United States On-Campus Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters Programs
Start exploring Graduate Schools with Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters Degree Programs if the idea of studying on campus and the college experience is appealing to you. Whether you are interested in archaeology, counseling psychology, social work, non-profit or public administration, there are many options for a campus-based graduate education in the social and behavioral sciences.
Inside a Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters Degree Program
The social sciences encompass the behavioral sciences and the humanities. Generalized Social Science Masters degree programs in social science often take an interdisciplinary focus, where students explore a broad curriculum that might include courses in topics such as history, economics, political science, anthropology and sociology.
The Behavioral Sciences include aspects of neuroscience, psychology and counseling, or Social Work. These disciplines may require doctoral degrees for certain levels of clinical practice, so a Masters degree is either a useful stepping-stone or a way to potentially prepare for licensure and the workplace.
In terms of Master of Public Affairs, this type of degree falls into the category of Public Administration. Whereas the Master of Business Administration is considered a preparation for entrepreneurs or management of private companies and organizations, the MPA is the degree of choice if you aspire to work in government or in public policy, emergency management, environmental management or law enforcement.
Most programs require a thesis or capstone project in order to graduate. Program length differs.
DID YOU KNOW? Most sociology jobs require a master’s degree or Ph.D[i]
What Type of Masters Degree in Social Sciences is right for you?
- If you are interested in culture, field-work, examining artifacts and history, you might choose
- a Masters in Anthropology or a Masters in Archaeology.
- If health education or bioethics interests you, look into Masters in Public Health degree programs
- If you are interested in a human-centered field, whether in understanding the brain, cognition, or how to counsel or serve others, you might review Masters in Neuroscience, Masters in Counseling Psychology - Art Therapy, Career Counseling, Counseling & Therapy, Marriage & Family Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, MSW Programs, Masters in Gerontology, Masters in Human Services or Masters in Psychology -Applied Behavior Analysis, Clinical, Cognitive, Community, Developmental, Forensic, Holistic, Organizational, Social & Personality and Sports Psychology.
- If you enjoy research, or studying society using both empirical investigation and critical analysis to understand issues such as crime and demography, browse Masters in Sociology, or Masters in Urban Affairs & Planning.
- If jurisprudence, law and politics interest you, explore Masters in International Relations, Masters in Political Science or Masters in Conflict & Peace Studies
- If you prefer management, business or finance, review Masters in Non-Profit Administration, Masters in Economics, Masters in Emergency Management or Masters in Environmental Management
- If you are interested in Public Affairs, review Masters in Public Administration & Policy degree programs
Essentials of Search: Finding a Graduate School for Public Affairs or Social Sciences
GradSchools.com has some efficient navigation tools to help you land on the Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters Degree that aligns with your goals. Once you have decided on the ‘what’, focus on the ‘how’ by selecting the campus program format to look through listings in that domain. You can also initiate a search fro Graduate Schools by location, especially if there is a city, state, or country that you know you want to study in. Each search will yield results.
If you open a few links in your browser, you can visit a few universities’ websites to get a feel for it, and use the request info setting to obtain details about the things you want to know: cost, admissions, prerequisites, financial aid and so on. You also want to find out whether a university stands out for one program over another (Neuroscience here, Economics there)
FACT: Political scientists often complete a master of public administration (MPA), master of public policy (MPP), or master of public affairs degree[ii].
Potential Benefits to On-Campus Study
If you have attended college for your undergraduate degree, you already know how it feels to have access to libraries, laboratories or student services onsite. Graduate School is another two years or more, so you are wondering if attending class makes sense to you. It is definitely a personal choice, but there are a few potential advantages. The social learning atmosphere of a campus might provide a great forum for things like:
- Participation in campus activities, feeling of community
- Motivation: Programs are intense and challenging but having a consistent schedule may be grounding and give you the impetus to excel
- Fine tuning your communication and interpersonal skills
- Team-building or leadership skills
- Getting in-person assistance from professors
- Using on site research facilities
- Building lively discussion, brainstorming and learning to ask questions in public especially in interdisciplinary programs
- Forming new networks
Accreditation is a way for an outside, non-governmental agency to verify the quality of an institution of higher learning and specific programs. Since Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters Degree Programs span so many disciplines, you want to ensure that the grad school you choose meets the standards set by its field. For example
- AACSB - Business Schools, business, economics.
- NASPAA - Public policy, affairs, and administration.
- CSWE – Social Work Masters Programs
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Many Masters students are currently working professionals, and it is not uncommon for Graduate Schools with Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters Degree Programs to hold classes during the evenings or weekends in order to accommodate this trend. Often graduate programs involve research, with much time in the lab, in the library, or getting good guidance from your faculty. Experiencing this in-person and in real time may be what it takes to excel and enjoy the challenging and fruitful years ahead.
