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Masters Degree in Human Services Management: Program Information

Oct 12, 2019

Students who are interested in becoming human services managers may pursue a master's degree in human services administration. Find out what you will learn in these programs, what you need to apply, and what you can do after you finish the degree.

Essential Information

Masters of Science (MS) degrees in human services administration integrate studies of social policy, social service administration, and nonprofit management. These studies prepare students train students in program development, allocation of funds, and staff supervision at a human services agency, which are critical skills for human services managers. Program specializations include alcohol and substance abuse, child and family studies, gerontology, and social services administration. Most programs take one to two years to complete, and some courses are available online.

In order to apply to a graduate program in human services management, students must hold a bachelor's degree and submit GRE scores, and they may need to meet have a minimum undergraduate GPA. Generally, no specific undergraduate major is required, although preference may be given to applicants who studied social sciences or liberal arts. A background in social work or non-profit administration is very common among applicants, and some programs may be tailored for professionals already working in the field.


Masters in Human Services Administration

A master's degree program in human services administration usually includes both didactic coursework and a hands-on internship. Basic courses in human development and research methodology may be prerequisites for advanced graduate coursework. Possible course topics include:

  • Social service administration
  • Nonprofit management
  • Fundraising
  • Legal issues
  • Social policy
  • Staff development

Popular Career Options

Graduates of master's degree programs in human services administration generally pursue careers in the nonprofit sector at human service agencies. Specific roles may include:

  • Program director
  • Development director
  • Executive director
  • Grant writer

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected job growth of 13%, faster than the average for all occupations, for social and community service managers from 2018-2028. This is the broader category to which program directors, developmental directors, executive directors and other human services administrators belong. As of May 2018, the BLS reported that social and community service managers made a median annual salary of $65,320.

Continuing Education

Doctoral degrees in human service management are not available; however, human service administrators generally oversee many of the business aspects of an organization. As a result, some professionals may choose to pursue an additional master's degree, such as a Master of Business Administration, to further develop their business skills.

A master's degree in human services administration provides students with a comprehensive knowledge of the field and the advanced leadership skills they need for a wide range of careers in the industry. Alternatively, they can pursue further education to supplement their expertise.

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