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Master’s Degree Programs in Human Services Management Overview

Majors Overview November 20, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in human services management and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Human Services Management

A human services manager’s duties include developing programs, allocating funds and supervising staff at a human services agency. Students usually complete a Master of Science (M.S.) in Human Services Administration program within 1-2 years of study including fieldwork. Major areas of study include social service administration, social policy, and nonprofit management.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a baccalaureate degree and meet a grade point average standard. Students do not have to complete any specific prerequisite coursework; however, schools prefer individuals in the liberal arts or social sciences. Some courses may be for those currently employed in the field. Applicants commonly boast a background in non-profit administration or social work. Other graduate coursework may have to find completion along with prerequisite courses in research methodology and human development. Incoming students are also commonly required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.


Program coursework usually covers an internship as well as didactic courses. Schools commonly structure the curriculum to meet the requirements of working professionals. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Legal issues
•Nonprofit Management
•Social service administration
•Staff supervision and development
•Social Policy

Career Choices

Graduates may seek careers in a human service agency’s nonprofit sector. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Development Director
•Grant writer
•Program Director
•Executive Director

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, social and community service managers – categorized along with developmental directors, program directors, executive directors and other human services administrators – can expect a faster than the average 21% job growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, social and community service managers brought in an average annual wage of $59,970 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

No school offers doctoral degrees in human service management; however, many organization’s business aspects are overseen by human service administrators. An additional master’s degree, in the form of a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), may be pursued by graduates of the Master of Science (M.S.) in Human Services Administration. Graduates use the MBA to hone their business skills.

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