The importance of finding a great accelerated online Master’s in Human Services cannot be overstated; this is a degree that is perfectly built for professionals who are interested in becoming part of the field that creates and maintains the human services prevalent in American society. Examples of these services include social work, counseling, rehabilitation centers, hospice care, and more. And with the theories and concepts around human services evolving every few years, it is important that enough graduate-level professionals are in the field.

The 10 Most Affordable Online Human Services Master’s programs are:

  1. California State University, Northridge
  2. CUNY School of Professional Studies
  3. Minot State University
  4. Purdue University Global
  5. Arizona State University
  6. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
  7. Oklahoma State University – Tulsa
  8. Kansas State University
  9. University of Nebraska Lincoln
  10. University of Arizona

Full profiles of these and the whole Top 25 below! 

That’s why online education is so important. Professionals in the field often begin their careers right after undergraduate school, providing human services agencies with the personnel and talent that is desperately needed. In order to make the jump to graduate school, most professionals need online degrees that can be completed mostly or wholly online in two years and offer them a variety of online features, such as online libraries, full-time or part-time options, and more.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Accelerated Human Services Master’s Online

The editors at Fast Online Master’s know students have a lot of concerns about their programs, especially how much it will cost, and how soon they can get into the workforce. Only accredited, reputable institutions are ranked. These are presented in order of current tuition rate, using data from IPEDS. 

1. California State University, Northridge

California State University, Northridge offers an MS in Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services (ATHS) that ranks among the country’s finest Masters of Human Services online degree programs, according to onlinemastersdegreeprograms.com CSUN’s affordable online Masters in Human Services degree program explores the many ways professionals can help those with disabilities to live independently. This human services masters online program requires a candidate to finish at least thirty credit units at the master’s level, with at least 21 credits completed at California State University Northridge, with acceleration options.

The Northridge campus of California State University (Cal State Northridge) is a public university in the greater LA area that was established in the 1950s. Founded as San Fernando Valley State College, CSUN now operates as a member of the state’s university system with more than 38,650 students each year. 

Highlight: CSUN ranks as the 3rd largest of all CSU campuses.

Degree: MS in Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services

2. CUNY School of Professional Studies

CUNY’s School of Professional Studies offers an accelerated MS in Disability Services in Higher Education, this is not only New York’s leading Masters of Human Services online degree program, but it is also the first of its kind in the nation. This affordable online Masters in Human Services degree program was developed with ADA experts as the law applied to educators and colleges, etc. Graduates of CUNY’s human services masters online complete 30 graduate semester units in classes like neurodiverse students and legal aspects of disability service, plus a capstone, among others. 

Founded as an adult education arm of the CUNY system in 2003, the School of Professional Studies is located on the westside of midtown Manhattan. The school’s campus in NYC and online platform serves more than 4,150 students. 

Highlight: The School of Professional Studies is registered with the NY State Department of Education.

Degree: MS in Disability Services in Higher Education

3. Minot State University

Minot State University has offered a well-respected, affordable human services masters online degree in Disability Human Services for the past thirty years. This online Masters in Human Services degree program from Minot State University requires students to finish 31 to 34 graduate semester hours to meet MSU’s graduation criteria. MSU’s classes for this Masters of Human Services online degree program include strategic leadership, introduction severe disabilities, law & policy in disability services, research design, and methodology, plus a practicum, among others.

Established more than 100 years ago (1913) as a state teacher’s normal school, Minot State University now operates as a space grant institution of higher education with a student enrollment near nears 3,000 attending classes online or on the university’s rural campus. 

Highlight: Minot State University is organized into three colleges/schools offering programs and degrees in business, education, health sciences, and arts/sciences.

Degree: MS in Disability Human Services

4. Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global offers an MS in Human Services that is among the leading human services masters online degrees available online. Purdue University Global’s online Masters in Human Services degree program requires a minimum of 45 graduate credit units delivered in accelerated ten-week classes. This Masters of Human Services online degree program from Purdue offers two academic concentrations – family and community services and organizational and social services. Purdue Global’s affordable graduate degree in human services program is a member of CSHSE.

