Master the art of advocacy and the fundamentals to effectively help others in need with an online Bachelor of Arts in Human Services degree from Southern New Hampshire University. Earning your human services degree online at SNHU gives you more than an understanding of how compassion meets policy and process. It offers the personal rewards that come from helping to improve the lives of individuals, families or entire populations.
Through the bachelor's in human services program, you'll learn how to:
You can also enhance your degree with a concentration in child & family services, gerontology, or substance abuse.
SNHU’s human services degree online courses are taught by practicing human service professionals who bring years of experience to their teaching. You’ll develop the research and communication skills needed to identify and assess community resources for your clients, conduct community assessments, and interview and assist clients who need services. You’ll graduate feeling prepared with the skills you need to enter the field of human services.
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission – to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your human services degree online at SNHU include:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for social and community service managers is projected to increase by 16 percent through 2026.* This is due in large part to our aging population and the increased demand for substance abuse treatment and mental health and health-related services.
Human services professionals work in community, residential care or institutional settings. You may find yourself providing direct services such as leading a group, organizing an activity, or advocating for those struggling with mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence and health conditions. You may handle administrative support tasks, too. Job titles include:
The online bachelor's in human services program is also an excellent segue to a master's degree in counseling, human services, social work, psychology, public health, public administration and related degrees.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the Internet, at Social and Community Service Managers (viewed online November 3, 2017). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
Through authentic learning experiences, you’ll practice and apply what you learn so you have the confidence and proficiencies to become a human services professional. Coursework covers assessment, evaluating client outcomes, advocating for policy change, developing a care plan and finding a career in human services.
The bachelor's in human services requires the completion of a capstone experience. The capstone challenges each student to demonstrate how his or her new skills can be applied in a real-world setting.
The purpose of this course is to engage students in meaningful exploration of theories, basic concepts, and research methodologies in psychological development. Students will gain an understanding of patterns of human development from conception through death, including the biological, cognitive, and social-emotional development and the interplay between these areas. This course will also explore the roles of environmental and genetic factors, culture and history, continuity and change in development.
This course offers students an opportunity to better understand human behavior. It also studies the similarities and differences between normal and abnormal reactions to environmental stimuli.
Students in this course analyze contemporary social problems in America and other societies. Issues include economic limitations, class and poverty, race and ethnic relations, sexism, ageism, and environmental and population concerns.
This course provides an overview of the historical development of human services and an introduction to the many settings, roles, and functions of the human services professional. Students will gain an understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to help support others toward living a more fulfilling life with particular attention given to behavioral and social theories, common social problems, service delivery systems, ethical behavior, and personal values.
This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to effectively, efficiently, and compassionately communicate both orally and in writing. Emphasis will be given to the tools of communication as well as how to clearly articulate the issues, deal with conflict, and establish rapport. Human services professionals function in many settings requiring the ability to communicate the needs and issues of their clients, programs, and organizations to a broad variety of people.
This course prepares students to function effectively within organizations, as most human services work involves interactions with multiple private and public organizations. Students develop an understanding of organizational structure and functions through an overview of common organizational structures and management systems and the principles of organizational behavior that influence the work environment. An introduction to the strategic planning and budgeting cycle is provided including the process of grant funding. Basic concepts of personnel management and common techniques and procedures for outcome measurement and program evaluation will also be presented.
Students in this course will become acquainted with human services policies and the legislative and private sector processes of policy development. Students will further discover the role of advocacy in influencing social welfare programs for a variety of populations. Students learn the skills needed to act effectively in developing policies and for planning an advocacy campaign.
Students in this course will learn about the laws and regulations that govern human services practice. Specific topics will include confidentiality, parity, involuntary commitment, mandated reporting, duty to warn, minor and parental rights, guardianship, and advanced directives. The course will also discuss the ethical principles that guide human services practice as well as the conflicts that arise between the ethical principles and the law.
Students will learn fundamental theories, concepts, and practices related to the delivery of human services. Topics covered in this course will include client engagement, interviewing, models of service delivery, ethics and professional responsibility, group dynamics and facilitation, boundaries, and formal/informal client-centered support systems. Students will apply course work to real life situations by assessing the needs of clients and designing goal-based care plans. Additionally, students will plan and design interventions, utilize community resources, and assess client outcomes.
