People with a degree in human services are people who want to help others. Human services degrees are different from those specifically focusing on social work but help shape the minds of people who are interested in social justice, equity, diversity, and health. These individuals want to make a difference for the greater good.
A bachelor’s degree in human services is the first step on the journey. One of the great things about this program is that it can be tailored to specific career paths. Internships are often in the chosen specialization and can also prepare students who wish to gain more with a higher degree once the program is finished. Some schools have concentrations like Child and Family Services, Addictions, Criminal Justice, Healthcare, and Gerontology.
How We Ranked the Best Human Services Degree Programs
For the Social Work Degree Center’s ranking of the best campus-based human services bachelor’s degrees, editors put the spotlight on accredited, trustworthy institutions recognized for quality. We ranked programs by data from IPEDS and Niche, including tuition cost, student reviews, and graduate salary.
1. NYC College of Technology
The NYC College of Technology offers the Human Services, BS. This four-year bachelor’s degree program is passed upon missions set forth by the Human Services Department. This degree program will assist students in acquiring a strong foundation in human service education. Upon graduation, students will be capable of understanding the historical elements of human services, apply their knowledge of individuals and groups in real-life settings, analyze individual situations and form a plan of action for improvement, work as a part of a community environment to better the lives of citizens. Students will be qualified for entry-level human service positions as well as higher-ranked positions. Because this is considered one of the best human service degree programs, students will also be qualified to pursue graduate-level studies in this field.
NYC College of Technology provides a solid education in an exciting setting. New York offers students a multitude of cultural and career opportunities both during their education and beyond.
Program: Human Services, BS
2. Wingate University
The Human Services, BS/BA at Wingate University is the program for students who are looking to start a stable, well-paying career that also contributes to the community. The many job opportunities in public outreach will provide students with a fulfilling career path which they can be proud of. This program brings together both psychology and sociology to develop the necessary skills needed for a successful human service worker. These skills include communication, cultural understanding, and leadership. To better succeed in this field, an in-field practicum will be required. This 100-hour practicum will focus on one of the following internship experiences: Autism support services, community shelters, domestic violence facilities, school counseling centers.
Wingate prides itself on making big educational goals a reality within small classroom settings. The small classroom sizes help students and teachers better connect to focus on educational objectives.
Program: Human Services, BS/BA
3. Quincy University
When you enter the Human Services, BS program at Quincy University, you will immediately know you are in a different kind of school. At Quincy University there is an intentional focus on service. Because service is an essential part of the human services field, this program will provide students will a deep understanding of why we serve one another and the deep impacts and consequences there are in our communities because of this service or because of a lack of this service. This program will focus on a combination of counseling theories as well as the study of group, individual, and family dynamics. Students will learn how these elements work together to create our society as a whole and the important part that human services play in this dynamic. Students will learn the intricacies of case management, research methods, psychological testing, needs assessment, and more. These elements combine to make this one of the best human services degree programs.
Quincy University utilizes a robust internship program to ensure that graduates from this institution are prepared for real-life situations in their chosen professions.
Program: Human Services, BS
4. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Those who pursue a Human Services, BS at Saint Mary of the Woods College will secure both a dependable career and salary while also making a difference in their community and the world as a whole. This program was designed for students who have a passion to help others in their communities. This degree will prepare students for a career in human services or prepare them to move on to graduate studies in this field. This program is offered online for students who need greater flexibility in their educational plans.
Saint Mary of the Woods College is a four-year Catholic school where young men and women can bring together their intellectual and spiritual goals.
Program: Human Services, BS
5. Bay Path University
The Health & Human Services, BA provided at Bay Path University is designed for those students who wish to make a difference in the lives of those around them. Courses will help provide students with a background in physical and mental health so that students can understand how both of these work together to affect the quality of life in individuals. Students will also study ethics in-depth for a better understanding of our ethical obligations to one another and the consequences of ignoring these obligations. This program will prepare students for a variety of career paths within human services.
Bay Path University prides itself on pushing the boundaries of education so that the individual needs of each student are always met.
