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Section 7. Learning Modalities and Resources:
Learning and Research Resources

Foundational Activities

All Walden students are required to participate in foundational activities prior to or during their first term of enrollment.

Undergraduate Students

During their first term, undergraduate students complete HMNT 1001 or LDRS 1001, which includes acquisition and mastery of knowledge and skills related to information technology and electronic communication, plans and programs of study, library databases, scholarly writing, research, and university policies and procedures. Successful completion of HMNT 1001 or LDRS 1001 is a degree requirement.

Graduate Students

Many students participate in formal Foundation courses (e.g., 6000, 8000, 8008) that include acquisition and mastery of knowledge and skills related to information technology and electronic communication, plans and programs of study, library databases, scholarly writing, research, and university policies and procedures. Successful completion of foundational activities is a degree requirement.

Program of Study

The Program of Study Form (or Program Planning Guide) is a formal document based on the academic evaluation made available to the student from the Office of Admissions, and showing any transferred credit. In consultation with a member of the Student Success Advising Team, students use this in concert with a program worksheet as an exercise to create an individualized plan for completing all degree requirements within a desired time frame.

In developing a timeline, students must account for review, revision, and approval of academic work. For most students, academic work is not approved with the first draft. Students should familiarize themselves with the approval processes for academic work, and incorporate flexibility in their timeline. Students use the Program of Study Form (or Program Planning Guide) to gauge their progress toward degree completion. Any revisions to the form require the approval of the faculty advisor/mentor and the associate dean or the associate dean’s designee.

Professional Development Plan

Walden University requires doctoral students (except those in the EdD program), and MS in Psychology and MS in Mental Health Counseling students to write a Professional Development Plan (PDP) at the outset of their studies. The plan includes the completion of a formal Program of Study Form and, when appropriate, a Plan of Study. Students in the Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology specializations and Clinical Mental Health Counseling students must also submit a Personal State Licensure Plan.

Other Undergraduate Options: Accelerate Into Master's

Walden University offers opportunities for undergraduate students to accelerate time to the completion of a master’s degree. This option, called Accelerate Into Master’s (AIM), allows undergraduate students who have met the qualifications to complete graduate-level courses that will fulfill the requirements for their undergraduate program as well as graduate requirements for a future master’s program.

When undergraduate students attempt a 5000-level course, they may earn a “C” in the graduate-level course but only a grade of “B” or better will carry over to the graduate program. Students who receive a “C” grade will be awarded a grade of “C,”* which will permit the grade to be used toward the undergraduate-level requirement but not toward the master’s-level requirement. Students must earn a passing grade to continue taking 5000-level courses. Later admission to the master’s program requires that students must take that course as a master’s student.

See Accelerate Into Master's requirements and program chart.

Additional Undergraduate Options: Undergraduate Minors

Program Major/Minor/Concentration Comparison

Program Element Minimum Credit Hours Minimum Number of Courses Minimum Percent of Degree

Upper-Level Requirement

Distinct Learning Outcomes? Required?
Major 45 9 30% Varies Yes Yes
Minor 24–30 6 20% Two courses No No
Concentration* 20–36 3 Varies One course No No
General Education 46–71 9 25% Varies Yes Yes
OVERALL DEGREE 181 37 (or more) 100% 30% (or more) Yes  

 *Concentrations are not required for all undergraduate degrees.

A program is a prescribed course of study leading to a degree or certificate. A program encompasses the student’s major, minor, concentration or specialization, and/or emphasis. An example would be a program leading to a B.A. in Journalism degree.

In the United States, an academic major is the academic discipline to which an undergraduate student formally commits. A student who successfully completes the courses prescribed in an academic major qualifies for an undergraduate degree. The amount of latitude a student has in choosing courses varies from program to program. Typically, the courses of an academic major are spread out over several academic terms. From the example above, the academic major would be “journalism.”

An academic minor is a college or university student’s declared secondary field of study or specialization during his or her undergraduate studies. The minor is in a discipline or field of study different than the major. Each college or university sets its own regulations for necessary course work that constitutes an academic minor. Again, using the example above, the academic minor might be “business” because it is a field of study different than the major.

The concentration (for undergraduates; or specialization for graduates) is defined as a subset of the major academic discipline. An example might be “magazine journalism” because it is a smaller, more defined subset of the larger discipline of journalism.

See more about Undergraduate Minors.

Richard W. Riley College of Education and Human Sciences Transition Points

Some programs within Walden University’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and Human Sciences incorporate a series of academic requirements, referred to as transition points or milestones, designed to ensure that candidates have acquired the necessary competencies and expertise to be a more effective educator. At each transition point, progress within the program will be evaluated using assessments that align with national professional standards. Walden’s faculty members will help students master core concepts and principles, while student support services can provide additional academic, advising, and technical assistance. Successful advancement beyond each transition point certifies that students have the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions to make a positive impact in their classroom, school, and community.

Students are encouraged to review their program specific handbook or guidebook accessible from their MyWalden page for additional information on their program’s transition points. 

Transition points can be found in the Minimum Academic Progress Benchmarks and GPA Requirements chart.

Transition points are included in the following programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Elementary Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Special Education (K-Age 21)


ScholarWorks is Walden University’s institutional repository, housing scholarly and creative works from our faculty and alumni. In addition to showcasing our thought leadership, this comprehensive online resource highlights Walden’s social change mission and scholar-practitioner model of graduate preparation.

Our repository includes:

  • Dissertations and doctoral studies.
  • Content from Walden’s five research journals.
  • Faculty research and publications.
  • Links to award-winning doctoral studies and dissertations.

Contributors to ScholarWorks can gain exposure both within our internal community and with a global academic audience, and they have the opportunity to share their works publicly with potential employers, colleges, professional organizations, and other stakeholders.

Users of ScholarWorks can tap into a rich and constantly growing selection of research across an array of disciplines. Users can search by subject area, view top downloads and most recent additions, and identify trending topics.

For more information, visit