A human services online master’s degree offers many benefits for program graduates. Like any advanced degree pursuit, an online master’s degree in human services presents exclusive opportunities for those who complete these types of programs. In addition to a master’s degree in human services online affording many opportunities, it also can result in considerable earnings.
These are only a few reasons why students consider earning a human services master’s degree online. A human services online master’s degree also provides students with more flexible scheduling and other class options. Some online master’s degree in human services programs offers self-paced classes and on-demand classes. Earning a master’s degree in human services online might also be easier as a result of the convenience and comfort of remote learning. A human services master’s degree online also presents other benefits such as fewer class-related expenses versus traditional schooling options, and the ability to better balance life and school.
How We Ranked the Best Online Master’s in Human Services
For prospective online human services graduate students, Social Work Degree Center editors have compiled a ranking of accredited, reputable schools offering an online master’s in human services. Programs are ranked by cost, reputation, and salary potential, using data from IPEDS and Niche.
1. Purdue University Global
Purdue University Global offers an MS in Human Services that ranks among the best online masters in human service programs available, with a multitude of start dates each year. Students enrolled in Purdue University’s online baccalaureate degree must finish a minimum of 45 credit units over ten-week terms. Note – Purdue University Global’s graduate degree meets the academic requirements of the HS – BCP examination and requires an internship based on two tracks – organizational/social services or family/community service.
Purdue University Global is the online extension of the established Purdue University that was founded in 2018. The online extension of Purdue was established after the acquisition of the then for-profit school Kaplan University with a student enrollment that exceeds 38,050 students each year.
Highlight: Purdue University Global operates mostly online but has four academic facilities in Florida and Illinois.
Degree: MS in Human Services
2. Arizona State University
Arizona State University offers an MS in Family and Human Development that requires degree candidates to complete a minimum of thirty graduate credits units to graduate. Arizona State University’s best online masters in human service program includes classes in social statistics, parenting, diversity & society, theoretical issues in child development, leadership & social justice, and marriage& family relationships, plus a capstone project, among others.
Founded when Arizona was still a territory when it was established in 1885, Arizona State University (ASU) is a land and space grant school with multiple campuses. The student enrollment exceeds 145,000 when accounting for postgraduate and undergraduate students on its various campuses.
Highlight: The school’s alumni include Nobel laureates, Guggenheim, Academy of Engineering, and Fulbright Scholars, and MacArthur Fellowes, among others.
Degree: MS in Family and Human Development
3. University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma offers an MA in Human and Health Services Administration that ranks among Oklahoma’s most innovative and best online masters in human service programs. The total credit hours required to complete this accelerated University of Oklahoma’s graduate degree in human services is 33. Classes for this Human service degree include cultural, social & diversity issues, geriatric issues, psychosocial aspects of disability, and cross-cultural health issues, plus a related internship, to name a few.
The University of Oklahoma was founded in the 1890s, years before Oklahoma reached statehood. The University’s suburban campus is also a space-grant, flagship campus with nearly 28,340 students each year.
Highlight: The University of Oklahoma offers more than 400 programs (at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels) from its multiple campuses and online.
Degree: MA in Human and Health Services Administration
4. Oklahoma State University – Tulsa
Oklahoma State University – Tulsa offers an online MS in Human Services with an academic emphasis in Applied Human Services that is offered in an accelerated form, entirely online. Oklahoma State University’s flexible and best online masters in human service program explores the topic through interdisciplinary coursework. Specialization for the Oklahoma State University’s graduate degree in human services includes infant mental health, developmental disabilities, gerontology, and nonprofit management. The total coursework for this Oklahoma State University graduate degree in human services is 33 graduate units.
Oklahoma State University (OSUT) is the newest campus of Oklahoma’s state university system, having become an independent member school of the system in 1999. The campus in Tulsa is located in Tulsa’s history neighborhood known as Greenwood.
Highlight: Oklahoma State University’s first female president (and the university’s third elected president) in 2019.
Degree: MS in Applied Human Services
5. Kansas State University
Kansas State University offers a Master of Family and Community Services program that is among the most innovative and best online masters in human service programs in the state of Kansas and beyond. Classes for this graduate degree from Kansas State University include lifespan development, residence in families, family resource management, foundations and principles of family and community services, and crises across the lifespan, to name a few. The capstone concluding project will be a practicum in family/community services or a field study in family economics.
