I transferred into Walden after attending an APA accredited clinical psychology Ph.D. that was very hard to get into (2% acceptance rate) and earning my master's en route to the Ph.D. I have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 at a research extensive university, undergraduate research experience, and a 700 on the quantitative section of the GRE. I left my first program in good standing to try to find something else that was a better fit with what I was looking for. I ultimately arrived at working... Read More
The courses at Walden are no walk in the park, and this is coming from a student who was already used to hard work and being top of the class, etc. I have a 3.7 cumulative GPA at my first Ph.D. program with 45 ph.d. credit hours. There are only a few reasons why you should go to Walden rather than a traditional program 1) You need to work full-time or part-time and most traditional programs will not allow you to do this or your chair at your program will not allow you to do so 2)You have finished all your course work at your current institution, but you cannot graduate because your dissertation chair has no allies in the department and the committee members will not pass you because they hate your chair, 3)Your dissertation chair has left the University and the other faculty won't pick you up, because you started with another faculty member, 4)Your chair at the traditional university has asked you to do something unethical or is milking the heck out of you and working you 50 hours a week to get his research done and you can't get any of your own stuff done. Walden will allow you transfer in up to half of the course work you need for the ph.d. (9 classes of 18, excluding dissertation) Since being a student some of the roles I've had include being a full-time college instructor and being an assistant professor at regionally accredited colleges. Some of my colleagues at these institutions have turned up their noses and others have been cautiously optimistic.
Ultimately, it's about the work that you produce. I have been nominated for professor of the year several times and am working to publish peer-reviewed articles before and after I graduate. It is easy to get into Walden, but it is hard to graduate. The courses are rigorous and require a LOT of work. Also, there is no hand holding. You will have to motivate yourself or get a dissertation coach and maybe both. If a student actually graduates from Walden with a Ph.D. in psychology, that degree means something. In no way is it possible to skate through. I have learned more at Walden than at the APA accredited program I attended. That's probably because more is required, and so I have put in a lot more effort. The professors are unlikely to give you a lot of feedback. However, isn't it about independent learning anyway? If you can think critically at a high level, you will not have a problem. If you can't, don't go to Walden.
I do not agree with Walden's marketing schemes and I think that some of their policies are problematic. However, overall, for a non-licensure track specialization in psychology, the Ph.D. program is a good choice. By the way, because of my work experience and being just a few months away from graduation, I was able to obtain a full-time position at a non-profit regionally accredited institution teaching for a master's program in psychology. I don't think my experience is typical, but it shows that it is possible. I have been upset with Walden policies a few times, but I appreciate that the politics that exist at other institutions are counterbalanced with the purchasing power of the student. If you do not like your dissertation chair, you can fire him. If you have a professor who sucks, you can drop the class and take another professor without retribution. Again, Walden's not for everyone, but for those who start AND finish, it is a good choice.