Program: Health & Human Services, BA
6. Syracuse University
The BS in Education – Human Services program at Syracuse University is designed to prepare students for an exciting and fulfilling career in human services. This innovative major draws upon many areas of study to give students a well-rounded understanding of how individuals, families, and society work together to create quality of life. Those choosing a focus of Post Secondary and Human Service Fields will discover intense classroom instruction as well as hands-on learning.
Syracuse University boasts 20,000 students from all over the world. With over 300 clubs and activities to get involved in, this campus provides a rich, well-rounded experience in beautiful Syracuse, NY.
Program: BS in Education – Human Services
7. Fisher College
The Human Services, BS at Fisher College is an interdisciplinary course of study. This program will prepare students to analyze the social and developmental needs of individuals and families. Students will understand how these dynamics work together to create problems or solutions within our communities. Upon completion of this program, students will be prepared to enter human services occupations where they can assist at-risk populations with improving their lives through community services and initiatives.
Located in one of the most exciting cities in America, Fisher College encourages students to, “Find the world at Fisher.” This school offers many different delivery models so that students can enjoy the best flexibility in their educational goals. On-campus, students will enjoy a rich cultural experience as they interact with students from all over the globe and enjoy the many activities Boston has to offer.
Program: Human Services, BS
8. George Washington University
The BA in Human Services and Social Justice offered at George Washington University not only prepares students for a fulfilling careering in human services, but it also provides students with the knowledge they need to fulfill an important role in our communities today. This program combines both a human services focus as well as a social justice focus. The reason for this is because social justice is the heart and foundation of human services programs. Students in this program will be immersed in a wide range of topics including, criminology, ethnic relations, social change, as well as human service instruction. Graduates will be qualified to hold many different types of human services occupations and leadership roles.
George Washington University has been the training ground for many of our most influential leaders in this country. Today, located in the heart of our nation’s capital, it is dedicated to the instruction of tomorrow’s leaders and changers. This school offers both an excellent academic program as well as an exciting backdrop for your college career.
Program: BA in Human Services and Social Justice
9. Siena Heights University
The Community and Human Services, BA from Siena Heights University, is considered the best human services degree program available. This program not only prepares students for strong career success but also instills in students the importance of contributing something of substance to the community as a whole. This program is based on outcomes such as the development of an interdisciplinary approach to community work, skills to access and evaluate clients, research methods, and an ability to link a theory with practice. The policies, procedures, and federal codes which govern the helping services are constantly changing, so this is why it is imperative that those in the human service field are properly prepared to meet these challenges. Upon completion of this program, students will be qualified for certification in human service work.
Siena Heights University is a Catholic school dedicated to developing both the academic and spiritual lives of students. Located in beautiful Adrian, MI this campus provides a secure and exciting background for education.
Program: Community and Human Services, BA
10. Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago’s BS in Human Services degree program is a 45-credit-hour multidisciplinary program that draws courses from five Loyola departments: criminal justice, political science, psychology, sociology, and social work. Students will learn how all of these disciplines work together to create the social landscape in which we live. Students will also learn how community service work and the human services field helps individuals, groups, and families to overcome challenges and develop a quality life. Loyola University operates from a foundation of Jesuit Catholic mission and service, which is also foundational to the human services field. Students will have the opportunity to participate in many hands-on learning experiences by participating within the many human service organizations located nearby to campus.
Loyola University is beautifully situated along the shores of Lake Michigan. This stunning setting is complemented by the exciting city life that Chicago has to offer. Students will be both academically and culturally stimulated by their time spent here.
Program: BS in Human Services
11. Northeastern University
One of the best human services degree programs, the Human Services BA from Northeastern University, will prepare students for a successful career in human services. This program is intended for students who are looking for ways to make social change a reality. Through intense classroom instruction as well as in fieldwork, students will fully understand what it takes to make a difference in their communities. Social change takes place one person at a time, and the human services field focuses on ways to assess challenges and provide practical services which can help individuals, families, and groups rise up above their challenges to create a quality life.
Located in Boston, MA, students will be able to combine a robust educational experience with an exciting living experience. Boston offers exciting cultural experiences in one of our nation’s most historic cities.
