Antioch’s Master’s degree in Human Services Administration (MHSA) prepares service-minded practitioners who seek the skills and knowledge to lead in organizations where they can help have a positive impact on the lives of others. Whether you want to advance your current career or pursue a role as an executive director, grant writer, or program manager, our master’s degree program could help you meet your educational goals.
Social service agencies, like many other institutions, are experiencing a shortage of qualified leaders as existing staff retire. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment of social and community service managers is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.
This degree is offered by AU Online.
Classes offered within the MHSA program challenge and prepare leaders to think creatively. Students learn human resources development, agency funding strategies, how to manage diverse populations of employees and clients, and how to improve and expand the quality of service in a variety of fields from social service organizations to nonprofits to human resources. This program incorporates a blend of management studies and human development courses to help you effectively lead, manage, and meaningfully interact with others in your organization and community.
Our MHSA program is designed for busy adults.
- 100% asynchronous online learning with 24/7 access to your class and resources
- One course at a time – balance work, college, and family – because all aspects of your life matter
- Faculty are active practitioners and engaged in your learning
- GMAT and GRE scores accepted but not required
- 33-semester credit program completely online
- Classes begin every 7 weeks, with multiple entry points
- At one course per term, earn your degree within two years
With six entry points each year, you never have to wait long to start your graduate studies.
HSA-5230: Human Services Systems and Organizations (3 credits)
This course examines the organization through which social welfare and social services are delivered. Using systems theory perspective, students will develop a more nuanced perspective on the structure and functioning of complex social service organizations. Topics will include the history of social service agencies, adapting to changes in the social environments, how to grow and develop services, and how to navigate socio-political relationships.
MGT-5280: Human Resource Management (3 credits)
Human Resource Management deals with a wide range of activities by which organizations (both profit and nonprofit) acquire, maintain, and utilize their workforces. Adopting the perspective of a general manager, students will examine a number of key human resource “levers” or processes contributing to the development of an effective work system, including investing in people (training and development), measurement and incentives (compensation), and tapping potential employees (recruitment and selection) to better understand the complexities of managing people in organizations.
MKT-5000: Marketing and Communication Strategy (3 credits)
This course explores marketing and communication strategies as an essential business component within an organization. Students will develop both an intellectual and hands-on understanding and appreciation of essential marketing and communication concepts, and how those concepts can be applied to the growth, development, and long-term success of an organization.
Marketing and communication strategies, models, and tactics will be addressed through the lens of branding, the classic “Four Ps” of marketing (Product, Price, Place (distribution), and Promotion), messaging, integrated marketing communication, and tactical application.
HSA-5200: Grant Writing and Resource Development (3 credits)
This course provides students with a practical understanding of old and new concepts, techniques and theories of nonprofit/human service organization resource development. Students will think creatively about resource generation and learn how to build a story to express organizational need. The course includes a substantive section on the preparation of an effective grant application and exploration of frequent issues like knowing one’s capacity to “get the job done” or creating and implementing outcomes and ensuring realistic expectations and infrastructure for implementation success. The course concludes by highlighting the power in developing non-monetary resources through collaborative partners and building coalitions in order to be more successful systems of financial independence.
MGT-5231 Ethical and Legal Issues Facing Leaders (3 credits)
This course explores the role of ethics in organizational management and the inherent dilemmas facing leaders in private, public or nonprofit organizations. Students will examine various strategies, approaches and models of reasoning about ethical issues and how explore how personal values and positional power impact decision-making.
FIN-5100: Financial Analysis for NonProfits (3 credits)
This course focuses on the practical application of financial statement analysis and the use of financial information. Students will explore financial definitions, concepts and structure of financial accounting, standard financial statements, and basic tools for interpreting financial information. Ultimately, students will develop confidence in reading and interpreting the financial position of an organization and use financial statements, along with knowledge of an industry and information about the marketplace, to make informed business decisions.
HSA-5113: Organizational Leadership and Governance (3 credits)
As the environment for nonprofits continues to change, the demand for measured and innovative nonprofit leadership and governance is at a premium. In this course, students explore the unique aspects of nonprofit board governance with a primary focus on roles and responsibilities of the board, executive leadership, staff, and volunteers; how governing boards function; and elements that contribute to the overall organizational effectiveness and mission achievement.
HSA-5210: Program Planning and Evaluation (3 credits)
This course introduces students to the purposes of and strategies for program planning in nonprofit organizations. The primary focus of the class is building the knowledge and skills required of program professionals. Students explore and examine theories, concepts, approaches, and processes fundamental to program planning and evaluation. Using research, reflection and practical application, students will explore the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs that aim to effect change and build capacity of individuals, families, and communities.
MGT-5380: Developing People and Performance (3 credits)
Skillful leaders foster workplace culture, practices, and relationships that support learning, satisfaction, and strong performance among employees. Employees, in turn commit their knowledge, skills, and energy to the organization’s success. Through the interdisciplinary lens of human resource development, students explore the value and benefits of developing people and performance in diverse and inclusive work environments. Theories related to training, organizational development, performance improvement and systems create the landscape for students to explore the practical aspects of organizational culture and systems that support the development and well-being of employees and organizational stability.
