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Field of Study: Human Services


Human services programs prepare people to work for organizations that serve people in need.



In human services programs, students study human behavior and problems. Students learn the theories, principles, and practice of providing human services. They also learn how to counsel and refer clients to related services.

Human services programs include topics such as:

  • Social inequality
  • Child and adult development
  • Cultural diversity
  • Social research methods

In human resources, students may be able to specialize in:

  • Issues that face young or older people
  • Preventing domestic violence
  • Treating drug and alcohol abuse

Many community colleges offer associate degree programs in human services. An associate degree program usually takes two years to complete and prepares people to work as human services assistants.

Many college and universities offer bachelor's degrees in human services. These programs are often in sociology, psychology, public health, or social work departments. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

A few universities offer graduate programs in human services. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree. Most people with graduate degrees in human services become supervisors or administrators.