Courses PhD in Human Services

Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services

PhD in Human Services, Social and Community Services

School of Public Service and Education

The doctoral Social and Community Services specialization is designed for individuals who have a master’s degree in sociology, social work, or a related field. Learners may be licensed clinical social workers or licensed professional counselors who wish to teach, pursue advanced research, administer programs, or supervise clinicians. This specialization provides advanced study of contemporary issues impacting social work and community services as well as preparation to assume leadership roles as social change agents at community, state, and national levels. Successful graduates of this specialization are prepared to teach, engage in research, and provide consultation services within the field. This specialization is not designed to meet licensure requirements for the social work professions.

Show course with description

 

 

Twenty-Two Required Courses

 

 

80 quarter credits

Core courses:

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
HMSV8212 *
Advanced Ethics and Leadership for Diverse Populations

The focus of this course is the ethical and leadership responsibilities of human service professionals. Learners synthesize ethical principles with leadership roles in public and private settings and evaluate the ways professionals apply ethics and leadership in their work with diverse client and community populations. Prerequisite(s): HMSV8002.

4 quarter credits
HS8300
Diversity in the Workplace

In this course, learners review contemporary workplace diversity issues. In particular, learners compare and contrast inclusion policies; evaluate relevant research findings; apply best practices for a diverse workplace; and integrate professional and ethical codes, standards, and laws in the human services work setting. 

4 quarter credits
PSL8106
Epistemology of Practice Knowledge

Learners in this course examine theories that guide the acquisition of knowledge within human services professions. Learners critically analyze and evaluate the methods used to develop social science theory as a precursor to examining and applying the scientific method. Learners also study theory derivation, the link between research methods and theory, and the ways scholar-practitioners apply the scientific method. Throughout the course learners enhance their research, statistical, and data analysis skills using the latest version of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
RSCH7860
Survey of Research Methods

Learners in this course critically evaluate research in order to gain an understanding of the scientific methods of inquiry and the ethical considerations of research. Learners develop and apply skills needed to become educated consumers and creators of research. Learners also use their research design skills to analyze and apply research methodologies, validity, reliability and other components of scientific research related to their field of interest. Learners may only earn credit for PSY7860 or RSCH7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
RSCH7864
Quantitative Design and Analysis

In this course, learners investigate the fundamental concepts needed to conduct quantitative research. Learners examine and apply quantitative research techniques; appropriate applications of quantitative research; research design, measurement, and analysis, and their associated interdependencies; variable types and levels of measurement; sampling; descriptive and inferential statistics; and hypothesis testing. Learners define the strengths and limitations of descriptive statistics, analyze the quantitative scales of measurement, review the logic of probability and null hypothesis testing, and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Learners may only earn credit for PSY7864 or RSCH7864. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
RSCH7868 *
Qualitative Design and Analysis

Learners in this course assess the fundamental concepts needed to conduct qualitative research. Learners practice qualitative research techniques; appropriate applications of qualitative research; the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research design, sampling, and analysis and their associated interdependencies; and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Learners may only earn credit for PSY7868 or RSCH7868. Prerequisite(s): RSCH7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

HS8103
Principles and Practices of Social Work

In this course, learners examine theories, current methods, and practice models that guide the acquisition of knowledge within the social work profession. Learners explore the elaboration of underlying assumptions, intervention methods, and social change in working with clients, families, groups, and communities. Learners also consider factors in effective practice and research, including social worker-client process issues, treatment outcomes, social work interventions and related current research, and ethical issues. 

4 quarter credits
HS8413
Social Influences of Behavior

Learners in this course explore behavior that is influenced by the presence of others, or behavior that is under the control of society. Topics include culture and society, large and small group behavior, cross-cultural factors, and interpersonal relationships. Learners in this course review the social psychology of decision making, attitude formation, and social attribution and their application to contemporary issues.

