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Best Bachelor's in Human Services Degree Programs

Apr 06, 2021

Human Services Degrees

A degree in human services allows you to have a rewarding career helping others. People who work in human services aim to create a positive impact on individuals and communities. They provide assistance and care to people in need with the mission of making people's lives better, safer and healthier.

What Kinds of Human Services Degrees Are There?

A degree in human services can be obtained through an associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral program. The degree level you need to obtain varies depending on the specific occupation you plan on pursuing. There are also certificate programs in human services.

Associate Degrees in Human Services

An associate degree in human services is an interdisciplinary degree that helps students to develop the skills needed to work in the human service field and establish an understanding of human behavior through life stages. The curriculum provides an introduction to human behavior and development. Students will also explore the psychological and social issues people face. You can earn an associate degree in human services in two years. Degrees typically include 60 credits and can be completed at a community college in preparation to transfer to a four year university.

Bachelor's Degrees in Human Services

The majority of entry level jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in human services. This degree requires the completion of 120 credits. Students can choose to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Human Services or a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services. A Bachelor of Science may have greater emphasis on healthcare and administrative courses while a Bachelor of Arts may include more courses in subjects including psychology and sociology. The two are very similar and selection should be based upon a specific concentration or career the student is planning on pursuing.

Master's Degrees in Human Services

While a bachelor's degree is necessary to work in the majority of entry level positions, in order to work in a clinical position, you need to obtain a master's degree. A master's degree in human services also allows students to work in a variety of jobs in higher education which includes working in student affairs, counseling services or as an educator. It typically takes two years to obtain this degree and the completion of anywhere between 30 and 40 credits depending on requirements of the program selected.

Doctoral Degrees in Human Services

Obtaining a doctorate in human services allows you to work in advanced positions within human services including leadership positions. These roles can include working in higher education, being in charge of organizations or conducting research in the field. A doctor of human services, known as a DHS, is slightly different from a PhD in human services. By obtaining a DHS, your work is related to applying existing research to solve problems in human services. Whereas, a PhD is focused on conducting new research and new ways to approach the problems people are dealing with. It can take between three and eight years to earn your degree. This varies depending on the program and specific requirements you need to meet.

Certificates in Human Services

Many universities offer certificates in health services which prepare students to work in the behavioral health and human service fields. Students learn how to interact with people in an empathetic, patient and helpful way. Along with these skills, students will be introduced to career specific courses if they choose to specialize in working with youth or the elderly. Students can also find certificates that specialize in helping those who are coping with addictions or disabilities. Alternatively students can find certificates with a focus on nonprofit management or counseling. Certificates can be completed in two or three semesters at most universities and consist of anywhere between 15 and 40 credits.

The Best Bachelor Degree Programs in Human Services

1. Grace Christian University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14350 100% 44% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

2. Lincoln University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7910 No Available Data (2019-2020) 27% 97% No Yes AP Credits

3. Southern Wesleyan University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$25516 35% 54% 99% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

4. Shorter University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$22370 60% 37% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

5. University of Minnesota-Morris

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13578 57% 58% 98% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

6. California State University-Monterey Bay

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7143 75% 63% 81% Yes Yes AP Credits

7. William Penn University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$26100 58% 34% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

8. Judson University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$29870 39% 58% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

9. Grand View University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28678 96% 55% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

10. Bethel University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11448 90% 32% 99% Yes Yes AP Credits

11. Metropolitan State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8114 56% 34% 86% No Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

12. Grace College and Theological Seminary

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$24078 80% 69% 98% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

13. Goodwin College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$20888 No Available Data (2019-2020) 38% 98% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

14. Western Washington University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8343 90% 68% 86% Yes Yes AP Credits

15. Ohio Christian University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14883 No Available Data (2019-2020) 32% 94% No Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

16. California State University-Dominguez Hills

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6946 77% 44% 92% Yes Yes AP Credits

17. Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$21456 88% 45% 98% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

18. Geneva College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28190 53% 72% 95% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

19. Anderson University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$29230 69% 67% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

20. Lancaster Bible College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$25842 96% 62% 99% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

21. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$30500 67% 56% 100% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

