Best Online Master’s In Human Services Of 2023

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Sep 26, 2023

Although demanding, careers in human services are often rewarding as well. Workers have the opportunity to help people overcome their individual challenges, all the while contributing to a far-reaching safety net that supports at-risk groups. Plus, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this field to see faster-than-average growth from 2022 to 2023—totaling about 281,600 projected job openings—as demand for social services increases.

An online master’s in human services can equip you with the skills, knowledge and experience you need to pursue a career in this fulfilling field. This degree prepares you to take on roles in leadership, administration, research or program development, both in the nonprofit and private sectors.

Since human services is such a broad field, earning a master’s in human services can establish your expertise in a particular area. Many of the programs ranked on this page focus on particular issues or allow learners to choose their own concentrations. Read on to discover the best human services master’s online programs in the U.S. and how earning this degree can help you achieve your goals.

Why You Can Trust Forbes Advisor Education

The Forbes Advisor Education team is committed to bringing our readers unbiased rankings and trustworthy, informative articles covering higher learning institutions, individual degree programs, bootcamps, professional credentials and various career paths.

Our team sources data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also pull information from reputable professional organizations and education providers’ direct websites. Our rankings use a strict methodology to determine the best schools, programs or bootcamps for each category.

Moreover, an expert advisory board of experienced professionals and educators reviews and verifies Forbes Advisor Education content to ensure accuracy and completeness.

Our Methodology

We scored 12 accredited, nonprofit colleges offering online master’s in human services degree programs in the U.S. using 16 data points in the categories of credibility, affordability, student outcomes, student experience and application process.

We pulled data for these categories from reliable resources such as the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System; private, third-party data sources; and individual school and program websites. Data is accurate as of January 2023.

We scored schools based on the following categories:

Student Outcomes:

Overall graduation rate
Median earnings 10 years after graduation


In-state graduate student tuition
In-state graduate student fees
Alternative tuition plans offered
Median federal student loan debt
Percentage of students in federal student loan deferment

Student Experience:

Student-to-faculty ratio
Socioeconomic diversity
Availability of online coursework
Total number of graduate assistants
More than 50% of graduate students enrolled in at least some distance education


Fully accredited
Programmatic accreditation status
Nonprofit status

Application Process:

Acceptance rate

We chose the 10 best schools to display based on those receiving a curved final score of 63.25% or higher.

Find our full list of methodologies here.