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Best Online Master's Degrees in Human Services

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 2/26/2020
2020 Most Affordable Human Services Masters Degrees 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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RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 University of North Texas $12,146 $69,500
# 2 #2 California State University - Northridge $12,705 $68,800
# 3 #3 Nova Southeastern University $11,700 $57,100
# 4 #4 Liberty University $5,500 $54,300
# 5 #5 Pacific Oaks College $16,725 $55,400
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges Offering Human Services Degrees - Ranking Details

#1 University of North Texas

  • Annual Tuition: $12,146
  • Median Salary: $69,500
  • Locations: Denton (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Master of Science in Health Services Administration degree at the University of North Texas helps healthcare professionals expand their skills. The curriculum follows the guidelines set by the National Center for Healthcare Leadership’s 26 leadership competencies. Topics in this online master’s in human services program include management and leadership strategy, ethics and legal issues in healthcare, information and technology, marketing, and finance. Students can choose from electives in data analytics, informatics, rehabilitation, and gerontology to narrow in on their specific career goals and interests.

#2 California State University - Northridge

  • Annual Tuition: $12,705
  • Median Salary: $68,800
  • Locations: Northridge (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The Master of Science in Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services degree at California State Northridge is designed for those who want to help people with disabilities lead independent lives with the support of assistive technology. Students in the program learn about the latest issues, practices, and techniques related to assistive technology devices, including design, function, user needs, legal issues, and protocol. Students in this online program are divided into cohorts to facilitate classmate interaction and encourage on-time completion.

#3 Nova Southeastern University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,700
  • Median Salary: $57,100
  • Locations: Fort Lauderdale (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Master of Human Services in Child Protection degree at Nova Southeastern University provides the skills and education needed for careers in child protective services and the foster care system. Educators, medical professionals, and counselors can also use this online master’s in human services program to expand their practices. The program offers a variety of concentrations for students to tailor their studies to align with their career goals. Options include psychological foundations in child advocacy, child protection and juvenile justice, conflict and crisis management for the child protective caseworker, legal prospective of the child protective services, advocating for the child as a behavior analyst, advocating for the special needs child’s education, family systems and support, administration for child protective services, public health and child protection, and emergency preparedness for vulnerable populations.

#4 Liberty University

  • Annual Tuition: $5,500
  • Median Salary: $54,300
  • Locations: Lynchburg (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling program at Liberty University offers the utmost in flexibility for students seeking careers in social and human services. The program offers a number of concentrations, including addictions and recovery, business, Christian ministry counseling, criminal justice, crisis response and trauma, executive leadership, health and wellness, life coaching, marriage and family, military resilience, family advocacy public policy, marriage and family studies, and parenting and child development. Courses are delivered in eight-week sessions. There are eight start date options, allowing students to choose a convenient time to begin their program.

#5 Pacific Oaks College

  • Annual Tuition: $16,725
  • Median Salary: $55,400
  • Locations: Pasadena (CA) (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The Master of Arts in Human Development: leadership in education and human services degree at Pacific Oaks College is designed for supervisors and program directors who wish to advance their skills as mentors and leaders in the field of human and social services. This online master’s in human services program focuses on topics such as collaboration, leadership, communication, and team dynamics. Field experience is required for this 30-credit program. The degree can be earned in two years of full-time study or four years of part-time study.

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.


This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.

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