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Human Services Degree Online Bachelor's Program

Mo Gray, holding her 2022 online human services degree diploma, while sitting next to her son on a staircase.

Cost per credit $330

Total courses 40

Term length 8 weeks

Program Overview Why get a human services degree online?

A Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Human Services from Southern New Hampshire University is the perfect way to put your compassion to work. The program will teach you how to combine policy knowledge with the art of advocacy, so you can help improve the lives of individuals, families or entire populations.

Skills you'll learn:
  • Social, political and historical trend analysis
  • Research and communication strategies
  • Cultural competence
  • Legal and ethical standards
  • Human services policies
  • Advocacy tactics for the underserved
Mo Gray, a 2022 BA in human services degree alumna, taking notes while on a phone call while sitting at her desk.

Courses & Curriculum Human services degree online classes that make a difference

Each class is built to give you the confidence and knowledge needed to become a human services professional. At the program's end, you'll be required to complete a capstone experience that demonstrates how your new skills can be applied in a real-world setting.


Online BA in Human Services concentrations

Focus on a general track or add a specialization to your bachelor’s degree with one of three concentrations.

Learn to advocate for change on behalf of children and families in the online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Human Services program with a concentration in Child and Family Services. You'll explore how social issues affect the well-being of families and their communities. You'll also analyze how federal and state policies impact services.

Your online bachelor's in human services can prepare you to provide case management services, such as assessment, relationship building, collaborative development and evaluation of treatment plans, and the referral of clients to necessary community service providers.

This concentration is designed for those with a particular interest in child welfare, schools, juvenile corrections, family court, family support agencies and domestic violence agencies. Ideal candidates will work well with at-risk clients, collaborate comfortably with a multi-disciplinary team, maintain good written and oral communication skills, and respect a rigid code of ethics.

Child development is a key focus, as is the impact of stress and trauma, public policy and the court system. Proficiency in these areas will help you develop intervention strategies. Ultimately, your ability to ethically and effectively link families with much-needed community resources will improve the well-being of families and entire communities.

Career outlook:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for social and community service managers is projected to increase by 9% through 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.1 Whether you're interested in working in prevention, intervention or advocacy, there are plenty of roles in the field of child and family services, including:

  • Case manager
  • Child-focused advocate
  • Child protective service worker
  • Community health worker
  • Family reunification worker
  • Family services specialist
  • Group home coordinator
  • Home visitor
  • Juvenile court liaison
  • Visitation supervisor

The bachelor's in human services requires the completion of a capstone experience. The capstone will challenge you to demonstrate how your new skills can be applied in a real-world setting.

Courses may include:

  • Child Growth and Cognitive Development
  • Family and Community Systems
  • Role and Impact of Trauma on Children and Families
  • Ethics and Laws in Child Welfare

If you’re ready for a career with both purpose and promise, you might consider specializing in gerontology. By earning your Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Human Services with a concentration in Gerontology, you'll gain the knowledge needed to embrace a career in human services and meet an increased need for professionals serving the baby boomer generation and beyond.

As the population grows, so does the number of people who need aging services. Baby boomers will continue to place added demands on these programs, increasing the need for workers seeking gerontology careers. And with medical advancements, we’ll see this trend continue. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that by 2034, the number of people age 65 and older will be greater than the number of children under 18.2

Our gerontology concentration has been designed to meet the challenge of caring for the nation’s aging population over the coming decades. Your instructors will teach you how to develop strategies that enhance programs for the elderly and improve care.

With a specialized gerontology degree, you'll develop new perspectives that allow you to improve the quality of life for an increasingly important segment of our population. You'll take courses that offer a firsthand look into:

  • Wellness and disease
  • Issues and policies affecting the elderly
  • Long-term care
  • Biological, psychosocial and cognitive aspects of aging

Career outlook:

If you're looking to position yourself for a career with great job security, specializing your degree with the gerontology concentration is a smart choice. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need for social and community service managers will increase by 9% through 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.1

Upon graduating, you might look for employment in places like:

  • Assisted living facilities and nursing homes
  • Community-based organizations
  • Healthcare and public health programs
  • Home healthcare systems
  • Senior centers

Courses may include:

  • Perspectives in Aging
  • Aging and Wellness
  • The Epidemiology of Aging
  • Aging, Politics and Policy

Act as support for those overcoming addiction with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Human Services with a Substance Abuse Concentration. Substance use disorder is top-of-mind in the United States, making treatment services – and workers – in high demand. This specialized online substance abuse counseling degree concentration serves as an important first step toward becoming a drug and alcohol counselor.