Purdue University Global was developed as a public online school within the Purdue University system in 2018. The university began after the parent-school purchased Kaplan University. 

Highlight: More than 38,100 students attend classes offered online from Purdue University Global.

Degree: MS in Human Services

5. Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers an affordable MS in Family and Human Development (FHD) that is among the most innovative and leading human services masters online degrees in Arizona. Arizona State University’s accelerated online Masters in Human Services degree program requires candidates to complete ten classes or thirty credit units, delivered in 7.5 week classes. In addition to a capstone project, degree candidates enrolled in ASU’s Masters of Human Services online degree program complete classes in social statistics, diversity, and society, and leadership and social justice, to name a few.

Established in the 1880s before Arizona reached statehood, Arizona State University is now a multiple-campus comprehensive university with a student enrollment that exceeds 100,000 learners on-campus and online. 

Highlight: Arizona State University’s academic offerings include more than 350 programs from Arizona State University’s seventeen colleges/schools.

Degree: MS in Family and Human Development

6. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s College of Education & Human Services offers an accelerated Master of Science degree program (MS) in Human Services Leadership that is ranked as one of the leading human services masters online degree programs in Wisconsin and surrounding states. This affordable online Masters in Human Services degree program offers start dates in the fall, winter, and summer. The core coursework for the University of Wisconsin’s Masters of Human Services online degree program includes foundations of human services management, transcultural leadership, and social marketing in human services, among others.

The Oshkosh campus with the University of Wisconsin (UWO) system began as a school for teacher’s training in the 1870s. One hundred fifty years later, the Oshkosh campus and online platform now serve more than 16,350 students each year. 

Highlight: The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh holds the distinction of being the 2nd largest renewable energy provider in the state.

Degree: MS in Human Services Leadership

7. Oklahoma State University – Tulsa

Oklahoma State University Tulsa offers an affordable MS in Applied Human Services (AHS) that is one of the finest human services masters online degree programs in American’s heartland. In addition, Oklahoma State University’s online Masters in Human Services degree program is offered at an accelerated pace and can be complete in as few as 18 months. Available concentrations for OSU’s Masters of Human Services online degree program include gerontology, nonprofit management, infant mental health, or development disabilities.

Oklahoma State University – Tulsa (OSUT) was founded in 1999 after holding the title of the University Center at Tulsa previously. The university in Tulsa works alongside the local community college and main campus in Stillwater to provide freshman/sophomore level coursework. 

Highlight: Oklahoma State University – Tulsa’s campus is located in the historic Tulsa neighborhood known as Greenwood.

Degree: MS in Applied Human Services

8. Kansas State University

Kansas State University offers a Family and Community human services master’s online degree program that can be completed 100% online, with acceleration options. Kansas State University’s Masters of Human Services online degree program requires students to finish a minimum of 36 graduate semester hours. This affordable online Masters in Human Services degree program is a member of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, a national consortium of higher learning institutions. Sample curriculum includes lifespan development, interpersonal relationships, and resilience in families, plus a capstone and options practicum, among others.

Kansas State University is a land-grant institution of higher education that was established as a public school in the 1860s. KSU operates as a space-grant school, with more than 20,500 students studying online and on the campus in Manhattan, Kansas. 

Highlight: Kansas State University holds the distinction of being the first higher learning institution in the state.

Degree: Master of Family and Community Services

9. University of Nebraska Lincoln

The University of Nebraska Lincoln offers a leading, affordable human services masters online degree program with its Master of Science degree program (MS) in Child, Youth & Family Studies with an academic emphasis in Human and Family Services Administration (HFSA). This Masters of Human Services online degree program requires students to finish a minimum of 36 graduate semester hours, offered at an accelerated pace. This online Masters in Human Services degree program integrates administration, professional issues, family functioning, and program design/evaluation.