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/sociologists.htm | aacsb.edu/ | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm | accreditation.naspaa.org | cswe.org/Accreditation.aspx
- Portales, NMPortales, NM
Eastern New Mexico University
The MA in anthropology offers students a specialized focus on the archaeology of the US Southwest.
- Costa Mesa, CACosta Mesa, CA
The mission of the Organizational Psychology program is to prepare students for professional excellence, ethical leadership, and service to people and society through enhancing life in the workplace.
- Costa Mesa, CA
- Bristol, RIBristol, RI
Roger Williams University
Guaranteed paid internships and NAAB-accredited. Exciting two- and three-year options available in the M.Arch program offered by the School of Architecture, Art, and Historic Preservation.
- Bristol, RI
- Boston, MABoston, MA
Today, the School of Social Work continues to provide a rigorous clinical social work education for men and women, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and a PhD in Social Work designed for advanced clinical scholars...
- Boston, MA
- Weston, MAWeston, MA
45 credit Master's program; 27 credit certificate program...
- Pomona, NJPomona, NJ
Stockton University offers the MSW in a two-year format, or a one-year format called Advanced Standing. Advanced Standing is open to individuals who have earned baccalaureate degrees in social work from a social work program accredited by the Counci...
- Buffalo, NYBuffalo, NY
The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and MS in School Counseling will prepare you for New York State Licensure and a career as a mental health or school counselor.
- Arlington, VAArlington, VA
Divine Mercy University
IPS is the first and only graduate school of psychology integrating the science of psychology and proven therapeutic methods with the Catholic understanding of the person, marriage and the family. IPS clinicians go beyond simple symptom relief to f...
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
A master’s degree in Forensic Psychology will open doors to a variety of professional opportunities that apply the art and science of psychology to the understanding and functioning of legal and related fields.
- Chicago, IL
- San Diego, CA
- Washington, DC
- Irvine, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Fort Lauderdale, FLFort Lauderdale, FL
Nova Southeastern University
Family Therapy, M.S.
The M.S. in Family Therapy is designed to help students develop clinical excellence and prepare for careers as marriage and family therapists. Students are prepared to assume professional positions in private practice, employee assistance programs, mana...
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Jacksonville, FL
- Orlando, FL
- Palm Beach Gardens, FL
- Miami, FL
- Tampa, FL
- Loma Linda, CALoma Linda, CA
Loma Linda University
The Loma Linda University MSW program is accredited by CSWE and includes a 78-credit curriculum consisting of academic, experiential, and research experiences. Two-, three-, four-year, and advanced standing options are available.
- Loma Linda, CA
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
New School, The
Milano’s Master of Science in Public and Urban Policy challenges you to develop innovative solutions for the world’s thorniest challenges, which are increasingly urban and global...
- New York City, NY
- Tiffin, OHTiffin, OH
Designed especially for those who are interested in examining the relationship between psychology and the criminal justice system, TU’s Forensic Psychology program is primarily researched based and will prepare students for careers in CJ and mental healt...
- Fairfield, CTFairfield, CT
Sacred Heart University
The Master of Science in Applied Psychology will teach students how to apply the science of human behavior to solve practical real-world problems through a unique delivery system of 8-week courses. You may accelerate your degree completion, completi...
- Fairfield, CT
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of San Francisco
The M.A. in International Studies is an innovative and rigorous program that provides students with in-depth knowledge about the changes that now face the global community.
- San Francisco, CA
- Baltimore, MDBaltimore, MD
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is the largest and oldest graduate school of public health. Founded in 1916 as part of the Johns Hopkins University, the School has served as the model for public health schools, creatin...
- Austin, TXAustin, TX
- Virginia Beach, VA
- Royal Palm Beach, FL
- Montgomery, AL
- Columbia, SC
- Savannah, GA
- Glen Allen, VA
- Novi, MI
- High Point, NC
- Warrensville Heights, OH
- Newton, MANewton, MA
As one of today’s most rapidly evolving industries, the healthcare field has high demand for knowledgeable, skilled communicators. In the Health Communication graduate program, you will acquire the skills to launch a health campaign or brand health...
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
California State University, Northridge
Join the largest MPA program in California and the third-largest in the nation. Graduate with a network...
- Los Angeles, CA
- Santa Clarita, CA
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
California Institute of Integral Studies
Integral Counseling Psychology was the first accredited, transpersonal psychology program in the United States...
- Boulder, COBoulder, CO
Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality
This master's program is designed to familiarize students with the four paths of Creation Spirituality in tandem with each student's own spiritual practice and spirituality.