Kansas State University (KSU) is a multiple campus higher learning institution that was established as the state’s second land grant but the first public higher learning institution. The university’s college-town campus covers more than 600 acres and serves nearly 21,000 students.
Highlight: Kansas State University is organized into nine colleges/schools to serve students each year.
Degree: Master of Family and Community Services
6. University of Nebraska Lincoln
The University of Nebraska Lincoln offers an MS in Human and Family Services Administration that is considered among Nebraska’s most affordable and best online masters in human service programs. Classes for this graduate human service degree from the University of Nebraska Lincoln include family professionals as consumers of research, theories of human development and family relations, special topics in family and cultural diversity, and introduction to the nonprofit sector, to name a few.
The University of Nebraska (NU) is a land -grant higher learning institution that was established in 1869. In addition, the Lincoln Branch is a space-grant flagship school. The University of Nebraska in Lincoln serves approximately 25,450 graduate and undergraduate students each year.
Highlight: The University of Nebraska is home to the ‘Nebraska Method,’ an ecological study regarding grassland ecology.
Degree: MS in Human and Family Services Administration
7. CUNY School of Professional Studies
The CUNY School of Professional Studies offers an MS in Disability Services in Higher Education that is ranked among the best online masters in human service programs according to US News & World Report. Classes for this graduate degree in human services require the completion of 30 semester units that include higher education disability service administration, neurodiverse students in college, the legal aspect of disability service, and assistive technology in higher education, plus a capstone course, among others.
CUNY School of Professional Studies is a member of the city’s university system and was chartered in 2,000. Located in midtown Manhattan, CUNY’s School of Professional Studies was designed to meet the educational needs of working adults and learners.
Highlight: The City University of NY’s School of Professional Studies is home to the JFK Jr institute of Worker Education, designed to develop human service initiatives.
Degree: MS in Disability Services in Higher Education
8. University of Arizona
The University of Arizona offers an MA in Human Services that is named among the best online masters in human service programs available online, as noted by onlinemasters.com UA’s graduate degree in human services includes coursework in human services delivery skills, group theories, and human systems, an overview of human services and integrative project for human services, to name a few. Specialization courses include gerontology, criminal justice organizations, mental health compliance issues, and victimology – theory and research, to name a few.
Founded in the mid-1880s when Arizona was still a territory, the University of Arizona was the state’s first institution of higher education. The urban campus and online platform are home to nearly 46,000 postgraduate and undergraduate students each year.
Highlight: The Arizona Wildcats represent the university in the NCAA’s Pac-12 conference, having won various national titles.
Degree: MA in Human Services
9. California State University, Northridge
California State University, Northridge offers An MS in Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services that ranks among the nation’s best online masters in human service programs according to onlinemasters.com. Students enrolled in CSUN’s graduate human services degree must finish a minimum of 30 semester credits, of which 70% must be completed in residence at California State University. Class examples include assistive technology across the lifespan, medical conditions affecting the quality of life, and a directed comprehension study project, to name a few.
California State University, Northridge (CSUN) was established as an extension center of Cal State in Los Angeles but became independent in the late 1950s. This member school of California’s state university system is the third largest, with nearly 39,000 students.
Highlight: Cal State University is recognized to be one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in the nation.
Degree: MS in Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services
10. Bryan College
Bryan College offers an MA in Human Services that explores the many integrated social, psychological, spiritual aspects of health. Bryan College’s best online masters in human service program prepares students for rewarding careers as caseworkers, family advocates, human services counselors, and non-licensed counselors, to name a few. The required 30 graduate credits for Bryan College’s program can all be complete 100% online. Classes for this degree from Bryan College include group dynamics, multicultural awareness in human services, adult development, and aging, plus Christianity & Counseling, to name a few.
Bryan College is an interdenominational Christian school that was developed as a college in the 1920s, after the Scopes Trial. This private institution of higher learning is home to approximately 750 students each year online and on the school’s Dayton, Tennessee campus.
Highlight: The college’s campus is located within walking distance to Downtown Dayton, on a hilltop that covers more than 100 acres.
Degree: MA in Human Services
11. Concordia University St Paul
Concordia University St Paul offers an MA in Human Services with an academic track in Forensic Behavioral Health that is ranked among Minnesota’s best online masters in human service programs. This graduate degree from Concordia University St Paul requires degree candidates to finish a minimum of 36 credit units to meet Concordia University St Paul’s graduation requirements. Required classes for Concordia University St Paul’s human service master’s degree include family violence, research methods inhuman services, psychopathology in human services, and ethical/legal consideration, to name a few.
