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Are you currently a licensed RN?

This program requires you to be a current licensed registered nurse. Please check out other programs to reach your education goals such as the BA in Health and Wellness.

What is a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services?

Be a helping hand to some of society’s most vulnerable citizens with your Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Human Services from the University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC). You will explore all facets of the human services field while developing the leadership skills to guide human services organizations.

This PhD in human services also requires you to focus your studies by selecting a specialization that aligns with your career and research interests. When pursuing your PhD in human services online, you will join students who have diverse interests and a shared passion for helping others and empowering their communities.

Accelerated 6- to 9-week courses
Transfer up to 30 approved credits
1 course at a time
$0 Application Fee

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Learn more about how to get started in your degree program.

Degree Completion Journey

The PhD in Human Services includes 11 core courses, plus one elective research course, five specialization courses, and a capstone seminar. The coursework covers topics including the history, systems, theories, strategies, and policies of the human services field and leads up to your doctoral dissertation, which includes two dissertation planning courses as well as five units of the dissertation course. The doctorate in human services courses are instructed by faculty members who all have earned doctorates themselves. These qualified faculty members will enliven your discussions by teaching theory that they themselves have used in their professional careers.

1

Year 1

  • This entry point course provides the historical context and development of the human services field. This course examines the historical context and the evolution of health and human services professions. Students will study the origins of the profession and evaluate ways in which philosophical and ideological perspectives have defined the fields of practice throughout its history. Students will analyze the ways service delivery and social policy has changed in response to political influence and societal needs. Students will explore the differing political, social, and economic perspectives and their influence on health and human services professions.

  • This course examines cutting edge trends in the formation and execution of human services policy in public and private organizations. Selected topics include the current human services climate, forces driving policy formation and execution, and issues related to the future of human services policy. The topics selected will connect human service policy with culture, existing organizational strategies, and the process of change in future directions. Effective mechanisms to influence policy are emphasized. Major case study examples of human services policy are included in the learning process.

  • In this course students will learn foundation skills for searching the academic literature and constructing a sound argument. Students will develop a detailed topic outline and an annotated bibliography of resources in an area of interest. This course will give students the opportunity to develop the research skills to succeed in their coursework and complete either an Applied Doctoral Project or Dissertation.

  • Students will apply advanced critical thinking skills in this course designed to expose them to a broad range of essential organizational operations and extend students' existing knowledge base on the workings of human services administration. In addition to exploration of volunteer recruitment, retention and management, marketing, cross-disciplinary regulations, development and implementation of policy, change management, fund-raising, the critical focus will apply to leadership theories and organizational behavior aimed at positions of leadership within an organization.

  • This course examines the theories and research underlying the political, economic, and social structures related to community groups and organizations within contemporary society. Students analyze methods of creating communities and social organizations that empower and support individuals to work together to initiate change, with or without the assistance of outside advocacy. Students develop skills to create and assess community action plans, incorporate persuasive language into client advocacy, and organize political action groups to seek opportunities for themselves and others. There is a focus on social and economic justice within the context of human services' ethics that supports and sustains the well-being of individuals and communities, especially among diverse populations.

  • This course involves the advanced study of research design, and the quantitative methods that can be used in addressing research questions. Students will gain experience developing their own research ideas and learning how to select and apply appropriate research designs to test those ideas. Through the process of critiquing research articles, students will also learn how to evaluate which research designs would be appropriate to test various areas of inquire, as well as how to communicate the methods and results of particular quantitative studies. Students will be required to complete a training on ethics in research, as well as complete a quantitative research proposal in an area of interest, which may include dissertation related research.

  • In this case study-based course on social determinants of human services and aspects of diversity, students will examine the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age in varying US and global social systems and demographics. Students will explore social constructs, correlates of behavior, impact of social and community structure on status, and disparities within diverse communities. Students will apply social and behavioral theories of human service resources, strategies, methods, ethics, and public policy.

  • This financial and grant management course critically examines and identifies various accounting and financial knowledge related to the establishment and monitoring of financial strategies, policies, and tools within a government or private human services organization or service. In addition, financial management roles and responsibilities, advanced grant writing principles and techniques, and ethical financial practices and accountability will be explored and developed.