22. Indian River State College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$2764 No Available Data (2019-2020) 41% 67% Yes Yes AP Credits

23. Evangel University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$24327 97% 56% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

24. Missouri Baptist University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28220 61% 45% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

25. California State University-Fullerton

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6924 53% 69% 77% Yes Yes AP Credits

26. Valley City State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7707 76% 50% 98% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

27. Fitchburg State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10505 88% 58% 91% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

28. University of Baltimore

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9096 78% 41% 97% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

29. University of the Cumberlands

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9875 80% 44% 99% No Yes AP Credits

30. St. Joseph's College-Long Island

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$29200 73% 72% 98% No Yes AP Credits

31. University of North Georgia

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$5229 81% 38% 88% Yes Yes AP Credits

32. East Tennessee State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9259 86% 50% 95% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

33. University of Delaware

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14280 71% 81% 88% Yes Yes AP Credits

34. Touro College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$18663 69% 61% 88% Yes Yes AP Credits

35. Saint Leo University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$23750 72% 49% 100% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

36. Carson-Newman University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28900 69% 57% 100% Yes Yes AP Credits

37. Waynesburg University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$25570 93% 66% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

38. St. Joseph's College-New York

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$29190 71% 62% 99% No Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

39. Kennesaw State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6456 75% 46% 92% Yes Yes AP Credits

40. Canisius College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$29428 83% 73% 97% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

41. Bethel University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11448 90% 32% 99% Yes Yes AP Credits

42. Florida State College at Jacksonville

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$2657 No Available Data (2019-2020) 37% 71% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

43. Marian University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$35000 62% 63% 100% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

44. Southeastern University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$26620 48% 45% 99% Yes Yes AP Credits

45. Lesley University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28875 75% 60% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

46. Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9345 No Available Data (2019-2020) 38% 85% No Yes AP Credits

47. University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8171 81% 45% 92% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

48. Dakota Wesleyan University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28750 67% 54% 100% No Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.

Tuition information is based on published tuition and required fees, per data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Human Services Bachelor's Degree Concentrations

Depending on their area of interest, students can choose from several different concentrations. These may include youth/family services or early childhood development. These concentrations help prepare students to understand human development at different stages of life beginning at childhood. In addition, students learn about issues that occur within the home including child custody or domestic violence. Another concentration is in counseling and this allows students to work in careers involving mental health. Students can also choose a concentration in substance abuse in which you can help people overcome addiction.

Curriculum for a Bachelor's Degree in Human Services

Students take introductory courses in human services and related courses such as:

  • Human Development
  • Counseling in Human Services
  • Health and Human Services Research Methods
  • Human Services Policy and Advocacy
  • Case Management
  • Public Policy
  • Diversity and Families

Students also take communication courses that help them learn how to interact with and assist others. In addition, students take courses in ethics, counseling, sociology and psychology.

If a student is interested, there are free courses offered by several universities that can be completed online.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelor's in Human Services?

The length of time it takes to earn a degree in human services depends on if a student attends full time or part time. It typically takes four years to complete the 120 credits.

How to Choose a Human Services Degree School & Program

When selecting a college or university, students must consider several factors. First, students should decide what type of degree they want to earn and see which universities offer that degree. Students should examine the programs offered by that specific university. They should consider if the program is online, in-person or a hybrid of the two.

In addition, a student should look at the facilities and resources the university offers. Depending on what area of interest of the student, universities may offer degrees focused on certain areas of focus in the human services field of study. Some universities offer bachelor's degrees in human services leadership. This degree prepares students for leadership roles at human service agencies and graduate-level studies. Alternatively students may find a human services degree with a focus on rehabilitation.

When it comes closer to making a final decision, students can gather more information about specific programs by contacting the admissions department or taking a tour of the campus to see what it will be like to attend the university.

Accreditation for Bachelor's in Human Services Degrees

In the U.S., colleges and universities receive accreditation from agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The accreditation process includes a review of the school's educational programs and student services. An institution's accreditation impacts course credit transferability as well as a student's eligibility for federal financial aid. Students should look for the college or university to have earned national or regional accreditation.

