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Multidisciplinary Human Services Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services

School of Counseling and Human Services

Lead Change for Human Services

Position yourself to make an impact in your community. Capella’s online PhD in Human Services, Multidisciplinary Human Services degree will expand your understanding of human service leadership, professional practice, research, and ethics. Through advanced studies and original doctoral research, you’ll learn to guide policies, practices, and legislation. You'll work with experienced human services faculty and professional peers as well as gain insight from professionals in other fields—public administration, public safety, and health care. Prepare to apply your knowledge and skills to a variety of leadership roles and settings.

At a Glance

  • Online and In Person
  • 10 Core Courses
  • 7 Elective Courses
  • 3 Dissertation Research Seminars
  • Comprehensive Examination
  • Dissertation

Reduce Your Tuition by $10,000

Enroll in a qualified program, apply for a $10K scholarship, and meet the eligibility requirements.

Apply Now »

Classes Start September 9th

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.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo SUMMER)

What you’ll learn

Advance Human Services

Advance the human services community using a multidisciplinary approach to leadership and decision-making.

Lead Effectively

Learn to use advanced communication, collaboration, advocacy, and leadership techniques.

Understand Policy

Apply knowledge of laws and policies, professional and ethical behaviors, and effective cultural, global, and diversity concepts.

Harness Technology

Use the newest technology to enhance practice, create innovative solutions, and boost performance.

Fuse Knowledge & Research

Further knowledge within public service through a fusion of theory and the application of research.

Our unique doctoral structure

Our PhD in Human Services, Multidisciplinary Human Services program is designed to remove roadblocks for you and demystify the dissertation process. This unique approach centers on supporting you in three ways: through program structure, a dedicated faculty and support team, and online resources. To help generate momentum toward graduation, you’ll begin your dissertation early in the program. Our faculty, support team, and online resources will help guide you every step of the way.

PhD in Human Services Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Professionally Aligned Curriculum

Our competency-based curriculum aligns with professional standards so you gain the most relevant skills and knowledge.

Scholar-Practitioner Faculty

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

Flexible, Engaging Online Learning

Access your courseroom anytime, anywhere, with any device; set your own schedule while meeting deadlines.

Capella offers both a PhD and a professional doctorate in human services

Choose the PhD if your interest is research in policy and program design for systemic change in the profession. Choose the doctor of human services to apply advocacy and problem-solving research in the community.

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it. 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
$700 per credit, 92 total quarter credits, 16 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. 

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.

Employer & association discounts

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

Riverbend City, an interactive tool, lets you apply skills in a multidisciplinary environment

Applying your knowledge in a realistic setting will help you develop skills as a collaborative leader, negotiator, communicator, and advocate.

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

PhD in Multidisciplinary Human Services Sample Courses

The online multidisciplinary human services doctoral degree curriculum focuses on leading change, program development and management, strategic planning, research, and ethics. You also have the opportunity to choose an elective curriculum. The program includes dissertation research seminars which allow you to get an early start on your dissertation.

Show course with description
HMSV8002
Multidisciplinary Practice and Case Analysis for Doctoral Learners

Learners in this course critically analyze theory and research in human services, with an emphasis on contemporary research and application issues. In addition, learners use a multidisciplinary approach to examine the connection between individuals, organizations, and society to construct public value in human services. Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer

4 quarter credits
HMSV8304
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
HS8515
Ethics and Decision Making in Human Services

Learners in this course analyze ethical practices and procedures relevant to the human services field and the ways they guide decision making. Learners also develop an ethical decision-making framework to assist them in addressing complex human services issues and dilemmas.

4 quarter credits

Human Services Career Insights

Why Collaboration Is Key to Human Services

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

Find the Right Human Services Career for You

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

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.

Multidisciplinary Human Services Professional Paths

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our PhD in Multidisciplinary Human Services.

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Adjunct, part-time, or full-time faculty
  • Behavior analyst
  • Case manager
  • Community programs director
  • Development director
  • Director of human services
  • Executive director
  • Grant writer
  • Housing specialist
  • Program manager/director
  • Social service administrator
  • Vocational specialist

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Child welfare/children's services
  • Adoption agency
  • Early intervention program
  • Family preservation agency
  • Court
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • City, county, state, or federal agency such as the department of health and human services
  • Clinic
  • Hospital
  • Community mental health center
  • Family service agency
  • Nonprofit organization

*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.