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Best Online Human Services Degrees

By James Holbrook | Updated 10/13/2022
Quick Facts
Accreditation: Institutional
Average Tuition: $25,903
Alumni Salary: $31,440

Accredited online human services degree programs are offered at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate levels. Online human services degree programs train students to serve the public in a variety of capacities including alcohol and drug counseling, rehabilitation counseling, family and marriage therapy, social work, and school counseling. Aspiring undergraduate students looking to tailor their search may want to focus on the schools on our best colleges rankings list, which highlights top schools, based on tuition rates and alumni salaries reported by PayScale.

Prospective students should consider the accreditation of their online degree programs. Depending on their career plans, accreditation may be a requirement. Counseling, social work, and other clinically focused programs require state licensure so students should consult their state board for relevant accreditation requirements.

Find an Online Degree:

Online Bachelor's in Human Services with the Highest Return on Investment

2021 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's Degrees in Human Services Badge

We've analyzed salary and debt data to determine the top-ranked online bachelor's degrees in human services based on return on investment (ROI). We calculated ROIs based on median 10-year alumni earnings after paying off student debt in order to help prospective students determine whether the expense of an online program is likely to be worth the cost. All 24 programs ranked below feature ROIs above the nationwide average of $295,600 (which includes on-campus and online degrees). For example, Jacksonville University earned the top spot with an ROI of $459,700, more than $160,000 above the U.S. average.

ROI amounts are based on data reported by the U.S. Department of Education. Tuitions are manually researched in order to determine tuition amounts specific to online degrees. Read our methodology for more details.

RankSchool Annual Tuition Median Starting Salary Median Debt 10-year ROI
# 1 #1 Jacksonville State University $11,310 $48,432 $31,250 $459,700
# 2 #2 Elizabethtown College $17,760 $40,896 $26,262 $388,300
# 3 #3 SUNY Empire State College $10,943 $38,702 $25,250 $367,200
# 4 #4 Pacific Oaks College $25,650 $37,503 $25,000 $355,000
# 5 #5 Granite State College $10,950 $36,312 $17,630 $351,900
# 6 #6 Fisher College $14,400 $35,701 $21,797 $340,400
# 7 #7 Central Michigan University $13,020 $36,062 $26,185 $338,500
# 8 #8 Southern New Hampshire University Online $9,600 $34,847 $17,836 $336,500
# 9 #9 Wayland Baptist University $13,206 $33,993 $14,583 $331,800
# 10 #10 Texas Tech University $21,030 $34,888 $23,250 $330,200
# 11 #11 Quincy University $11,400 $35,290 $27,000 $329,700
# 12 #12 Southeastern University $12,090 $35,594 $30,333 $328,700
# 13 #13 University of Arizona $15,000 $33,586 $18,750 $322,400
# 14 #14 National Louis University $18,000 $33,324 $22,295 $315,700
# 15 #15 Stephen F. Austin State University $29,032 $34,793 $35,500 $314,000
# 16 #16 Western Washington University $12,240 $32,869 $20,832 $312,400
# 17 #17 Central Washington University $15,034 $32,291 $17,081 $311,500
# 18 #18 Mercer University $14,550 $34,633 $36,652 $310,900
# 19 (tie) #19 (tie) Judson University $16,950 $33,138 $24,500 $310,600
# 19 (tie) #19 (tie) University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh $10,800 $33,077 $24,000 $310,600
# 21 #21 Upper Iowa University $14,640 $33,535 $28,240 $310,100
# 22 #22 Colorado State University Global $10,500 $32,569 $26,240 $302,600
# 23 #23 Bluefield College $10,950 $31,890 $20,833 $302,400
# 24 #24 Geneva College $12,450 $32,213 $25,000 $300,500

Best Bachelor's Degrees in Human Services Rankings Details

#1

Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville (AL)
  • 10-Year ROI: $459,700
  • Median Salary: $48,432
  • Annual Tuition: $11,310
  • Median Debt: $31,250

In the online Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences program at Jacksonville State University (JSU), students can choose between the child development or human sciences concentration. These programs include courses on child development, family life studies, and other topics related to family and consumer sciences. Students must complete a total of 120 credits, which... includes a hands-on field experience. The concentration in child development prepares graduates for careers in childcare facilities, social service agencies, child protective services, adoption agencies, and similar programs that work with children. The human sciences concentration prepares students to work in organizations that help families and communities improve their quality of life.