This capstone course is the culminating experience for the B.A. in Human Services program. The aim of the capstone is to assess students' ability to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout their coursework, rather than introducing new concepts. This course is structured to support student success in fulfilling program requirements.
This course offers a broad introduction to research methods in the social sciences, including surveys, case studies, experiments, and quasi-experiments. Students learn to spot design flaws in research intended to generate scientifically sound conclusions about social phenomena, and to evaluate critically the interpretations of social science research results by third-party observers, such as reporters. Students also learn how to draft a research proposal that would satisfy the requirements of peer review within the community of professional social scientists.
Select four of the following:
This course gives students a basic understanding of service provision in the United States healthcare system. The history of the U.S. healthcare system and the various forces that have influenced its development will be examined. It will provide an overview of the role of human services practitioners in hospital, acute care, long-term care, home health, and hospice settings and the importance of contributing to the multi-disciplinary team providing patient care. Basic medical terminology and its use in patient care plans will be explored in addition to trends in evidence-based practice and outcomes measurement.
Human service professionals must be prepared to work with and provide proper support to children and adolescents. This course focuses on child development from birth through adolescence with an emphasis on the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional components of normal development. Additional attention will be given to those situations where normal development does not occur, factors which influence or impede development, and community and school-based resources available to assist families.
In this course, students will gain the knowledge and skills to help families negotiate the complex system of organizations in their communities that provide services. Programs and organizations that provide support to families will be profiled, including community medical and mental health providers, non-profit organizations, the Department of Human Services, and the Family Court. In addition, tools that are frequently used in understanding family systems are presented including Socio-grams, Eco-maps, and Genograms.
This course prepares students to provide services to children and families in highly emotionally charged and legally complicated situations. The short and long term influence of physical and psychological trauma on children and families are explored including domestic violence, substance abuse, neglect, sexual assault, and prenatal trauma. In addition, the course will explore the role of a human services professional and complying with legal responsibilities and limitations, safety, secondary trauma, and ethical considerations.
This course prepares students to navigate the legal and ethical complexities of family problems involving children . This course focuses on the state and federal laws, regulations, and ethical principles that establish the framework for Child Welfare programs. Specific issues covered include child protection programs, child abuse and treatment laws, parent and child rights and responsibilities, education law, and emancipation laws. In addition, the course will examine child custody, foster care, adoption and the child "best interest" standards.
This course examines the role of the human services professionals in delivering both prevention and crisis intervention services. Human services professionals often have the opportunity to provide prevention services that build on the strengths of the client, thereby increasing protective factors and decreasing risk factors. At the same time when a client is in crisis, human services professionals work to ensure safety and minimize the trauma. The knowledge and techniques needed to implement prevention programs and practices, and respond to individual, family, and community crises will be addressed in this course.
This course introduces students to the field of public health: its historical evolution, fundamental theories, concepts and practice in the US, and its core values and ethical principles. The structure of the public health system, the ten essential services, and the core knowledge areas (epidemiology, biostatistics, social and behavioral sciences, environmental health, and healthcare policy and administration) are outlined in order for students to comprehend the breadth of complex factors impacting health and the tools available to protect and promote health.
This course provides knowledge and understanding of exceptional children and adolescents. The approach is theoretical and practical. Offered as needed.
Social psychology is an interesting, dynamic study of how people's thoughts, feelings and actions are affected by others. Issues discussed include prejudice, conformity, interpersonal attraction and violence. The scientific methods of studying such phenomena are emphasized. Offered as needed.
This course is an entry-level, experience-based course that focuses on community psychology, career opportunities, and academic direction. Through a minimum of 60 volunteer hours to be completed during the term and 8-10 hours of coursework per week, students deepen their understanding of mental health and community-based human services. Application for placement must be completed before the end of the previous semester/term.
This course examines the history and philosophy of specific helping professions in the fields of psychology, sociology and human services. Several broad theoretical perspectives will be studied and applied in role-play situations. Offered as needed.
This course is a sociological examination of the family institution in America and other societies. Traditional and nontraditional family patterns are studied to provide students with a structure for understanding sex, marriage, family and kinship systems. Offered every other year.
Free Elective Credits: 30
Total Credits: 120
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30 percent tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
*Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed Annually.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies. More...
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, on the Internet at Social and Community Service Managers (viewed online April 18, 2017). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.