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Top Schools for Human and Social Services

Read about degree programs in human and social services, offered at some of the top universities in the nation. Learn what levels of study are available at four of these schools, and find a table that can provide you with at-a-glance information about other colleges and universities in the United States that offer programs in human and social services.

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Students interested in working in mental health, substance abuse, family and child services or criminal justice should consider a career in social or human services. Related programs are often part of a school's sociology department.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Child Care Management
  • Child Care Services
  • Child Development
  • Community Organization and Advocacy
  • Family and Community Services
  • Family Systems
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Social Work
  • Youth Services

School Information

Below are brief summaries of four schools that can help students prepare for careers as social workers or human services workers. The list includes a national university, two regional universities and a private liberal arts college. While all four schools offer undergraduate programs in human services, sociology or social work, Auburn University is the only one to offer a graduate degree program.

Auburn University in Auburn, AL

School Highlight: The Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Auburn prepares students for a career in helping other human beings that face challenges in their own lives.

The university's College of Human Sciences, in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, offers a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, an HDFS minor and an International Minor in Human Sciences. As for graduate degrees, the university offers an M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies. Both master programs require a thesis.

Chapman University in Orange, CA

School Highlight: The university places an emphasis on a personalized education in hopes of fostering global citizens who know how to think critically about their world.

The Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences offers a major in sociology through the Department of Sociology. The sociology program allows for minors in anthropology, woman's studies and law, justice and social control. The sociology department houses a few of the college's 150 student clubs and organizations, such as the Sociology Club and Chapman Feminists. Travel courses are also available at the university, engendering students to spend anywhere from one week to four weeks of the summer or an interim studying different cultures abroad.

Hope College in Holland, MI

School Highlight: The Department of Sociology and Social Work aims to prepare students to think in terms of sociological impacts on society with regard to developing their own personal opinions and a critically constructive imagination.

Hope College's Department of Sociology and Social Work offers a major in sociology and a major in social work. The sociology major has a focus in criminal justice. A social work major allows students the opportunity to practice various avenues of social import, such as working with the elderly, community organizations, underemployed and unemployed persons, juvenile delinquents and at-risk school children. Off-campus options are available for sociology majors, in the likes of attending classes at the Philadelphia Center or the Chicago Semester, or attending programs at the international level in places like the Dominican Republic, Scotland and Mexico.

Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, MA

School Highlight: Fitchburg State University's Human Services program is New England's only 4-year program fully accredited through the Council for Standards in Human Services Education.

The Human Services Department at Fitchburg State University offers a Bachelor of Science degree which is meant to prepare students for work in many different social services areas. The program allows students to design the program that best meets their interests and needs. Students can also expect to participate in field-based experiences, including an internship, as well as traditional classroom instruction. Graduates can find employment in areas that include mental health and substance abuse treatment, child and family services, elder services, working with the disabled and criminal justice.

Top Human and Social Services Degree Programs

The following schools also offer top programs in Human and Social Services:

  • East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN, offers a bachelor's degree in human services and social work. They also offer a master's degree in social work.
  • Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, TX, offers an associate degree in social work.
  • Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT, offers distance learning opportunities at the graduate and undergraduate level.
  • Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA, offers certificates and associate degrees in human services.
  • Bakersfield College located in Bakersfield, CA, offers certificate and associate degrees in human services.

Many schools in the United States offer programs in human and social services, but Auburn University and Chapman University are some of the best. Depending on the school chosen, students can earn undergraduate or graduate degrees or certificates that will prepare them for careers in many different human/social service fields.

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