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Programs: DHA Doctoral Study

DHA Doctoral Study Resources

If you started your prospectus in Summer 2020 or after, use the instructions and Prospectus form located on the DHA Doctoral Study page on the Center for Research Quality website.

If you started your prospectus before Summer 2020 use this prospectus template:


To prepare for the form and style review, use the following checklist, which is the same checklist we use when we review capstone manuscripts and the checklist we return to the student and committee along with the completed form and style review.

Doctoral Capstone Template Guidance

To accompany the doctoral capstone template document, here is some information to note when first beginning to use the template.

  • The document contains front matter (i.e., two title pages, the abstract, a Dedication page, and an Acknowledgements page), a Table of Contents (TOC), Lists of Tables and Figures, the document body text, a References list, and Appendices.
  • Students should ensure that the text in brackets [ ] on the two title pages is changed to reflects their own information and then remove the brackets. This includes the title, name, degrees earned, degree program, date of anticipated completion.
  • Begin using the template by copying and pasting the text from a working document into the appropriate headings of the template and references to the reference list.

How to tag headings (so that headings show up in the TOC):

  1. Most headings are already placed into the document. Headings students add (i.e., primarily for the literature review and results chapters and sections) should be added by creating a new heading and tagging it so that it appears in the TOC when updated.
  2. Add a heading by first ensuring the Pilcrow [ ] is turned on —this allows the writer to see hidden formatting in the document that should not be deleted (e.g., page breaks and section breaks).
  3. Add the heading by placing the cursor where the heading should be inserted and creating a hard return.
  4. Then type the text for the heading and highlight it with the cursor, ensuring NOT to highlight the pilcrow.
  5. Once the text is highlighted, choose the appropriate APA Style Heading from the Styles box on the Home tab. This is called tagging a heading. HINT: The Styles tab may need to be expanded by clicking on the small box with the arrow at the bottom of the Styles section.

How to update the TOC (to bring in new headings and update page numbers):

  1. Once new headings have been added or text created or inserted such that the page numbers have shifted, the TOC should be updated.
  2. Update the TOC by clicking on it with the cursor so that the section becomes grey.
  3. Then, right click (or control click on a Mac) and choose “Update field.”
  4. Depending on whether headings or just text has been added, choose “Update entire table” or “Update page numbers only.”

Template and Formatting Resources:

About the DHA Doctoral Study

A doctoral study is a formal manuscript written on applied public health research. Walden DHA doctoral studies consist of four sections:

  • Section 1: Foundation of the Study and Literature Review,
  • Section 2: Research Design and Data Collection,
  • Section 3: Presentation of the Results and Findings, and
  • Section 4: Application to Professional Practice and Implications for Social Change.

You can access additional information on the Doctor of Public Health doctoral study and process from the Center for Research Quality's Doctoral Capstone and Project Resources. Access samples of published doctoral studies through the Walden library website under Databases.

For proposal or doctoral study APA or writing-related questions, contact editor@waldenu.edu.