RSH-5200: Research Methods (3 credits)
This course introduces qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches to research in an interdisciplinary context. It examines methodological assumptions of those approaches and fundamental issues in designing a research study. Students think critically about how to use various methods to investigate information and phenomena of interest to create new knowledge for professional and academic purposes. Students identify a manageable research question that is consistent with their educational and professional goals, choose a methodology, plan the research and submit a research proposal.
MGT-5150: Strategy, Innovation and Resilience (3 credits)
Every organization must successfully address opportunity, challenge, and change — or wither. Usually, there is no shortage of ideas and passionate perspectives. How does an organization adapt and evolve, develop forward-looking futures for itself, and decide its best course of action? Strategy, innovation, and resilience constitute the “how,” and are the bedrock of a vibrant, sustainable organization.
Students will study current and emerging theories of organizational strategy, innovation, and resilience. Drawing on content from this and previous courses, students will apply, evaluate, and develop approaches to leading effective strategic thinking and execution, and in fostering innovation and resilience — including the integration of environmental, human, and financial sustainability in businesses and NGOs. Readings and resources will lean strongly toward what working practitioners require and find most useful in their work.
HSA-5800: Capstone Project (3 credits)
Prerequisite RSH 5200 or equivalent research course
The Capstone Project course is the culminating experience of the program study. The Capstone Project will consist of an independent research study and/or a professional action project that is consistent with the research proposal created in RSH 5200 Research Methods course.
A suitable capstone project involves both secondary (library) and primary (field) research on a topic pertinent to the field of management, leadership and human services. Students engage in the process of planning, collecting, analyzing and presenting data. As a result, students move from consumer to creator of new knowledge. The culminating product is a written report of the investigation and a presentation to the course professor and peers.
* Courses and sequence are subject to change
The online Master of Human Services Administration (MHSA) from Antioch University Online prepares practitioners to be effective leaders and managers in the rewarding field of social services. Professionals with a Master’s degree in Human Services Administration may pursue various leadership positions with social service agencies, such as:
- Executive Director
- Social Services Administrator
- Grant Writer
- Director of Community Service
- Program Director
- Case Specialist
Human Services Administration requires broad and relevant knowledge and skills that enable and promote service delivery to a range of individuals and communities. Shared competencies among service providers create a framework for training and preparing professionals to meet the needs of diverse communities. The Master of Human Services Administration competency areas are:
- Systems and Strategic Thinking (ST) – Explore conceptual framework and language to explain the complexity of organizational systems.
- Self-Development (SD) – Develop clarity of and commitment to one’s leadership mission and values, and the skills to put mission and values into practice.
- Collaboration and Group Dynamics (CGD) – Create a common mission, vision, values and norms, finding common ground while respecting and incorporating human differences.
- Financial Management (FM) – Exercise and apply strategies to manage the internal financial controls including accounting, financial planning, budgeting, cash flow management, and donor systems and establish strong systems of donor stewardship.
- Human Resource Development (HRD) – Evaluate and develop strategies to achieve strategic organizational goals while supporting employee development and success.
- Research and Information Design (RID) – Evaluate and apply skills of gathering, organizing, and interpreting information and metrics to promote sustainable systems, make informed organizational decisions, and mitigate risk.
- Purposeful Systemic Change (CHNG) – Exercise appropriate leadership to identify and promote organizational development and continuous improvement efforts to transform organizational structures, processes, and culture.
Antioch University particularly seeks qualified candidates who will contribute to building a student population diverse in gender, ethnicity, age, class, physical abilities, learning styles, sexual orientation, professional backgrounds, religious backgrounds, and community experiences.
- Online Application (No Application fee)
- Bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university. Applicants who have not finished their degree must do so before the first day of their desired start term.
- Current resume
- GMAT and GRE scores accepted but not required.
- Admission essays: Please answer the question(s) below in 300 words or less for each.
- What do you see as the greatest challenge or challenges, facing people who strive to be leaders in today’s world?
- What personal experiences and/or characteristics make you a great candidate for this graduate program?
- If your undergraduate degree is below a 3.0 GPA, please respond to this additional question in 300 words or less:
- What specific factors contributed to your undergraduate GPA, and how have those factors changed so that you can be successful in our graduate program at Antioch University?
- Additional requirement for international students:
- Reading & Writing in English Proficiency Assessment (if applicable) or TOEFL score of 550 “paper-based”, 214 “computer-based”, and 79 “internet-based or higher.
Students in this program participate in online learning activities organized within small- and large-group learning communities. Antioch University Online is a 100% online learning environment, and therefore, in addition to having the traditional learning skills, students are expected to have basic technological skills, compatible computer hardware, operating system, and internet connectivity upon entrance into the program.
Graduate Degree Tuition
This program costs $550 per semester hour plus a $75/semester student services fee.
Many AU students finance their education through some form of financial aid. You may not be sure which federal, state, public, and private aid packages – such as loans, scholarships, and grants—are right for you. Our staff is here to help you, so you can focus on what’s most important: beginning your academic program at AU.
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