Students complete coursework using the Canvas learning management system. This allows them to read course materials, watch lessons, and engage with professors and other students. JSU offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships, as well as other forms of financial aid. The school also provides tuition discounts for military service members.

Students can apply online at any time, but they need to submit their applications by the due date for the fall, summer, or spring term. The school offers tech support, including comprehensive tutorials to online students, and students can also access a variety of support services.

Cost per Credit: $377
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 41%
Acceptance Rate: 54%
Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
Average SAT Scores: 930 - 1160
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 979

#2

Elizabethtown College

Elizabethtown (PA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $388,300
  • Median Salary: $40,896
  • Annual Tuition: $17,760
  • Median Debt: $26,262

In the online Bachelor of Science in Human Services program at Elizabethtown College, students can opt for the B.S. in human services with a specialization in behavioral and addictions counseling, or they can pursue a general human services degree with a minor in an area such as business administration, criminal justice, or health care administration. This program requires 125 credits... for the degree, and students can transfer in credits as long as they earn at least 30 of the last 60 credits at Elizabethtown. Courses cover psychology, race and ethnic relations, social welfare programs, counseling techniques, case management, and similar topics. With this B.S., students can pursue a variety of careers in the human services field, including the following: caseworker, family support worker, rehabilitation case worker, or alcohol counselor.

Students take courses through the Canvas learning management system. The school offers financial aid packages, and students can also apply for special scholarships for adult learners. In addition to transferring in credits from other schools, students can earn credits through prior learning related to military training and work experience, CLEP tests, or corporate or organizational training. They can also earn equivalency credits by writing papers to demonstrate what they know about certain subjects.

The school lets students apply on its website at any time, and once they have been accepted, students can access resources such as career services.

Cost per Credit: $555
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 128
Graduation Rate: 69%
Acceptance Rate: 74%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 1080 - 1290
Accreditation: MSCHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 170

#3

SUNY Empire State College

Saratoga Springs (NY)
  • 10-Year ROI: $367,200
  • Median Salary: $38,702
  • Annual Tuition: $10,943
  • Median Debt: $25,250

SUNY Empire State College offers an online Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Professional Studies in Community and Human Services with six different concentrations: children and family services, criminal justice services, disability services, health and human services, and substance abuse services. Students can also create an interdisciplinary concentration that... combines different perspectives exploring a theme or topic. A total of 124 credits are required to complete the degree. Graduates can enter into community-service professions, pursue graduate study, manage social service organizations, teach, or pursue government work.

Online learning at SUNY includes traditional books and textbooks, eTextbooks, audio and video materials, online discussion forums, etc. Transfer credits are accepted, and students may earn credit for previous training or work experience.

Applicants must submit an online application and required documentation. Online student resources include career services, student services teams, a student information center, library services, and student clubs.

Cost per Credit: $353
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 124
Graduation Rate: 24%
Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
Accreditation: MSCHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,754

#4

Pacific Oaks College

Pasadena (CA) (and 1 other)
  • 10-Year ROI: $355,000
  • Median Salary: $37,503
  • Annual Tuition: $25,650
  • Median Debt: $25,000

At Pacific Oaks College, the online Bachelor of Social Work program prepares students for entry-level positions in the social work field. In this program, students learn about policy change, program implementation, case management, care coordination, and discharge social work, and they gain skills to empower communities and promote their wellbeing. The program requires 39 credits... of upper-division social work major courses, and students need a total of 120 credits to complete this bachelor's degree. Approximately 87% of graduates from this school have found positions in their fields.

