Skip to Main Content

PhD Intensive: Overview

The Dissertation Intensive revitalized my energy and enthusiasm to complete my doctoral writing by motivating me to realign everything according to the new Dissertation Template. I felt less overwhelmed by the requirements to complete the Literature Review. 

Victoria Bohannon Buck, PhD Candidate, 2016 intensive participant

PhD Intensives Overview

A PhD dissertation intensive retreat (PhD DI) is an optional experience for candidates in PhD programs. Participants will meet in a location to focus on their dissertation writing with a faculty member and other students who are at similar stages in their PhD capstone writing process.

  • PhD candidates can attend a dissertation intensive retreat to satisfy the Residency 4 requirement for their PhD program.
    • Students must attend all sessions and advising throughout the entire intensive retreat in order to successfully complete the experience to satisfy residency 4 requirements.
    • NOTE: Intensive Retreats are NOT included in Fast Track tuition.

Participants spend every day—and evenings—drafting, receiving on-site faculty feedback, revising, and editing. Attendees will work directly with experienced faculty members who have expertise in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research design as well as Writing Center Staff to develop and strengthen writing skills required for dissertation/capstone writing.

Each capstone intensive retreat is limited to approximately 25-30 participants (this is subject to change and depends on location and venue). The ratio of faculty to students ranges from 1:7 – 1:9 in order to allow for individualized attention and immediate feedback.

Group and individual sessions provide detailed information about the requirements consistent with the Walden University dissertation rubric.  Program content will be specific to PhD dissertation writing.  Attendees will spend time writing and meeting with faculty and writing staff members to obtain personalized assistance with their PhD capstone writing.

At the end of each retreat day, participants “check in” with the faculty members on progress made, barriers and facilitators to effective and efficient writing, and goals for the next day. Many participants take full advantage of their time away from home, work, family, and other obligations by continuing to write during the evening.

Participants will also network with peer colleagues who are in the dissertation writing process and develop peer writing support groups that often continue to motivate and support each other after the conclusion of the experience.

PhD Intensives for ABD / Completion Program Students

Students in the following ABD (degree completion) program is required to complete PhD residency 3 (RESI 8403) and one dissertation intensive retreat (DRWI 8500).

Only intensive retreats in the contiguous U.S. are available for ABD (completion program) students.


Please contact Student Success Advising to request registration.