Program: Human Services BA
12. Fort Hays State University
The Human Services, BGS at Fort Hays State University is designed for students who are seeking a general studies degree with a focus on human services. This type of degree can be very flexible. Upon graduation, students will be qualified to enter the many human service occupations available. Students will also be qualified to continue their education with graduate-level studies.
Fort Hays State University provides an exciting campus life for students as they complete their education. With a multitude of student organizations and activities, students will find themselves constantly growing both inside and outside of the classroom.
Program: Human Services, BGS
13. University of Bridgeport
The Human Services, BS provided at The University of Bridgeport is both academic as well as practical. This program of study will bring together the classroom training as well as the practicum experience necessary to enter the field of human services. This degree will equip students with what they need to succeed in many different types of human services occupations. This degree also transfers into graduate studies for those who would like to pursue their education further. Human service occupations include both work within private agencies as well as community-based employment. Bridgeport offers one of the best degree programs by making many delivery models available, including on-campus, online and flexible classes which can be taken at night to accommodate adult students.
Nestled in the heart of beautiful Connecticut, the University of Bridgeport is dedicated to providing students with professional development which has real-world value. The school is proud to be home to a diverse student body that hail from all over the globe. A robust offering of extracurriculars and student activities will make time spent at Bridgeport rewarding and memorable.
Program: Human Services, BS
14. University of Scranton
The BS in Counseling and Human Services at the University of Scranton is an exciting next step for students seeking a career in human services. This program is accredited y the Council for Standards in Human Service Education. Students can proceed with confidence knowing that the education they are receiving will sufficiently prepare them for the human service occupations. This program offers a concentration in Rehabilitation Services. This concentrated track will give students the added edge they need in order to provide top-notch care to the clients they will be serving. Students will be offered many internship opportunities as well in order to enhance their academic learning and prepare them for the real-world work environment.
The University of Scranton is a private, Catholic Jesuit institution. Here, students can focus on both their career goals as well as their spiritual goals. Students can find a comfortable atmosphere of like-minded individuals.
Program: BS in Counseling and Human Services
15. University of South Carolina Beaufort
University of South Carolina, Beaufort’s Human Services, BS degree will have students ready for employment in the field of human care and services. The degree program will also help prepare students for advanced studies. This degree program is dedicated to developing human services workers who are knowledgeable, ethical, creative, and compassionate. Students will enjoy an interdisciplinary course of study which will pull on sociology and psychology. This program is fully accredited by the National Council on Standards for Human Service Education. Currently, this is the only fully accredited human services degree program offered in South Carolina, truly making it the best human services degree program.
This beautiful coastal college community will quickly become your home away from home. Beaufort is a small campus with a big heart for learning and community.
Program: Human Services, BS
16. Rowan University
The Human Services, BA offered at Rowan University is a robust educational experience that will prepare students for the challenges and excitement of human service work. This program is designed for students who have a passion for helping their communities and would like to turn that passion into a stable career. This curriculum is designed to give students both the in-classroom academic training they need as well as real-world experience to help them succeed in the workforce. There is a strong focus on ethics and social justice, making this one of the best human services degree programs.
The motto at Rowan University is, “Success on your schedule.” This truly embodies the efforts which are being made to make education accessible to students from all different walks of life. In today’s society, students need flexibility in order to make their educational dreams a reality. Rowan University provides this.
Program: Human Services, BA
17. SUNY Empire State College
The Community and Human Service, BS offered at SUNY Empire State College will blend together the best of academic learning and field work. During this degree program, students will be prepared for entering the human services field in a variety of different occupations. The human service field is a vast and growing part of the workforce. Those who enter this occupation need to have a strong foundation of ethics, knowledge of social services, the dynamics of behavior of individuals, groups, and families, as well as a strong compassion for those with challenges. The human services concentration will bring all of these elements together to ensure graduates are adequately prepared for this career or for advanced studies. Students can rest assured they are a part of one of the best human services degree programs around.
SUNY Empire State College provides a unique learning experience for students by partnering with local industries, non-profits, and military organizations to provide not only classroom instruction, but real-life hands-on experience in occupational fields.
