25 Best Online Human Services Degrees [2020 Guide]

Home » 25 Best Online Human Services Degrees [2020 Guide]

Getting your online human service degree can enhance your life in meaningful and essential ways by opening up professional doors and giving you the ability to help others.

Human Services Degrees

A bachelor’s degree in human services gives you access to a rewarding and well-paying career path that allows you to implement significant change in entire communities.

Best Online Human Services Degrees

People who operate in human services are seen as true advocates for vulnerable populations. You can work for a private or public company, the government, or a school. Candidates work with families, individuals, or entire communities.

Select the program that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:

Both of these fields offer plenty of opportunity for growth, a lot of different job prospects, and plenty of job security.

Bachelor’s in Human Services

child therapist talking to a young patient in a clinic

The human services field deals with making peoples’ lives better either through individual or community-based intervention. People who work in this field operate as counselors, do community outreach, or advocate on behalf of families.

The field generally deals with how problems can be solved and prevented in the future. This requires the meticulous gathering of social information and looking at dominant trends. The long-term goals of any human services initiative are to improve individuals, families, or communities systematically.

People who are best suited for this kind of work tend to be compassionate and empathetic with a strong desire to help others. You also need a thick skin to excel in human services because candidates are often dealing with unsavory situations or parts of the public.

Bachelor’s in Health Services

nurse taking care of an elderly woman

Health services is the medical branch of human services, and it deals with keeping populations healthy and providing medical care to communities.

This specialty covers both physical and mental health care, and can sometimes overlap with social work.

Bachelor’s in Social Work

social worker visiting the home of an elderly woman

Social work is another aspect of human services that predominately deals with individuals or families. Child advocates and substance abuse counselors fall under this umbrella. The best candidates for jobs in social work are those who have strong diplomatic skills and are able to make decisions that positively affect everyone involved.

If you love people and want to help them, human services could be a great career path for you. Although jobs in this field can be challenging at times, they are often very rewarding and offer long-term job security for candidates that prove their merit.

Human Services Curriculum & Courses

human services student studying on his laptop

Although all degrees in human services are different, there are some standard courses that you can expect to take. This is just a small overview, and as you get further into your specialty, you can select classes that appeal specifically to what you want to do.

  • Human Development – This course deals with the psychological development of people. It also shows how environment, family and culture play into our development.
  • Research Methodology – A major component of human services is knowing how to research properly. This course illustrates common research methods and teaches students how to identify patterns.
  • Case Management 101 – This course is a broad overview of interview tactics, professional conduct, and how to deal with volatile people. If you specialize in social work, you will take many more courses like this one.
  • Introduction to Psychology – Psychology is a big part of human services. This introductory level course teaches you about the basics.
  • Ethical Practices in Human Services – There are specific regulations that govern conduct in the context of human services. This class teaches students all about the different ethical practices and pitfalls they might encounter.
  • Community and Social Problems – This course is essential for understanding how communities can both create and solve problems. It also looks at external factors like biases and population.
  • Introduction to Public Policy – There are certain rules and policies that govern human services. This course will teach students how to operate within the legal system to get things done.
  • Effective Communication Skills – Those who work in human services need to be able to understand how to communicate with people on all levels of an organization. This course teaches conflict resolution and diplomatic skills.
  • Hierarchy of Organizational Systems – If you want to be effective in human services, you need to know how to function in different kinds of organizations. This course teaches you about how different governmental, private and public organizations work.
  • Human Services 101 – This basic course gives students a fundamental understanding of how human services operate and the history behind it. You will also learn about any particular challenges that you may encounter.

Human Services Careers & Salaries

Human Services Careers & Salaries

When you get your human services degree online, a number of different opportunities open up to you. Although salaries differ, depending on what state you live in and how competitive the market is, there are some ballpark estimates available.

Although most candidates start at entry-level salaries, it’s easy to rise up through the ranks if you are dedicated and good at your job. Additionally, human services industries are usually hiring, making them good choices for people who value stability in their work.

