For those with leadership capabilities and a desire to make a difference in their community through supporting and advocating for those in need, a Master’s in Human Services might be a good fit. A Master’s in Human Services degree can prepare the way for a managerial or executive level position in nonprofit organizations or other human service settings including those that serve families and children, the elderly, those with addictions, veterans and their families and many other populations. Many of the programs below offer specializations giving students the opportunity to tailor their degree to meet the needs of their career goals. Below is a list of schools that offer an online master’s degree in Human Services taking only cost into consideration. These are the cheapest online master programs in Human Services. Program tuition does not include fees — check with the institution for a complete list of costs. Our data was taken from the university websites.
#1. Wilmington University
Wilmington University is a private university based in Wilmington, DE with nearly half of it’s approximately 20,000 students enrolled in 90 online degree programs. Wilmington University offers an online Master of Science in Administration of Human Services that prepares graduates for leadership careers in non-profit organizations, in for-profit businesses with social missions, and in government agencies that serve a variety of clients. This program emphasizes developing “scholarly practitioners” who are prepared for human services careers as well as for further doctoral work in the field. Requiring 33 credits for degree completion with an overall GPA of 3.0, this program requires six Core Courses including Survey of Human Services, Legal and Ethical Issues in Human Service Administration, Research, Design, and Evaluation of Human Services, and either a Guided Practicum in Administration of Human Services or a Capstone Project in Human Services Administration depending on the student’s work experience. In addition, students choose five elective courses such as Structure and Dynamics of Relationships, Organizations, Communities, and Societies, Administering Disability Services, Managing Children and Family Services, Alcohol and Other Drugs Program Management, Administering Programs for Senior Adults, and Volunteer Management. Courses run on either a semester schedule or in 7-week blocks and the curriculum is in accordance with the guidelines of the Council for Standards in Human Service Education.
Accreditation: Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Tuition: $15,378
#2. St. Joseph’s College of New York
Located in Brooklyn, NY, St. Joseph’s College of New York is a private liberal arts school that was founded in 1916 as a Catholic women’s college but is now co-educational and independent. Offering more than 50 degrees online, St. Joseph’s Master of Science in Human Services Leadership develops graduates for executive leadership careers in human service organizations including those that focus on substance abuse treatment, child welfare, family support, veterans and their families, criminal justice and mental health treatment. St. Joseph’s offers a flexible transfer policy, including credit for past experiences and on-the-job training determined through a Prior Experiential Learning Assessment as well as the same tuition rate for online undergraduate and graduate programs. A total of 10 courses are required including Leading in Mission Driven Environments, Theory and Design of Culturally Responsive Organizations, Strategic Leadership in an Information Age, Financing the Mission of Human Services Work, and Executive Leadership and Models of Innovation. 30 credits are required for graduation.
Accreditation: St. Joseph’s College of New York is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Tuition: $15,600
#3. Lubbock Christian University
Lubbock Christian University (LCU) located in Lubbock, TX is a private Christian university affiliated with the Churches of Christ. LCU’s online Master of Science in Human Services is a 36-credit degree program that gives students the ability to “lead, start, or transform” nonprofit organizations. Students pursuing this degree will learn skills for crisis intervention, rehabilitation strategies, and conflict resolution as well as organizational leadership, human resource management, fundraising and policy development specifically geared towards careers in nonprofit organizations. In addition to the 21 credits required within the Core Courses, students choose between two specializations – Nonprofit Leadership and Family Life Educator – for an additional 15 credits. The Nonprofit Leadership specialization complements the Core Courses to further develop students’ organizational and management skills to be at the forefront of human service organizations. The Family Life Educator specialization focuses on addressing the unique needs of families who are living in complicated family environments including parents struggling to improve their parenting skills, children with learning, developmental, or eating disorders, domestic abuse or violence, and other marriage and family issues. Students graduating with this specialization are qualified to pursue the internationally recognized Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) certification through the National Council on Family Relations.
Accreditation: Lubbock Christian University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $15,768
#4. University of Illinois – Springfield
The University of Illinois – Springfield (UIS) is one of three campuses of the University of Illinois system, a public research university. UIS offers 13 online graduate degrees including a Master’s in Human Services which takes a multidisciplinary approach to prepare graduates for careers in human service organizations in many different roles and focus areas. Core courses include Critical Perspectives in Human Services, Social Policy and Human Services, Ethics and Professional Development as well as both an Internship and Capstone course. The Internship course requires at least 400 hours of supervised work in a human service organization which gives students the opportunity to integrate knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in a direct practice setting. Those with at least three years of full-time work experience may apply to substitute a different course for this requirement. In addition, there are four concentrations to choose from – Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Child and Family Studies, Gerontology, and Social Services Administration – each requiring 20 credits. The Alcohol and Substance Abuse concentration is certified by the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association making graduates eligible to take the certifying examination. The Gerontology concentration is currently blended with a limited number of visits to campus required. Each course in this degree program is 4 credits with a total of 44 credits required for degree completion.