Program: Community and Human Service, BS
18. Southwestern Assemblies of God University
The Human Services, BS from Southwestern Assemblies of God University will bring together studies in general education, general Biblical studies, as well as a specialization in human services studies. These studies will include counseling, social work, psychology, or criminal justice. This degree program was created to meet the needs of students who are planning to enter the social service field. Occupations within this field can include counselors, social workers, addiction counselors, rehab workers, family and children’s service workers, and others. Upon graduation, students will be qualified for entry-level positions and beyond. Graduates will also be qualified for more advanced studies.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a Christian institution backed by the Assemblies of God. Students can focus on both their academic goals as well as their spiritual goals with a community of like-minded believers.
Program: Human Services, BS
19. Granite State College
The Human Services, BS at Granite State College will sufficiently prepare students for an exciting and fulfilling career in the human service field. This program of study will also prepare students for more advanced learning through graduate studies. Students who complete this degree program will be qualified for positions at the entry-level and beyond in the private sector, non-profit, and government social services agencies. This program combines both classroom learning activities and on-the-job training experiences to give students a well-rounded educational experience.
Located in beautiful and historic Concord, NH students will enjoy this true college community and they stretch their horizons and make new exciting connections.
Program: Human Services, BS
20. University of the Cumberlands
The Human Services, BS/BA from University of the Cumberlands is truly one of the best human services degree programs. University of the Cumberlands offers students a variety of human services concentrations to choose from. These concentrations ensure that students can truly customize their educational experience to align with their specific career goals. Concentrations in this program include:
- Human Services
- Mental Health
University of the Cumberlands strives to provide students with a well-rounded college experience. Students will enjoy the opportunity to participate in sports, the arts, and many clubs and organizations. There is truly something for everyone here.
Program: Human Services, BS/BA
21. Western Washington University
The Human Services, BA offered by Western Washington University attracts students from diverse backgrounds who all have the same goal in mind: making an impact in their communities. This program is designed for students who have made a commitment to social justice, human dignity, and the desire to be an active part of social change. Graduates will be qualified to find employment in non-profits, government and community-based services, youth workers, advocates, and counselors. This program has a strong social justice orientation, making it a dynamic and timely program for our society. Not only will students participate in classroom activities, but graduates are required to complete 260 hours of in-field training. This ensures that students are prepared for the challenges of the real world of human services.
Bellingham is the perfect backdrop for a college experience. A small, safe coastal town in Washington State, students will enjoy outdoor adventures, as well as stimulating cultural experiences.
Program: Human Services, BA
22. University of Delaware
The Human Services Major offered by the University of Delaware provides a flexible program to meet the needs of students seeking a career in human services. Upon graduation, students will be able to identify the needs of challenged individuals, resolve issues, supervise staff, and will most importantly become dynamic agents of social change. This program is designed for students who have compassion for those facing challenges in their communities, such as those dealing with addictions, homelessness, unemployment, and those in other vulnerable populations. Graduates will be qualified for entry-level employment and beyond as well as for advanced studies.
University of Delaware has established a vibrant college community dedicated to social change and community service. Here, students can truly become a part of something bigger as they discover who they are within the larger global community.
Program: Human Services Major
23. Washburn University
The Family & Human Services, BAS offered at Washburn University is a fully accredited program designed to prepare students for work and success in the human services field. This program will have a strong concentration on social change and justice. Students will learn how they can help make a difference in the larger community by helping one person or group at a time. Students will be qualified for employment in a variety of human service occupations within the human services field. This program will bring together both classroom experience as well as in-field training to ensure that students are prepared for the real-world challenges of social work.
Founded in 1865, Washburn University has a long history of providing excellent education and career training to the many graduates who have walked through its halls. Along with excellent academics, Washburn also provides an exciting array of student activities and organizations to make college life interesting both in and out of the classroom.
