Master of Science in Human Services

Campus Locations Online
Also available 100% Online Yes
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 45
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, Summer Quarter
Meets International Visa Requirements No


Professionals with graduate degrees in human services are needed to address a wide range of societal issues—whether by providing direct services, supervising personnel, or administering programs and policies. Often responsible for working with vulnerable populations, human service professionals must be adept at conducting assessments, developing service plans and policies, leading interdisciplinary teams, and managing care for at-risk clients.

To address this important need, the College of Professional Studies offers the online Master of Science in Human Services. In addition to a solid core curriculum, the program offers several electives, as well as concentrations in leadership, organizational communication, and global studies—enabling you to focus your graduate studies in the area that best matches your interests and career objectives. Reflecting Northeastern’s philosophy of practice-oriented education, this human services master’s degree includes work-based applications and a capstone service-learning project, allowing you to deepen your knowledge within your chosen specialty. Upon completing this human services graduate degree, you will emerge with the knowledge and skills you need to pursue a leadership role in the fulfilling field of human services.

Program Objectives

  • Examine the development of human service policies and organizations
  • Explore organizational behavior and leadership issues in human service organizations
  • Acquire methods for facilitating community involvement, constructively engaging diverse groups of stakeholders in strategic partnerships, and building communities
  • Review human service social policy issues, including the privatization of welfare, trends in mental health care, the impact of immigration, and the ongoing debate over education and reproductive rights
  • Develop a conceptual framework for developing effective employee assistance programs

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, human services is one of the fastest growing fields in the country. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the field of human services is expected to add about 114,000 new jobs in the coming decade.

Those with advanced degrees are well equipped to assume leadership roles within organizations that work with a variety of vulnerable populations—the elderly, children, persons with disabilities, persons with mental illness, domestic violence victims, and persons with substance abuse issues. Given the nature of the work performed, it’s no surprise that human service professionals have high job satisfaction rates.

Interested in Learning More?

Watch the Human Services Webinar.



Please note: Students who started this program prior to Fall 2017 should follow the curriculum reflected on their DegreeWorks audits via the self-service tab of their myNEU portal.  Please consult your advisor with any questions.

Required Courses (21 q.h.)

Complete all of the following courses:

HSV 6100  Theory and Practice of Human Services (required as the first course) 3 q.h.
HSV 6110 Human Service Management and Development 3 q.h
HSV 6120 Social Inequality, Social Change, and Community Building 3 q.h
HSV 6630 Research and Evaluation in Human Services 3 q.h
HSV 6640 Policy Issues in Human Services 3 q.h
HSV 6160 Introduction to Employee Assistance Programs 3 q.h
HSV 6980  Human Services Capstone Project (recommended as the last course) 3 q.h

Elective Courses (9 q.h.)

Choose three of the following courses:

NPM 6120 Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations 3 q.h.
NPM 6130 Fundraising and Development for Nonprofit Organizations 3 q.h.
NPM 6140 Grant and Report Writing 3 q.h.
NPM 6150 Human Resources Management in Nonprofit Organizations 3 q.h.
CMN 6015 Introduction to the Digital Era: The Power of Social Media 3 q.h.
CMN 6080 Intercultural Communication 3 q.h.
INT 6943 Integrative Experiential Learning 3 q.h.

Concentrations (15-16 q.h.)

Choose one of the following concentrations:

Global Studies Concentration 

GST 6100 Globalization and Global Political and Economic Systems 4 q.h.
GST 6101 Global Literacy, Culture, and Community 4 q.h.
GST 6320 Peace and Conflict 4 q.h.

Choose one of the following courses:

GST 6501 Regional Studies: East Asia 4 q.h.
GST 6502 Regional Studies: Middle East 4 q.h.
GST 6503 Regional Studies: Sub-Saharan Africa 4 q.h.
GST 6504 Regional Studies: Europe  4 q.h. 
GST 6505 Regional Studies: Southwest and Central Asia  4 q.h. 
GST 6506  Regional Studies: Latin America  4 q.h. 

Leadership Concentration

LDR 6100 Developing Your Leadership Capability (prerequisite) 3 q.h.
LDR 6110 Leading Teams 3 q.h.
LDR 6120 Organizational Leadership 3 q.h.
LDR 6150 Transforming Organizations  3 q.h. 

Choose one of the following courses:

LDR 6135 Ethical Leadership 3 q.h.
LDR 6140
Strategic Leadership 3 q.h.

Organizational Communication Concentration

CMN 6000/
INT 6000
Introduction to Organizational Communication/Writing Lab 3/1 q.h.
CMN 6020 Ethical Issues in Organizational Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6050 Crisis Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6090 Organizational Culture, Climate, and Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6110 Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Conflict: Meeting Management 3 q.h.

Required minimum credit hours: between 45-46 q.h. depending on the selected concentration

Admissions Requirements

Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
  • Professional resume: Current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
  • Two letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
  • Official undergraduate degree documentation
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines
  • Website Transcript Copy: To submit and complete your application you are able to upload your unofficial transcript directly to your online application. It can be uploaded in PDF format directly to the online application. Please ensure that the scanned documents are readable and include all courses, grades, (i.e. marks, scores, etc.) and credits completed to date. The scanned documents should also include information pertaining to the institution's grading scale. If accepted, you will additionally need to provide your official transcript. In order for a transcript to be "official," it must be in a sealed envelope from the transferring college or university.

For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.

All requirements must be received prior to review.


Estimated total tuition for this program is $30,195.00.

Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.

Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.

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Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2017-18 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.

*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.

Student Profile

Who Will Your Classmates Be?

This program is well suited for individuals who wish to advance their career in the human services field. Incoming students often have prior experience in social work, healthcare, or work for local, state, or non-profit organizations.

Graduates hold a variety of jobs, including: mental health worker, prevention specialist, volunteer coordinator, registered substance abuse counselor, addiction specialist, senior case manager, program director, and social worker, among others.

While no prior experience is required, incoming students must hold an undergraduate degree.

Learning Outcomes

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Specialized Knowledge
    Articulate core concepts, perspectives, findings and trends in human services pertaining to the role of stakeholders, social policies, and organizations in the resolution of social problems.
  2. Broad and Integrative Knowledge
    Articulate and defend the significance and implications of crossdisciplinary discourse in the field of human services in terms of challenges and trends in a social or global context.
  3. Applied and Collaborative Learning
    Design and implement a project in an out-of-class setting that requires the application of advanced knowledge gained in the field of human services to a practical challenge, articulate the insights gained from this experience, and assess approaches, scholarly debates, or standards for professional performance applicable to the challenge.
  4. Civic and Global Learning
    Develop a formal proposal, real or hypothetical, to a human service organization addressing a social policy issue and its global challenge in the field that has not been adequately addressed.
  5. Experiential Learning
    Synthesize and transfer learning to new, complex situations within course work or beyond the classroom.

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  • Summer Graduate
    Jul 10, 2017 (4-, 6-, and 8-week classes)
    Aug 7, 2017 (4-week classes)
  • Fall Undergraduate
    Sep 4, 2017 (7.5- and 15-week classes)
    Oct 25, 2017 (7.5-week classes)
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    Sep 18, 2017 (6- and 12-week classes)
    Oct 30, 2017 (6-week classes)

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