Why This Matters

Our Research

This list covers master’s degree programs that prepare graduates for careers as social and community service managers, human services educators, higher education counselors, and drug and alcohol counselors. Degrees offered include Master of Arts in Human Services, Master of Health and Human Services, Master of Science in Family and Human Development, Master of Science in Human Services Administration, Master of Science In Human Services Leadership, and Master of Human Services in Child Protection.

Accreditation is given to human services programs that uphold a high academic standard through peer- and self-assessment. The programs on this list are accredited nationally by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best Master’s in Human Services Degree program are affordable, respected, and flexible. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 55 hours to write this article
  • 68 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 138 education programs we compared

The Top 30 Master’s in Human Services Degree Programs

Best Master's in Human Services Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

When choosing a career in human and social services, you should also consider pursuing a master’s degree in social work. Both programs provide in-depth training in counseling and social work, but human services programs specialize in administrative and organizational roles in the human services industry. Graduates from Master’s in Social Work programs typically pursue careers as social workers after obtaining state licensure. Human services is not a licensed field, and as a result, the type of clinical work that graduates can pursue may be limited. Determine what career opportunities you would like to have after graduation when deciding which major is right for you.

While the job outlook for human services graduates is very positive, certifications can help increase your future job opportunities. Certifications also allow professionals to demonstrate their expertise to potential employers. You should consider obtaining the Human Services Board-Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP) credential. This certification for human services professionals is a collaborative certification given by the National Organization for Human Services (NOHS), the Council for Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE), and the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE). Professionals who wish to obtain this certification will need to pass an exam that is administered through computer-based testing.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when researching graduate programs in human services:

  • Am I eligible for this program? You must hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field or equivalent to pursue a master’s in human services. Some programs may also require a minimum GPA and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most graduate programs in human services take two years of full-time study to complete. The programs on this list require a minimum of 30 credits and a maximum of 48 credits to graduate.

Every program has specific academic prerequisites and application deadlines. Research detailed information about the program you are applying to by visiting the school’s website or contacting the admissions department.

Consider how you will cover the cost of your degree. You may be eligible for scholarships, grants, or federal student aid. Some employers may also pay part or all of your tuition fees and academic-related costs.