Note: The licensure process and educational requirements for drug and alcohol counselors vary from state to state. This program does not directly lead to licensure.

Career outlook:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors are projected to grow 18% from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the national average for all occupations.1

Courses may include:

  • Foundations of Addictions
  • Substance Use: From Screening to Consultation
  • Substance Use: From Prevention to Treatment
  • Substance Use: Counseling Theory and Practice

Apply for free in minutes

Our no-commitment application can help you decide if SNHU is the right college for you and your career goals. Apply up until 2 days before the term starts!

Upcoming term starts: October 28, 2024 | January 06, 2025

Next term starts:
Sept. 02, 2024

Online Student Experience What’s it like going to SNHU?

Attending college online at SNHU can be a life-changing experience. In fact, 93.2% of online students would recommend SNHU according to a 2023 survey with 21,000+ respondents.

What to expect:

8-week terms

Learn around your schedule

24/7 online support

Online Classroom

What does an online course look like?

You’ll take your courses within SNHU’s Brightspace platform. This is where you’ll find your:

  • Schedule of weekly assignments
  • Discussion boards
  • Grades
  • Instructor announcements
How to Take an Online Class at SNHU
5 ways SNHU makes the admission process "easy-peasy" #shorts

Admission Applying to SNHU is fast and free

No application fee. No test scores. And no college essay. Just a simple form with basic information. It’s another way SNHU helps you reach your goals sooner.

All it takes is 3 simple steps

It's easy, fast and free.

You’ll fill out one form to verify your high school completion or GED. Then, if you’ve attended college before, you’ll submit a form for each school so we can request your transcripts for you. (Also for free!)

After reviewing your official evaluation, you can decide if SNHU is right for you! If you choose to enroll, just pick your start date and get ready for classes to begin.

Talk to an admission counselor: 888.327.SNHU |


SNHU is accredited by the regional accreditor the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which means we meet certain standards of academic quality, and have the tools and resources necessary for students to be successful. The university also carries specialized accreditations for some programs.

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Tuition Cost & Savings College can be more affordable than you think

As a nonprofit university, SNHU offers some of the lowest online tuition rates in the country. And when you work with our Financial Services team, we'll explore ways to help you save even more on your education – and customize a payment plan that works for you.

Online undergraduate programs

Cost per credit
Cost per course
Cost for 120-credit degree*
Full- and part-time students
Active-duty military and spouses | Full- and part-time students**

*before previously earned credits are applied

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.

**Note: Students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional costs: Course materials vary by course.

Transfer credits and lower your cost by:

$9,900 $14,850 $19,800 $24,750 $29,700
Transfer credits and lower your cost by:

If 30 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $29,700

If 45 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $24,750

If 60 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $19,800

If 75 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $14,850

If 90 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $9,900

How we estimate your tuition cost:

We look at the cost per credit multiplied by the number of credits you need to earn for a bachelor's degree. Most bachelor's degrees require 120 credits. SNHU allows you to transfer in up to 90 credits, requiring a minimum of 30 credits to be taken at SNHU. This is only a tuition estimator, and doesn't account for other fees that may be associated with your program of choice.

Career Outlook What can I do with a human services degree?

Human services professionals typically work in community, residential care and institutional settings, often providing direct services. These services may include group leadership, activity organization or advocation for those struggling with mental illness, substance abuse and more. 

Earning this degree is also excellent preparation for a graduate degree in human services or a master's in psychology, counseling, social work, sociology, public health or public administration.


With an aging population and increased demand for substance abuse treatment and health-related services, graduates can expect lots of opportunity in their field.

This program could help position you for roles like:

Oversee the wellbeing of at-risk, disadvantaged individuals or families.

Act as a liaison between community members and organizations that focus on issues like health.

Offer assistance, companionship and care to those living in grouphome facilities.

Help clients with mental illnesses or addictions and teach them about services, like support groups. 

Supervise people who have been placed on probation instead of sent to prison.

Support, guide and care for residents in shelters, rehab centers and more.


Increase in roles for social and community service managers through 2032, projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).1


Median annual pay for social and community service managers as of May 2023, according to the BLS.1

Understanding the numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors—like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

What SNHU students are saying

Laura Gaughan '21
Laura Gaughan '21

I have learned so much in college that I can apply to my new job – not only the human services content, but on-the-job skills such as time management.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most human services jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree with a focus on community services, social work, public administration, public health or similar fields.1 Some advanced human services jobs require a master’s degree.