The University of Nebraska’s campus in Lincoln (Nebraska) was developed as the state’s land-grant school under the Morrill Land Grant Act. The Lincoln campus within the University of Nebraska operates as the oldest university and flagship campus of Nebraska, with nearly 26,000 students. 

Highlight: The Lincoln campus of the University was founded only two years after Nebraska became a state.

Degree: MS in Human and Family Services Administration

10. University of Arizona

The University of Arizona Global offers an affordable MA in Human Services (HS) that is ranked among the best human services masters online degree programs, according to onlinemastersdegreeprograms.com. This accelerated online Masters in Human Services degree program is delivered in six-week format classes, one at a time. This Masters of Human Services online degree program offers an academic emphasis in standard human services. Core classes cover the areas of research, psychology, human services, and organizational leadership.

The University of Arizona is the state’s land-grant school established under the Morrill Land Act in the mid-1880s. Additionally, the University of Arizona (UA) is a space-grant and research school that serves as Arizona’s flagship campus. Nearly 46,000 students attend classes online and on-campus. 

Highlight: The University of Arizona is recognized to be the first institution of higher education in Arizona’s territory.

Degree: MA in Human Services

11. Regent University

Regent University offers an MA in Human Services with an academic emphasis in Human Service Counseling that is one of Virginia’s most affordable and innovative human services masters online degree programs. Regent University’s online Masters in Human Services degree program requires 30 graduate semester units, all available online. Featured core classes for this Masters of Human Services online degree program include behavioral science foundations, professional ethics, multicultural awareness, and individual diversity, plus a capstone and field experience.

Regent University operates as an interdenominational evangelical higher learning institution that was developed by Pat Robertson in the 1970s. The university’s suburban campus and distance-learning platform are home to more than 10,100 undergraduate and postgraduate students. 

Highlight: Regent University’s first class was held in leased space in Chesapeake for 77 students.

Degree: MA in Human Services

12. University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma offers an MA in Human and Health Services Administration (HHSA) that is among Oklahoma’s most affordable human services masters online degree programs. Degree candidates for the University of Oklahoma’s online Masters in Human Services degree program is a 33 credit program (18 credits for core/foundational classes) that is complete in 2 years, on average. The University of Oklahoma’s Masters of Human Services online degree program allows for the transfer of graduate credit units if earned less than five years previously.

The University of Oklahoma operates as the state’s flagship campus that was established in 1890, nearly two decades before the Oklahoma and Indian Territories became Oklahoma. The University of Oklahoma’s suburban campus covers more than 3,000 acres and serves approximately 28,550 students. 

Highlight: The University of Oklahoma’s women’s softball team, playing as the Sooners, has won multiple national championships.

Degree: MA in Human and Health Services Administration

13. Lenoir-Rhyne University

Lenoir-Rhyne University offers an MA in Human Services that ranks among Oklahoma’s most affordable, accelerated human services masters online degree programs. Students enrolled in Lenoir-Rhyne University’s online Masters in Human Services degree program can be completed at the student’s pace – full or part-time. Fundamental core classes for this Masters of Human Services online degree program include theoretical foundations and history of human service, delivery systems, interventions & direct delivery human services, and human systems. This degree offers three professional tracks – addictions counseling, general or career development.

Lenoir-Rhyne University is a private evangelical Lutheran institution of higher education that was founded in the 1890s. The university’s campus in Hickory and online platform serves approximately 2,550 undergraduate and postgraduate students each year. 

Highlight: Lenoir-Rhyne University maintains multiple campuses, with satellite facilities in Asheville and another in Columbia, South Carolina.

Degree: MA in Human Services

14. Post University

Post University offers an MS in Counseling and Human Services (HCS) that can be completed entirely online. Post University’s affordable, accelerated human services masters online degree program offers two academic concentrations in alcohol and drug counseling or clinical mental health counseling. This online Masters in Human Services degree program from Post University prepares students for careers in mental health community services or private practice, to name a few. This Masters of Human Services online degree program’s required classes include counseling & human service policy, human development, human services ethics, and an internship and capstone.

