20 Best Online Masters in Human Services for 2021

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We’ve identified the 20 Best Online Masters in Human Services for 2021. Compare master’s programs, schools, career options, and salaries.

Online Masters in Human Services

Getting your online master’s in human services can set you up for an exciting career, helping to enhance and serve local communities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job outlooks for jobs in human services are very positive, with many experiencing a projected 13 percent growth!

If you have a desire to work in health, education, or social services, a master’s degree in human services will allow you to break into the field and enjoy a lucrative and personally rewarding career.

Best Online Master’s in Human Services Programs

Your masters in human services online lets you specialize in a few different fields. Although there are plenty of concentrations that you can go into, these are two of the most popular ones.

Although job prospects will differ depending on where you are planning on living, one thing is for sure: many municipalities need people to work in human services at all levels. Let’s explore two popular human services concentrations: human services and social work.

Master’s in Human Services

counselor having a therapy session with a group of teenagers

The best candidates for work in human services are thick-skinned and highly organized. To succeed, you need to have very high emotional intelligence and empathy. Good candidates work in a number of different fields, including social services and crafting policies for diverse communities.

You can find yourself in a counseling role or working with groups from different populations.

Master’s in Social Work

social worker visiting the house of an elderly man

Like those who get their human services degree online, those who major in social work have a wide array of job opportunities available at their fingertips. To excel, you need to have a winning combination of hard and soft skills, like excellent organization and wonderful listening skills.

The best candidates are very empathetic and can communicate with people on all levels of an organization.

If you graduate with this degree, you can work as a social worker in private, public, or governmental capacities. Some people prefer to specialize in specific areas like substance abuse or childhood development. If you have the desire to help people, going for your degree in human services could be a smart career move.

Human Services Careers & Salaries

Human Services Careers & Salaries

There are plenty of masters in human services jobs that you can get after graduation, and the sky is really the limit once you have your diploma in hand. Even more entry-level positions tend to pay reasonably well, and many people who work in the human services capacity find that their job is both lucrative and highly rewarding.

If you want to help people and communities and have an empathetic streak that allows you to walk in the shoes of others, you will likely make a comfortable living working in human services.

If you want to have a better shot after graduation, consider joining a networking group or working towards a relevant internship. Those who do their due diligence usually wind up higher in the pecking order than those who do not. Check your college for a list of networking affiliates and internship opportunities.

family counselor with a family during counseling session

Of course, the pay rate in every state and municipality varies, but we’ve put together a list of what you can generally expect to make from the most popular human services jobs with data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Careers Annual Mean Salary
Social and Community Service Managers $67,150
Human Resources Specialists $61,920
Social Workers $50,470
Rehabilitation Counselors $35,950
Customer Service Representatives $34,710

Getting your degree can open doors to all of these jobs. The first step is filling out those applications and enrolling in classes.

Choosing an Online Masters in Human Services Degree

Masters in Human Services Degree student studying online

Every student is different, and what you’re looking for in a school might not be what anyone else is. Still, there are some common factors to consider when getting your degree online.

Cost is only one of the factors to consider, and many schooling costs can be offset with loans or grants. Even so, it’s still worthwhile to compare different curriculums and costs to see which one fits your budget and lifestyle.

Flexibility is a significant factor for many online learners. If you have other commitments, like a full-time job or family, you will probably want to attend a school that allows you to take classes on your time.

Masters in Human Services Degree student studying at a cafe

Make sure that the school of your choice accepts transferred credits. You can do this by simply checking online or making a quick phone call. Nobody wants to redo their classes, so don’t skip this vital step.

Finally, you will want to find a school that fits your lifestyle and technology needs. Make sure that the technology is something that you both understand, and enjoy working with. If you are unsure whether you can take on a full roster of classes, make sure that you can finish your degree in more time.

There is a perfect school out there for everyone! Do a little bit of legwork, and you are sure to find yours!

Masters in Human Services Curriculum & Courses

Masters in Human Services Degree student studying at home

Every school is different, but we’ve compiled a list of few sample classes that you are likely to take with your human services degree.