The social work program accepts up to 87 transfer credits, and the school offers learning assessments that allow students to earn up to 24 credits for professional and life experiences. Students use the Canvas learning management system to take online courses asynchronously, and they also get to enhance their professional skills through hands-on training. Pacific Oaks helps students obtain financial aid packages, and it offers a special discounted tuition rate to members of the military, veterans, and their spouses.

Students can apply online, and the school accepts applications all year long. Online students can choose from six different start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. The school has many admissions events and academic advising services for students.

Cost per Credit: $855
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Accreditation: WSCUC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 293

#5

Granite State College

Concord (NH)
  • 10-Year ROI: $351,900
  • Median Salary: $36,312
  • Annual Tuition: $10,950
  • Median Debt: $17,630

At Granite State College, online students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Individualized Studies - Health and Human Services, or a Bachelor of Science in Human Services with a concentration in addiction studies, adult court advocacy, child court advocacy, counseling foundations, education advocacy, or family studies. Courses in these four-year... programs cover topics related to psychology, human development, and community outreach.

Students take asynchronous courses through the Canvas online learning management system. Granite State offers credits to students who have completed certain professional or military training programs, passed equivalency tests, or demonstrated experiential learning through portfolios. Students can also offset tuition costs with scholarships and loans.

Students can apply at any time to start in the upcoming semester. Once they are accepted, distance learners gain access to support services such as academic advising, career advising, disability services, and counseling.

Cost per Credit: $365
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 19%
Financial Aid Recipients: 84%
Accreditation: NECHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,520

#6

Fisher College

Boston (MA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $340,400
  • Median Salary: $35,701
  • Annual Tuition: $14,400
  • Median Debt: $21,797

At Fisher College, the online Bachelor of Science in Human Services degree is an interdisciplinary program designed to prepare students for careers in the human services field. Students can choose a concentration in early intervention or early childhood education and early intervention. This degree provides graduates with the education they need to pursue careers as caseworkers,... substance abuse counselors, family court advocates, and social workers. The online bachelor's degree program requires 120 credits, and students typically take three years and four months to complete their degrees. This is the equivalent of 20 eight-week terms. Students take courses such as crisis intervention, abnormal psychology, research methods, and psychology of personality, and they must also complete a senior seminar.

To take the asynchronous courses, students use the Blackboard Collaborative learning management system. The Office of Financial Aid helps students apply for need-based aid and renewable merit-based scholarships.

Students can apply to Fisher College online, and they can opt to start during any of the school's eight-week terms. Once accepted, students can access a variety of academic and career services online, including student advising and Handshake for searching for jobs.

Cost per Credit: $400
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 144
Graduation Rate: 33%
Acceptance Rate: 66%
Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
Accreditation: NECHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 881

#7

Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant (MI)
  • 10-Year ROI: $338,500
  • Median Salary: $36,062
  • Annual Tuition: $13,020
  • Median Debt: $26,185

Central Michigan University (CSU) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Community Development with a concentration in community services. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the public sector and learn skills in effective communication, leadership, research, fiscal management, policymaking, strategic planning, and more. The degree requires a total of 120 credits in... general education requirements, core courses, concentration classes, and electives.

Online classes are mostly asynchronous; however, some may require attendance for synchronous lectures. Students complete weekly assignments and participate in discussion boards. An "online student ally" is available to provide additional guidance to students who are new to the online learning format. Students can earn credit for prior learning, including work experience or training.

Prospective students should submit an online application and other required materials. Distance learners at CMU have access to many student services, including academic advising, career development, the university bookstore, counseling, scholarships, financial aid, student activities, a veteran’s center, and more.

Cost per Credit: $434
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 61%
Acceptance Rate: 68%
Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
Average SAT Scores: 990 - 1200
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,326

#8

Southern New Hampshire University Online

Manchester (NH)
  • 10-Year ROI: $336,500
  • Median Salary: $34,847
  • Annual Tuition: $9,600
  • Median Debt: $17,836

At Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), the online Bachelor of Science in Criminology degree with a concentration in criminal justice lets students study the science and psychology behind criminal conduct. In this program, students take courses on cultural awareness, communication skills, and discretion in criminal justice. The 120-credit program can take four years of full-time... enrollment to complete, but with transfer credits, students can earn this degree in as few as 12 months. This degree prepares students to pursue careers as police, detectives, probation officers, correctional treatment specialists, and social workers.

