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Human Services Administration, Master of Science

Why choose our Human Services Administration program?

Saint Leo’s Master of Science in Human Services Administration prepares graduates with the knowledge, values, and skills they need to administer a human services agency or organization. Students will examine methods of leadership, management, board development, program planning, community needs assessment, program evaluation, and grantsmanship. You will learn:

  • Steps for developing a nonprofit organization, including applying for 501(c)(3) status, drafting agency bylaws, implementing a mission statement, and organizing a board of trustees
  • Business principles for creating for-profit companies and social entrepreneurships
  • Budgeting, fundraising, borrowing, and grantsmanship strategies
  • How to conduct a community needs assessment, then create new services to fill gaps or improve upon existing services
  • How to market human services programs and recruit a volunteer workforce if needed

Graduates will be prepared to create their own community service organization or to take on administrative and program development roles within existing agencies that address healthcare, child welfare, aging, mental health, counseling, and other social issues.

View Program Brochure

View Degree Requirements


The MS in Human Services Administration is offered online and at the following Saint Leo University education centers:

  • Florida: Ocala
  • Georgia: Savannah


Saint Leo University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Program Features

The MS in Human Services Administration teaches students best practice skills in managing and administering existing human services agencies, including those that serve children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly in settings such as schools, hospitals, mental health centers, drug and alcohol programs, aging centers, and nursing homes.

Uniquely, the program teaches students how to create new agencies through models such as a private for-profit business, a private nonprofit organization, and social entrepreneurship. Courses focus on creating a community needs assessment to determine where gaps in service exist. Students apply their knowledge through hands-on service learning and an internship in their community, where they can offer new solutions for ongoing social issues.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the MS in Human Services Administration will be able to:

  • Develop a strategy and fundraising plan for a human services organization
  • Identify fundraising tools that include people, skills, equipment, and technology
  • Locate organizations and websites that are sources for public and private grants
  • Create a grant application for use in a human services organization
  • Determine action steps to address an organization’s legal and ethical issues
  • Recognize and apply the National Organization of Human Services Code of Ethics
  • Discuss the history and the need for past and present human services and the vulnerable populations they serve such as:
    • children
    • the aged
    • mentally and physically-challenged
    • victims of crime and abuse
    • those living in poverty
    • individuals with substance abuse
    • chronically ill
  • Describe new models of human services organizations, including private for-profit, private nonprofit, and social entrepreneurship
  • Create a marketing plan for a human services organization
  • Apply human resource management concepts
  • Identify ethical issues that challenge human services professionals
  • Analyze administrative policies and procedures
  • Develop an annual budget

Course Highlights

Below is a list of courses students will complete for the Master of Science in Human Services Administration program. For a complete overview of required courses for our MS in Human Services Admin degree, including individual course descriptions, please visit the Saint Leo Academic Catalog.

  • Management & Leadership
  • Legal & Ethical Issues
  • Community Needs Assessment
  • Creating New Organizations
  • Funding Sources
  • Advocacy & Policy Analyses
  • Grantsmanship
  • Marketing

Additionally, students will learn to:

  • organize a private for profit, or non-profit organization as well as establish a social entrepreneurship
  • develop a 501 (c)(3) application
  • organize a board of trustees
  • implement a mission statement

Professional Development Opportunities

An optional field placement course offers hands-on interning experience as an administrator within a human services agency. In applied courses, students learn how to:

  • develop new organizations
  • search for funding
  • develop fundraising ideas and plans
  • market human services programs
  • collaborate with a board of directors
  • recruit a volunteer workforce

What can you do with a Master of Science in Human Services Administration?

An MS in Human Services Administration degree helps prepare graduates for a wide variety of management positions in companies, government, and nonprofit organizations. Positions held by Saint Leo's Human Services Administration graduates have included:

  • Healthcare
  • Child Welfare
  • Aging
  • Mental Health
  • Counseling
  • Community program development
  • Non-profit and for-profit management

Getting Started

A complete summary of requirements and applications can be found in the University Catalog or online a Applicants must submit the following documents:

  • A completed application form.
  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
    Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions previously attended sent directly from the former institution to the Office of Admissions. Graduates or former students of Saint Leo University do not need to submit transcripts if they have been previously submitted and are on file at the University.  
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA or better from a regionally accredited college or university in the USA, or an equivalent degree from overseas. 
  • Three professional recommendations from work associates or former professors completed on the forms provided. Work associates include current and former supervisors. 
  • Current resume. 
  • Statement of professional goals (2-5 pages).
    All international students whose native language is not English are required to submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 (paper-based test) or 213 (computer-based test). Applicants holding an undergraduate degree from an academic institution within the United States, an English-speaking country, or from an institution where the language of instruction is English are not required to take the TOEFL examination. 
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