Doctor of Philosophy in Advanced Studies in Human Behavior

Make a difference in your community.

Strengthen your skills in leadership, advocacy, communication, and program development and evaluation. This program also covers such topics as research methodology, human development and behaviors, understanding diverse populations, child and adolescent services, addictive behaviors, family issues, and aging, grief, and bereavement. People who choose this program are often interested in non-clinical/non-treatment leadership, advocacy, or consulting positions in social and behavioral service organizations, or faculty positions in higher educational institutions. This degree program is not designed to meet licensure requirements for the counseling, psychology, or social work professions.


Outcome goals and graduates' proficiency levels

Each doctoral program and specialization is designed around expected learning outcomes (see Expected Program Outcomes below). End of program performance is determined during the comprehensive exam and dissertation process. Because the work is unique to each learner's dissertation or research topic and the criteria for evaluation are aligned to that work, we do not collect data on proficiency levels for doctoral programs.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Advanced Studies in Human Behavior specialization

  • General Advanced Studies in Human Behavior

Quality and Professional Relevance

  • The program complements Capella's broad range of social and behavioral science offerings at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

Expected Program Outcomes

  1. Evaluate relevant theories and best practices in the human behavior field.
  2. Conduct valid, reliable, and ethical research in the field of social and behavioral sciences.
  3. Integrate ethical and legal standards into professional practice within the human behavior field.
  4. Lead the design, development, and evaluation of interdisciplinary programs and services to address key social and behavioral issues.
  5. Evaluate factors that affect individual or group perception and response to social and behavioral issues and services.
  6. Integrate multicultural awareness and respect for diversity in professional service in the human behavior field.
  7. Communicate professionally through writing and effective interactions.

Doctoral degree graduates

Data from graduates across all doctoral programs have been combined for these Career Outcomes results.

Capella University doctoral graduates report satisfaction with salary, benefits, and responsibilities. Half of the graduates surveyed work in higher education and another 12 percent hold positions in the P–12 environment.

Satisfaction with Job Doctoral Degree Graduates

Percentage of respondents who answered "satisfied" or "very satisfied"
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.


Doctoral graduates report receiving salary increases and getting recognition from employers for their Capella degrees. Around half those surveyed have advanced in their careers and just over a third have presented at a professional conference or worked as a consultant.

Career & Professional Accomplishments Doctoral Degree Graduates

Percentage of respondents who indicated they had accomplished each item
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.

Doctoral degree graduates

Data from graduates across all doctoral programs have been combined for these Student Experience results.

Capella University doctoral graduates think their education meets academic program outcomes and helps them meet career goals. They are likely to recommend Capella to others.

Satisfaction with Capella Doctoral Degree Graduates

Percentage of respondents who answered affirmatively

Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.

Our doctoral graduates report they have gained practical knowledge and expertise which are applicable in a range of professional settings.

Improvement in Skills and Abilities Doctoral Degree Graduates

Percentage of respondents who rated themselves as "proficient" or "distinguished" on ability to demonstrate the skill or ability on the job.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.


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Capella believes in being clear about the real cost, time, and value of a Capella degree The Gainful Employment disclosures, required by the US Department of Education (DOE) (under 34 CFR 688.6 ), provide some information about completion, expenses and occupations based on learners who graduated between July 2012 and June 2013. Most of our students are part-time so they might not take a full course load or attend all 4 quarters each year. We took that into account in calculating these data. For example, we define program length for certificates and master's and doctoral degrees as the number of calendar quarters it takes a typical student to complete a program. The DOE has defined time to complete for a Bachelor's degree as 4 years. Program cost is based on the specific pricing structure for each program which is either a cost per credit or a cost per active quarter.

Other related information may be found on the Learning Outcomes, Career Outcomes, and Student Experience tabs on this page.

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Learn more about these values and how they are calculated»

Earn Your Doctoral Degree

Become an expert in your field. Enroll in an online PhD, PsyD, or EdD program at Capella.


Alumni Success Story Quote

Photo of Jesse Collins, PhD Jesse Collins, PhD

"I'm able to talk to victims of domestic violence about how to reduce their likelihood of being a victim. This is a real-world application of the Scholar-Practitioner Model and I am honored to be a part of it."

Watch Jesse's story »