Education + Human Services

Help Others Succeed

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Are you passionate about people-centered work that transforms communities? You may want to consider building your future in Education + Human Services.

This career path is for those who want to become future educators, practitioners, scholars, community leaders, and change agents. Together, these professionals strengthen communities, address systemic issues, and support others through direct service, outreach, prevention, and advocacy. They are dedicated to the growth, development, and needs of individuals through work that includes teaching, child development, counseling, psychology, social work, social services, speech-language pathology, human resources, NGOs, and nonprofits. 

If this sounds like you or who you want to become, learn how you can move forward to help others.



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Explore Grad School: Education + Human Services

For complete information on graduate school search strategies and the application process, review our starter tips to Explore Grad School in all careers as well as the specialized tips on this page.

Planning Your Educational Path

If you are interested in pursuing a career in Education + Human Services, graduate school is likely on your mind. First things first, before applying to graduate school, understand which profession you want to work towards by discovering your options and researching the process of starting a career in that specific area. This means beginning with the end in mind; your “ideal career trajectory” should guide you in choosing the “best” programs for you to apply to.

Start your research by obtaining information about programs and keeping track of timelines and graduate examination dates. Review the graduate school process in our tips about Grad School 101 to begin to plan out a timeline, considering whether you want to pursue graduate school directly after UCSB or in the future.


Master’s Programs

Masters programs in Education + Human Services typically range from one to two years in terms of coursework and degree completion. However, any fields that require national/state certification or licensing could stretch your career timeline, as you will need to pass additional exams and obtain the supervised internship or fieldwork hours required to practice in your field, which could often take another year (or more) to complete. Some examples of master’s programs in this field include Master of Education (M.Ed); Master of Arts (MA) / Science (MS) in a related discipline such as Teaching, Counseling, Psychology, Student Affairs/Higher Education, International Education, and Master of Social Work (MSW). Find a master’s program that would support your long-term career goals.


Doctorate Programs

There are many different types of doctorate programs in Education + Human Services, and most take five to seven years to complete. Doctorate programs focus on research and teaching at a university and are geared towards advancing knowledge in a particular area. There are many different types of doctorate programs pursued by those interested in Education + Human Services, such as Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), which is typically in a specific academic discipline such as Education, Sociology, Clinical Psychology. Additional programs include Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership, or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology.


Doctorate programs are a significant investment of your time, money, and interests so it's important to ensure that pursuing this degree aligns with your career goals. Additionally, it's important to talk with graduate students and current faculty at various academic levels (e.g., assistant professors, associate professors, etc.) about the discipline to help you make an informed decision about pursuing a doctorate degree.

Gap Year Options

There are a variety of reasons for taking a "gap year" between degree programs, such as saving money for graduate school, or gaining more experience in a field that interests you. You may have even heard from others who have taken gap years, with recommendations on whether you should or should not do the same.

If you are considering a gap year, check out this video for an overview of taking a gap year in Education + Human Services. In the video, we help you gain a clear understanding of what a "gap year" is focused on, including benefits and considerations, planning strategies, and available options.

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