Human Services, M.S.


Mercer University's Master of Science Human Services is designed professionals who currently hold staff positions and are ready for leadership positions or are seeking a career in the human services field. Students focus on closing the gap between individuals, communities and resources to improve healthcare. The M.S. in Human Services program offers two concentrations, providing candidates the choice to specialize in either area of expertise. Regardless of discipline, students learn to increase their ability to communicate and assess the population's health needs. The degree program offers two concentrations:

  • Gerontology Services
  • Child and Adolescent Services

Human services organizations are demanding skilled practitioners and leaders who can fulfill service roles in their communities, empower others, and find innovative solutions to today’s challenges in the healthcare and social service industries. Mercer University’s Master of Science in Human Services is designed to address this increasing need for human service professionals who possess advanced knowledge and experience. The M.S. in Human Services program is offered at Mercer's Henry County location.


Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to:

  • Develop and implement human services programs
  • Incorporate an entrepreneurial approach to human services delivery
  • Plan for the nutritional and recreational needs of aging client populations
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of existing programs and advocate for patients and their families

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts jobs in the field of Human Services will increase by 16% during the period of 2016-2026, placing human services profesionals in high demand. Depending on the selected concentration, Mercer University's M.S. in Human Services equips graduates with the knowledge and skills to succeed as professional in the field, including roles such as: caseworker, child life specialist, epidemiologist, human service assistant, mental health specialist, social service specialist, and welfare case manager.

Child and Adolescent Services
Effective leadership is necessary to meet the challenges of delivering quality patient care to children and adolescent population. Students learn to confidently support young community members, ultimately leading to potential long-term success in adolescents. Organizations are requiring more leaders with the behavioral and mental training needed to assist those overcoming various situations. This concentration is designed for individuals from various academic and professional backgrounds seeking to improve the lives of others in their communities. Through this concentration students will:
  • Understand the role that human services leaders play in promoting social change and become an advocate for individuals, families, and communities in need
  • Become knowledgeable about how mental, behavioral and social characteristics can impact community members and develop positive solutions to provide sustainability
  • Understand legal and ethical standards in the administration and delivery of human services systems when working with children and adolescents
Individuals who successfully complete the program are prepared to work in a variety of roles including: child life specialist, mental health specialist, social service specialist or welfare case manager.

Gerontology Services

Gerontology is a profession that seeks to work with adult populations through direct services or program and policy administration. Students learn to effectively care for various types of adults to support their community through program development, strategy, health and leisure. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012) the job outlook for social and community service manager positions is expected to increase 27% through 2020 (faster than average) due to the growing aging population. The course work challenges students to think critically and to respond reflectively while working in a collaborative learning environment. Through this concentration students will:
  • Understand how to exercise leadership in government, community and nonprofit settings
  • Gain insight and apply research to improve the practice of human services delivery systems
  • Become knowledgeable about issues and challenges of an aging population and the health care system
Individuals who successfully complete the program are prepared to work in a variety of roles including: caseworker, epidemiologist, or human service assistant.

The Master of Science in Human Services requires a total of 36 semester hours to complete.

View the Master of Science in Human Services Program Plan >


Applicants seeking graduate admission must have a bachelor's (undergraduate) degree with an acceptable grade point average from an accredited college or university. The degree may be in any discipline.

Application Checklist

Submit all of the following items to complete your application to the program:

Application for Admission. Begin application now >

  • $35 Non-refundable Application Fee ($100 for International Applicants)
    Submit the required application fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to Mercer University. Do not send cash. The application fee is nonrefundable and cannot apply toward tuition. Former or current students of Mercer University need not submit another application fee. 
  • MAT or GRE Test Score*
    All applicants must take the Millers Analogy Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and achieve a qualifying score. Scores must be no more than five years old at the time of application. Testing information can be provided through the official MAT or GRE Website. The target score for the MAT is 397, and the target score for the GRE is 151 verbal and 143 quantitative. This is but one tool used in the decision making process. 