Students can transfer up to 90 credits into this program, and they can earn up to 12 credits for law enforcement training. Students take online classes on Brightspace, and they get to work with instructors who have frontline experience or are currently working in criminology careers. The university offers multiple scholarship opportunities, and tuition discounts are available for active duty military personnel and their spouses.

SNHU accepts applications on a rolling basis. Students should start their online application and then reach out to an admissions counselor. Once accepted, students can start this online program during any of the school's six eight-week terms. To support students, the school's online education services include tutoring, a writing center, career services, academic advising, and technical support.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 44%
Acceptance Rate: 78%
Financial Aid Recipients: 77%
Accreditation: NECHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 86,849

#9

Wayland Baptist University

Plainview (TX)
  • 10-Year ROI: $331,800
  • Median Salary: $33,993
  • Annual Tuition: $13,206
  • Median Debt: $14,583

To earn an online Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Services at Wayland Baptist University, students must complete a total of 124 credits, which includes 36 credits in the major. The school uses eight-week sessions so that students can finish courses faster. This setup typically allows students to complete 30+ hours of coursework in the school's five annual terms. This program... offers an interdisciplinary approach to interpersonal, cultural, and community relationships, and students take courses on psychology and criminal justice. They can choose to focus on child and family agencies, child protective services, social services, community-based services, or programs for youth, elderly, or disabled individuals.

Students take classes using the Brightspace learning management system to complete assignments and engage with other students and faculty in the forums for their classes. The school assists students with obtaining financial aid packages and scholarships. Students can earn transfer credits for qualified work experience and specialized training.

Wayland accepts applications at all times, and students can submit applications up to the first day of their courses. The school has a variety of resources for students, including Baptist student ministries, counseling, tutoring services, and career services.

Cost per Credit: $426
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 124
Graduation Rate: 23%
Acceptance Rate: 99%
Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
Average SAT Scores: 880 - 1060
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 670

#10

Texas Tech University

Lubbock (TX)
  • 10-Year ROI: $330,200
  • Median Salary: $34,888
  • Annual Tuition: $21,030
  • Median Debt: $23,250

In the online Bachelor of Science in Human Services program at Texas Tech University, students must earn a total of 120 credits. To complete this degree, students must choose three minors requiring 18 credits each, and two must be in the College of Human Sciences. Potential options include addictive disorders and recovery, family and consumer sciences, interior design, nutrition... sciences, personal financial planning, restaurant and hotel management, or retail management. Once students complete this program, they can apply for master's degree programs or start careers in the human services field in roles such as case managers, counselors, behavioral management aids, and many others.

Students engage in both synchronous and asynchronous instruction, including interactive video conferencing, using the Blackboard learning management system. To help students pay for their education, Texas Tech offers financial aid packages, payment options for students who want to pay in installments, and emergency payment programs for students who need to defer payments. There are also scholarships based on need, merit, and specific programs.

Students can apply online at any time, and the program has various start dates. There is no deadline for applying, but students who want financial aid should apply by the priority deadline for each semester. The school's support services include academic advising and access to a writing center.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 61%
Acceptance Rate: 69%
Financial Aid Recipients: 78%
Average SAT Scores: 1070 - 1260
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,931

#11

Quincy University

Quincy (IL)
  • 10-Year ROI: $329,700
  • Median Salary: $35,290
  • Annual Tuition: $11,400
  • Median Debt: $27,000

In the online Bachelor of Science in Human Services degree-completion program at Quincy University (QU), students study topics such as human development, counseling theory, group dynamics, and other courses designed to prepare them for a career in the human services field. The school uses eight-week sessions. Most students take two classes in every session, and the accelerated pace... helps them finish their degrees quickly. Students who transfer in 90 credits may only need to complete 30 credits at Quincy, meaning they can finish their degree in about five sessions, which takes less than a year. With a human services degree, graduates can pursue careers as social workers, case managers, rehabilitation counselors, health educators, and more, or they can use their degree as a jumping-off point to pursue advanced degrees.

