Walden University Reviews - Doctoral in Psychology

2.85 out of 5 stars
(54 Reviews)
55% of 54 students said this degree improved their career prospects
56% of 54 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
MJ - 3/17/2016
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2019
"I am finding this to be an excellent university. Walden's classes are well written, organized, and most of the faculty is truly invested in sharing their knowledge while encouraging our own. I highly suggest attending the residencies as it provides the many benefits of being face-to-face with faculty and other students... plus, a beautiful reason for travel :)"
4.7 out of 5 stars
Current Student - 1/13/2016
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2019
"You get out, what you put in. As in most courses, it is up to each student to put in their best effort. I am working hard and gaining excellent theoretical knowledge, applications, and personal development through Walden University. I have had many great professors who are passionate about psychology. While some professors have been less than great, this experience is similar to the other Universities I have graduated from. Online education is not for the faint of heart and requires discipline, patience, and hard work. Also, attending residencies, in person, is most certainly worth the financial investment. It is where I have gained valuable relationships with my peers. All the best!"
2.5 out of 5 stars
miffed1 - 12/20/2015
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2018
"WAs offered first term free scholarship, started the program and three weeks in I was thrown to collections for the $5700 unpaid tuition. My advisor and the collections department within student financial services both acknowledge the offer, but state they cannot figure out who pays it or how, or even when. The scholarship has disappeared."
3.0 out of 5 stars
Ph.D. Psychology Student - 11/6/2015
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2017
"This program is demanding and takes a lot of work to master the material. You get out of it what you put in and must be motivated and disciplined to be successful. It isn't a "degree for a fee" and everyone does not deserve to pass just because they pay tuition. If it were that easy, everyone would do it. I found all the student support services knowledgable and helpful, from admissions and advising through to the end. The only criticisms are that in a face to face situation, you gain enrichment through the experiences of your instructors and cohort, and working side-by-side in research institutions is a needed skill if you want to get into academia. There are also little to no opportunities for grad assistantships that would help with the huge financial burden that earning a Ph.D. entails. I found too many classmates who didn't do the assigned readings, evident in their interactions on the discussion board. Reading posts from people who are attempting to bluff their way through the course is a huge waste of my valuable time. They need to be more selective in who they allow into their programs, and weed out those who do not rise to the level of scholarship needed to complete the program. But, being a for profit college, makes this a big business. The convenience was a huge factor in my staying here."
5.0 out of 5 stars
Sylvania Jones - 10/27/2015
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2015
"Online education is not for everyone. You have to be on top of everything from financial aid to your required courses. Like everything in life we have the choice this Walden online educational course works great for me. You will get out whatever time and commitment you put in. I'm working on chapter 4 and 5 of my Dissertation. If I need assistance my Doctor,research department and the writing are all available to assist me in any way they can. No different than a physical university."
3.8 out of 5 stars
David - 3/25/2015
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2011
"I started Walden in the spring of 2008. I took my MS in Gen Psy in the spring of 2011. I finished my academic requirements for a PhD in Education Psy in March 2014. I also completed the academic requirements for a PhD in both counseling and clinical psychology. My observations: Some professors were what I refer to as absent professors. Class response, evaluation of weekly postings and assignments reflected inconsistent and, frankly, unconcerned attitudes. Several professors indicated that they taught as many as 5-7 other online classes, as well as perhaps 2-3 or more in-class teaching assignments. Clearly the school administration does not do a very good job of monitoring instructor teaching ability in these conditions. Instructors must be evaluated and audited on a regular basis to insure they have the ability to actually instruct their students and provide appropriate feed back etc. On the other hand some instructors clearly provided a superior teaching experience. In these cases weekly discussion postings received detailed evaluation, complete with pointed inquiry and encouragement. Weekly assignments - designed to help the student develop critical thinking skills - also provided these instructors an additional medium for teaching. Bottom line the student must study, must contribute, must take an active part in the learning process. Books are expensive, no doubt. I explored every avenue I could to help reduce this expense - used books, Amazon, etc. One positive note, in several classes we had no text requirements as all written material drew from journal articles, web published materials and the like. I am in the 5th quarter of my dissertation process. Do I feel I have learned anything? Yes. I have a 4.0 GPA with 190 hours of completed graduate school classes. Do I feel I have been abused, taken advantage of, or exploited? Sure, in many ways. Do I think the ENTIRE process has been of value and contributed to my enhanced knowledge of both psychology as well as the education process? Yes I do. Bottom line: Walden needs to change. However when compared to other on-line schools I personally feel they do a better job than many and a significantly better job than a few. Will I be employable when I finish? I have no idea. Thank you"
1.0 out of 5 stars
ProGrad - 2/23/2015
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2016