    *MAT/GRE not required for applicants who meet one of the following exceptions:  

    (a) Students who belong to the Tau Upsilon Alpha Honor Society or have passed the Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP) exam

    (b) Achieved a 3.0 GPA or higher in all undergraduate coursework.

  • Unofficial MAT or GRE Test Score
    If you have already taken the MAT or GRE and have the score results, we request that you include this information with the application. For example, you may submit a copy of the unofficial score report given at the time the test was taken (sometimes referred to as the "walk-out score report") or a copy of your examinees score report received through the mail. This will allow the admissions department to begin the file evaluation process. This does not replace the requirement of an official score report for those applicants who are offered admission.
  • Transcripts from All Previously Attended Institutions
    Submit an official transcript from each college and university previously attended. Transcripts are required for both undergraduate (including summer school and studies abroad) and graduate course work, regardless of length of stay or if the grades are listed on another school's transcript. Official electronic transcripts should be submitted to Former and current Mercer University students need not request a Mercer University transcript.
  • Letter of Recommendation
    The letter of recommendation/support can be from a person in current or past leadership structure, a professor, or those that have firsthand knowledge of the applicant’s professional accomplishments.
  • Résumé
    Applicants must submit a current résumé.
  • Interview

Submit all application supporting materials to:

Mercer University
Office of Graduate Admissions
College of Professional Advancement
3001 Mercer University Drive
Atlanta, GA 30341


Admission decisions cannot be made until all application materials have been received.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants 
A. Evaluation of Foreign Credentials Applicants who completed all or part of their education abroad are required to have their foreign educational credentials evaluated by an independent evaluation service. A Course-by-Course and Grade Point Average Equivalent Evaluation is required for graduate admission. Contact the Office of Admissions for information about evaluation services if your foreign credentials have not been evaluated. If an evaluation has been done, you must submit an official sealed copy with your application.
B. Official Translations Documents submitted in a language other than English must be accompanied by official translations.
C. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) The TOEFL or IELTS is required for international applicants whose primary language is not English. The scores may not be more than two years old. Official score reports must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions by the Educational Testing Service. The Educational Testing Service institution code for submission of official score reports is 5025. Unofficial copies of the score report may be included with the application for initial review and evaluation. This does not replace the requirement of an official score report for those applicants who are offered admission.
Exception: The TOEFL is not required of international applicants who have attended another U.S. institution and completed freshman English Composition I and II with grades of "C" or higher.
D. Financial Guarantee: International applicants who wish to obtain an I-20 for F-1 visa must include financial documentation showing ability to finance tuition and living expenses for one year. Financial documents must have a current date and indicate available funds of US$25,000.
E. Visa Status: International Applicants Who are Currently in the United States - Documentation of your current visa status must be submitted with the self-managed application. (Copy of I-20 and I-94 if on an F-1 visa; copy of visa stamp and I-94 if on another type of visa; or copy of Resident Alien card [front and back] if classified as a Resident Alien.)

Applicants seeking graduate admission into the Masters of Science in Human Services program are required to attend an interview. Interviews will be scheduled upon review of candidate's completed admissions file.

The Enterprise Learning Partnership program (formerly known as the Preferred Provider Partnership program) provides affordable opportunities for employees of partner companies to attend an approved degree program of study at Mercer University. This unique program allows Mercer to establish relationships with corporations, government agencies, and organizations that are committed to supporting their employees' educational goals and ongoing professional development. Incentives include tuition benefits, military benefits, waived application fees, convenient credit transfer policy, and a streamlined process to learn more about an employee’s program of interest.

Employees of the following Mercer partners are able to use these benefits when enrolled in the M.S. Human Services program:

Georgia Department of Corrections 
Piedmont Healthcare
WellStar Health System


Learn more about Mercer’s Enterprise Learning Partnership program > 

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Facilities/Tech Fees
Graduate & Professional Students:
1-8 Hours - $17.00/hour
9-99 Hours - $150/semester

Miscellaneous Fees (subject to change based on individual course requirements)
Internship - $100 - $375
Practicum - $75 - $250
Fieldwork - $75 - $155
Lab Fee - $100 - $300/per course
Transcript Fee - $25
Transcript Fax Fee - $5