Concordia University St Paul is a member of the Concordia system, which is the 2nd largest body of schools related to the Lutheran Church. The St. Paul campus of Concordia was established in the 1890s. Concordia University St Paul has received accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.
Highlight: More than 5,450 graduate and undergraduate students attend classes online and on the Twin Cities Campus in St. Paul.
Degree: MA in Human Services – Forensic Behavioral Health
12. University of Redlands
The University of Redlands offers an MA Education – Human Services emphasis, considered among California’s most innovative and best online masters in human service programs available online. The University of Redlands’s graduates of this graduate degree in human services find rewarding careers in government, educational agencies, and nonprofits, among others. Classes include learning theory and program development, designing & implementing action research, human development, introduction to social science research, and foundations in human services, to name a few.
The University of Redlands was founded in 1907 primarily to offer programs and degrees for working adults. The University of Redlands, operating privately, serves approximately 5,000 students each year in its eight locations and online.
Highlight: The University of the Redlands is comprised of five schools/colleges offering programs in arts/sciences, business, education, theology, and applied wisdom.
Degree: MEd in Human Services
13. Minot State University
Minot State University offers a MS in Disability Human Services that requires degree candidates to complete 31 to 34 graduate semester units to graduate. Minot State University’s best online masters in human service program is flexible, affordable, and has been offered for three decades. Classes for Minot State University’s degree include an introduction to severe disabilities, management principles and practices, research design and methodology, law and regulation, and human resource management, plus a practicum, to name a few.
Minot State University (Minot State) is a member of the state’s university system that was founded in 1913. This public higher learning institution was once a normal school to train teachers in rural North Dakota. Additionally, Minot State University is also a space grant school with a student enrollment that exceeds 3,350 students each year.
Highlight: Minot State University is organized into three colleges/schools that offer diplomas and degrees in health sciences, arts/sciences, and business & education.
Degree: MS in Disability Human Services
14. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
The University of Wisconsin offers an MS in Human Services Leadership that can be complete 100% online. The University of Wisconsin’s best online masters in human service program offers rolling, anytime admissions, no entrance exam, and only 30 credits to graduate. Classes for this degree include transcultural leadership, global issues in local communities, and foundations of human services management, plus a master’s thesis or final capstone course, among others.
The University of Wisconsin (UWO) was established as a state teacher’s college in the 1870s. The University of Wisconsin holds the distinction of having the first kindergarten, with free tuition with a student’s commitment to teach children in Wisconsin.
Highlight: The University of Wisconsin is well known for its renewable energy use and ranks as one of the nation’s schools with the highest use.
Degree: MS in Human Services Leadership
15. NSU Florida (Nova Southeastern)
NSU Florida (Nova Southeastern Online) offers Master of Human Services (MHS) with an academic track in Child Protection & Juvenile Justice (CPJJ) that is one of the most affordable and Wisconsin’s best online masters in human service programs in South Florida. Classes for this master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University include the theory of child protection and investigation, family dynamics, motivation and support, cultural factors in treatment, substance abuse treatment in the community, and juvenile justice system structure and processes, plus fieldwork, to name a few.
Nova Southeastern University Florida (Nova Southeastern) was established as a tech institute in the mid-1960s. Nova Southeastern University maintains various campuses across south Florida that serve more than 20,350 students each year.
Highlight: The university’s 300+ acre campus once served as a naval land field from the second world war.
Degree: Master of Human Services – Child Protection
16. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota offers an MA in Health & Human Services Administration (HHSA) that is one of the best online masters in human service programs in the Twin Cities vicinity. Students enrolled in Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s graduate human service degree program must complete a minimum of 36 semester credits over an average period of 24 months. Coursework for Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s graduate degree includes health informatics and application, financial practices in the health and human services sector, and aging, illness, and the continuum of care, to name a few.
The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (SMUM) is a Lasallian institution of higher education that was founded in 1912. The school operates various sites domestically and in Jamaica.
Highlight: Nearly 6,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students each year online and on its campuses.
Degree: MA in Health and Human Services Administration
17. Regent University
Regent University offers an MA in Human Services with an academic track in Human Services Counseling that can be completed entirely online. Regent University’s best online masters in human service programs require degree candidates to finish a minimum of 30 semester units to graduate. Classes for this degree include foundations of human services, professional ethics in the human service fields, advanced counseling skills & techniques, and group counseling, to name a few.
