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Explore our MS in Human Services Family Studies and Interventions specialization

In diverse populations, human services professionals must be in tune with the special needs of underrepresented or marginalized populations such as low income, single parent, gay and lesbian families, bisexual, and transgender. In this MS in Human and Social Services specialization, you will explore a broad spectrum of theoretical and clinical approaches to intervention. At the completion of your studies, you will be able to recognize special treatment considerations and develop multimodal therapeutic approaches.

With this specialization, you can pursue careers such as community worker in family agencies, special needs assessment, and food and housing workers. Graduates are particularly skilled at developing multimodal therapeutic approaches and recognizing special treatment considerations within a diverse client delivery system.

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Completion Requirements

  • 53 quarter credits
    • Foundation course (3 cr.)
    • Core courses (25 cr.)
    • Elective/specialization courses (20 cr.)
    • Capstone (5 cr.)

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.


Course Code Title Credits

Foundation Course

HUMN 6000
Foundation of Graduate Study in Human Services

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. It provides a foundation for academic and professional success as a scholar-practitioner and as a social change agent. Topics include the relation of the mission and vision to professional goals; development of the program of study and Professional Development Plan; strategies for online success; introduction to the online library; and introduction to critical thinking, professional writing, and academic integrity. Course assignments focus on practical application of writing and critical-thinking skills and the promotion of academic excellence.

(3 cr.)

Core Courses

HUMN 6160
The Advanced Human Services Professional Practitioner in a Changing World

As leaders, advanced human services professional practitioners can inhabit many roles: generalist, planner, advanced case manager, advocate, humanitarian, and outreach worker. Throughout this course, students try on these roles in response to authentic human services scenarios in settings within a fictional community. In each scenario, they observe advanced human services professional practitioners applying role-specific strategies, approaches, and theories to help service users. Students also assess their current knowledge, skills, and abilities in relation to each role, as well as the values and experiences they bring to the profession. By the end of the course, students develop and refine a professional identity statement as a leader in the human services profession and examine self-care strategies relevant to the work of an advanced human services professional practitioner.

(5 cr.)
HUMN 6161
Assessment and Motivational Interviewing

Advanced human services professional practitioners frequently work with service users who are experiencing crisis and are in need of assessment to determine their level of care and to assist them with establishing and achieving goals. In this course, students develop motivational interviewing skills to help service users identify and self-motivate to achieve the goals they desire. Students apply motivational interviewing skills, such as open-ended questioning, affirming, reflective listening, and summarizing, to authentic human services case studies in the context of assessment. Students also have an opportunity to develop supervisory skills by providing constructive feedback on their peers' motivational interviewing and assessment skills.


  • HUMN 6000
  • HUMN 6160

(5 cr.)
HUMN 6162
Cultural Humility and Diversity

Students in this course examine the theory, philosophy, and practice of working with diverse populations, with a focus on the interplay between individual and unique cultures within societies and organizations attempting to move toward equality and cultural humility. They explore cultural issues and ethics related to economic disparity, power, privilege, and social justice. Students also explore the complex social, political, and related ethical challenges advanced human services professional practitioners face as they seek to meet the needs of diverse populations. Applying concepts presented in the course, students engage in in-depth assessments of emerging or persistent ethical or social justice issues, through which they demonstrate their ability to empower, support, and connect service users with community resources. Throughout the course, students engage in readings, case studies, and practical assignments to build skills to work in multicultural environments and participate in an immersive experience with a specific culture to further develop their cultural humility.


  • HUMN 6160
  • HUMN 6161

(5 cr.)
HUMN 6480
Evidence-Based Evaluation Methods

Nonprofit and public/government organizations need to be able to show positive evidence related to their mission and ability to effect social change to remain viable. By developing performance improvement evaluation plans that are structured with metrics, leaders can disseminate an organization's progress to build stakeholder engagement and collaboration. Students in this course will be introduced to a critical appraisal of levels of evidence, performance improvement and evaluation methods, and the importance of dissemination of organizational outcomes to help contribute to a positive future for social change.


  • HUMN 6161
  • HUMN 6162

(5 cr.)
HUMN 6207
Grant Writing

Grant writing is a highly marketable skill that requires many nonprofit, educational, and community organizations to secure external funding to provide needed services to the community. In this course, students will explore the basic skills needed for non-research grant writing, including identifying potential funding sources, creating objectives and a need statement, preparing and justifying a budget, identifying appropriate assessment plans, and writing an executive summary. Through course assignments, students directly apply what they are reading and discussing by writing a full grant proposal based on an actual Request for Proposal (RFP).


  • HUMN 6160
  • HUMN 6480

(5 cr.)

Elective/Specialization Courses

HUMN 6164
Crisis and Family Interventions

Students in this course study the fundamentals of crisis management and crisis leadership. They develop an understanding of the theories and models related to crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events. Students also learn about ethical, legal, and diversity considerations in crisis and trauma response. By the end of the course, students understand models for training and supporting other counselors in the areas of crisis response applicable to community, national, and international crises, and they develop a crisis management plan for their own community.

(5 cr.)
HUMN 6361
Human Sexuality

In this course, students are provided with a framework for understanding human sexuality in the context of couple, marriage, and family counseling. Students in this course explore empirically supported counseling approaches related to sexual functioning, intimacy, gender, and sexual orientation. Students are exposed to a systemic framework for understanding the role and impact of sexuality on couples, marriages, and families. Students will explore specific topics related to issues of sexual diversity, gender identity, sexual offending, trauma, and victimization. Legal and ethical issues related to addressing sexuality in counseling are tackled.

(5 cr.)
HUMN 6811
Community Psychology

In this course, students are introduced to the basic concepts and practice of community psychology. Guiding values and assumptions of the field, basic ecological concepts, and models of intervention are examined. Topics include diversity in community psychology, social change, primary and secondary prevention, community mental health, empowerment, stress, and resiliency.

(5 cr.)
HUMN 6815
Introduction to Dimensions of Contemporary Aging

Great improvements in medicine, public health, science, and technology enable today's older adults to live healthier, longer lives. In this course, students explore theories and practices for providing services to older adults who remain independent and vibrant members of their families and communities. Students delve into models of aging in place, including ways of assessing health, social and economic needs, and identifying and prioritizing options in physical, mental, emotional, and intellectual health promotion activities and programs.

(5 cr.)

Capstone Course

HUMN 6660
Social Change, Leadership, and Advocacy for Human Services Professional Practitioners

This capstone course is the culmination of the MS in Human Services program. In this course, students have the opportunity to demonstrate senior case management skills and their understanding of the responsibility and leadership of the advanced human services professional practitioner to advocate for social change with service users, organizations, communities, and the human services profession. Students also demonstrate methods of advanced human services practice within local, national, and international organizations. Students continue to enhance their professional development plans by preparing for professional opportunities.

(5 cr.)

Tuition and Fees

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost amount
Tuition 53 quarter credit hours $507 per quarter hour $26,871
Technology Fee Per quarter $165 $990


Effective February 27, 2023

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost amount
Tuition 53 quarter credit hours $530 per quarter hour $28,090
Technology Fee Per quarter $170 $1,020


*Tuition reflects the minimum time to completion. Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition reductions. Walden may accept up to 30 transfer credits. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost between $1,000 and $1,400.

Paying for Your Education

Our Enrollment Specialists can help you outline a plan and find resources for funding your education.

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Program Savings

Speak with an Enrollment Specialist to learn about our current tuition savings.

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Admission Requirements

To be considered for this master’s program, you must have a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, from an accredited school and meet the general admission requirements. All applicants must submit a completed online application and transcripts. More information for international applicants.



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