4 quarter credits
HS8453
Prevention and Causes of Child Abuse

The focus of this course is on the research and application of evidence-based practice models that support the prevention and early intervention of child abuse and neglect. Learners examine indicators that may identify at-risk and high-risk family situations and analyze the roles and responsibilities of the human service practitioner in child abuse and neglect assessment, prevention, intervention, and reporting. Learners also evaluate the impact of ethical and cultural conflicts, management perspectives, and the implementation of family preservation programs.

4 quarter credits
HS8476
Methods of Family Research

Learners in this course explore the measurement of family variables and the complexities of family research design, data collection, and analysis. Topics include scales of measurement, validity and reliability, experimental and non-experimental designs, and approaches to integrating clinical research with practice.

4 quarter credits
HS8478
The Family in Social Context

Learners in this course examine families from a systems perspective and explore the dynamics and systems influencing family structures. Learners also identify the leadership skills needed to work with diverse family groups and the challenges faced by human services professionals.

4 quarter credits
HS8745
Grief and Bereavement Counseling

This course familiarizes learners with the issues of grief, loss, bereavement, and the mourning process. Throughout the course, learners examine grief related to the sudden or prolonged death of adults and children, losses due to natural disaster catastrophes, combat trauma and loss, and physical health trauma. In addition, learners gain an understanding of the psychological stages of grief, the symptoms of grief, and techniques for coping with a range of loss issues, from both the perspective of a provider and that of a leader, supervisor, or manager. Learners may earn credit for either CST8745 or HS8745, but not both.

4 quarter credits
HS8764
Contemporary Issues in Compulsive and Addictive Behavior Treatment

Learners in this course examine current research and trends for working with compulsive and addictive behaviors along a continuum of prevention and treatment practices. Topics include changes in practice models based on transition to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria; integration of substance abuse treatment into primary care settings; developments in psychopharmacological and alternative intervention practices; influences of ethics, culture, and public health model practices on intervention and treatment; and the use of Internet resources in the field.

4 quarter credits

Upon completion of all required coursework:

HS9919 *
Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

This course includes an overview of the comprehensive examination process, the university’s expectations of academic honesty and integrity, the three core themes of the examination, and the evaluation criteria. The courseroom mentor provides three questions addressing the core themes. Learners write answers to the comprehensive examination questions. Answers are evaluated by faculty readers using point-scale scoring rubrics. Upon passing the comprehensive examination, learners are eligible to register for the first dissertation course. Department consent is required for registration.  Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required and elective coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Completion of practicum courses, if applicable. Fulfillment of all residency requirements. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Learners must register for HS9960 a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements.

HS9960 *
Dissertation Courseroom

This course provides learners with resources, guidance, and peer and mentor support during each dissertation course as they complete the required milestones. Department consent is required for registration.  Grading for this course is S/NS. Learners must register for this course a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements. Prerequisite(s): HS9919. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

3 quarter credits each

 

 

Three Elective Courses

 

 

12 quarter credits

Choose any graduate course(s).

 

 

Total

 

 

92 quarter credits

 

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

PhD in Social & Community Services | Online Degree Program | Course Information | Capella University
Skip to main section View our commitment to accessibility

What Can I Expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

request information
PhD in Social & Community Services | Online Degree Program | Course Information | Capella University
Skip to main section View our commitment to accessibility

Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which can help save time and money. You can transfer up to 16 credits into this specialization.

request information
PhD in Social & Community Services | Online Degree Program | Course Information | Capella University
Skip to main section View our commitment to accessibility

Ever Wonder What a Capella Course is Like?

Sign up for a GuidedPath Trial Course on us and see all the great each online learning format has to offer.

Get started

request information
PhD in Social & Community Services | Online Degree Program | Course Information | Capella University
Skip to main section View our commitment to accessibility

Take an individual course

Whether you're completing additional credits for your own education, want to see if online learning is right for you, or are simply interested in a specific topic, you can enroll in many of Capella's online courses without committing to a degree program. We recommend speaking with an enrollment counselor to discuss your goals and ensure that the credits you earn now may be applicable to a Capella degree program.

Learn more about individual courses.

request information

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.