Online PhD Programs in Human Services

Apr 17, 2019

This article provides students interested in human services Ph.D. programs with an overview of what online programs in this field are like. Required courses, admissions standards, and other program details are discussed.

Ph.D. programs in human services allow experienced professionals to focus their studies on areas that range from mental health administration and nonprofit management to community intervention and global social services. Prospective students of these programs can learn more about their requirements below.

Information About Online Ph.D. Programs in Human Services

Online Ph.D. programs in human services are available to students who have previously earned a bachelor's or master's degree. Typically, these programs require the completion of between 60 and 90 credit hours. In addition to taking advanced courses in topics related to human services, students need conduct research towards their doctoral dissertations. Students who earn these Ph.D.s can go on to a number of careers in fields like social work, health care management, research, nonprofit administration, or teaching. Below, we will look at a few courses that are commonly found in the required curriculum.

Ethics in Human and Social Services

Students in this class learn about philosophies of ethics, as well as related concepts like social justice. Students are also confronted with various ethical dilemmas and questions that arise when working in the social and human services fields. They might apply ethical decision-making concepts through case studies and assess current social justice issues.

Advanced Program Design and Evaluation

These programs can also include a course that advises students on how to design human and social service programs that fit the needs of a particular community. This course may also focus on how to properly evaluate the effectiveness of a program by looking at program outcomes and implementation methods. Students in such a course may be required to design their own programs and provide feedback to other students in order to strengthen their design and evaluation skills.

Qualitative Research Methods and Design

In a qualitative research methods and design course, students learn about different research theories and methods of data collection and analysis. Additionally, this course covers how to present qualitative data. Some courses require students to apply these methods by developing and carrying out a qualitative research project.

Quantitative Research Methods and Design

Topics that may be covered in this course include how to run various statistical tests as well as analyze and interpret data. Additionally, this course will likely cover the use of different statistical software programs. A quantitative research project rounds out course requirements.

Ph.D. Dissertation

A large portion of the required credits for these Ph.D. programs is earned through the completion of a dissertation. Students often work towards their dissertation on an independent basis while remaining in close constant with their faculty advisors. Depending on their interests, students pursue research and writing in an area within the human services field. In addition to presenting and defending their work, students may also need to publish their writing according to university guidelines.

Admissions Standards for Online PhD Programs in Human Services

All applicants to a human services Ph.D. program must have at least a bachelor's degree in order to be admitted, though some programs may require applicants to already have earned a master's degree. Some programs offer different tracks for students entering with a bachelor's degree versus a master's degree, as students with master's degrees in related fields may be able to opt out of certain courses and complete the Ph.D. program more quickly. When applying, students will need to submit all past academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a professional CV or resume, and a completed application form.

In summary of the information above, online Ph.D. programs in human services require students to take research methods and program administration courses in addition to completing a doctoral dissertation. Graduates can pursue a number of different professional opportunities in the health care and social services fields.

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