  • Social Policy: Students will learn how social policy shapes human services in different communities. They will also discover how to work within existing systems to impact change.
  • Organizational Management: This course teaches students the basics of human services organizations. It allows them to understand how each department operates.
  • Grants and Proposals: Students learn the basics of grant writing. This course is an absolute essential for anyone involved in the non-profit space.
  • Community Leadership: Many people who work in human services find themselves interacting with members of different communities. This course teaches them how to be a force for good.
  • Development and Behavior: Understanding human behavior is critical to succeeding in human services. This course teaches students the basics.
  • Ethics: Since many people who work in human services operate within communities or vulnerable sectors, it’s imperative for them to follow strict ethical guidelines. This course teaches students what they are.
  • Adolescent Development: Many people who work in human services deal with adolescents. This small demographic has its own set of challenges and developmental hurdles.
  • Cultural Diversity: Students learn about how to communicate with different communities and respect new cultures. This course is imperative for anyone working in the field.
  • History of Human Services: This course gives students an overview of the human services field and prepares them for work in the new century. It’s a good basis of information.
  • Childhood Development: Students learn all about how children are developmentally shaped in this course. It’s an important one for social workers to take.

Many students can expect to take these courses, or similar courses, for your degree.

Admissions Requirements

Masters in Human Services Degree student in a library

Although you should check your individual school for specific admissions requirements, there are some standard ones that you will likely need to fulfill.

To enroll in most programs you will need the following admissions materials:

  • You will need a bachelor’s degree in a relevant concentration.
  • Many schools ask for letter of recommendation.
  • You will probably need to provide your transcripts.
  • Most schools have an admissions form that you will need to fill out. You can generally find this form online.

Some schools require you to have a minimum GPA as well. When in doubt, check your preferred schools’ website for more information on what’s needed.

Accreditation

Masters in Human Services Degree Accreditation

Making sure that your school of choice is regionally accredited is one of the most important things that you can do to make sure that your degree is worthwhile after graduation.

Essentially, regional accreditation states that an independent body of experts has vetted your school and that the curriculum passes muster. Many employers will not hire people from schools that have not been accredited, so it’s incredibly important to make sure that you tick off this box while looking at schools.

Most schools will have their accreditation information right online, but if you can’t find it, you can always ask. If a school is evasive or won’t provide you with this information, consider it to be a red flag and possible disqualification.

Human Services Professional Organizations

human services professionals in a meeting

Like all professional fields, there are organizations within human services that can help you advance in your career. Although there are plenty of masters in human services jobs available to graduates, those who take the time to network will find that they have more doors open to them.

These are just a few professional organizations that you should consider joining.

  • American Counseling Association: This prestigious organization is well regarded with all types of professional counselors. You can network and learn about industry trends here.
  • American Public Human Services Association: Also known as APHSA, this organization works with the leadership of human services groups to make sure that communities are being adequately served. They also are huge advocates for children.
  • American Society for Public Administration: With over 10,000 members, this organization is one of the largest in the country. They support administrative professionals through training and ongoing seminars.
  • National Council on Family Relations: This group works with non-profit organizations to support all types of families. Since it was founded in 1938, it’s one of the oldest in the country.
  • National Organization for Human Services: This organization prides itself on acting as a knowledge base for the industry. You can learn quite a bit and do a lot of networking with this group.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

financial aid for human services degree students

Those who want to get their human services masters degree online will discover that there are plenty of financial aid options open to them. Learners of every age group can access grants, loans and scholarships. You can even often find school-based scholarships if you look at your schools’ website.

Federal, state and regional loans are a popular way to fund your college education. You can get these types of financial aid packages for classes, books and accommodation. Some even cover your housing costs. Remember, you are required to pay back all of your loans, so only borrow what you can reasonably return.

You dod not need to pay back scholarships or grants, although these can be quite competitive. Apply for any grants that you think you may qualify for. You never know what you might be offered! When applying for scholarships and grants, always put your best foot forward and think about what makes you a special and valuable candidate.

Offset your college costs by taking advantage of the financial aid options available to you!

What Can You Do With a Masters Degree in Human Services?

social workers in a meeting

Earning your master’s online will open plenty more doors compared to earning a bachelor’s or associate’s degree online in human services.

