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MS in Human Services, Social and Community Services

School of Public Service and Education

The master’s Social and Community Services specialization is designed for individuals who are focused on helping individuals and communities in nonprofit, for-profit, or government settings. Throughout the specialization, learners gain the skills they need to manage services, track and identify trends within communities and organizations, evaluate appropriate programs to meet identified needs, and advocate for those they serve. Successful graduates of this specialization are prepared to pursue leadership roles in a variety of diverse work settings. This specialization is not designed to meet licensure requirements for counseling or social work professions.

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Nine Required Courses



At least 36 quarter credits

Core courses:

Theory and Application in Human Services

This course presents contemporary social problems addressed by human services professionals in the field and familiarizes learners with the community resources available to them. Learners examine the theories behind human services delivery and management in order to gain a broader understanding of the human services profession and the role of human services professionals within diverse delivery settings. Must be taken during the first quarter by learners who have been admitted to the MS in Human Services degree program. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

4 quarter credits
The Effective Use of Analytics in Human Services

In this course, learners develop the skills needed to apply the early aspects of the life cycle of human services analytics. Learners examine the various data sources, data models, and algorithms and use basic tools to complete an analysis. Learners also collaborate within teams to evaluate case studies and explore the ways in which stakeholders’ needs are met through data analytics. 

4 quarter credits
HMSV5320 *
Ethical Practice in Human Services

Learners in this course analyze the ethical standards and expectations required of human services professionals in research and practice. Learners apply an ethical problem-solving framework to solve a variety of ethical dilemmas and issues relevant to the human services field. Prerequisite(s): HMSV5002.

4 quarter credits
Diversity and Inclusion in Human Services

This course is a survey of theories, research, and concepts that highlight the importance of race, culture, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity in individual and group experience. Learners consider the effects of gender, social class, religion, and disability on experience and evaluate the role of the human services and educational professional in addressing the multicultural needs of clients and colleagues in the workforce. Learners also examine community cultural competency and practice applying a variety of theoretical approaches and methodologies to real-life scenarios. 

4 quarter credits
Interpersonal and Leadership Skills for Human Services Professionals

In this course, learners develop the fundamental professional communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and information literacy skills necessary for working with individuals, communities, and agencies. Throughout the course, learners apply techniques for developing goals and recommending strategies and explore appropriate ways for disseminating information to assist stakeholders in achieving those goals. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
HMSV5993 *
Human Services Capstone for Master’s Learners

In this course, learners demonstrate proficiency in their specialization area by applying learning from required and elective courses to complete an analysis of a human service organization or system or to propose a new application in their professional field. For MS in Human Services learners only. Prerequisite(s): All required and elective coursework. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

Program Development and Evaluation in Human Services

In this course, learners examine needs assessment, program development, and program evaluation as fundamental tools in a variety of organizations. In particular, learners use research-based models and best practices to inform program development and evaluation in for-profit, nonprofit, and government settings. Learners also gain the skills they need to communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders and address ethical implications of various approaches to program development and evaluation.

4 quarter credits
Leading in For-Profit, Nonprofit, and Government Organizations

This course familiarizes learners with the unique expressions of leadership in for-profit, nonprofit, and government organizations. Learners differentiate among the capacities of various types of leaders and stakeholders to ensure continuous leadership and organizational development.

4 quarter credits
Social Change and Public Policy in Human Services

In this course, learners examine the concepts, principles, and stages of public policy development and analysis in the human services field. Learners gain an understanding of the approaches used by policymakers and policy analysts to evaluate the effects of programs and projects on societal problems in for-profit, nonprofit, and government settings. Other course topics include the policy process, agenda setting, advocacy, analysis, political process management, policy implementation, and public policy evaluation feedback based on information gained from the field.

4 quarter credits



Three Elective Courses



At least 12 quarter credits

Recommended elective courses:

HMSV5990 *
Human Services Internship ​†

In this course, learners apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired through their coursework for a minimum of 100 hours in a human services setting. Learners critically analyze and evaluate problems encountered within a human services organization and apply interdisciplinary knowledge and research findings to develop strategies for direct care, resource management, and service delivery. Learners observe and collaborate with diverse stakeholders within the organization to analyze ethical practices and critically evaluate the implementation of best practices at their internship site.  For MS in Human Services learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): HMSV5002, HMSV5316, HMSV5320, HMSV5334, HMSV5390. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
The Family in Social Context

Learners examine how families are influenced by the dynamics of the family system and societal factors. Using current family science literature, learners develop critical research skills necessary to evaluate how community systems and policy impact family dynamics. 

4 quarter credits
Issues in Aging, Grief, and Bereavement

This course is an examination of aging and loss from biological, psychological, social, and cultural perspectives at the leadership level. In particular, learners evaluate contemporary research relevant to family life, caregivers, community and institutional care, ethnic and sociocultural differences, and urbanization and assess the service delivery needs of aging populations within the context of specific life events. Learners also explore the ways their own attitudes toward aging and loss may impact their effectiveness as professionals working in social and behavioral services settings.

4 quarter credits


Choose any graduate course(s).






At least 48 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

†  Practicum and/or Internship hours are considered complete once all program required practicum/internships hours have been successfully achieved. Partial completion of practicum/internship requirements/hours can’t be verified for licensure or transfer of credits.