According to the  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is what you can expect to make in some of the most popular human services jobs.

Careers Average Annual Salary
Medical Services Manager $100,980
Psychologist $80,370
Social and Community Manager $67,150
Child Life Specialist 60,380
Probation Officer $54,290
Social Worker $50,470
Family Therapist $49,610
Mental Health Aide $32,020
Behavioral Management Aide $26,440
Home Health Aide $25,280

Bear in mind that many of these salaries are entry-level, and there is plenty of room for advancement for the right candidate. Many people find human services to be a very rewarding and comfortable field.

Human Services Specializations & Concentrations

team of social workers in a meeting

As you delve more into your human services degree, you will notice that you can choose specific specializations and concentrations.

  • Addictions – This concentration deals with addictive behaviors like alcoholism and drug abuse and how to cope with these types of behaviors.
  • Child and Adult Development – This concentration focuses on the unique factors that shape our development and deals with the unique challenges faced by children.
  • Child and Family Services – This concentration looks at the family unit as a whole, and works to advocate for child welfare.
  • Gerontology – This concentration focuses mostly on the elderly population and their specific concerns with age and age-related hurdles.
  • Leadership and Administration – This concentration deals with the particular challenges of leaders and how to understand those in leadership roles.
  • Substance Abuse – This concentration looks at how to help victims of substance abuse.

These will allow you to differentiate yourself in the field and make you more valuable to future employers.

Online Bachelors in Human Services Degree Requirements

human services degree student studying at home

To graduate successfully with your human services degree, you will need to fulfill certain requirements. It’s helpful to understand them in advance so that you’re prepared for what your degree will entail.

All schools are different, but these are the general requirements that you will probably need to meet.

  • You must take core curriculum and introductory-level classes.
  • You should understand the basics of social science.
  • You should have a good handle on how to conduct research.
  • You need to take at least one ethics class.
  • You will likely need to complete an internship.

Always check with the college of your choice, and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if something is unclear.

Admissions Requirements

human services student studying at home

There are a few basic admissions requirements that you will need to fulfill to get into the school of your choice. All schools are different, so make sure that you check in advance if you are unsure. Many schools have their admissions requirements located right on their website.

The following is a list of the standard admission requirements.

  • You will need a diploma or G.E.D. proving that you finished high school.
  • Most schools will ask for copies of your transcripts. Some require a minimum GPA.
  • Many schools request letters of recommendation.
  • You may be asked for your SAT scores, but many schools overlook this requirement.

It’s better to be prepared, so if you’re unsure of whether or not you need something, err on the side of having it handy.

Accreditation

Human Services Accreditation

Regional accreditation is one of the most important things to look for when selecting a college. Essentially, it means that the school of your choice has been vetted and found exemplary in the eyes of an impartial body.

Many employers will not even consider candidates from schools that are not regionally accredited, so it really is vital to make sure that your school has this stamp of approval.

You can usually find information about accreditation right on the school’s website. If you can’t find what you are looking for, don’t be afraid to call the school and ask. If they are evasive about their accreditation status, it’s a red flag.

Human Services Professional Organizations

Human Services Professionals in a meeting

Like any other field, human services has its fair share of professional organizations. Many of them can help you with networking opportunities and finding good jobs after graduation. It’s always a good idea to join up with one or more professional organizations. It generally does not take up too much time or effort, and you can differentiate yourself in the field.

There are also state and regional organizations that you can join. Check around and see what fits best for you.

Human Services Licensing and Certification

human services degree student studying online

In addition to your degree, you can also get a certification in human services. These certifications help further cement your specialty and set you apart from others in your field.

There are several different kinds of certifications, but the following are two of the most popular ones.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

financial aid for human services students

If you want to get your online human services degree but are worried about the cost, there are plenty of options right at your fingertips to offset the monetary strain of school. You can apply for state or federal grants or scholarships.