For a human services degree, accreditation is usually provided by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education. The CSHSE accredits associate, bachelor, and master degrees in human services educational programs in the United States. Other programs may have regional accreditation from accrediting bodies such as the WASC Senior College and University Commission or the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Human Services Licensure & Certification

Depending on the specific career chosen, a license may be required for the position. Without a license, you can only work in entry-level positions. A popular career for someone working in human services is a social worker. Social workers help people by guiding people and providing resources through their problems. People who work in social work often spend most of their time working in an office, but they may visit clients as well. Social workers may be assigned to a certain school or travel between multiple schools to serve students in different areas. In some cases social workers may be able to remotely communicate with patients through videoconferencing.

If a social worker wants to provide a client with treatment or counseling, however, they must become a clinical social worker and obtain a license. The state in which you live determines the specific requirements you need to work in that position. The general requirements include having a master's degree, completing an exam and a certain number of hours of supervised work experience.

The National Organization for Human Services (NOHS), in collaboration with the Council for Standards in Human Service Education and the Center for Credentialing & Education, offers certification for those working in human services. The credential they provide helps someone working in human services to establish a professional career and help them have the opportunity to work in advanced positions.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Human Services?

There are many career options for those with a bachelor's in human services. Someone could work in communities, health services, nonprofits and government. Careers include social workers, human services professionals, social and human service assistants, community outreach workers or substance abuse counselors.

The field of human services has been growing in recent years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for all those in the social work field are expected to increase by 13 percent from 2019 to 2029. As of May 2019, the BLS reported the median annual wage for social workers was $50,470.

How to Become a Social and Community Service Manager

Social and community service managers work to maintain organizations and programs designed to improve people's everyday lives. This involves working with community members to figure out the needs of the people and help them get access to the resources to help them solve those problems. Their work also deals with planning activities to increase awareness for these programs and proposals that help gain funding for them. Social and community service managers often work for nonprofit organizations or may be employed by for-profit social service companies. In order to work as a social or community service manager, you usually need at least a bachelor's degree, however a master's degree may be required to work in more advanced roles such as for government agencies. In addition, you need to have some work experience in human services or related fields to work in this position.

According to the BLS, the employment of social and community service managers is expected to increase by 17 percent from 2019 to 2029. As of May 2019, the median annual wage for social and community service managers was $67,150.

How to Become a Psychologist

Psychologists are professionals who work to help people cope with and discuss issues they are facing in their life. Their work focuses on mental health which includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. The type of psychologist you plan on becoming determines the degree level you need to have.

Psychologists usually need a doctoral degree, but if you plan on working for a school or industrial organizational position, a master's degree may fulfill the requirement. A degree in human services may be a good starting point for someone interested in this career as it provides an introduction to this occupation. Students can choose courses that include psychology and mental health which prepares them for the type of work included in this position. In order to work as a psychologist in a clinical practice you'll need to have obtained a license which varies by state. Along with that you need to complete training and a certain amount of supervised work experience. Psychologists can gain that experience by completing a postdoctoral program or internship.

The employment of psychologists is expected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029 as projected by the BLS. As of May 2019, the median annual wage for psychologists was $80,370.

Financial Aid & Scholarship Information for Bachelor's in Human Services Degrees

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in human services should complete the FAFSA to find out if they qualify for any federal aid. There are many organizations that offer scholarships to students planning to pursue a career in human services. There are small and large scholarships available depending on the area of focus, experience and degree level. The National Organization for Human Services offers several awards, scholarships and grants. This includes the David C. Maloney Scholarship which is awarded to one student who has demonstrated high academic achievement in a human services program. Another scholarship is the Truman Scholar for students who have displayed public service leadership. It is a highly competitive national scholarship in which candidates must be nominated by their undergraduate institution.

Professional Organizations in Human Services

There are many organizations for career professionals within the field of human services. This includes the NOHS, National Organization for Health Services which works to increase professional development opportunities within the field. Its work has a focus on prevention and remediation of problems to improve the quality of life of the population. An organization that represents social workers is the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) which is made up of over 120,000 members and is the largest organization of professional social workers. Its mission is to ensure people's basic human needs are met and it does so by promoting public policy that reflects these values. These organizations allow people in the field to come together, share ideas and figure out solutions with the goal of helping make people's live better.

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