Online Graduate Degrees in Human Services Administration

Get info about online programs in human services administration. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, as well as career options.

Essential Information

Online graduate programs in human services administration typically result in a graduate certificate or a Master of Science in Human Services Administration. Related options can include master's degree programs in education administration or child, youth and family services. Since these degree programs are for practicing human service professionals, many programs can be completed totally online; however, some schools do require practicums or internships. These are more common for students who have little to no administrative experience.

Students can find online master's degrees in this field at several schools, including many public and private four-year institutions. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree to be eligible for admission and, in some cases, are required to have relevant work experience. Once admitted, distance learners could finish their program in one to two years.

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

Graduate Human Services Administration Programs

Students pursuing a graduate degree in human services administration take management-related courses. These can include courses in organizational theory, cultural competency or supervision and human resource management. Since human services organizations provide care and educational resources for a variety of groups and individuals, coursework stresses diversity awareness and advocacy skills.

The three main areas of focus for most human service agencies include early childhood education, child and family services and mental health services and are often offered as concentrations within a degree program.

Early Childhood Education Concentration

The primary goal of early childhood education programming is to create healthy learning experiences for children at school and at home. Students in this concentration study topics such as the assessment of child development or the creation of effective intervention strategies for children having problems with language development. Other topics may include creating adaptations for children with disabilities or providing a safe place for learning and play in local communities.

List of Courses

Students concentrating in this area may take courses in the following topics:

  • Educational reform theory
  • Curriculum reform
  • Child advocacy
  • Theories in early literacy development

Child and Family Services Concentration

Students with a specialization in child and family services focus on developing educational resources to promote family literacy, health or self-sufficiency. Students may also study how to implement programs to protect children from domestic violence or provide educational resources for expectant mothers. Students seeking courses to supplement their graduate degree may also complete online requirements to receive a graduate certificate in family financial planning.

List of Courses

Students who pursue a child and family services concentration can take courses in:

  • Family diversity
  • Family systems
  • Family policy & legal issues

Mental Health Services Concentration

In this concentration, topics can range from stress reduction to substance abuse. Mental health services are also concerned with protecting the mental health of children experiencing domestic violence. Other studies may involve the identification of high risk behaviors or the social and emotional development of individuals and families.

List of Courses

A concentration in mental health services may include courses in:

  • Addiction studies
  • Chemical dependency
  • Case management

Online Learning

Distance learners can use resources in their school's online classroom to complete their studies at a time that's convenient for them, provided they meet assigned due dates. Online course management systems allows professors to offer lectures, supplemental material, videos and assignments. Students can also engage with their professors and peers through tools like class chat rooms, discussion boards or Web conferencing.

Job Skills & Career Options

Since human service administrators organize client services, good management skills are essential. These professionals must be knowledgeable about organizational behavior and stay aware of changes in welfare reform or other government programs. Responsibilities can also include fiscal and personnel management.

Graduates of this degree program may find employment with public organizations such as the Health Resources and Services Administration or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Due to the increasing privatization of human service organizations, graduates may also find employment with private social service providers.

Graduate degree programs in human services administration can be taken fully online and focus on management coursework along with cultural competency courses. Students will complete all coursework online through a course management system, while utilizing discussion boards and web conferencing.

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