"This "school" is the poster child for a predatory, unethical online school. To begin with, the instructors will vary of course as is typical with any academic institution. Some are very engaged and proactive whereas with others, you are lucky if they post two or three times in the course over the entire term. Where this school truly fails is in reference to the dissertation "courses". As part of your dissertation if you are pursuing a doctoral degree, you will be placed in a series of never-ending dissertation "classes" in which you are required to work towards your dissertation. Note, these "classes" are supposed to be monitored by an instructor however this is not the case. They market the program in such a manner as to tell students that you will work productively with a dissertation committee in an expeditious fashion towards your research. I am currently in my tenth "class" with no end in sight. The instructor is simply non-existent. Students continually post in the questions for instructor forum and in the discussion forums to no avail. The class as a whole has repeatedly complained regarding the lack of any guidance whatsoever but without any resolution. Walden will also charge you $3,000.00 per each of these "classes". Because of the lack of available instructors to serve on dissertation committees, you are forced to work with whoever is left over. The lack of communication is absolutely appalling. I once waited 9 weeks...yes WEEKS for a reply to an email. Feedback of any kind on your dissertation drafts will take MONTHS thus the justification to keep you locked into these classes indefinitely. It is repulsive how this school can continue to get away with this completely unethical (and let's face it illegal) business practice. Once you are done with your required coursework and begin the dissertation process, you are essentially stuck. You can either withdraw with no degree to show plus a mountain of debt or continue to process with the false hope of one day finishing....plus an even bigger mountain of debt. Enrolling in this school was unquestionably, unequivocally, the worst decision that I ever made. This school absolutely needs to be investigated for false business practices."
4.0 out of 5 stars
John Mohl - 8/24/2014
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2014
"I enrolled at Walden because, as a teacher, there were very few brick & mortar schools with doctoral programs that could accommodate to the schedule of a teacher, and none in my major. At the time (2008), I was ambivalent given that it was "online" as people might think that it was an easy program. Since then, many large schools in this country now have developed online programs, though doctoral programs, as far as I can tell, are still only offered by online schools (e.g., Walden). The courses were certainly not easy (one exception was the very first course, which was an introduction to online learning - I found that to be a terrible waste of time and money). Some were very good and taught me quite a bit, others were simply fair. There was certainly a large range when it came to the quality of the instructor: some were great, some were good, some were bad, and some were REALLY bad. Not surprisingly, the most dedicated ones were those who were employed full-time and/or held more important positions in the school (whether they were more dedicated because they held higher status or held higher status because they were dedicated is anyone’s guess). Walden employs many part timers (but then, that's a growing trend among many colleges, online or otherwise), and some treat it as a part-time gig, but then there were part timers who served performed their instructional duties magnificently. As I mentioned before, the courses were not relaxed, and the workload was more than I expected (taking two courses while working full-time was one of the most difficult and stressful things I have ever done, and that was before I had children). However, given the online format, there was a great deal of flexibility, and I could complete my work at my own pace so long as it met the assigned deadlines (which were often weekly). Doing well in these course was not a Herculean task so long as one was dedicated to studying and completing coursework in a timely fashion. I will say that there were some classmates who probably should not have enrolled in the program as they were not likely ready for doctoral level work, as I would see a number of them eventually drop out for a variety of reasons. Did I have difficulties with certain faculty and processes? Yes. One hangup came from the IRB (the group that reviews a study for its ethical qualities before a study can commence). I reckon that a number of people who have posted complaints about this process probably had a proposal that was beset with potential ethical problems. For example, there are some students who work in prisons or other settings that have what are called vulnerable populations (e.g. children, members of the military, etc.). To conduct a study using these for a dissertation is possible, but many safeguards need to be put in place so that ethical codes are not violated. Based on my experiences, many get slowed down (and even halted) by the IRB in these cases. Other studies involve procedures that might pose risks that are greater than the risks experienced by everyday life. My dissertation involved the use of hypnosis, which made for a much more challenging IRB review (at least two to three months, whereas other projects that involve secondary data analysis might take a week or two). In the end, I was approved (and the study went without a hitch), and the wait resulted in a dissertation of which I am quite proud. Nevertheless, that process was a pain in the neck. Like others who have posted comments, I did have issues with finding a chair. Students are left almost completely on their own to find their chair and and build their committee. This can be quite challenging, as many of the best faculty members have reached their permitted maximum (which is understandable, as having too many students to attend to results in less than stellar supervision). When I did finally find a chair, he sat on my draft for two quarters and provided no feedback (but plenty of excuses). To make a long story short, I was advised to change chairs and, by a stroke of dumb luck, found the one wanted to have initially but was previously unavailable, and I never had an issue again. I think it’s important that students know their rights, no matter where they go to school. In my situation, I faced a problem that many other students have experienced (lack of feedback), as some others have posted about. One thing that many do not realize