Accreditation: University of Illinois – Springfield is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $15,939
#5. South Dakota State University
Located in Brookings, SD, South Dakota State University (SDSU) is a public research university that was founded in 1881 and is the state’s largest university with over 12,000 students enrolled each year. SDSU offers fully online degree programs through their Continuing and Distance Education Department including a Master of Science in Human Sciences – Family and Community Services concentration. This degree prepares graduates to serve their community through addressing and meeting the needs of children, families, and adults through professional human service careers. Requiring 36 credits for graduation, students may choose between completing a thesis or two additional elective courses in Family and Community Services. Core courses include Foundations and Principles of Community Service, Program Administration and Management, Family Resource Management, Crises Across the Lifespan, and Program Design, Evaluation, and Implementation. This program is also designed to meet the specific educational needs of military service members and their spouses.
Accreditation: South Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $15,993
#6. Concordia University – St. Paul
Concordia University – St. Paul is a private liberal arts university and a member of the Concordia University System which is operated by the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Concordia offers its fully online Master of Arts in Human Services – Forensic Behavioral Health as a unique degree within the field of Human Services focusing on the intersection of behavioral health, criminal justice, and the legal system. Offered in partnership with the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS), graduates of this program are prepared for professional careers within human service organizations that work to better the lives of those involved in the criminal justice system with a detailed understanding of the disorders and disabilities often associated with those involved in the criminal justice or legal systems. Courses are offered in 7-week terms and include Human Services, Family Violence, PTSD, and Trauma, Ethical and Legal Considerations in Human Services, Substance Abuse and Co-Occuring Disorders, Cultural Awareness for the Human Service Professional, and Research and Capstone. 36 credits are required for graduation.
Accreditation: Concordia University – St. Paul is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $17,100
#7. Southeastern University
Located in Lakeland, FL, Southeastern University is a private liberal arts Christian university with nearly 5,000 students enrolled. Southeastern’s fully online Master of Arts in Human Services degree prepares graduates for a variety of careers serving others in human service organizations. This degree offers five specializations giving students the opportunity to tailor it to their specific interests and career goals and to the population they would like to serve. Specializations include Administrative, Gerontology, Children and Family, Emergency Management, and Ministry. Eight Core courses include Contemporary and Historical Issues in Human Services, Legal and Ethical Issues in Human Services, Program Planning and Evaluation, Multicultural Issues in Human Services and Human Services Practicum and Field Experience. An additional four courses are required within the students chosen specialization for a total of 36 credits required for graduation.
Accreditation: Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $17,820
#8. Regent University
Regent University is a private Christian research university located in Virginia Beach, VA. With more than 10,000 students enrolled each year, Regent offers 128 undergraduate and graduate degree programs on campus and online. Regent’s fully online Master’s of Art in Human Services Counseling is a nonlicensure counseling degree that equips students with the needed skills for counseling in ministry, missions, or in any other setting where licensure is not required including hospitals, family service centers, outpatient care centers, and church counseling centers. Graduates will be prepared with knowledge and understanding of human growth and development, professionalism and ethics, and research in addition to foundational counseling skills. Courses include Foundations of Counseling, Counseling Skills and Techniques, Marriage and Relationship Counseling, Counseling Children and Adolescents, Group Counseling, and Community and Crisis Counseling. With the completion of coursework students are required to come together for a brief residency component immediately before graduation which includes the chance to meet with fellow students and professors, seminars, and workshops designed to assist the graduate in transitioning from school to the workplace. Students should factor in some extra expenses for this residency component such as travel, hotel, and some food costs. A total of 30 credits are required for degree completion.
Accreditation: Regent University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $17,850
#9. Liberty University
Based in Lynchburg, VA, Liberty University is a private Christian research university and is one of the largest regionally accredited providers of online education in the world with over 100,000 online students. Liberty offers a fully online Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling that emphasizes the study of human behavior and the development and application of helping skills. This degree requires students to choose one of 11 specializations including but not limited to Addictions and Recovery, Business, Criminal Justice, Crisis Response and Trauma, Family Advocacy, Public Policy, and the Future, Marriage and Family, and Military Resilience. Core courses include Human Growth and Development, Integration of Spirituality and Counseling, Multicultural Issues in Human Services, and Group Dynamics. An additional four courses are taken within the students chosen specialization for a total of 30 credits for degree completion.
Accreditation: Liberty University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $18,450
#10. Bellevue University
Bellevue University is a private nonprofit university that was founded in 1966 in Bellevue, Nebraska. From the very beginning Bellevue has focused on adult education and outreach now offering over 75 fully online undergraduate and graduate degrees. Bellevue’s Master of Arts in Human Services prepares graduates for careers in nonprofit and administration management in the human service sector by emphasizing interpersonal communication skills, professional ethics, management and leadership skills, and funding strategies. Core courses include Ethics for Human Services, Statistics and Quantitative Research Methods, Social and Cultural Diversity, Sustainable Funding, Nonprofit Administration, and Leadership Theories and Research. For the final three credits students have a choice between an Internship or an Applied Learning Project. The prerequisite for this program is 6 credit hours in the behavioral sciences while the total number of credits required for degree completion is 36.
Accreditation: Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $20,340