What Are the Best Schools for Human Services?

Find out what to look for in a school with a strong human services program. Read about three schools with top nationally ranked social work programs, and explore the variety of human services degrees each school offers. Schools offering Human Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Characteristics of Top Schools for Human Services?

If you're seeking a top school for human services, you might choose a highly-ranked college or university that offers both academic and practical training supported by special programs and institutes in various disciplines. You also might look for schools that have programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education's Commission on Accreditation. Additionally, you might look for a school where you can study social work in combination with another discipline, such as public health, law or religion.

What Are Three Top Schools for Human Services?

Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH

This school was ranked ninth best for its graduate social work program in 2019 and tied for 42nd among best national universities by U.S. News & World Report in the same year. The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs that can prepare you for a human service career. The Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and the Mandel Center for Non-Profit Organizations support development of human service researchers and leaders.

Case Western's Center for Interventions for Children and Families promotes the well-being of young children through enhanced social and community support and care-giving skills. Centers for substance abuse and mental illness, child studies and urban poverty and community development also support human services studies. These degrees are offered:

  • B.A. in Gerontological Studies
  • Master of Nonprofit Organizations
  • Master of Nonprofit Organizations/Juris Doctor
  • Master of Nonprofit Organizations/Master of Science (M.S.) in Social Administration
  • M.S. in Social Administration/Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Social Welfare

University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, WA

UW tied for third best graduate social work program by U.S. News & World Report in 2019 and tied for 59th among best national universities by the publication in that same year. UW offers undergraduate and graduate human service degrees in social work and social welfare. Field placements are generally available or required in these programs.

The School of Social Work hosts a federal National Institute of Mental Health-funded research training program. The school is partnered with Cambodia's Royal University to mentor Cambodian students and provide study-abroad opportunities in a country experiencing reconstruction. Research centers for women's welfare, gerontological social work, social development and poverty prevention are available in the School of Social Work. These degrees are offered:

  • B.A. in Social Welfare
  • Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • MSW/Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Ph.D. in Social Welfare

Washington University (WU) in St. Louis, MO

WU ranked second among best graduate social work programs and in 2019. The school also tied for number 19 in U.S. News & World Report's best national universities category in 2019. WU hosts centers for aging, violence and injury prevention, mental health services, social development and obesity prevention. These are a few degree possibilities:

  • MSW
  • Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management
  • MPH/MSW
  • MBA/MSW
  • Ph.D. in Social Work

More Top Schools for Social Work

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor4 year, PublicAnn Arbor, MI$23,000
University of Chicago4 year, PrivateChicago, IL$59,000
Columbia University4 year, PrivateNew York, NY$59,000
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill4 year, PublicChapel Hill, NC$12,000
University of California - Berkeley4 year, PublicBerkley, CA$14,000
University of Texas - Austin4 year, PublicAustin, TX$12,000
Boston College4 year PrivateChestnut Hill, MA$30,000
Fordham University4 year, PrivateBronx, NY$34,000
University of Pittsburgh4 year, PublicPittsburgh, PA$23,000
University of Southern California4 year, Private Los Angeles, CA$46,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

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:

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