Best Online Master’s in Human Development

If you have a passion for bettering the lives of others, the best online master’s in human development degrees might be a great choice. 

Best Online Master's in Human Development

The field of human development is perfect for those who want to improve societal systems and help other humans attain their greatest heights. These programs aim to equip graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to support those with socioeconomic or other challenges. In short, those with master’s in human development degrees are superheroes, even if they don’t wear capes!

What Is a Master’s in Human Development Degree?

A master’s program in human development will help learners understand how humans grow and change over their lifespan and how those same people may change due to several factors or contexts. The socioeconomic lens through which most of the material is presented prepares graduates to undertake big social work programs and help individuals and families better their situations. This can be through helping them find stable jobs, good housing, or overcome addiction troubles.

Additionally, a master’s in human development degree is normally a research-oriented program. This involves either a capstone project or a thesis, along with some research experience.

How Much Can You Earn with a Master’s in Human Development Degree?

The potential career options for those with master’s in human development degrees vary. One of the more common career choices is that of a community and social service manager, which has an average salary of around $65,000 per year. These individuals lead or supervise social service programs and various organizational efforts for communities.

Other degree holders may become substance abuse or mental health counselors, looking to improve the well-being of those in marginalized communities. They earn an average salary of around $45,000 per year.

Still, more graduates may become marriage or family therapists, who earn an average salary of around $50,000 per year.

What Is Required for a Master’s in Human Development Degree?

A master’s degree in human development first requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field, usually in social studies or psychology. Many programs also require a personal history of community service or social work, as graduates are expected to use these degrees to help improve the lives of others. Letters of recommendation and a good volunteer record will go a long way toward bolstering your application.

Once accepted, students will progress through an interdisciplinary curriculum, including classes like:

  • Communications
  • Psychology
  • Research labs
  • Therapy
  • Economics
  • Women’s and minority studies

What Are the Best Master’s in Human Development Degrees?

OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program-specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.

The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.

Now let’s check out the 5 best online master’s in human development!

  1. Pacific Oaks College

    Pacific Oaks College

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $28,515(in state) / $28,515(out of state)
    • Several concentrations are available
    • Three admission terms per year
    • 30 credit hours

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction84.80%
    Programs offered online2

    Program Level

    Median Debt$44,435
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School91.90%
    OSR Score

    Pacific Oaks provides a comprehensive degree that immerses students in the theories of human development by utilizing a large spectrum of disciplines, including psychology, biology, sociology and more. It also teaches students to incorporate theory and practice, and enables them to serve a wide variety of families and individuals. Field experiences are required for graduation, meaning the program isn’t 100% online.

  2. University of Missouri-Columbia

    University of Missouri

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,640(in state) / $23,659(out of state)
    • Certifications available
    • 30 credit hours
    • $65 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72.20%
    Admission Rate78%
    Programs offered online8

    Program Level

    Median Debt$25,816
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School4.49%
    OSR Score

    This program incorporates an extremely flexible timeline, allowing you to continue living your life as you pursue this master’s. This program also includes three variations: Youth Development, Gerontology, and Family and Community Services. All students will be able to take advantage of several graduate program-specific scholarships for additional financial aid.

  3. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $7,518(in state) / $22,425(out of state)
    • 36 credit hours
    • Requires capstone course
    • $45 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72.40%
    Admission Rate64%
    Programs offered online1

    Program Level

    Median Debt$24,494
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School8.09%
    OSR Score

    The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers an MS with a specialization in Human and Family Services Administration. This degree is ideal for future nonprofit leaders and community project organizers. The curriculum focuses on professional and sociological issues to enact change at the societal level.

  4. Concordia University-Wisconsin

    Concordia University-Wisconsin

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $10,422(in state) / $10,422(out of state)
    • 36 credit hours
    • Exclusive scholarships available
    • $60 application fee

    School Wide

    Student SatisfactionNot Reported
    Admission Rate63%
    Programs offered online14

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School< 1%
    OSR Score

    This program includes a Christian framework as the curriculum takes you through ways in which the family relates to society. It’s a relatively unique program thanks to its faith-based education and emphasis on counseling skills. It’s particularly good for those who want to become counselors and who are already Christian themselves, though anyone can attend the university, regardless of faith.

  5. Texas Woman's University

    Texas Woman's University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $4,672(in state) / $12,142(out of state)
    • Clinical hours may be necessary
    • 61 semester credits
    • Several concentrations are available

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74.80%
    Admission Rate86%
    Programs offered online6

    Program Level

    Median Debt$34,833
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School6.87%
    OSR Score

    Texas Woman’s University provides a degree in counseling and development, making it great for those who want to focus on mental health and individual development through one-on-one sessions. Online, evening, and weekend classes are offered to better accommodate a variety of working schedules. Several dual degree options are available as well, for those who want to bolster their education even further.