Seattle Public Affairs and Social Sciences Master's Degrees

Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters programs are definitely worth exploring if you are interested in understanding humans in their environment whether as a counselor or dealing with current social and political issues. Both very broad academic categories, Public Affairs is term that covers relationships between organizations and politicians and governments and other leaders; often it is considered a sub-domain of public relations. Social Sciences explore individual behavior as well as the ways human societies operate. It in turn has a variety of branches, including sociology. From business to health and education, find out which Masters degree in Public Affairs and Social Sciences aligns with your interests.

Social Sciences and Public Affairs Masters Programs in Seattle

Inside: Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters programs

While an undergraduate degree has given you a generalized education Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters programs offer ample opportunity to choose and specialize in your chosen field. Many programs are available to students holding bachelor's degrees in any academic discipline, although other programs may have very specific requirements.

In terms of curriculum, this is going to vary. Often it will include a professional research project, thesis or internship, but again, this is going to depend on what you are studying. The requirements for a Masters in Archaeology are going to be different than a Masters of Public Administration or a Masters in Social Work.

Taught as Master of Arts (MA), Master of Education (M.Ed.), and Master of Science (MSc) degrees, some Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters programs prepare graduates for doctorate degrees, while others may serve to prepare students to potentially enter the workplace after graduation. This is a good reason to do some homework about the type of vocation you aspire to practice.

Did You Know?

29% of Social

Science Research Assistants hold a Masters Degree![i]

What Are Public Affairs and Social Science Masters Programs?

Students pursuing Masters Degrees in Social Sciences study the ways in which human societies function, and the relationships among individuals within a given society.  Data is gathered using a mixture of quantitative data as well as more qualitative approaches.  The Main Social Sciences disciplines are:

  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Human Geography and Demography
  • History
  • Sociology
  • Humanities (Psychology, history, linguistics, jurisprudence, law, criminology, anthropology and archaeology, education)
  • Public Affairs (related)

The Master of Public Affairs Degree (MPAff)

A sub field of Social Sciences is Public Affairs, which incorporates elements of business, communication studies, law and political science. Students in Master of Public Affairs programs learn about communications, media, leadership, government and public relations. In addition to coursework, an internship may be expected.

These programs often teach the how-to’s of handling complex public policy problems. Common concentrations in Public Affairs Masters programs might include: International affairs, natural resources and environmental management, nonprofit and philanthropic studies, public administration and leadership, social and economic policy, technology, innovation, and information policy, urban and state affairs, conflict resolution and other topics.

Fun Fact: 

NASPAA is the accrediting body for in the field of public policy, affairs, and administration.[ii]

The Master of Social Science Degree (MSSc)

Some universities offer a Master’s degree in Social Science. Often an  interdisciplinary program, students MSSC might explore the relationship of culture to society with a broad curriculum and opportunity for a student to shape their own research. Course topics might include history, economics, political science, global politics, anthropology and sociology.

Road Map To Masters Programs in Public Affairs and Social Sciences

Ready to use the navigation tools on Start out by searching the extensive directory for Masters Programs in that discipline. Here’s a roadmap to help with the selection process.

  • Masters in Anthropology
  • Masters in Archaeology
  • Masters in Conflict & Peace Studies (eg. MS in Mediation & Applied Conflict Studies)
  • Masters in Counseling Psychology - Art Therapy, Career Counseling, Counseling & Therapy, Marriage & Family Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling.
  • Masters in Economics -Economic Development (e.g. MBA in Economic Crime and Fraud Management)
  • Masters in Educational & School Psychology -Educational Psychology, School counseling, School Psychology
  • Masters in Emergency Management -Environmental Policy.
  • Masters in Environmental Management
  • Masters in Gerontology
  • Masters in Human Services (e.g. MS in Human Services/Forensic Mental Health Counseling)
  • Masters in International Relations
  • Masters in Neuroscience
  • Masters in Non-Profit Administration
  • Masters in Political Science –Military.
  • Masters in Psychology -Applied Behavior Analysis, Clinical, Cognitive, Community, Developmental, Forensic, Holistic, Organizational, Social & Personality and Sports Psychology.
  • Masters in Public Administration & Policy -Government, Labor & Industrial Relations, Public Administration, Public Policy- (e.g. M.P.A.)
  • Masters in Public Health - Bioethics, Epidemiology, Health Education & Communication, International Health, Occupational Health & Safety.
  • Masters of Social Work
  • Masters in Sociology -Human Development.
  • Masters in Urban Affairs & Planning -Urban Planning, Urban Studies & Affairs.

What’s Next: Program Format

Once you have tackled the program that is on track with your academic goals and vocational interests, decide what program format is best for you: Online, On-Campus or Hybrid. Distance-learning may be a great fit for someone who lives too far geographically from an accredited university program or who cannot take time off work. Blended or hybrid programs combine the convenience of online study with onsite requirements and are sometimes called partial online programs. Campus programs are great if you are studying a health or human-centered programs within Public Affairs and Social Sciences. These accommodate the interpersonal, communication and leadership skills that are required for some fields.


If location is a factor, use the search tools to find Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters Programs by city, state or country.

 Consider making a list of programs that interest you, and emailing the school to request any additional information you might have about the curriculum, learning delivery system, tuition or other relevant details. Sometimes there is an orange tab that gives you the option of clicking through to a grad School site. This is a useful feature to engage with as well.

The Workplace and Your Masters Degree

Public Affairs and Social Sciences careers are numerous. What types of social sciences jobs require a master’s degree? A Masters degree in public relations, journalism, fundraising, or nonprofit management may be useful if you aspire to work as a Public Affairs Director. If you aspire to work in International Relations or higher-level political science roles, a master’s degree or Ph.D. in political science, public administration, or a related field may be necessary.

Take-away? If you have an end career in mind, make sure to review the academic path towards it with a guidance counselor so you will make supportive decisions.

Ready to Choose a Masters Program?

Whether your preference is to understand the brain and cognition, human relationships and culture, or Public management and policy, there are a variety of fantastic Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters Programs to choose from. Why not initiate your selection today!

Sources: [i] |[ii] / | | | |

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  • Online degrees in business, counseling, education, health administration, human services, information technology, nursing, public health, psychology and social work.
  • 97% of alumni agree FlexPath provided the flexibility they needed to pursue their degree (Alumni Outcomes Survey 2017)
  • No application fee for April & June terms
  • Some of the nation's most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
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