The school uses Moodle to deliver online courses. QU offers financial aid to its students, including several merit-based, renewable scholarships.

Students can apply to Quincy University online. If accepted, the admissions office will contact them to help with course enrollment and explain how to use Moodle. Academic advisers work with admitted students to ensure they get a personalized experience.

Cost per Credit: $380
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 53%
Acceptance Rate: 67%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 950 - 1190
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 14

#12

Southeastern University

Lakeland (FL)
  • 10-Year ROI: $328,700
  • Median Salary: $35,594
  • Annual Tuition: $12,090
  • Median Debt: $30,333

In the online Bachelor of Science in Human Services program at Southeastern University, students learn how to apply Christian principles to a career in human services. This program prepares graduates for diverse jobs such as child advocates, community health workers, care coordinators, and case managers. The degree requires 121 credits and takes about 48 months to complete on average.... Students study concepts such as case management, delivery systems for human services, program planning, and how to incorporate faith into the workplace. Online courses are available in eight-week sessions, and most students take one or two classes during each session.

Students use the Moodle learning management system to engage in online coursework, and the student-faculty ratio is 23:1 To help with tuition costs, the financial aid office guides students as they apply for loans and scholarships or set up payment plans. There are also special discounts for veterans and members of the military.

Students can complete the online application and start online courses in any of the school's eight-week sessions. Online students qualify to use services such as free tutoring, library services, and career placement assistance.

Cost per Credit: $390
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 124
Graduation Rate: 45%
Acceptance Rate: 53%
Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
Average SAT Scores: 940 - 1180
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 947

#13

University of Arizona

Tucson (AZ)
  • 10-Year ROI: $322,400
  • Median Salary: $33,586
  • Annual Tuition: $15,000
  • Median Debt: $18,750

In the online Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Services degree-completion program at the University of Arizona, students take courses on resilience and humility, as well as the foundations of human services and research methods. They must complete a required internship experience. Completion time varies based on the student’s number of transfer credits. This degree prepares... students for careers in growing fields such as social work and career counseling.

Students take courses using the D2L learning management system, but they may need to use additional programs as well. Distance learners can use financial aid packages to offset tuition costs, and there are also tuition payment plans and reduced rates for members of the military. The school offers Bridge Scholarships to students who are transferring to an online program from an Arizona community college, and students can use the Scholarship Universe program to apply for more scholarships.

The school accepts applications online, and students can choose one of six different start dates. Arizona Online has a 24/7 IT support team to help students with online classes, and students also have access to advisers, online tutoring, and other support help.

Cost per Credit: $500
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 65%
Acceptance Rate: 84%
Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
Average SAT Scores: 1110 - 1360
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,558

#14

National Louis University

Chicago (IL)
  • 10-Year ROI: $315,700
  • Median Salary: $33,324
  • Annual Tuition: $18,000
  • Median Debt: $22,295

In the online Bachelor of Arts in Human Services program at National Louis University, students learn about the dynamics of families and communities as they prepare for careers in organizations that provide support services for people and communities in need. Available concentrations include aging studies, entrepreneurship, human resources management, leadership, leadership foundations,... long-term care administration, and urban and public policy studies. Students must complete 120 credits to earn this degree, and completion time varies based on course load and number of transfer credits. Students must also complete 300 hours of hands-on internship experience.

Students take courses through the Desire2Learn platform, which lets them engage with professors, take quizzes, and upload assignments. While pursuing this degree, students work with professors who have real-world experience in the human services field. In addition to offering financial aid and scholarships, the school welcomes transfer credits, and students can also earn credits by taking the Prior Learning Assessment, which awards credits based on portfolios, examinations, and credentials.