Regent University was established in the 1970s by P. Robertson. The university’s urban campus serves more than 8,550 interdenominational evangelical students each year.
Highlight: The campus of Regent has been voted as one of the nation’s most beautiful.
Degree: MA in Human Services
18. Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University offers an MS in Human Services Administration that SLU offers entirely online in eight-week terms. Saint Leo University’s best online masters in human service program prepare students for careers in grant writing, nonprofits, government work, community services, or long term care. Classes for these degrees include legal and ethical issues in human services, funding sources for human service organizations, advocacy, and policy analyses and grantsmanship, to name a few.
Saint Leo University (Saint Leo) is a coed institution of higher education that was established in the 1880s. This Roman Catholic higher learning institution serves nearly 12,000 students, with about 60% studying online.
Highlight: Saint Leo University is named for Pope Leo, who was Rome’s bishop for more than twenty years.
Degree: MS in Human Services Administration
19. Houston Baptist University
Houston Baptist University offers an MA in Human Services Counseling that offers two primary tracks – professional life coaching and marriage and family. Classes for Houston Baptist University’s best online masters in human service program include theories and techniques in counseling, human growth and development, crisis response and trauma care, Christian Integration seminar, gender issues, and differences, and assessment & counseling with couples & families, and introduction to human services counseling, to name a few.
Houston Baptist University (Houston BU) was established in 1960 as a private Baptist school. The school’s urban campus in Houston (in what was once Chinatown) is home to nearly 4,000 students each year.
Highlight: Houston Baptist University is a member of the Southland Athletic Conference and competes as the Huskies.
Degree: MA in Human Services Counseling
20. Warner Pacific University
Warner Pacific University offers an MA in Human Services that can be completed in an accelerated manner entirely online. Warner Pacific University’s best online masters in human service program requires the completion of thirteen classes at the master’s level. Students enrolled in WPU’s graduate degree in human services from Warner Pacific University are delivered in six-week terms and offer theoretical and practical experiential knowledge.
Warner Pacific University (Warner P) was established in Spokane by the Church of God in 1937. The school’s urban campus and online platform are home to nearly 1,400 students each year. The university is accredited by the NCOCU.
Highlight: Student athletes attending Warner Pacific University play as the Knights in the NAIA Division II.
Degree: MA in Human Services
21. Walden University
Walden University offers an MS in Human Services that offers degree candidates these concentrations, studies in aging, family studies/interventions, general program, criminal justice, disaster crisis and community, and social services, mental health, human service nonprofits, and military families and culture. Walden University’s best online masters in human service program prepare grads for careers in emergency management, social service, or health service management, to name a few.
Walden University was founded by two educators as a for-profit school in 1970 in Naples, Florida. The university serves its students primarily online, with a student enrollment that nears 50,000. The school is organized into five colleges/schools representing programs in education, management/technology, nursing, health sciences, and social & behavioral sciences.
Highlight: Walden University has notable alumni from the fields of management, politics, national security, and high-level government workers.
Degree: MS in Human Services
22. Liberty University
Liberty University offers an MA in Human Services Counseling that is ranked among Virginia’s most innovative and best online masters in human service programs, as noted by bestcolleges.com and niche.com. Students can complete this graduate degree from Liberty University in about one year if studying full time. Specializations for this degree include criminal justice, crisis response, business, addictions, Christian Ministries, marriage and family, executive leadership, parenting & children development, family advocacy, life coaching, health and wellness, and military resilience.
Liberty University is an evangelical institution of higher education that was established in the early 1970s as a Baptist college. Liberty University is recognized to be one of the largest evangelical institutions of higher learning, with more than 100,000 graduate and undergraduate students each year.
Highlight: More than 79,000 students attend classes each year online and on the Lynchburg campus.
Degree: MA in Human Services Counseling
23. Concordia University Chicago
Concordia University Chicago offers an MA in Human Services that can be completed in as few as two years, all online. Concordia University Chicago’s best online masters in human service program requires students to take and pass at least thirty-three credits at the graduate level. Classes for this master’s degree in human services include values, attitudes and ethics, intervention and direct services, and information, planning, and evaluation in human services, to name a few.
