Standard Master Human Services Specialization

When you pursue the Standard Program of Study in the Master of Arts in Human Services degree, you will choose three (3) elective courses, for a total of 9 credits, to complete your program. Select the courses that best align with your interests and career goals. Your specialization may require prerequisite course work. Please talk to your advisor for more information. 

Program Disclosures

Standard Human Services Specialization for Graduate Degrees

With the Standard Program of Study, you have an opportunity to explore the wide range of the human services field. Select three (3) courses from the following pool of electives.


Degrees Offering the Standard Human Services Specialization


MA in Human Services

Graduate Standard Human Services Specialization Courses

HUD 5420 Interdisciplinary Theories of Gerontology

3 Credits

This course explores the interdisciplinary issues associated with gerontology and aging. Topics include social, biological, cognitive theories; differences in issues related to environment and gender; and future implications for service organizations and policy makers in relation to an aging society. Students will understand the individual aging process related to psychological, economic, cultural, and health issues. Students will critically assess the practical implications of an aging population, its social significance, and its effect on society at large in relation to policy, services, living environments, retirement, social support, family relationships, and diseases of older adulthood.

HUM 5060 Grant Writing

3 Credits

This course provides students with knowledge of various types of government and private grants, sources of information on funding agencies, grant writing principles and techniques, pre-submission consultation review processes, and the overall grant review process. Practice in researching funding sources and grant guidelines and in proposal preparation are included.

HUM 5210 Recruiting & Coaching Volunteers

3 Credits

This course is designed to provide students with working knowledge of volunteer use in human service agencies. Sources and methods of volunteer recruitment, legal issues in the recruitment and use of volunteers, screening issues, methods of training, and techniques for coaching, securing and maintaining on-going commitment, and effective use of volunteers are areas of focus.

HUM 5220 Non-Profit Principles & Practices

3 Credits

This course provides students with the common issues and principles surrounding non-profit agencies and organizations. Background and philosophy, rules and regulations, tax implications, principles of philanthropy, the role of grants and other sources of external funding are emphasized.

HUM 5500 Human Services Administration

3 Credits

This course draws from the concepts of organizational behavior and leadership theory and human services policy to present the students a conceptual framework for leading a human services organization. Leadership issues unique to human services settings will be discussed, with the focus on developing effective leadership styles, promoting self-care practices, and using mindfulness-based strategies to enhance self-awareness and improve organizational effectiveness in human services agencies.

ORG 5574 Criminal Justice Organizations & their Functions

3 Credits

In this course, the criminal justice process and its components are examined. Students will become familiar with the different organizations that the justice system comprises. The complexity of criminal justice processes functioning as a dynamic system of interrelated yet separate parts will also be studied. In addition, students will be introduced to the distinctions between the adult criminal justice and the juvenile justice system to gain an understanding of the different ways in which offenders are dealt with in each system.

ORG 5650 Contemporary Issues in Mental Health Care Compliance

3 Credits

This course familiarizes the student with major areas of compliance in the administration of mental health agencies. Through readings and exercises students will explore HIPAA, JCAHO, other accrediting bodies, grant compliance, insurance regulations and lobbying efforts on behalf of mental health systems of care. Other topics may also be examined as new issues arise.

ORG 6343 Intervention Strategies in Wellness Programs

3 Credits

This course explores the various methodologies for assessing the needs of target populations through health risk assessments, biometric health screenings, medical insurance data, culture audits, and health interest surveys whose focus is to select appropriate interventions. Interventions covered will include organizational changes, integration of wellness initiatives with various departments and functions, utilizing current research, as well as health education and behavioral strategies. Efficacy of intervention strategies will be explored in terms of their ability to improve lifestyle, mental health, and enhanced organizational performance. Additional issues to be explored include information on our aging workforce, medical consumerism, and prevention of relapses. Students learn to prioritize and tailor the various interventions for organizations and will plan for involving a population in the health promotion interventions.

ORG 6504 Leadership & Management

3 Credits

This course is an overview of essential principles and current issues in leadership and management theory and practice. Students explore the evolutionary progress of leadership and management theories and practices from early in the industrial age to the present. Students learn to distinguish effective management and leadership practices for different organizations and operating environments. This class will examine systematic approaches to leadership in the context of organizational culture and interpersonal factors such as leadership ethics, organizational mission, individual motivation, leadership power, organizational strategy, and team performance.

ORG 6570 Victimology: Theory, Research & Policy

3 Credits

To broaden the student's understanding of criminal events, this course explores the impact of crime on victims, both in relation to the criminal event itself as well as its aftermath, when criminal justice agencies become involved. The student is also introduced to various viewpoints on trauma effects of victimization, responses to victimization, and media intervention. In addition, the course examines the role and participation of victims in the processing of criminal cases.

ORG 6660 Fiscal Administration in Mental Health Care Systems

3 Credits

This course explores the common metrics organizations use, the data used in support of those metrics, the assessment of fiscal outcomes, trends and events. Identifying cost centers and programs is considered. Students will evaluate differing funding streams that could potentially support the provision of services including public funding, public insurance programs (e.g., Medicaid, Medicare), government and foundation grants, and private donations. Fundraising efforts as applied to an overall budget strategy will also be considered.

PSY 6160 Family Systems & Dynamics

3 Credits

This course is an introduction to the systems approach to intervention with families. It includes a historical perspective on family theory development. The focus is on obtaining knowledge and theory about the nuclear family in traditional and alternative forms. Normal family patterns of interaction, family life cycle, family of origin, family subsystems, and societal influence are explored. Contemporary issues and outcome research literature are reviewed. This course serves as a knowledge base for further study of assessment, treatment, and intervention with families.

SOC 5510 Sociology of Health and Medicine

3 Credits

Through this course, students will develop an understanding of social factors that influence health, wellness, and health care delivery systems. Course topics include social and demographic influences on health, social roles in prevention and illness, medical care institutions and their systems and structures, and the intersection between social policy and health.

SOC 5610 Structure & Function of Nonprofit & Government Organizations

3 Credits

In this course, the nonprofit organization, the governmental organization, and their structure and function are examined. Students will become familiar with different types of nonprofit and governmental organizations and their interrelated and often interdependent functions. Students will learn about the complexity of the public and nonprofit sectors functioning as a dynamic system of interrelated yet separate organizations that are governed by social and fiscal policy and regulation.

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