Post University was developed as a shorthand school in 1890. It evolved to a business school and now operates as a for-profit school with multiple facilities in Waterbury, Danbury, Meriden, and Wallingford that serve 7,250 students. 

Highlight: The school is home to the ‘Post Tree,’ an elm with a trunk circumference that exceeds 100 inches.

Degree: MS in Counseling and Human Services

15. Concordia University St Paul

Concordia University St Paul offers an MA in Human Services with an academic emphasis in Forensic Behavioral Health (FBH), which is one of Minnesota’s most affordable human services masters online degree programs. This Masters of Human Services online degree program from CSP offers an evidence-based, comprehensive educational approach to a human services degree. Students enrolled in Concordia University’s online Masters in Human Services degree program can complete this 36 credit hour degree in about 2 years, on average.

Concordia University St Paul is a member campus of the larger Concordia system that was developed in the 1890s. Concordia University St Paul’s urban campus online platform serves approximately 5,500 students each year. 

Highlight: Concordia University St Paul oversees the nursing program in Portland, Oregon.

Degree: MA in Human Services – Forensic Behavioral Health

16. Warner Pacific University

Warner Pacific University offers an MA in Human Services (MAHS) that is one of the most affordable human services masters online degree programs in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, this accelerated Masters of Human Services online degree program from WPU requires students to complete thirteen classes. Warner Pacific University’s online Masters in Human Services degree program is NCFR accredited and prepares students for CFLE credentials.

Established by the Church of God in 1937 as a bible college, Warner Pacific University now serves more than 1,100 students from its urban campus in Portland and its online platform. 

Highlight: Warner Pacific University’s campus is located on a slope of nearby Mount Tabor, next to a 200 acre dog park.

Degree: MA in Human Services

17. Concordia University Chicago

Concordia University Chicago offers one of Chicago’s most affordable human services masters online degree programs Master of Arts degree program (MA) in Human Services degree program. Students enrolled in Concordia University Chicago’s Masters of Human Services online degree program requires 33 master’s graduate units, which can be completed in two years. Featured classes for this online Masters in Human Services degree program include an introduction to the human service profession, counseling & human development, human service systems, information, planning, and evaluation in human service, and intervention and direct services, to name a few.

Concordia University Chicago (CUC) was originally established in the 1860s as a parochial teacher’s educational institute. CUC is a member school of the Concordia system and is associated with the Lutheran Church. 

Highlight: More than 6,150 postgraduate and undergraduate students attend classes online on the River Forest Campus.

Degree: MA in Human Services

18. Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University offers an MS in Human Services Administration, which is one the Sunshine State’s most affordable Masters of Human Services online degree programs. This 36-credit accelerated human services masters online degree program is delivered in eight-week classes. Core requirements for Saint Leo’s online Masters in Human Services degree program include legal/ethical issues in human services, advocacy and policy analyses, and marketing human service organizations, plus a graduate project, to name a few.

Saint Leo University was founded in the 1880s by the Order of Saint Benedict in Saint Leo, a suburb of Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg. Saint Leo University’s rural campus and online platform are home to more than 11,500 students. 

Highlight: Saint Leo University is ranked as one of the first providers of distance learning, beginning in the early 1970s with military members.

Degree: MS in Human Services Administration

19. Houston Baptist University

Houston Baptist University offers an MA in Human Services Counseling that ranks among Houston’s most affordable human services masters online degree programs. Degree candidates enrolled in this online Masters in Human Services degree program from Houston Baptist University offers two academic concentrations for its MA degree – these include marriage and family or professional life coaching. Houston Baptist University’s Masters of Human Services online degree program includes foundational classes in theories/techniques in counseling, human growth and development, and crisis response and trauma care, to name a few.

Houston Baptist University is a Baptist institution of higher learning that was founded in 1960. The school’s urban campus covers more than 150 acres and serves nearly 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. 

Highlight: Houston Baptist University’s campus is home to a trio of museums – American Architecture, South History, and the Dunham Bible Museum.

