call 855-203-5779.

Why earn your PhD in Human Services at Walden?

"Walden truly wants its students to succeed and carry on its mission and vision."

Mildred Peyton | PhD in Human Services Graduate


A 15% tuition reduction for servicemembers, veterans of the U.S. armed forces, employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and their spouses.*

*A 15% tuition reduction is available to new students who are servicemembers, veterans of the U.S. armed forces, or employees of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This tuition reduction is also available if you are a spouse of a servicemember, veteran, or employee of the VA. This tuition reduction cannot be retroactively applied. Tuition reductions are applicable to tuition only and do not apply toward books, materials, and other supplies or fees needed for a course.

Walden may change the tuition reduction offered hereunder at any time, but such change will not affect the tuition reduction for students who are currently enrolled at Walden and using the existing tuition reduction. All tuition reductions, grants, or scholarships are subject to specific eligibility requirements. Contact a Walden University Enrollment Specialist for details.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,