is that if a faculty member does not follow the school’s policy (such as meeting deadlines when returning drafts of a dissertation), then the student can file a tuition appeal. I did this twice, one for the situation above and another due to a lack of communication between departments that needlessly delayed me from finishing my degree. Both were successful. Walden values its accreditation, and they need to have and follow these policies and procedures in order to keep it. If they are forced to take action that costs them tuition as a result of students going through the proper channels, then they will be sure to retain good faculty and let go of those who are not up to snuff. I cannot compare Walden’s doctoral program to that of a regular brick & mortar program as I did not attend the latter. Still, based on observation of my peers at other schools, I have noticed some things. Perhaps the biggest difference is the focus of the program. Walden’s goal is getting students to develop and complete their dissertations. Many who attend traditional schools, on the other hand, are often part of a team of other doctoral students who work on a variety of projects, not just the dissertation, which lead to being part of several published works, which in turn bulk up one’s CV. Given that Walden caters to those who are already employed (which is hardly a secret), they are not too concerned about this aspect of professional development (though it appears that they are starting to have a paradigm shift in this realm). On the other hand, you are less likely to have to deal with department politics and other quarrels that have been known to stall students’ progress. In the end though, I think that the hassles one might have at Walden or any online school are going to be found at brick & mortar schools, and vice versa. The doctoral degree, no matter where it is earned, is a process, full of frustrations and challenges, but very rewarding. Bottom line is this: If you are considering Walden, you need to be flexible, dedicated, and informed of your expectations. There is no hand-holding. You are fully responsible for your progress. You need a good chair (and finding that person takes time and patience) and a plan of how you finish your degree (e.g., dissertation topic, time frame, etc.). Ask yourself why you want your PhD (or whatever degree it might be). If it is more than just to get the title or letters to follow your name, then ask what you value most. If it is autonomy and flexibility, then Walden is likely a good fit. If not, consider other options."
4.5 out of 5 stars
Kathleen - 5/11/2014
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2017
"I am a second- time around student at Walden University, having already received my Masters in Higher Education. I am now a doctoral student. I find the negative comments interesting, as I have my dislikes about certain aspects of Walden, but I did when I attended a F-2-F college for my Associates degree and my Bachelors as well. I never believed in myself until I was 50 years old. I wanted more in life, and I made the decision to do something. I had never heard of Online education, but found myself hunting for a new experience where I could finally make something of myself. See, that's one of the keys, you have to want it bad enough. You believe in yourself, your self-worth and you make your success happen. Walden University does not particularly hold students hands. You are there to learn. Each assignment builds on the next, so if you have an issue with having to do a final project, you have missed the point of the course. The learning outcomes are spelled out at Walden. You are expected to be a critical thinker and reader. It does not happen overnight and no one teaches this or hands it to you on a silver platter along with a pacifier. When I have had issues with an instructor, I have gone to the Department Chairman. That person can get things done advising cannot. Granted some of the faculty are there for a paycheck nothing more., That exists at virtually any college or university, online or not. I had a dean from a prestigious college who even had an award named after him--he was a lousy instructor. The class put him in his place after his lack of interest in the course, it was 8 weeks, because this was in my masters program. Anyone can get through 8 weeks if you are invested in your education. Walden, gives you the tolls, as a student you are expected to use them in order to not only succeed in your program, but succeed in your life. If you are willing to chuck it all, with only three classes left to graduation, then you cannot be invested in your life and knocking Walden and the education you have received obviously there is more to the story told in the review here. Walden is not for quitters. One sure sign of a student who hates Walden is in how they write their review. If someone writes a bad review and the review is written with anything but an educated voice, you know the person reviewing Walden, obviously is not there for a reason. Trash talk is cheap, getting a good education is not. Walden is a good education. Nothing in life is perfect, not all my experiences have been, but as a responsible adult, I do not think sounding off negatively in a review will get them fixed."
1.0 out of 5 stars
Anonymous - 11/15/2013
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year:
"I would heartily discourage anyone from enrolling in Walden University. It is an academic and financial black hole. I enrolled in the mid 90's. My first "mentor" seldom answered my phone calls (sometimes taking over 6 weeks to return my calls, even though I left messages every few days). When he did speak with me his communication skills were so poor (rambling incoherently) that it was essentially a waste of my time. Despite a strong academic background at the undergraduate, master's and doctorate level in traditional schools, as well as a long history of successful independent study in my previous schools, I could not get my "mentor" to approve my proposal nor to clarify his expectations. I finally asked for another mentor. The second one was even worse than the first. My calls to the school's administration to discuss this issue were woefully disappointing. After four or five months of this I finally threw in the towel. While this school might be fine for a few people, it is a huge and expensive risk. Overall, the staff, "mentors," and administration were extraordinarily unprofessional."
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