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Human Services Administration Ph.D. Degree Program Info

Students who are passionate about public service may be interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in human services administration. Find out about prerequisites for this program, research and curriculum options, and possible future careers.

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Essential Information

Ph.D. programs in Human Services Administration train students in the development and implementation of public service policies. Students can expect to study the theoretical principles of management and organizational behavior. Specialization options include clinical social work, criminal justice, crisis intervention, family studies, and public health. Prior to graduation, students must submit a research-based dissertation that further explores a particular aspect of the human services field, such as ethical practices or policy execution in human service administration.

In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in a relevant field, such as social work, human services, organizational management, business administration, counseling, clinical social work, or social policy analysis. They must also demonstrate mastery of a foreign language and submit writing samples and letters of recommendation.


Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Child Care Management
  • Child Care Services
  • Child Development
  • Community Organization and Advocacy
  • Family and Community Services
  • Family Systems
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Social Work
  • Youth Services

Ph.D. in Human Services Administration

While these programs primarily emphasize independent research, students must still take some core seminars. These include:

  • Social development
  • Professional practice
  • Theories of human development
  • Organizational and societal systems
  • Models of human service administration
  • Intervention strategies in human services

Popular Career Options

Those who graduate with a doctorate in human services administration usually go on to work in research or academia. However, other roles in the field are available. These include:

  • Community support specialist
  • Policy administrator
  • Social worker
  • Human service assistant
  • Childcare worker
  • Counselor
  • Caseworker
  • Community program director

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Occupation Projected Job Growth, 2014-2024 Average Annual Salary (May 2015)
Social and human service assistants 11% $33,190
Child, family, and school social workers 12% (all social workers) $57,970
Childcare workers 5% $22,310
School and career counselors 8% $56,490
Social and community service managers 10% $69,430

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Note: the average projected job growth for all occupations is 7%.

A Ph.D. in Human Services Administration is an option to consider for students who are looking to conduct advanced research related to management, behavior, and community service.

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