Ph.D. in Social Work - Criminal Justice

Walden University

Program Description

Ph.D. in Social Work - Criminal Justice

Walden University

Ph.D. in Social Work - Criminal Justice

The criminal justice system faces numerous challenges as it works to combat crime in our communities. Adept social work professionals can help address some of these issues to improve the well-being of society. In this specialization, you can focus your research and studies on the factors that can contribute to criminal behavior, such as addiction, homelessness, and unemployment. Through dedicated research, you can explore current forms of intervention and help pave the road for advances in individual and group psychotherapy and processes such as restorative justice. Use this knowledge to inform your role as a scholar, educator, policy analyst, agency leader, or researcher.

Completion Requirements

77 total quarter credit hours

  • Core courses (42 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
  • Dissertation (20 cr.)
  • Four Ph.D. residencies

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable.


  • SOCW 8000 Foundations of Graduate Study
  • SOCW 8110 Advanced Social Work Theory and Practice
  • SOCW 8116 History and Development of Social Work
  • RSCH 8100W Research Theory, Design, and Methods
  • SOCW 8350 Historical and Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
  • SOCW 8137 Contemporary Issues, Social Change, and Social Policy
  • SOCW 8138 Program and Practice Evaluation
  • RSCH 8200W Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • SOCW 8351 Policy Analysis in the Criminal Justice System
  • RSCH 8300W Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • SOCW 8117 Diversity and Multiculturalism
  • SOCW 8550 Writing a Quality Prospectus
  • RSCH 8250W Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • or RSCH 8350W or Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • or RSCH 8450W or Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis
  • SOCW 9000 Dissertation

Career Options

Walden University’s online Ph.D. in Social Work program can help you gain the skills needed to address social issues through research or to teach in a university setting. Whichever path you choose, this doctoral degree program will prepare you to work in a variety of professions in the public or private sectors.

Enter a High-Growth Field

  • Opportunities for social work professionals are expected to grow by 25% from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all other occupations.
  • Employment opportunities for college professors are expected to grow by 17% between 2010 and 2020.

Expand Your Career Options

A Ph.D. in Social Work can provide you with greater opportunities to move your career forward as a:

  • Social worker
  • Researcher
  • Evaluator
  • Agency leader
  • Policy analyst
  • Educator/professor/faculty member
  • Supervisor in the social work field
  • Program director

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


Aligned with Walden University’s mission of social change, this program allows you to:

  • Learn from nationally recognized experts in the profession.
  • Focus your studies in a relevant area that aligns with your interests, such as addictions, medical social work, or clinical expertise.
  • Gain strategies and skills for publishing and presenting research.
  • Enhance your professional development by participating in a residency program.
  • Acquire an understanding of how diversity shapes the human experience.
  • Design, implement, and analyze your own research related to the social work profession.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

  1. Utilize current research, best practices, and theory to promote prevention and intervention strategies that address social problems and needs of social groups.
  2. Employ various research and statistical tools to gather data used to address the etiology and dynamics of social problems and social needs.
  3. Evaluate the role of research and evaluation in social work in improving social interventions and advancing theory development.
  4. Critically evaluate the history of social work, its mission, and its core values.
  5. Promote social change by collaborating with leaders, agencies, and universities to advocate for policies and programs that advance the economic and social well-being of culturally diverse clientele.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to assess the role of diversity in characterizing and shaping the human experience.
  7. Apply ethical decision making and practices in social work.
This school offers programs in:
  • English
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2016
Part time
Full time
42,735 USD
Start date Sept. 2016
USA Auburn, Alabama
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration Request Info
Price 42,735 USD