Degree: MA in Human Services Counseling

20. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota offers one of Minnesota’s most innovative and affordable Master of Arts degree programs (MA) in Health and Human Services Administration human services masters online degree programs. SMUM’s online Masters in Human Services degree program requires the completion of 36 master’s level credit units over two years. Feature core classes for this Masters of Human Services online degree program cover the topics of informatics, financial practices, advanced research, health policy & ethics, plus a capstone project, to name a few.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (Saint Mary’s) is a Catholic, private higher learning institution that was developed more than a century ago, in 1912. The university’s multiple campuses are home to nearly 6,000 students attending classes on-campus and online. 

Highlight: Notable alumni include politicians, professional athletes, and authors.

Degree: MA in Health and Human Services Administration

21. Bryan College

Bryan College offers one of the most affordable human services master’s online degree programs in Tennessee with its Master of Arts degree program (MA) in Human Services. This accelerated online Masters in Human Services degree program requires 30 semester hours delivered in eight-week accelerated format classes. The core curriculum for this Masters of Human Services online degree program includes multicultural awareness, group dynamics, family and community health, and child development, plus a practicum, among others. Students graduating from Bryan College’s Master of Arts degree program will find rewarding work as a nonprofit director, caseworker supervisor, human services counselor, or non-licensed counselor, among others.

Bryan College was developed in 1930 as the result of the Scopes Trial and named to honor William Jennings Bryan. The college’s small-town campus serves approximately 1,000 traditional and non-traditional students. 

Highlight: Bryan College offers nearly 100 program and degree options at the associate, bachelor, and master’s degree levels.

Degree: MA in Human Services

22. Liberty University

Liberty University offers an accelerated MA in Human Services Counseling that is among the most affordable human services masters online degree programs in Virginia. This 30-credit online Masters in Human Services degree program allows for the transfer of 15 graduate credits, if eligible. Liberty’s Masters of Human Services online degree program offers a variety of specializations from addiction to criminal justice to business & executive leadership and health & wellness, among others.

Liberty University was founded as a private Baptist school in the early 1970s. The university has one of the largest Christian school enrollments, with more than 95,000 students attending classes online and on the Lynchburg campus. Liberty University requires all students to commit to the university’s honor code, entitled ‘The Liberty Way.’ 

Highlight: Liberty University’s first distance learning programs included the use of VHS mailed to students.

Degree: MA in Human Services Counseling

23. NSU Florida (Nova Southeastern)

NSU Florida offers a Master of Human Services (MHS) with an academic specialization in Child Protection that is one of the best accelerated human services masters online degree programs in Florida. Students enrolled in this Masters of Human Services online degree program are eligible for the ABA – the Applied Behavior Analysis Fellowship. Nova Southeastern’s online Masters in Human Services degree program includes coursework that covers child protective laws, family diversity & conflict resolution, victimology, family dynamics, and foundations in child development, among others.

NSU Florida (Nova) was founded as a technological school in the 1960s. It now operates as a private research institution of higher education and sea-grant school. The university’s suburban facilities serve approximately 20,450 students. 

Highlight: NSU was formed when the Nova University of Advanced Technology merged with the Southeastern University of Health Science.

Degree: Master of Human Services – Child Protection

24. Walden University

Walden University offers an affordable MS in Human Services that is also ranked among the best human services masters online degree programs in Minnesota and beyond. Specializations available with this Masters of Human Services online degree program include community and social services, criminal justice, aging, mental health, and family studies & intervention, among others. Graduates of Walden University’s online Masters in Human Services degree program find rewarding careers as a case coordinator, program director, or health services manager, among others.

Established as a for-profit higher learning institute in 1970 by two teachers from New York State in Naples, Florida. Walden University moved to its current location in the 1970s and now serves nearly 50,000 students, mostly through the university’s distance-learning platform. 

Highlight: The Higher Learning Commission regionally accredits Walden University.

