Leadership and Organizational Management Doctor of Human Services

Doctor of Human Services

Lead, advocate, inspire change

Our times call for constructive collaboration with organizations, communities, and individuals. Provide solutions as a leader and channel your expertise for positive outcomes in a challenging world.

We've designed our online Doctor of Human Services (DHS), Leadership and Organizational Management program for working professionals who are passionate about transforming organizations and making a difference.

This program can help you build skills and knowledge that you can use to advance your career as an effective human services leader.

Capella offers both a PhD and a professional doctorate in human services. This program is not designed to meet licensure requirements for the social work and counseling professions.

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 6 Core courses
  • 5 Specialization courses
  • 3 Elective course
  • 1 Keystone course
  • 1 Doctoral capstone

Classes Start September 14th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

We’ve decided to waive all application fees until further notice.

DHS—program highlights

Professionally aligned curriculum

Built by experts in the field, this DHS program is designed around the Council for Standards in Human Services Education and National Organization for Human Services.

Groundbreaking program

Capella University was one of the first universities to offer a Doctor of Human Services program.

Real-world learning with virtual simulations

Courses in your DHS program include access to RiverBend City, an interactive tool where you apply what you’re learning in a realistic, multidisciplinary environment.

Transformational leadership skills

Apply advanced human services skills to collaboratively resolve current issues in diverse communities and settings.

Scholar-practitioner faculty

Learn the latest in theory and practice from experienced faculty who are actively engaged in the human services profession.

Flexible, engaging online learning

Participate in course discussions and activities as part of demonstrating innovative and timely theory, research, and practice.

25 years of online doctoral experience

With over 25 years of experience in online doctoral education, we understand the unique needs of doctoral students, and have designed our programs to meet those needs. We've structured our programs to help you reach your goals and obtain critical skills—with our expert faculty, support teams, and online resources to help guide you every step of the way.

Meet your DHS faculty

Our distinguished faculty members hold top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach you critical knowledge and skills and to help enrich your education and career by bringing real-world relevance to the courseroom. Your faculty will include:

Dinah Manns, EdD

Faculty Chair, Human Services & Research

Paige Krabill, PsyD, LSP, HS-BCP

Associate Chair, Human Services

Carolyn Allen, PhD, MSS, MA

Core Faculty, Human Services

Get the support you need for success

Our dedicated faculty and support teams guide and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.

Doctoral advising

Doctoral programs are specific and challenging. That’s why you’ll have access to expert support at every step along the road to your degree.

Capstone mentors

For the culminating project of your doctoral degree, you’ll be paired with a mentor who can support and assist you along the way.

Cost & learning format

A more structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$710 per credit, 72 total quarter credits, 20 max transfer credits

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Employer & association discounts

If your employer or organization is a partner with Capella, you may be eligible for a tuition discount.

10% military discount

If you're an active-duty military service member, spouse, or veteran, discounts may be available.

Transfer credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

DHS sample courses

In your leadership and organizational management specialization, you’ll focus on applying skills in effective negotiation and mediation, conflict management, and creating effective collaboration across an organization.

Keystone course

Work with a faculty member who can help you examine key support elements and identify potential project sites for your capstone topic.

Doctoral capstone

Develop your project, write your findings, and demonstrate your use of evidence to improve outcomes or resolve a gap in the field.

Show course with description
Leadership Theory and Practice in For-Profit, Nonprofit, and Government Human Services Programs

Learners in this course use a multidisciplinary lens to evaluate leadership theories and practices in diverse cultures from a historical and theoretical basis. Throughout the course, learners develop expanded leadership perspectives and practices that enable them to assure the viability of their organizations in for-profit, nonprofit, and government human services programs. 

4 quarter credits
Community Collaboration and Outreach in Human Services

Learners in this course examine a variety of social and professional situations to build their skills in effective and creative collaboration across organizations. In particular, learners analyze and benchmark best practices from an organizational, team, and individual perspective so that they may create inclusive and collaborative environments. In addition, learners examine conflict management, diversity management, group dynamics, cultural competence, ethical decision making, followership, and social responsibility.

4 quarter credits
Strategic Planning and Organizational Effectiveness for Human Services

In this course, learners practice increasing organizational effectiveness through strategic planning. Using a leadership perspective, learners examine the ways an organization’s effectiveness is evaluated and use this knowledge to guide strategic planning efforts in such organizational areas as advocacy, fund development, and policy development. In addition, learners apply theoretical approaches to program development and evaluation related to for-profit, nonprofit, and government human services settings.

4 quarter credits
Funding and Grant Writing Skills for Human Services

This course offers a comprehensive examination of the process of writing grant proposals and managing grant awards for programs or projects in for-profit, nonprofit, and government organizations. Learners research grant opportunities, align the program or project goals to be funded with the purposes of the funder, develop effective communication with prospective funders, analyze components of successful grant proposals, develop a fundable proposal, and plan for grant funding evaluation. 

4 quarter credits
HMSV8320 *
Effective Negotiation and Mediation Skills for Human Services Leaders

In this course, learners gain an understanding of conflict management as it relates to human services leaders. Learners build and apply a working knowledge of evidence-based best practices and behaviors that support conflict management in a variety of human services settings. Throughout the course, learners apply strategies in negotiation, conflict management, and mediation and integrate ethical interpersonal communication skills necessary for positive multidisciplinary working relationships. Prerequisite(s): HMSV8404.

4 quarter credits

What you’ll learn

The work you do in the leadership and organizational management specialization can help you unlock your potential as a human services leader.

  • Apply leadership principles and strategies for effective management.
  • Learn the essentials for leading for-profit, nonprofit, and government programs.
  • Develop evaluation skills to predict what a given program may need within a defined cycle.
  • Employ data and analytics tools to guide programs and meet target populations’ needs.
  • Understand and use professional ethics and cultural competence as it applies to human services.
  • Communicate with compassion and understanding in all professional interactions.

DHS in Leadership & Organizational Management – career insights

Find the Right Human Services Career for You

Jobs in human services range from working with clients to managing organizations to building infrastructures.

Why Collaboration is Key to Human Services

Collaboration is the new norm for human services. These three examples from the field demonstrate why.

Difference Between a Doctor of Human Services and PhD in Human Services

Find out which type of doctoral degree in human services is the best match for your career goals.

DHS in Leadership & Organizational Management—professional paths

Your education can help you reach your goals, professionally and personally. Here are some of the job titles and employment settings to explore as you consider a DHS, Leadership and Organizational Management program.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Adjunct or part-time human services faculty
  • Full-time human services faculty
  • Social services manager
  • Social services director
  • Executive director
  • Program director, children and family services
  • Program manager, children and family services
  • Adoption services manager
  • Director of child welfare services
  • Vocational rehabilitation administrator
  • Director

Employment settings to explore

  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Community college
  • Individual and family services
  • Continuing care retirement facility
  • Government - local, state, federal
  • Religious organization
  • Grantmaking/giving service
  • Nonprofit organization
  • Private for-profit social service company
  • Clinic
  • Hospital
  • Shelter

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.