With an MS in Human and Social Services from Walden, you develop the professional skills and global perspective to make a positive difference in the lives of your clients.

You are committed to improving the quality of life for others, and we are committed to helping you reach your goals. Whether your work focuses on conflict management, mental health, crisis intervention, or other community needs, you can prepare to make an even greater impact by earning your MS in Human and Social Services with Walden.

This online master’s in human and social services program focuses on building your effectiveness and professional skills in your chosen area of practice within a global context. As a student of the program, you will develop a holistic, interprofessional perspective that better equips you to help individuals, families, and organizations navigate social services in your community.

This online master’s in human and social services features:

  • 12 career-aligned specializations that allow you to focus your learning on your own career path and goals.
  • Scholar-practitioner faculty members who are active experts in the field of human and social services. The curriculum includes a custom eBook of case studies compiled by Walden faculty and alumni, giving you relevant examples that directly apply to your coursework.
  • An international perspective that broadens your understanding of the field across the world. The program includes core courses that incorporate global content and case studies and an optional Global Social Services specialization.
  • An Interactive Learning Community, a unique learning experience that brings concepts to life through simulations and animated case studies.
  • A professionally-focused curriculum that improves your effectiveness on the job, including a grant-writing course, interprofessional practice, and the development of an e-portfolio to showcase your skills and help you plan your career path.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the MS in Human and Social Services program will be prepared to:

  1. Articulate the role that human services leaders play in promoting social change and advocacy for individuals, families, and communities in need.
  2. Interpret and apply human services research to inform the practice of human services delivery systems.
  3. Synthesize findings from research to develop culturally and contextually relevant interventions and direct services.
  4. Use knowledge of formal and informal networks in the development and evaluation of human services delivery systems.
  5. Apply legal and ethical standards in the administration and delivery of human services systems.
  6. Discuss how personal values and attitudes affect leadership, planning, and advocacy activities.

Career Impact

An increased need for community support services means a growing demand for people with advanced degrees who can step into leadership roles in human services organizations. By 2022, employment of human services managers is expected to grow by 21%, faster than the average for all occupations.1

With our MS in Human and Social Services, you can prepare to help clients navigate social services in various settings around the world, including government agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), foundations, and religious organizations.

In addition, U.S.-based and international charities are key employers of MS in Human and Social Services graduates. Since they tend to focus on vulnerable populations, charities need professionals with specialized administrative and case-management expertise.

The MS in Human and Social Services can help prepare you for a variety of positions, including:2

  • Human services professional
  • Human services administrator (coordinator, director, program lead)
  • Agency coordinator
  • Foster care counselor
  • Family services specialist
  • Program director
  • Development director
  • Medical and health services manager
  • Social and community service manager
  • Emergency management manager
  • Community and social service specialist

Find detailed information for the general specialization of this program, or all other specializations of this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.


Tomica Buford

Tomica Buford

PhD in Human Services Student
I am loving my Walden experience. I believe the university is providing a quality education. I also feel supported by staff and instructors as I move forward.
Obtaining a doctoral degree in counselor education and supervision is one of my proudest moments, followed by securing a faculty position at Montreat College’s counseling graduate program.
I have worked in the substance-abuse field since completion of my bachelor's degree in psychology. I realized that I needed direction—just having a broad human service degree would be limiting. With my higher degree from Walden, my background and experience is now confirmed through my educational knowledge and allows me the authority to speak about social change.
Elizabeth Wallmann-Filley MSW Student
Elizabeth Wallmann-Filley
Lotes Nelson PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision Graduate
Lotes Nelson
Melissa Enoch-Deberry MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduate
Melissa Enoch DeBerry

Note on Licensure:
The MS in Human and Social Services program, including its specializations, is not designed to lead to professional licensure including licensure as a professional therapist, counselor, social worker, or psychologist.

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014–2015 Edition, Social and Community Service Managers,” on the Internet at www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm (viewed online April 2, 2015). National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

2Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

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Questions about our MS in Human and Social Services?
Questions about our MS in Human and Social Services?
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