Human & Family Services Administration, MS

Master of Science Degree in Human and Family Services Administration

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

  • Fully Online
  • 36
  • $357.00
  • $750.00

Program Overview

The online Human and Family Services Administration, MS program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding and the broad-based skills necessary for the development, administration and management of human services organizations. 

Students gain knowledge in the following areas: 

  • Family Functioning including principles of family theory, contemporary research and working with diverse populations. 
  • Program design and evaluation including fundraising, grant writing, data collection, measuring outcomes and cost-effectiveness of interventions. 
  • Professional issues including ethical and legal issues and a professional internship. 
  • Administration and management skills and knowledge in the areas of human resources, program management and public policy. 

As a graduate of this program, students will be prepared, through practical knowledge and skill-building to design, administer and manage programs, agencies and organizations that shape community impact. 

Career Outlook: This unique program is appropriate for anyone interested in advancing their career within the human services industry, such as:

  • Full-time professionals who want to advance their careers by moving from positions such as direct care staff, caseworkers, program managers and care providers to program directors, agency directors, executive directors, etc.
  • Field professionals seeking an increased understanding of the most effective methods of agency administration.
  • Individuals who are interested in blending family-related expertise with the administrative expertise needed to manage human service organizations
  • Individuals who hold Bachelor's Degrees in family sciences, business, psychology, sociology or related fields.
  • Professionals who have new ideas but need the skills necessary to manage agencies such as nonprofit organizations, foster care agencies, early childhood intervention agencies, after school programs, and adolescent intervention programs.
  • Military personnel who are seeking a post-military career in Human and Family Services Administration.

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Bachelor's degree

  2. 2.5 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Taken the GRE

  4. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  5. A written personal statement

    Statement of Professional Goals and Resume

  6. 3 letters of recommendation

  7. Official transcripts from all previous schools

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:

  1. Apply and be admitted to Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  2. Pay the non-refundable $50 application processing fee
  3. Submit one set of official transcripts from each college or university you have attended to Office of Graduate Studies
  4. Apply and be admitted to the department

Courses You’ll Take

Course Information

Program of Study: 

  • Family Content Courses - CYAF 972, 893 and 985
  • Program Design, Evaluation & Research Courses - CYAF 873 and 866
  • Administration & Management Courses - PA 8050, 8400 or 8480, 8550 and 8580 or 8410 or 8090
  • Professional Issues Course - CYAF 897D or PA 8470 or 8100
  • Capstone - PA 8990 or CYAF 996