The human services bachelor’s degree program at SNHU provides a broad understanding of how human services organizations are structured and how they operate in their communities. In this program, you'll gain the critical thinking and decision-making skills you need to evaluate social trends and public policy to advocate for people in need and guide social change.

You'll also have the opportunity to specialize your knowledge with a concentration in child and family services, gerontology or substance abuse.

It depends. A human services bachelor’s degree requires 120 credits, including general education and degree-specific courses. Most full-time students complete a bachelor’s degree in about 4 years.

That said, SNHU has a generous transfer policy, allowing up to 90 transfer credits to be applied to your degree program. If you’ve completed some college courses already, you may be able to apply these to your human services degree and complete the program faster. 

Lisa Marie Gibson, 2021 graduate of SNHU's human services program

"The best [program] feature, to me, was that they accepted almost all of my transfer credits," said Lisa Marie Gibson '21. "Even the ones that I didn't think would be accepted."

If you’re working full time or balancing family obligations, you may need to earn your degree at a slower pace. Your academic advisor can help you map out a personalized plan for completing your degree. With 24/7 access to courses and 6 term starts per year, SNHU's online human services degree is designed to be as flexible as possible, so you can earn your degree at a pace that works for you.

"I have two kids, a dog and I work full time," said Gibson. "I spoke with my academic advisor about my struggles, and she was able to give me some tips and ideas about how to balance everything. Eventually, online studying became a piece of cake."

While the most common human services employers are government and nonprofit organizations, there are also opportunities with private for-profit companies. Human service jobs impact every member of a community, from children attending after-school programs to elderly residents in need of in-home health services.

As the population ages and demand increases for substance abuse, mental health and other health-related services, the need for social and community service managers is projected to increase as well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for these roles will grow 9% through 2032.1

Here's a list of some common human services jobs:

  • Community health educator: Develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities, connecting community members with healthcare professionals and services.
  • Rehabilitation counselor: Work with medical and mental health professionals to help people with physical, mental, developmental or emotional disabilities adjust to their disability, develop their strengths and live independently. (Note: This position generally requires a master's degree.)
  • Social and human services assistant: Research services, such as food stamps and Medicaid, that are available to clients and work with social workers and other professionals to coordinate them.
  • Substance abuse counselor: Assist people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders and other mental health issues, developing and reviewing treatment goals and progress with them and their families. (Note: Substance abuse counselors are generally licensed by states and requirements can vary.)

Earning a human services degree can lay a strong foundation for a career in social work, but most social work jobs require additional training and credentials.

Clinical social workers typically need a master’s degree in social work, 2 years of experience in a supervised clinical setting and a social work license from their state, according to BLS.1

If you’re interested in a social work career, it’s important to review the licensing and educational requirements to practice in your state and to identify master’s degree programs in your area or online that are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

The education you need to become a counselor depends on the type of work you want to do. In any case, earning a bachelor's degree in human services is a great place to start.

If you want to become a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, SNHU's BA in Human Services with a concentration in Substance Abuse could be a key step in your education. The program provides a significant portion of the substance abuse coursework most often required for licensure.

If you're looking to start a career as a mental health counselor, a bachelor's in human services is also a good foundation, but you'll need to pursue a master's degree as well.

SNHU's human services degree with a concentration in child and family services can prepare you to impact the lives of young people and their families by building relationships, evaluating and developing treatment plans and connecting families to much-needed community resources.

A child and family services degree can help you find work as a:

  • Group home worker
  • Juvenile court advocate
  • Home health aide
  • Life skills instructor
  • Residential counselor
  • Social service liaison
  • Domestic violence advocate
  • Caseworker

A gerontology degree explores the physical, mental and social implications of aging and prepares you to improve the quality of life of the older population. SNHU’s Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Human Services with a concentration in Gerontology includes courses on wellness and disease, long-term care, public policy and the physical and cognitive aspects of aging.

Because of longer life expectancies, the demand for workers with gerontology training is expected to grow in the coming decades. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030, people 65 years and older will make up about 21% of the U.S. population — and by 2024, they will outnumber individuals under the age of 18.2

A gerontology degree can help you start an in-demand career working with the growing elderly population as an adult daycare worker, social service manager or public health worker.

Sources & Citations

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:

  • (viewed Apr. 19, 2024)
  • (viewed Feb. 22, 2024)

Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

2U.S. Census Bureau, The Graying of America, on the internet, at (viewed Feb. 22, 2024)