2

Year 2

  • This course involves the advanced study of research design, in general, and the qualitative inquiry, in particular, that can be used in addressing research questions. The epistemological assumptions underlying the qualitative methodology will be explored as students become familiar with the philosophical issues underlying how we know what we know. The ability to choose a researchable topic and create associated research questions will be emphasized. Students will become familiar with a variety of approaches including ethnography, grounded theory, phenomenology, narrative, participatory action research, and case study. A variety of common data collection methods will be studied, such as observation, interviews, surveys, and historical document collection. Validation and reliability standards, as well as evaluation criteria for qualitative approaches will be addressed. Students will be required to complete training on ethics in research, as well as complete a qualitative research proposal in an area of interest, which may include dissertation related research.

  • This advanced seminar examines enduring issues in business and professional ethics and applying proven approaches to ethical professional practice and organizational operations to contemporary organizational environments and issues.

  • This course provides students with the opportunity to explore the theories underlying performance evaluation and approaches to evaluation in human services settings. Emphasis is placed on conceptual, methodological, organizational, political, and ethical problems in evaluating both risks and approaches involved in the delivery of human services. Students will learn to identify quality and outcome indicators. They will learn to evaluate research and analyze data associated with the evaluation of the quality of service delivery and the assessment of risk. They will learn construct techniques used to perform the evaluations, strategies for getting human services professionals to be invested in the development of the research and in the outcomes, demonstration of program effectiveness, and dissemination of results to stakeholders.

  • This course demonstrates the value of evidence-based practice as an integral part of formulating human services research and policy. Course work examines the current definition of evidence-based policy and approaches to move the field forward. The course provides an evaluation of evidence-based literature, including case study examples of the application of evidence-based practices in human services. The course also examines actions to further evidence-based policy, including preparing and communicating data more effectively, using existing analytic tools, conducting policy surveillance, and tracking outcomes with different types of evidence.

  • This course will apply a hands-on approach to understanding the unique needs of vulnerable and underserved populations in the human services field. Students will explore all of the following and select one to complete a practical project incorporating the study of and recommendations for specific needs of: military members and their families, veterans, homeless individuals and homeless families, immigrants, the geriatric community, medically underserved, chronically and severely mentally ill, single parents, the uninsured, economically disadvantaged children and families, those with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV], racial/ethnic minorities, incarcerated individuals and their families, or any other instructor approved demographic population.

  • This course explores the past, present, and future of various human services information technology modalities from the basics of computer literacy, telecommunications, networking, accounting and administrative applications, to security issues and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). With evolving changes in laws and policies, such as implementation of the Affordable Care Act, this course is recommended for those students interested in staying abreast of the latest in cutting-edge technologies that coincide with this and other legislative initiatives impacting the human services field.

3

Year 3

  • This practical program review and evaluation course for the human services discipline will employ a hands-on approach ultimately culminating in a hypothetical program evaluation and service-level improvement by completing weekly process goals, to include analysis of a completed needs assessment survey. The course will provide students with all materials needed in order to evaluate the complex program presented and complete tasks to ultimately modify it by the end of the term.

  • This course will build on the work students began in Scholarly Argument I and the research skills honed throughout the curriculum. Organization of content and formulating a well-researched scholarly argument are key learning outcomes. Students will produce a first draft of a literature review in their content areas and review potential research methodologies for completing either an Applied Doctoral Project or Dissertation.

  • Students with interest in qualitative research, or with a desire to utilize this methodology for their respective doctoral dissertation, will be given an opportunity to greatly expand their existing knowledge base on qualitative research methodology. Students may elect to begin working on a preliminary proposal for their doctoral dissertation (or select and explore a topic of interest that may become the dissertation topic) for the culminating project in this course.

  • This seminar provides students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in their curriculum to highly realistic case studies related to their fields of specialization for the doctorate. Through discussions among students and the instructor, students will review, analyze and evaluate case studies emphasizing the practice of the content in their curriculum. The course will involve the analysis and evaluation of one or more case studies. Students will contemplate complex questions posed by their instructor, reply to those questions, respond to other students’ analyses and evaluations, and receive faculty feedback. Each student will submit a final assignment on each case, involving his or her critical thinking on the core issues presented in the case and the presentation and defense of an approach to addressing those core issues. (This course may not be transferred in.)

  • In this course, students begin drafting their dissertation under instructor supervision. Students working individually on their dissertation drafts focus on the description of their topic, refinement of their research questions, and outlining their review of the literature with feedback and recommendations for revisions from their instructor. Final approval of these drafts of portions of the dissertation rests with the student's individual dissertation committees, as described in the current Dissertation Handbook, as revised from time to time. Following the procedures outlined in the Handbook, students may form their committees before, during, or after their enrollment and completion of Dissertation Planning I and II.

