District of Columbia Hybrid Graduate Programs in Public Affairs & Social Sciences

Hybrid Social Sciences and Public Affairs Graduate Programs

If you can’t make it full-time to a campus program and are not ready to sacrifice in person interaction, you might prefer Hybrid Social Sciences and Public Affairs Graduate Programs. Busy schedules, long work hours and family duties are the reality for many of today’s graduate students. That’s why some universities offer flexible schedules, online learning and off-campus locations to potentially put a public affairs and social sciences graduate degree within your grasp.

Why Consider a Hybrid Social Sciences and Public Affairs Graduate Degree?

Hybrid Social Sciences and Public Affairs graduate programs may help students gain knowledge and practical skills in a wide range of fields through a convenient format. Usually this means a blend of online and in-person delivery options that may fit the needs of a busy timetable. In fact, some hybrid graduate degrees in public affairs and social sciences might even place you abroad in summer for some credits, then at your home desk for the remainder of your courses.

Hybrid Format and Structure

Aside from topics specific to your content area, your Hybrid Public Affairs and Social Sciences graduate program may provide coursework in professional development, research methods and best practices. You might take courses in the evening at a local campus, or enroll in a non-local program with easy to manage residencies. The rest of the time, you could study independently through web-based courses. And, stay connected to your school, faculty and classmates through digital tools such as video conferences, chatrooms and email. Of course, formats and structure of a blended program could vary between universities. So contact schools for details.

What are Public Affairs and Social Sciences?

For certain, hybrid Public Affairs and Social Sciences graduate programs span many categories. Public affairs graduate

programs study the relationships between organizations and their stakeholders. Emergency management, public policy and health communications are some examples. By comparison, social sciences degrees take a deeper look at human behavior within society. Psychology, economics, anthropology and sociology are some of the academic disciplines included in the social sciences. If your aim is to earn a graduate degree in any of these majors, you might find the low-residency and flexible format to be a great match.


In terms of skills, Public Affairs Specialists need to be able to listen and grasp ideas that are presented orally.The Social Scientist needs to be able to grasp information presented in written documents.ii

Hybrid Public Affairs and Social Sciences Graduate Degree Essentials

The three main types of Hybrid Public Affairs and Social Sciences graduate programs are certificates, masters and doctorate degrees. Most programs at these levels presume the applicant has earned a bachelors degree from an accredited institution. Other requirements are likely to vary a great deal between schools and areas of study.

Hybrid Graduate Certificates in Public Affairs and Social Sciences

In general, Graduate Certificates in Public Affairs and Social Sciences are academic programs that could add onto, or help prepare for, a graduate degree. Some programs might entail about four or five courses. These programs could take less than a year to complete. Other programs, might entail more credits and coursework, so make sure to read through requirements. Sample hybrid certificate options are listed below.

Hybrid Postgraduate Certificates in Social Work: Social workers and recent graduates who hope to refine practical skills within a dedicated field such as substance abuse or trauma might pursue a hybrid postgraduate certificate in social work. Some certificates of this type could help students meet the clock hour educational requirements for specific credentials. For instance, an Addictions Postgraduate Certificate program might help some master's level professionals in social work prepare to apply for the NYS OASAS credential in Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counseling (CASAC-T). If this is your goal, make sure to check with your school and local state board to confirm expectations.

Hybrid Applied Psychology Certificate: Some Master of Science in Applied Psychology (MSAP) programs may provide twelve credit certificates in areas of emphasis that can later be applied to the masters degree as a concentration area. For example, you might choose a focus in Industrial-Organizational Psychology to explore how people work in groups and organizations.

Hybrid Masters Degrees in Public Affairs and Social Sciences

Hybrid masters degrees in Public Affairs and Social Sciences might be found as Master of Arts, Master of Science, and professional masters degrees such as the Master of Public Administration (MPA) or Master of Social Work (MSW). Some programs entail about two years of full-time study. Graduate students could study various research methods and develop a grasp of how to interpret and assess data. Also, some programs may help to build managerial and professional communication skills. Consider some of the following.

The Master of Science in Gerontology may help you prepare to better grasp some of the complexities of aging, health and social structures. Topics you could study include the biological and psychological aspects of the aging body and how it is affected be disease, stress and change. Other courses could prepare students to conduct research and work independently on a practical project.

Master of Science in Unmanned Systems: A non-engineering degree, a MS in Unmanned Systems might explore policy design, ethics and systems management. Students could work in independent and team settings to develop their ability to collaborate and lead. Also, a variety of concentrations (e.g. Aeronautics and Design, Aviation research, Safety) might help tailor the program to individual goals and interests.

Master of Arts in International Trade and Economic Diplomacy students may gain a deep grasp of policy analysis and trade negotiations.

Master of Science in Organizational Psychology degree programs may highlight the behavior of individuals in businesses and organizations in order to develop strategies to improve performance and productivity. Coursework could delve into tests and measures, research design, leadership, human resources management and more.

Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling programs may help students prepare for clinical work, licensure and future doctoral study. Some low-residency models begin with a brief on-campus residency which offers seminars, the chance to meet with advisors, and connect with others. Students then continue to take courses in psychopathology, lifespan, cognition and counseling theory through their school’s web-based platform.

Master of Public Administration (MPA): A MPA degree could examine topics such as accountability, transparency, ethics, privacy and participation. In some of their courses, students might analyze public policy and could learn how to find solutions to critical social issues. Other courses might focus on management areas such as finance and budget, personnel, and operations. 

Master of Arts in Global Development and Social Justice programs could explore best practices and leadership in global development. Coursework could provide an in-depth look at economics, sustainable food and water sources, media strategy and more.

Hybrid Doctorate Degrees in Public Affairs and Social Sciences

Hybrid Doctorate Degrees in Public Affairs and Social Sciences provide the highest level of graduate degree in one’s technical field. Candidates might choose a research-focused Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), or a practice-focused professional doctorate such as a Doctor of Education in Sport Psychology. PhD programs entail advanced courses, research methods and may expect students to contribute new insight to their field of inquiry. Professional Doctorates may lean towards the development of refined practical skills, and the application of theory to a current challenge in one’s field. Program lengths vary but typically add several years of study post-masters.

Doctor of Education in Sport and Performance Psychology: An EdD in Sport and Performance Psychology could blend coursework in cognition, motivation and counseling. Students in an EdDSPP program often examine theories and methods designed to foster wellness, mental focus, and optimal sport performance. For instance, courses may explore how to help clients set goals, overcome roadblocks and develop confidence.

PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies: Candidates who pursue a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies might study a variety of ideas and practices. Some programs might explore a combination of leadership, public policy, social change, ethics, creativity, innovation, and other areas in the humanities.

Find Accredited Hybrid Graduate Programs in Public Affairs and Social Sciences

Many regionally and nationally accredited universities offer Hybrid Public Affairs and Social Sciences graduate programs. Individual programs are also sometimes approved by professional agencies. Accreditation is one way to verify that a school meets or exceeds standards of quality. Contact schools directly to learn more.

Take the Next Step

To get started, we suggest you refine your search for Hybrid Public Affairs and Social Sciences graduate degrees by level (Certificate, Masters, Doctorate). The above are just a few examples of some of the types of programs that may be available in a blended format. Review all the possibilities in any given subject category to make an informed decision about a great program for you. Then, easily contact schools with the on-page form. Take the next step now!

[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/27-3031.00 | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3041.00

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