Examples of things that you can do with your degree are work with specific communities or serve the public as a counselor. Or, you can focus on a particular concentration.

Is a Master’s in Human Services Worth It?

Many people think that this degree is totally worth the cost and that your masters in human services salary will offset the price of schooling after you graduate.

There is a strong growth pattern of jobs within this particular field, so the chances of you getting a job after graduation is high.

How Much Can You Make With a Master’s in Human Services?

Your masters in human services salary will vary depending on where you live and what your specific concentration is.

Generally speaking, even recent graduates make far more than average when they are just starting off. Those who excel in the field can certainly make six figures if they apply themselves.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters Degree in Human Services?

Masters Degree in Human Services student studying on his laptop

It usually takes two years to get your master’s degree. Still, some people opt for an accelerated program or take a little bit longer to complete their classes due to familial obligations or work.

If you are getting your degree online, the time spent will be largely up to you and the university that you attend.

What are the Advantages of Earning my Masters in Human Services Online?

Online degrees often allow you to make your own class schedule and work at your own pace so that you can factor in other commitments like work or family life.

Many also allow you to graduate on a flexible schedule.

Are There Any Affordable Online Human Services Masters Degrees?

There are plenty of affordable schooling options online. Even if a school seems to be out of your budget, you can always check financial aid options.

If you have financial concerns, don’t be afraid to discuss your options with your school of choice. Often they can help you out.

What’s the Difference Between a Masters and a PhD in Human Services?

In general, masters degrees are often more career oriented and normally take only two years to complete.

On the other hand, a traditional, or online Ph.D. in human services are typically more research based and take up to four or more years to complete.

Universities Offering Human Services Online Master’s Degree Programs

#1  Antioch University

Antioch University

Antioch University commenced in 1852 and serves as a private institute of higher learning for students interested in social justice, political change, and societal unity. Antioch University has several pathways for students to obtain an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree. Notable alumni of AU include Winona LaDuke and Caretta Scott King.

Antioch is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#2  Bellevue University

Bellevue University

Since Bellevue University opened in 1966, it has strived to provide a vigorous education for adult learners. As a large private postsecondary school, Bellevue University can provide flexible options for busy learners.

Students at Bellevue can obtain in undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree online, on campus, or through accelerated learning courses.

Bellevue is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#3  California State University – Northridge

California State University - Northridge

Commencing in 1958, California State University – Northridge resides in the heart of Los Angeles and is a notable public college. Serving more than 38,000 students annually, CSUN assists students on their journey to acquire an undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, or other professional degrees.

Alumni from CSUN include politicians, business leaders, journalists, and more.

CSU Northridge is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

#4  Capella University

Capella University

Capella University has been offering students a means to private education since 1993. Capella University prides itself on its ability to meet the needs of every student while helping students to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, or professional degree in more than 50 academic programs.

Students at CU can participate in self-paced degree programs or instructor-guided courses.

Capella is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#5  Concordia University – Chicago

Concordia University - Chicago

Concordia University -Chicago is located on a beautiful urban campus and provides private, faith-based instruction to thousands of students every year.

Opening in 1864, Concordia University-Chicago spans over five academic divisions to offer a variety of bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees. CU-Chicago allows students to build their portfolio by participating in internships, co-ops, and community service projects.

CU Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#6  East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University was established in 1911. Today, ETSU is one of the largest public schools in its state. East Tennessee State University operates an esteemed medical school in offers an assortment of undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs from several academic divisions.

ETSU Enrolls students from around the world and serves many via its distance learning platform.

ETSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#7  Houston Baptist University

Houston Baptist University

Opening as a private Baptist learning institution, Houston Baptist University began in 1960. Helping individuals access an undergraduate or graduate degree, Houston Baptist University has many academic majors and minors to choose from. HBU is also home to several museums, a culinary art school, and A notable athletic program.

HBU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#8  Judson University

Judson University

Looking to blend a Christian view with rigorous academics, Judson University opened in 1913 as a private school for higher learning. Each undergraduate and graduate program at Judson University is grounded in liberal arts and technology. A sample of programs taught at JU include communications, education, business, and human service.

