2020 Best Online Master's Degrees in Human Services

By OnlineU Staff | Updated February 26, 2020
2020 Best Online Master's in Human Services Badge

Students seeking an online master's program in human services will find that these 5 colleges offer the best value based on affordability and alumni salaries. The University of North Texas is ranked #1, offering an Accelerated Master of Science in Health Service Administration: Rehabilitation Services for $12,146 per year. Graduates of the school reported a median salary of $69,500. In the #2 spot, California State University-Northridge offers a Master of Science in Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services for only $12,705 per year, making it an affordable choice for distance learners who are looking for a high quality and affordable education.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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2020 Online Colleges Offering Human Services Degrees - Ranking Details

Overview of an Online Master's Degree in Human Services

Master's degrees in human services prepare gradautes to work in or administrate human services organizations, such as social services agencies.

Program Requirements

Online master's degrees in human services take about two years to complete and require 12 to 15 courses. Applicants need a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college and demonstrated interest in the helping professions. Some schools have minimum GPA requirements and require letters of recommendation in addition to transcripts from applicants' undergraduate degree programs.


Graduate-level human services courses cover the structure of the human services sector, skills for working directly with clients, and business principles for running a human services organization. Classes focus on human services policy, the structure of the social services industry, and development issues faced throughout the lifespan. Other courses cover topics such as the skills for interviewing clients, providing them with useful information, and directing them to other useful services. The administrative core of the degree is primarily focused on program evaluation, legal issues in human services, and organizational behavior.

Many master’s programs in human services allow students to select a specialization in an area like gerontology, public health, or human services management. Most programs require an internship or supervised work experience in a human services setting.

Graduates of these online programs may go on to work in administrative roles in community outreach, social services, healthcare, and other helping organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Those new to the field can use the skills of the program to enter positions as lay counselors, nonclinical social workers, and other roles that involve direct contact with clients.


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