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
CYAF 866Family Professionals as Consumers of Research3
Elements of conducting and reporting research and various research designs. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Skills required to effectively evaluate the quality of research reports and how to apply findings to practices in education, counseling, and family policy.
PA 8990Capstone Project for Public Administration3
The purpose of this course is to allow students to integrate their graduate public administration course experiences into a project that reflects the cumulative knowledge gained from their class instruction. This class is intended only for students who are completing the master of public administration degree. The course can be taken as an alternative to comprehensive exams. Prerequisites: Completion of at least 30 hours in the M.P.A. program and school permission.
CYAF 893Special Topics in Contemporary Family Issues1 - 3
Current issues that today's families experience. Topics vary and include, for example: Gender and family, low-income families, fathers and fatherhood, families with children who have disabilities.
PA 8410Public Human Resource Management3
A study of the personnel process in American governmental administration. The processes and problems of recruiting, structuring and operating public bureaucracies are examined as well as problems in personnel leadership, neutrality, accountability and performance. Prereq: PA 8050 or permission of school. Not open to nondegree students.
CYAF 972Theories of Human Development & Family3
Theoretical basis of child study and family analysis. Critical evaluation of methods and theories in child development, family relations, and human development from an integrative and holistic perspective.
CYAF 996Scholarly Practice and Discovery1 - 6
Prereq: Permission Investigation related to family and consumer sciences.
PA 8106Fund Raising in Public and Non Profit Organizations3
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to a variety of fund raising methods, provide the context in which these methods might be used, and provide an understanding of how fund raising operates within public and not-for-profit organizations. Prereq: Graduate standing and permission of instructor, PA 8010, and PA 8090; or permission of school. Not open to nondegree students.
PA 8050Foundations in Public Service3
The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the art and science of public administration and to enable the student to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities requisite to the pursuit of graduate education in public administration. Prereq: N/A Not open to nondegree students.
PA 8480Seminar in Public Finance Administration3
The study of public finance administration policy and techniques areas. Emphasis is placed on the technical aspects of public finance administration with particular emphasis on the purposes, processes and issues associated with particular techniques or technique areas. Prereq: PA 8010 and PA 8050; or permission of school. Not open to nondegree students. (Cross-listed with AVN-8480.)
CYAF 895Special Topics in Family/Cultural Diversity3
Current topics related to diverse populations, e.g., religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity. Topics vary.
CYAF 873Program Design, Evaluation, & Implementation3
Overview of program development process and outcome evaluation of community children and family programs. Theoretical, methodological and programmatic issues in conducting programs and scholarship. Distance education course delivered by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
PA 8090Seminar in Organization Theory & Behavior3
Study of the various approaches to understanding public organizations and people in them with special emphasis on the design, functioning and management of public agencies. Not open to non-degree students.
PA 8470Administrative Ethics and Leadership3
Ethical action and effective leadership are especially important in public service and they are closely related. This course introduces students to concepts from public sector ethics and from leadership theory. Emphasis is placed on decision-making processes, relationships between public and nonprofit sector professionals and elected officials and citizens, and the role of the career public service professional in a democratic society. Prereq: PA 8050 or permission of school. Not open to nondegree students.
PA 8400Public Budgeting3
The purpose of the course is to familiarize public administration students with the basic characteristics and features of public budgets and enable them to deal competently with them. Prereq: PA 8010, PA 8050, or permission of school. Not open to nondegree students.
PA 8100Advanced Management & Leadership for Public & Non-Profit Professionals3
This course is designed to advance students’ understanding and techniques about the role of leadership and ethics in the public and nonprofit sectors. Special attention will be paid on the application of theories of leadership and ethics to manage various boundary spanning activities including managing external relationships, collaborations/networks, performance, and innovation and change.
PA 8990Capstone Project3
This course is designed as a doctoral seminar that surveys the development of public administration from its earliest antecedents to the present day, taking both a historical and topical approach. Prereq: Admission into the doctoral program or permission. Not open to nondegree students
PA 8500Issues in Public-Private Cooperation3
This course introduces students to the organization and processes, as well as the tools and techniques, of public-private sector cooperation. The objective of such a course is to familiarize students with the concepts and skills needed to develop and administer joint activities between the public and private sectors. Such cooperative activies have become an important aspect of public administration in recent years. Prereq: PA 8010, PA 8050, & PA 8090 or permission of school. Not open to nondegree students.
CYAF 897DCommunity Internships in Child, Youth and Family Studies1 - 6
Prereq: 12 hrs CYAF and/or related social sciences Fieldwork in agencies serving children, youth and families.
PA 8580Management and Administration of Nonprofit Organizations3
General content course focusing on management and administrative issues relating to nonprofit organizations. Administrative structure and other subjects related to the difference between nonprofit and for-profit organizations will be addressed. Subjects will include constituencies, boards, strategic planning, marketing, financial management, human resources, volunteer management, and resource development. Prereq: Graduate standing and permission of adviser; PA 8050; or permission of school. Not open to nondegree students.

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

Rochelle Dalla, Ph.D.

Rochelle Dalla is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Human Trafficking (JHT), an international journal devoted to the dissemination of scholarship on all issues related to trafficking in persons—from prevention and intervention to protection, prosecution and partnership. Her professional interests center on marginalized female populations, and her research is aimed at providing these women voice as well as visibility.

Application Deadlines

Rolling admissions. Application review will begin upon receipt of all required application materials.