Judson is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

#9  Lenoir-Rhyne University

Lenoir Rhine University

Founded in 1891, Lenoir-Rhyne University is a private, faith-based learning facility located in North Carolina. Serving more than 2,500 students each year Lenoir Ryan University has a small teacher to student ratio that allows for a more personal experience while earning an undergraduate or graduate degree. LRU is also known for its dynamic athletic program.

LRU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#10  Liberty University

Liberty University

Offering degrees in hundreds of program majors, Liberty University blends spiritual learning and content knowledge to help learners gain a broader view of the global community. Students at Liberty University seek to acquire educational programs that range from an associate to a doctoral degree. This private University started in 1771.

Liberty is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#11  Regent University

Regent University

The state of Virginia has been the home of Regent University since its commencement in 1977. This private Christian educational institution allows students to obtain a two-year, four-year, master’s, and doctoral degree in many academic areas. With both online and traditional learning options, Regent University is able to serve students across the globe.

Regent is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#12  Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University

Based on the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Leo University began in 1839 and now serves thousands of students both online and in traditional educational forms. This private allows students to obtain an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree in a variety of subject areas while also serving their community through volunteerism.

Saint Leo is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#13  Southeastern University

Southeastern University

Located in Lakeland, FL, Southeastern University began in 1935 as a private, faith-based school for adults. Today southeastern University offers students the opportunity to acquire a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in almost 70 different academic programs.

Several programs at Southeastern University are offered entirely online for those that need a have a flexible education option.

SEU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#14  University of Illinois – Springfield

University of Illinois Springfield

The University of Illinois – Springfield was established in 1969 as a land grant public school. Offering students more than forty-five academic disciplines, blended with a liberal arts foundation, UIS awards undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees to thousands of students every year.

Popular programs at UIS include human services, business, and education.

UIS was recently reaccredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#15  University of Oklahoma

University of Oklahoma

Opening in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public school that serves students on a global level. Spanning over three campuses and in a vigorous online platform, The University of Oklahoma works to assist students in gaining an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree.

Each program offered at UO involves significant research and access to up-to-date technology.

The University of Oklahoma is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#16  Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University is a world-renowned private academic institution located in North Carolina. Wake Forest University began in 1834 and is a global leader in educational, medical, and scientific research. Students at WFU are able to obtain an undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate degree in hundreds of academic majors.

Wake Forest is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#17  Walden University

Walden University

Established in 1970, Walden University serves thousands of students throughout the world using a virtual platform. This private school offers five academic divisions that allow students the ability to obtain a bachelor’s, graduate, or doctorate degree.

Some of the programs offered at Walden University include human services, arts, science, and technology.

Walden is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#18  Washburn University

Washburn University

Washburn University Can be found in Topeka, Kansas. It opened its doors in 1865 and now serves more than 7,000 students seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree. Washburn University also offers professional degrees in law and business. This public University has graduated former politicians, journalists, and many other notable industry professionals.

Washburn is accredited or approved by the Higher Learning Commission.

#19  Webster University

Webster University

Webster University is a private educational facility that has been devoted to their community since 1915. Giving students the option of traditional classrooms and online learning, Webster University has several pathways for students to achieve an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Encouraging students to become positive community members is key to WU’s core concepts.

Webster is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#20  Wilmington University

Wilmington University

Wilmington University began in 1968 and offers a private education to students looking to take part in an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral programs. Students at Wilmington University excel in research activity in creative thinking while obtaining a hands-on learning experience.

WU Offers programs such as human services, education, and health care.

Wilmington is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Getting Your Masters in Human Services Degree Online

Masters Degree in Human Services studying at a cafe

If you’ve been wanting to change your career and life, now is the time to do it. Getting your master’s in human services degree online is one sure-fire way to put you in the best position to be able to get a good entry-level job upon graduation.

Since the job market for this field is booming, there is a good shot that you can get a great job with your diploma.

It’s never too late to change your life or do something different. If you have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to get your online degree, now is the time. With flexible options and plenty of loan programs, how can you afford not to?

Sarah Walker
WRITTEN BY
Sarah Walker