Degree: MS in Human Services

25. Springfield College

Springfield College offers one of the most affordable human services masters online degree programs in New England with its Master of Science degree program (MS) in Human Services. In addition, Springfield College’s Masters of Human Services online degree program is also provided to students at an accelerated pace and thus, be completed in as few as 16 months if studying on a full-time review. Applicants to Springfield College’s online Masters in Human Services degree program may transfer up to six credits if the credits meet the college’s eligibility requirements.

Springfield College was founded as a private school in the mid-1880s in western Massachusetts. Springfield College now operates as a multiple campus higher learning institution with a student enrollment that exceeds 3,550 students. 

Highlight: Springfield College has awarded honorary degrees to JFK, Martin Luther King Jr, and Elizabeth Warren, among others

Degree: MS in Human Services

Why Should I Get My Human Services Master’s Online?

Getting an online master’s degree in human services offers flexibility and expanded schooling options that enable you to maintain your current career, or start your career while working towards a post graduate degree. You can take classes at a pace that suits your time and budget and add valuable information to your existing knowledge in human services. Another benefit to a human services master’s degree online program is one of being able to find a concentration that fits your interests and career goals. Last, but not least, attending an online master’s degree in human services program enables you to attend a school of your choice even though it’s in a different state and nowhere close to your home.

Some people return to school to earn a post-graduate degree after they’ve started their career while others continue on to earn their master’s after graduating for their bachelor’s degree in human services. Earning a human services master’s degree online works well for people in both of these situations because it’s easier to attend school online than it is to reach a physical campus after work. Programs for master’s degree in human services online are designed to accommodate every type of schedule with classes available for viewing 24/7 in most cases. The courses available online are synchronous with the classes offered on-campus, and accreditation of human services online master’s degree programs ensures that you get a quality education.  

Getting your human services master’s online helps you add in an education to your existing schedule without much difficulty. The time you would have spent traveling to a campus after work, then going home is eliminated and frees up time for you to take care of your schoolwork, daily needs, and maintain employment. It’s true that you have to be something of a self-starter when attending an online master’s degree program and have the discipline to keep up with coursework and deadlines. However, you also have the option to take as few or as many classes as you like each semester and take on a course load that’s right for you.  

Is a Master’s in Human Services Worth It?

Yes, a master’s in human services is worth it, especially if you intend to focus your career working with underserved and vulnerable populations. Employment in this area is expected to grow as more people fall below the poverty line and the Baby Boomer generation ages. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand to employ people with a human services degree will grow by 12% between 2020 and 2030. Earning a master’s in human services now can position you for leadership roles where you can guide programs and use your knowledge and experience to find ways to help people in need. 

The human services degree is a multidisciplinary degree program that teaches students to work in the social services field at an administrative level, but can also enable them to work with individuals and groups in need of help. Someone who has an aptitude for management, but also wants to help people when they’re in need, can find the field of human services one that satisfies both of these skills and desires. Earning a human services master’s degree online makes it easier for you to find employment in the administrative side of the social services. 

How Do I Choose an Online Human Services Master’s?

Choosing an online human services master’s degree program comes down to a combination of personal criteria, the quality of education provided by the program, and employment prospects upon graduation. Personal criteria come in the form of a master’s in human services program that has a concentration that meets your needs and goals. Identify your expectations from a human services master’s degree program, then look for schools that offer a curriculum that meets those expectations or comes close. For example: You want to work in the organizational and social services sector since that role is a leadership role that requires a combination of management skills, the ability to influence policy, find funding, and design programs that address the needs of a given community. You should seek an online school that offers a human services master’s degree concentration with classes that help you learn and use these skills.

The Council for Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE) is the major accrediting body for human services degree programs. CSHSE also provides human services accreditation for online programs. You can trust that a program in a master’s in human services online accredited by CSHSE will deliver a quality education that meets the expectations of employers, licensing bodies, and the public at large. Always look for human services accreditation for master’s degree programs at the school of your choice in order to guarantee that your efforts to earn an advanced degree won’t go to waste. 

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