Program: Family & Human Services, BAS
24. Post University
The Human Services, BS from Post University encourages students to, “Uplift those in need and elevate your career.” This motto perfectly sums up the ambitions of social and human service work. With this degree, students will be able to pursue a fulfilling and stable career path while also making a significant difference in their communities. Through training in the classroom as well as in-field experience, students will be prepared for careers as addiction counselors, social workers, family and children’s advocates, and much more. On-campus career coaching is available to help students understand the best way to use their degree upon graduation.
Post University boasts a rich history of educational excellence dating back to 1890. Students will draw upon the dedication to academic achievement as well as the strong commitment to community and growth during their time here.
Program: Human Services, BS
25. University of Oregon
The Family and Human Services BA/BS at the University of Oregon provides two pathway options for students to choose from. Direct Service Intensive will prepare students for general human services employment in a variety of environments. The Prevention Science Pathway will focus on prevention methods for vulnerable populations. This program combines intense classroom experiences with dynamic field assignments. The University of Oregon has partnered with over 100 agencies locally to provide the best on-the-job training for students. Fieldwork will be an important part of graduation requirements. This fieldwork ensures that students understand how to handle the real-world challenges of human service work. Upon graduation, students will be prepared for employment as counselors, family and child support services, addiction counselors, rehab workers, and more. The emphasis on in-field training makes this one of the best human services degree programs in Washington.
The University of Oregon, home of the Ducks, welcomes students to their new nest. This close-knit college community blends together both academic excellence with thriving student life. Here, students will truly feel they are a part of a larger community where they can grow educationally and personally.
Program: Family and Human Services BA/BS
What is Human Services?
Many people ask “What is Human Services?” The field is so broad that it can be difficult to give one definition. Human services are all about meeting the needs of others to improve the quality of life. This specialization brings numerous professions together to assist communities and people in multiple ways. Some of these services can include victim advocacy, child welfare services, assistance with language-challenged individuals, services for the elderly and aging, assistance with shelter, food, and clothing, programs to improve the community, and others. In private organizations, these types of services are distributed through grants and donations.
This is not the same as a degree in social work, although those with a human services degree can work in social work. Most programs require a certain GPA for admission to their programs, and the entire program is usually 120 credits with or without an internship. These programs can be offered in a traditional brick-and-mortar university classroom, through a hybrid offering, or an accelerated program.
Some core courses associated with a bachelor’s degree in human services include those dealing with social problems, domestic violence, child welfare, human behavior, social systems, criminal justice, sociology, and more.
What is the Department of Human Services?
The Department of Human Services is usually a state-based agency that works to promote stronger families and communities. These agencies help with food deficiencies through their SNAP or food stamp programs, provide senior care and assistance, works with foster care and adoption, investigate claims of child and elder abuse, work with Medicaid, and other programs of this nature.
What is the Department of Health and Human Services?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is a federal agency put in place to provide essential human services for all Americans and protect their health. This agency is responsible for the Food and Drug Administration that regulates food and pharmaceuticals. The Department is also responsible for administering the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Is Human Services a Good Career?
There are a lot of human services careers for someone to pursue. Careers of this nature include case management workers, counselors, sociologists, child life specialists, hospice workers, community development directors, marriage therapists, public policy consultants, and others.
Careers in human services span several areas, with a focus on providing services to assist the community at large. There are certain skills needed to be successful in this industry, including cultural competency, empathy, compassion, excellent listening skills, attention to detail, interpersonal skills, planning skills, and more. Employers who have employees with human services degrees usually include healthcare facilities and agencies, correctional facilities, nonprofits, and other community service organizations.
The pay for human services careers varies based on the location and area of expertise. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree and years of experience should be expected to have a higher salary. This can be an enriching career for individuals who love helping people and working for social justice. While some may be wondering is human services a good career, the professions associated with this industry help move the country forward.
Joining a professional organization may offer additional insight into the world of human services. These organizations also help individuals with networking, jobs, and other resources. These organizations include:
- National Organization for Human Services (NOHS)
- American Public Human Services Association (APHSA)
- American Probation and Parole Association (APPA)
- National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)
- American Counseling Association (ACA)
For specifics on career paths of interest, it is always best to speak to the school and possibly someone in that field to find out all the logistics, resources, and opportunities that may be available.