Concordia University Chicago (Concordia Chicago) is a member of the Concordia system with a Lutheran Church affiliation. The Chicago campus enrolls more than 6,150 graduate and undergraduate students each year. The school was founded in 1864 to train parochial schoolteachers and was named the Addison Teachers Seminary.
Highlight: Concordia University Chicago is organized into four colleges/schools offering programs in business, education, arts, and health/science.
Degree: MA in Human Services
24. Springfield College
Springfield College offers an MS in Human Services that can be completed in 1.5 to 2 years, depending on the student’s time commitment. Springfield College’s best online masters in human service program are offered by a nationally-ranked institution of higher education. This master’s degree includes a concentration in mental health counseling. Up to six credits may be transferred if they meet Springfield College’s eligibility requirements.
Springfield College (SC) is a multi-campus institution of higher education that is comprised of four colleges/schools offering degrees in arts/sciences, health sciences, social work, and physical education & sports leadership. Springfield College is home to more than 5,050 undergraduate and graduate students each year across its campuses in many states.
Highlight: Springfield College began as an internal division of the city of Springfield’s YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association), specializing in preparing young men for work in business and other YMCA organizations.
Degree: MS in Human Services
25. Lenoir-Rhyne University
Lenoir-Rhyne University offers an MA in Human Services that is ranked among North Carolina’s best online masters in human service programs. This master’s degree in human services program requires students to finish a minimum of 33 semester units. Classes for this degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University include human systems, theoretical foundations and history of human services, interpersonal communications for human service professionals, and psychopathology, diagnosis and treatment, plus a practicum or applied research project, to name a few.
Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU) was founded in the 1890s by the Evangelical Lutheran Church. The school’s distance-learning platform and Hickory campus are home to nearly 2,750 graduate and undergraduate students each year. The school’s athletes compete as Bears and perform in nearly two dozen intercollegiate sports.
Highlight: Many notable professional athletes call Lenoir-Rhyne University their alma mater.
Degree: MA in Human Services
How Do I Choose an Online Human Services Master’s?
One of the most important steps in earning an online human services master’s degree is choosing the right program. There are several considerations when choosing the right school or program for earning an online master’s degree. One of the first and most important considerations is verifying the accreditation. A masters in human services online accredited program ensures the students the school or program is valid and approved. Graduates of these accredited programs also, in turn, offer employers the reassurance they are skilled, trained, and qualified for the job.
Along with verifying that the program is accredited, it is important to evaluate program options, such as the aforementioned self-paced classes, or options such as online evening classes. Once students have narrowed the list down to the preferred accredited programs, it is then a matter of choosing which human services master’s degree program best suits your schedule and life. It is also important to look into tuition costs for many online programs, as they can vary greatly from program to program.
Yes, choosing a program can take some work, but choosing and graduating from the right program will be good for your future and your career. That also looks like more than simply monetary benefits.
Will a Master’s in Human Services Help My Career?
One of the greatest benefits of earning a master’s degree is the ways it can benefit your career. A masters in human services career options include roles that are both managerial and administrative, in addition to specialized and supervisory positions. Careers with a masters in human services cover many fields and countless job titles. A few of the masters of human services careers include:
- Human services agency director
- Drug and alcohol program manager
- Marriage and family therapist
- College instructor in human services
- Student affairs administrator
These positions are a few of the roles and career opportunities awaiting graduates of online human services master’s programs. These positions come with responsibility, status, and in many cases, excellent benefits packages. These are also jobs that make a difference, providing a sense of job satisfaction and career meaning. And these careers also offer considerable earning potential, and that can’t be discounted either.
How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in Human Services?
Several factors can influence a masters in human services salary. These include factors such as the position itself, the region or location of the job, and the type of employer. These considerations are part of determining and answering the question is a masters in human services worth it.
A masters degree in human services salary for a position such as a genetic counselor offers a median wage of $85,700 per year according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. A human services salary with masters degree credential will earn a median wage of $69,600 per year for a community service manager position, based on data from the same source.
What this means is that a masters in human services salary is typically considerable, but those aforementioned factors will impact each position. Is the job in an area with a high cost of living, or a metropolitan area such as Los Angeles or New York? Is the employer private, public or government funded, or perhaps a non-profit? These are a few factors that will influence earnings for those with a human service master’s degree. Yes, the consensus says earning an online masters in human services is worth it, how much that means in dollars and cents though will depend on a few variables.