These highly-competitive sums of money do not need to be paid back after graduation and are usually merit or income-based. Loans are another excellent option, but these need to be paid back once you finish graduating. You can apply for these on both the state and federal levels. Some colleges also offer their own grants or scholarships.

What Degrees Are Human Services

What Degrees Are Human Services?

Human services degrees are broad degrees that can be either bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degrees. Students can concentrate on social work, health, or other specialized concentrations.

With this degree as a base, you can go on to fine-tune your education in other areas with additional schooling and degrees.

Is Human Services a Good Degree?

Many people would agree that human services is a good degree to have. Not only can you do quite a bit with it, but you can also advance quickly in your job in human services.

Many jobs also come with good benefits, and some even have pension plans as well.

What Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services?

This degree is a four-year degree that allows you to get your foot in the door in human services.

It provides a basic understanding of human services and allows you to concentrate your education on a particular area of the field. It also satisfies the educational requirement of most jobs.

How Much Do Human Services Majors Make?

social worker conducting a survey

Your human services salary will vary depending on what state you live in and how competitive the landscape is.

Many people working in human services make an entry-level salary of roughly $30,000, but this can go up with experience and further education. Your salary will also depend on your human services concentration.

What Is a Human Service Degree?

A human services degree is one that prepares you to work with individuals, families, communities, or populations on strengthening systems and solving problems.

It is a public service position that often works alongside other service professionals, like doctors or police, to address community needs and find creative solutions to problems.

What’s the Difference Between a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services vs. Bachelor of Science in Human Services?

social worker reading a book to an elderly man

The primary difference between the two is that a B.A. will include more humanity-related core classes, and a B.S. will include courses that are more technical.

The direction that you want to go with your degree will really dictate if you get a B.A. or a B.S.

What Can You Do With a Human Services Degree?

There are plenty of things that you can do with a degree in human services. Many people go on to work in social work or as counselors. You can also become a nurse or a community advocate. Some people use their human resources degree to branch off into psychology or work with addictions.

The degree level at which you receive your human services degree highly influences your career opportunities as well. For instance, earning a human services associates degree online may only allow you to work in entry-level positions. On the other hand, an online masters in human services opens doors to some of the highest and most rewarding opportunities in the field.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Health and Human Services Degree?

Generally, it will take you four years to complete your human services degree, although the time frame can change if you are getting your degree online.

Many online schools offer flexible class schedules that afford you the option of taking as much time as you need to for completing your degree.

Are There Any Affordable Online Human Services Bachelor’s Degree Programs?

human services degree student studying at home

There are affordable online human services programs available. Simply look online at a few different schools and shop around for a good price. Remember to keep certain criteria, like accreditation, in mind, when selecting a school.

You can also explore financial aid opportunities and scholarships that can offset your costs substantially.

Are Online Degrees in Human Services Worth It?

Many people think that getting their online degree in human services is absolutely worth it. Alone, it is a great degree that can get you in the door for many entry-level positions.

It’s also a good foundation to build future schooling on, and it gives you insight into how people tick.

Universities Offering Human Services Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Each of the universities included below are regionally accredited and offer human services bachelor’s degree online.

#1  Anderson University

Anderson University

Originally affiliated with the Southern Baptist Church, Anderson University began in 1911 and has grown into a leading private South Carolina private college. With over sixty areas of study, Anderson University makes a way for learners looking to advance their education and passion by earning a doctoral, master’s, or bachelor’s degree.

  • Bachelor of Human Services – Human Services

Anderson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#2  Antioch University

Antioch University

Follow the footsteps of alumni such as Coretta Scott King and Winona LaDuke, students seeking to better the world have been studying at Antioch University since 1852. This private college takes pride in including knowledge of social justice, diversity, and fairness in all undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services Administration

Antioch is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#3  Bluefield College

Bluefield College

Offering degree levels ranging from an associate to master’s degrees, Bluefield College opened its doors in 1922. This liberal arts, private college allows students looking for a Christian atmosphere to grow spiritually and professionally.

Students attending Bluefield College have the opportunity to study on a beautiful campus in VA or attend flexible online classes.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

Bluefield College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#4  California Baptist University

California Baptist University

Established in 1950, California Baptist University provides private education to students in search of growth and leadership opportunities in areas that lead to doctoral, master’s, and undergraduate degrees. There are many programs to choose from at California Baptist College offered in both online of in-person learning formats.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

CBU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.

#5  Colorado State University

Colorado State University

Colorado State University is a well-known school that takes pride in its research and innovation. CSU began in 1870 and understands what students need to be successful in their community, life, and career. That is why this public college works hard to provide a path to over fifty-five-degree options that lead to undergraduate and graduate degrees.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

CSU Global is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#6  Columbia College

Columbia College

Beginning in 1854 as a small school that providing women with higher education, Columbia College is a private school with a religious foundation that now serves both men and women. With its many undergraduates and graduate degrees offered both online and in-person, CU gives students a supportive environment to learn and grow.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

Columbia College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#7  Dominican University

Dominican University

Dominican University opened in 1901 as a Catholic school with the intention of bringing higher education to a diverse population. Today Dominican University has an array of bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. programs that can be taken online or on-campus.

This private educational facility believes in helping students learn compassion, giving, and positive world change.

  • Bachelor’s of Professional Studies in Human Services

Dominican University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#8  Drury University

Drury University

Founded in 1873, Drury University enrolls thousands of students every year who are in pursuit of an undergraduate or graduate degree. DU enrolls about 5,000 students yearly, with over 3,000 in continuing professional studies programs.

As a private, liberal arts school, Drury University believes all learners should have a basic understanding of core instruction as well as deep content knowledge.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

Drury University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#9  East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University

Established in 1911, East Tennessee State University is now the fourth-largest public postsecondary school in Tennessee. With a diverse portfolio of study areas, ETSU has undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate to fit the needs of all Buccaneers. It also is home to one of the most renowned medication teaching institutions in the US.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

ETSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#10  Elizabethtown College

Elizabethtown College

Elizabethtown College started in 1899. EC has expanded over the years to become an esteemed private institute that offers students the ability to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than nineteen academic fields of study. EC also has an array for pre-professional and professional degrees, such as dentistry, law, and medicine.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

Elizabethtown College is accredited by the Middle States Association for Colleges and Secondary Schools.

#11  Fisher College

Fisher College

Fisher College’s main campus sits on a beautiful area in Boston, Massachusetts, but has several satellite campuses throughout the state. This private educational facility started in 1903 and offers students a pathway to earn a master’s, bachelor’s, or associate degrees. FC has an extensive student life program that allows every student to get involved.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

Fisher College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#12  Florida State College – Jacksonville

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Opening in 1966 as a public postsecondary school, Florida State College – Jacksonville now has four campuses throughout the state and several additional learning facilities, including a distance learning platform.

FSC-Jacksonville has bachelor’s and associate degrees and an array of certification programs to help adult learners achieve career and personal advancement.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

FSCJ is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#13  Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University

Established in 1920, Indiana Wesleyan University serves students looking for private, faith-based education with a diverse population. IWU over 130 graduate and undergrad programs that give students a variety of options when choosing their study areas.

There are also nine doctoral programs offered at Indiana Wesleyan University for those who are ready for the next step.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

IWU is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#14  Judson University

Judson University

Opening in 1913, Judson University has ties to the Christian Church and strives to provide a well-rounded, private education to all who attend. With liberal arts being the center of each undergrad and graduate program offered at Judson University, the professors her add a spiritual component to program knowledge.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

Judson is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#15  Lesley University

Lesley University

Lesley University is a private higher learning facility that opened in 1909 to help adults in the area achieve more education. Today, Lesley University has degree programs that range from bachelors to doctoral and offers students several ways to obtain their degree.

They have classes offered in a traditional learning platform, as well as online and hybrid courses for busy adult learners.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

Lesley is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#16  Minot State University

Minot State University

As a well-established public college that started in 1913, Minot State University has online and in-class courses that help students earn one of their many undergrad or graduate degrees.

MSU takes pride in its superb research facilities that help students bring real-world solutions to the core curriculum as they work to improve the areas of environment and health.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services – Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

MSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#17  Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University

Private colleges like Nova Southern University stand out in the field of education. NSU us a top-tier school that has been serving students since 1964. It has grown to enrich the lives of students around the world.

With more than one-hundred study areas that incorporate research and technology, NSU has bachelor’s master’s, and doctoral programs to support the online or in-person learner.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services Administration

NSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#18  Ohio Christian University

Ohio Christian University

Ohio Christian University opened in 1947 and has worked vigilantly to help all students looking to obtain a master’s or bachelor’s degree. This private university has an array of programs that allow students to use their virtual platform. Still, for those who prefer face-to-face learning, OCU gives students access to a vibrant campus experience.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

OCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#19  Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University

Founded in 1930, Old Dominion University resides in Norfolk, Virginia, but their virtual programs allow students looking to pursue a higher level of education to attend from anywhere in the world.

Those who wish to learn on a self-guided route to earning an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degree have many options to-do-so, but a traditional way is also available.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

ODU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#20  Ottawa University

Ottawa University

Originally designed to serve the Ottawa Indian tribe, Ottawa University is a private institution of higher learning that opened in 1865. Offering programs that lead to graduate, undergraduate, and career certificates, Ottawa University strives to show all students friendship, care, and grace as they progress through their academic career.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

Ottawa University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#21  Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Saint Mary of the Woods College

Staring in 1840, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is a private, catholic postsecondary school and the oldest college of this type in the state.

Incorporating a liberal arts core to all degree programs, Saint Mary-of the Woods College specializes in offering students associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs that will build upon their career aspirations and personal growth.

  • BS in Human Services

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#22  Shorter University

Shorter University

Shorter University is affiliated with the Baptist Church but offers a private education to students of all denominations. Opening in 1873, Shorter has a pathway to several associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. SU spans worldwide via its top-notch virtual education platform, but it also has a vibrant campus for all to enjoy.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services

Shorter is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#23  Southern Wesleyan University

Southern Wesleyan University

Located in the attractive state of South Carolina, Southern Wesleyan University opened in 1906. SWU works to aid students in personal and academic development by offering a faith-based curriculum by providing an array of degree programs that range from associate to doctoral. This private institution allows for online and face-to-face learning.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Services – Administration
  • Bachelor’s in Human Services – Counseling
  • Bachelor’s in Human Services – Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor’s in Human Services – Marriage and Family Services

SWU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#24  University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh opened in 1894 and has become one of the largest universities in the state. Awarding a plethora of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees every year, UW serves about 14,000 students annually. The school has its own radio station, TV channel, and many other amenities for students to enjoy.

  • BS in Human Services Leadership

UW Oshkosh is accredited by HLC.

#25  Western Washington University

Western Washington University

Western Washington University is found in the most northern part of the US and was established in 1886 to offer public adult education to the area. WWU has a multitude of bachelor’s degree programs and an extensive graduate school with a master’s degree, professional degrees, and doctoral programs.

Law, education, and medicine are a few of the specialized degrees offered at WWU.

  • BA in Human Services

Western is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Getting Your Human Services Degree Online

human services degree student studying online

If you have been thinking about getting your human service degrees online, now is the time to take the plunge. There are plenty of scholarships and financial aid options available for all types of learners, and many schools allow you to attend classes on your schedule.

Even if you have a busy life and work, you can find time to get your degree online. There’s no harm in checking around and seeing what’s out there. There’s a good chance that you can find a reputable and affordable program that suits your needs and can give you a leg up in the workforce.

James Chen
WRITTEN BY
James Chen