Masters in Social Services

Earning a master's degree in a social services field could be a step toward a job as a social worker. Learn about admission requirements and common courses for a social services or social work master's degree program, and check how online programs work. Get information on potential careers in the social services field. Schools offering Human Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Admissions Requirements for a Master's in Social Services?

To be eligible for a master's degree in social services, you must have at least a bachelor's degree. Some schools require you hold an undergraduate degree in liberal arts or social sciences, but others have no restrictions on majors. Other eligibility requirements include credits in human biology and statistics.

Admission RequirementsBachelor's degree, prior science and math credits
Common CoursesHuman behavior, ethics, social justice and mental disorders
Online Program RequirementsIn-person internship, possible scheduled seminars
Career SpecializationsSubstance abuse, family, geriatric or administrative social worker
Median Salary (2018)$44,840* (for mental health and substance abuse social workers)
Job Outlook (2016-26)19% growth* (for all mental health and substance abuse social workers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

Through programs in social services or social work, you learn how to help people who are down and out. You might work with children who have suffered from child abuse or whose parents abuse alcohol. You could help men and women who are in unhealthy relationships. You could work with families who are suffering because of unemployment, who don't have the money to pay the rent or buy food. Some of the topics you study in the first year of your program include:

  • Ethics in social work
  • Analyzing the social and political environment
  • Human behavior
  • Working with individuals and groups in need
  • Managing nonprofit organizations
  • Fundraising for nonprofit organizations
  • Conducting research in social work
  • Social justice and social services
  • American poverty and inequality
  • Disabilities, aging and mental disorders

How Do Online Programs Work?

Though some graduate-level social work courses are self-paced, other professors expect you to be available to attend web seminars for weekly scheduled classes. You will couple the online learning experiences with in-person internships and other practical learning experiences.

How Can I Use My Degree?

With a master's degree in social services, you could become a social worker with a government agency or private social services organization. You may work with individuals, families and groups facing issues such as substance abuse, medical diagnoses, family discord or aging. Administrative social work professionals can put a master's degree to use working to develop policies that will give social workers the ability to better help people who are in need.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Howard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia