Master of Arts in Human Development

Earn your master’s in human development online in as little as one year at Hardin-Simmons University. Whether you’re new to social service work, or you’re a longtime educator looking to improve your relationship building and assessment skills, our program offers a holistic approach that can help you advance in your career and land new opportunities.

The human development master’s degree at HSU explores human behaviors, thoughts, and feelings across the lifespan, offering opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and others. Graduates are prepared for diverse careers in human resources, community support programs, nonprofit agencies, and other settings, from coaching to criminal justice.

Houston-Lantrip Center for Literacy and Learning

You can earn your master’s degree in human development online at HSU from anywhere in the country. But if you live in the Abilene area, you can expand your learning at our Houston-Lantrip Center for Literacy and Learning.

The center serves people with dyslexia, autism-spectrum disorders, and other learning challenges. It also offers a Dyslexia Specialist certificate program that can increase your salary potential and competitiveness in the job market.

Learn more about the Houston-Lantrip Center for Literacy and Learning at HSU.

Program Contact

Robert Brown-Assistant Professor of Counseling and Human Development

Dr. Scott Brown

Program Director, Human Development and Associate Professor of Counseling and Human Development

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Why Earn Your Human Development Master’s at Hardin-Simmons?

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Research Opportunities

Engage in research projects throughout your master’s in human development curriculum. For instance, in our Human Development course, you’ll be tasked with researching the life of a famous individual and applying theory to one’s own family of origin.

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Experienced Faculty

Our human development program is taught by three full-time faculty members, all of whom are licensed within the field of mental health and have at least 10 years of teaching experience. As one of the premier Christian human development master’s programs in the country, we offer an education ‘enlightened by faith,’ and our professors will encourage and foster the integration of your faith and your career.

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Flexible Study

We don’t believe students should have to put their professional lives on hold to advance their knowledge in the fields about which they’re passionate. All courses in our master’s in human development program are taught 100% online, and you can complete our 30-credit hour program in just one year. Courses are offered during each of our four semesters, allowing you to jump in and begin your degree at a time that works best for you.

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What Can You Do with a Master’s Degree in Human Development?

Students in our master’s degree in human development program develop a strong academic foundation in basic counseling and interpersonal skills in preparation for work in social services, education, and other helping professions and people-oriented fields.

We’ve had graduates move on to successful careers in a wide range of industries, including case management and human services, domestic violence agencies, child and family advocacy, health services, early childhood education, hospice programs, mental health agencies, special needs services, work with adolescents and older adults, and correctional agencies.

Jobs for Human Development Master’s Graduates

  • Social and community service manager
  • Social worker
  • Behavioral health specialist
  • Substance abuse counselors

How Much Can You Make With a Master’s Degree in Human Development?

Your earning potential with a master’s degree in human development depends largely on what field you pursue work in after graduation. Here’s salary information on some of the jobs most commonly pursued by graduates of human development master’s programs:

  • Social and community service managers make a little more than $69,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Demand for this job is projected to grow faster than average in the next decade.
  • Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors typically make about $48,000 a year, per the BLS. Jobs in this field are expected to grow by 23% over the next decade, much faster than average.
  • Social workers average about $52,000 in annual salary. The BLS projects there to be faster-than-average growth in demand for social workers over the next decade.

Program Details

As you earn your master’s degree in human development, you’ll take a variety of courses that delve into the fundamentals of counseling, from understanding human growth and development and effective relationship-building skills to assessment strategies for various risk factors. You’ll also dive into counseling best practices for specific populations, including courses on adult development, family and couple counseling, and addiction counseling.

Learn more about specific courses in our human development master’s program in the Hardin-Simmons Graduate Catalog.

In order to earn your master’s degree in human development from Hardin-Simmons, you’ll need to complete the 30-hour program and pass a comprehensive exam of what you’ve learned during your last semester of study.

The material on the comprehensive exam is determined by a committee appointed by the program director and is designed to assure your knowledge of concepts from across core classes and their practical applications in the field.

If you’re thinking about going for your master’s in human development, you might be interested in learning more about: