The field of human services encompasses services that address human needs through prevention, remediation, and rehabilitation. The National Organization for Human Services indicates a number of career paths from case worker to residential manager. Individuals wishing to enter the human services career field may complete a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services or a Bachelor of Science in Human Services, depending upon the chosen institution. The course requirements for a human services bachelor's degree program vary from school to school but include most of the same types of classes.
General Education Courses
Most students enrolled in a bachelor degree program for human services must complete general education credit requirements. These courses often consist of college composition, professional communications, math, science, and social science. Many bachelor degree awarding institutions require students to complete a balanced liberal arts foundation of course work. Students may also have to complete additional elective general education courses in history, computer science, literature, or other fields of personal interest.
Foreign Language or Multicultural Studies Requirement
Some institutions have a foreign language or multicultural studies requirement for students seeking a bachelor's degree. Normally, it requires students to complete two or three courses focusing on the acquisition of a foreign language or the exploration of other cultures and diversity. Students should speak to an enrollment counselor or academic advisor to determine if the chosen human services degree program requires a foreign language or multicultural studies requirement.
Human Services Content Courses
Much of a bachelor's degree program in human services will consist of human services content courses. These courses specifically address knowledge, application, and theory required of individuals wishing to earn a human services degree. These courses may include study in social policy, psychology, social issues and problems, crisis intervention and prevention, case management, public administration, human relations and human resource management.
Human Services Concentration Courses
Some schools offering a bachelor's degree program in human services require students to select a concentration area for their degree. Students complete human services content courses and concentration courses to focus the degree within a specific human services field. Concentration courses range from philanthropy, gerontology, substance abuse and rehabilitation, health administration and social work. Individuals wishing to specialize in a specific field of human services should speak with an enrollment counselor or academic advisor at the chosen institution to ensure the program offers a concentration option or requirement.
Students majoring in a human services may have the option of pursuing an undergraduate minor. The minor allows students to engage in the concentrated study of a field outside of the student's major course of study. However, a minor may be completed in a field related to the student's major course of study as means of supplementing additional field expertise. For example, a student earning a bachelor's degree in human services may elect to study a minor in fields such as child development, communication, health and wellness, political science and public administration or criminal justice.
Internship or Capstone
The final requirement of most bachelor degree programs is the internship or capstone. An internship for a human services degree must be completed at an approved human services administration site. The internship provides students with extensive field experience in human services. Other schools may require the completion of a capstone course. Students design and complete a comprehensive project based on their learning and experience in the human services degree program. Successful completion of an internship or a capstone is required before a bachelor's degree in human services is awarded. Students should speak with an enrollment counselor or academic advisor to determine which is required by the chosen degree program.
- Bethel University: B.A. in Human Services
- Millikin University: Human Services, B.A.
- National Organization for Human Services: What is Human Services?
- Nova Southeastern University: B.S. in Human Services Administration
- University of Massachusetts Boston: Human Services, BA
- University of Phoenix: Bachelor of Science in Human Services with a Concentration in Management
- University of Phoenix: Human Services Degree Programs
- Walden University: B.S in Human Services
Heather Dennull has been active in the education field since 2003. She teaches developmental English and introductory courses in humanities and philosophy at the college level. She has a master's degree in education and is working toward a doctorate in educational leadership.