  • In this course students continue drafting their dissertation from Dissertation Planning I under instructor supervision. Students working individually on their dissertation drafts focus on further refinement of the description of their topic, the final draft wording of their research questions, and beginning to write their review of the literature and research methodology with feedback and recommendations for revisions from their instructor. Students will exchange research concepts and proposed approaches about their research methodology with other students proposing similar methods (qualitative, quantitative, mixed, action). Final approval of these drafts of portions of the dissertation rests with the student's individual dissertation committees, as described in the current University of the Rockies Dissertation Handbook, as revised from time to time. Following the procedures outlined in the Handbook, students may form their committees before, during or after their enrollment and completion of Dissertation Planning I and II.

4

Year 4

  • Students writing a dissertation must complete a total of 5 credits by registering for five consecutive terms of dissertation credit, one credit per term. Dissertations are written per the policies, practices and procedures in the Dissertation Handbook.

  • Students writing a dissertation must complete a total of 5 credits by registering for five consecutive terms of dissertation credit, one credit per term. Dissertations are written per the policies, practices and procedures in the Dissertation Handbook.

  • Students writing a dissertation must complete a total of 5 credits by registering for five consecutive terms of dissertation credit, one credit per term. Dissertations are written per the policies, practices and procedures in the Dissertation Handbook.

  • Students writing a dissertation must complete a total of 5 credits by registering for five consecutive terms of dissertation credit, one credit per term. Dissertations are written per the policies, practices and procedures in the Dissertation Handbook.

  • Students writing a dissertation must complete a total of 5 credits by registering for five consecutive terms of dissertation credit, one credit per term. Dissertations are written per the policies, practices and procedures in the Dissertation Handbook.

Program Requirements

To be awarded the PhD in Human Services, you must complete the program coursework of 62 credits with a 3.0 minimum cumulative grade point average. You will need to complete three non-credit In-Residence Workshops.* You will also need to complete all Dissertation requirements.**

* For the PhD in Human Services, you are required to attend three In-Residence workshops as defined in the University Academic Catalog.

** As a requirement for graduation from the University of Arizona Global Campus with a degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), each student must complete and successfully defend a Dissertation. The purpose of the Dissertation is to ensure that the student has mastered the ability to pursue a systematic investigation, which examines significant issues or problems. The Dissertation requirement is also designed to contribute to the student’s knowledge, skills, and research expertise. Students choose a topic that addresses carefully chosen research questions that the student then investigates with quantitative or qualitative research, with a meta-analysis, or with a program design or program evaluation. Prerequisites, timelines for completion, and attendance requirements for Dissertation, as well as a detailed explanation of each step in the process, are described in the Dissertation Handbook.

Special Terms and Conditions

The Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services program is not a licensure program. The University of Arizona Global Campus cannot confirm whether its courses or programs meet requirements for professional licensure in your state. For information regarding professional licensure requirements in your state, you should contact the applicable licensing board or agency in your state and determine whether the program meets requirements for licensure in the state where you reside.

Certain degree programs may not be available in all states.

While the University of Arizona Global Campus does not collect applicant criminal background, certain criminal histories may prevent students from obtaining licensure, certification or employment in their chosen field of study.

Customize Your Human Services Degree with UAGC Specializations

To add further focus to your doctorate in Human Services degree, you will add the Standard Program of Study specialization, which is 15 credits.
  • Take a broad view of the rewarding field of human services when you pursue the Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services, Standard Program of Study at the University of Arizona Global Campus. This degree program is designed for you if you have career aspirations and research interests related to guiding the policies and practices required to address the needs of diverse and underserved populations, including those struggling with addiction, illness, poverty, and violence. Your specialization may require prerequisite course work. Please talk to your advisor for more information.

    Learn More

Careers in Human Services

Your doctoral degree in human services will provide you the in-depth knowledge you need to help operate human services organizations. The PhD in Human Services is for you if you aspire to guide the policies and practices of human services organizations to address the needs of diverse and underserved populations. As a graduate of this program, you could pursue careers such as:

 

  • Child Welfare Services Director
  • Community Services Director
  • Clinical Services Director
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Administrator
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Are you currently a licensed RN?

This program requires you to be a current licensed registered nurse. Please check out other programs to reach your education goals such as the BA in Health and Wellness.