PhD Residencies

As a doctoral student, you will participate in a Walden residency so you can focus on research and scholarship. If you are a PhD student in Criminal Justice, Education, Health Education and Promotion, Management, Health Services, Industrial/Organization Psychology, Nursing, Public Health, Human Services, Psychology, Public Policy and Administration, or Social Work, you will be required to complete 4 residencies during the course of your program.*

Residency 1: Socialization
Residency 1 is designed to socialize you into the Walden doctoral community. Topics include doctoral competency development, orientation to academic support services and networking, community building, writing at the doctoral level and using American Psychological Association (APA) style, library search skill building, and professional development. By the end, you will have completed a self-assessment and identified goals for continual development of the skills and practices required of new doctoral students.

  • Timing: Register for and attend as you enroll in your program (Exception: International students register for a residency that is 3-4 months after your start date and immediately apply for your I-20.)  
  • Format: Face-to-face - Orientation, colloquia on professional identity, team building, and scholarly writing

Residency 2: Research Methods
Residency 2 develops your skills in reviewing and performing scholarly research. Topics include refinement of research questions, research question and methodology alignment, and literature critique and synthesis. Upon completion, you will have developed key components of a research plan.

  • Timing: Within 18 months of your start date or linked to your registration for or completion of your first research course
  • Format: Face-to-face or Virtual - Dissertation and research skills, professional development activities

Residency 3: Prospectus and Proposal
In Residency 3, you will continue to develop your research skills and begin the foundation for your prospectus or dissertation proposal. Topics include qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research designs; data collection, management, and analysis considerations; and development of the prospectus. Upon completion, you will have completed a research alignment tool to inform and guide your dissertation research planning.

  • Timing: By the end of your third year
  • Format: Face-to-face - Prospectus writing and dissertation processes

Residency 4: Scholar-Practitioner
Residency 4 strengthens your abilities as a scholar-practitioner. Topics include practicing presentation and critique, research dissemination, implications for social change, and dissertation writing. Upon completion, you will have composed a draft presentation of your doctoral research and created a plan for research dissemination.

  • Timing: During your third year and beyond
  • Format: Face-to-face or Virtual or Capstone Intensive retreat - Advanced dissertation skills

Learn more about the goals and outcomes of the PhD residencies.


*If you are a student in the PhD in Psychology program with a specialization in either Clinical Psychology or Counseling Psychology, you must attend Residency 1 and then satisfy the remainder of your residency requirement by completing the Academic Year in Residence (AYR) if you began your program prior to September 2011.  Students enrolled September 2011 and beyond are required to complete all four required PhD residencies in addition to the AYR. 


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Support When You Need It

Residencies provide you with support at strategic points in your academic journey. Watch Now

Plenary Speakers

Marc and Craig Kielburger, co-founders of the nonprofit organization Free The Children, spoke at the Atlanta residency in September. View their plenary session.