Students can apply to National Louis online. Once they are accepted, they can access a range of services, including tech support and one-on-one online tutoring.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 22%
Acceptance Rate: 86%
Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,000

#15

Stephen F. Austin State University

Nacogdoches (TX)
  • 10-Year ROI: $314,000
  • Median Salary: $34,793
  • Annual Tuition: $29,032
  • Median Debt: $35,500

In the online Bachelor of Science in Human Services program at Stephen F. Austin State University, students learn how to observe and interview patients, carry out treatment plans, and work with people in the midst of crisis. The program includes courses on counseling, social advocacy, grant writing, substance abuse, and community collaboration, and students must also complete a... hands-on experience. This program can take four years to complete on average, but with transfer credits, online students can finish faster. With a human services degree, students can pursue careers as assistants in the social and human services field where they will provide support for clients in areas such as psychology, rehabilitation, and social work.

Students take courses using the Brightspace learning management system to read course materials, watch video lessons, engage in forums, and ask questions to faculty members. Stephen F. Austin offers financial aid packages and hundreds of scholarships. Students who take 12 credits or more in a single term can opt to pay a flat tuition rate. Alternatively, they can choose to lock in a guaranteed price for tuition that lasts throughout their degree program.

The school accepts applications until the first day of classes, and student support services include library access, tutoring, academic advising, and career services.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 52%
Acceptance Rate: 65%
Financial Aid Recipients: 86%
Average SAT Scores: 990 - 1180
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,040

#16

Western Washington University

Bellingham (WA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $312,400
  • Median Salary: $32,869
  • Annual Tuition: $12,240
  • Median Debt: $20,832

At Western Washington University (WWU), the Bachelor of Arts in Human Services is a 180-credit program that prepares students for diverse careers in the human services field. In this program, students take courses on social justice and equity, global policy, interventions, applied research methods, conflict resolution, and similar topics, and they also must complete 260 hours of... field experience and two supervised internships. Students who transfer in 105 credits from community colleges can complete this program in a year if they take 15 credits in five consecutive quarters, as well as the optional summer semester.

WWU uses the Canvas learning management system to deliver its online courses. Students study on an asynchronous basis around their own schedule, and they also get the chance to complete community-based learning experiences and partnerships. This program employs faculty from diverse interdisciplinary fields to provide students with valuable insights. Students can apply for financial aid and special scholarships for the human services field.

Students can apply to the program at any time, and the school admits students during the fall quarter every year. Students get to work with a faculty adviser who guides their progress, and they have access to tech support for Canvas.

Cost per Credit: $272
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 180
Graduation Rate: 68%
Acceptance Rate: 85%
Financial Aid Recipients: 86%
Average SAT Scores: 1060 - 1280
Accreditation: NWCCU
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 161

#17

Central Washington University

Ellensburg (WA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $311,500
  • Median Salary: $32,291
  • Annual Tuition: $15,034
  • Median Debt: $17,081

Central Washington University’s (CWU) online Bachelor of Science in Social Services program prepares students for a career in the human services field in settings such as job placement agencies, vocational rehabilitation services, food delivery programs, abuse prevention programs, and foster care agencies. To earn this degree, students must complete 120 credits with at least 66... credits in this major. The program can take up to four years of full-time study, but students who transfer in credits and take advantage of flexible courses can finish in a shorter period of time.

Students take courses through the Canvas learning management system, but they may also need to use additional technology tools such as Ally, Skype, and Top Hat. The Flex program at CWU lets students work on courses at their own speed at their own time, and they can take competency tests in familiar subjects to earn credits faster. At CWU, students can complete as many courses as they can during each quarter, and they pay a set tuition rate. Regular interactions with faculty help to ensure students stay on track.

Students can submit an application to this program online, and the school offers admissions help for future students. Current students can take advantage of online tutoring, online library services, and other resources.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 57%
Acceptance Rate: 86%
Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
Average SAT Scores: 950 - 1170
Accreditation: NWCCU
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,745

#18

Mercer University

Macon (GA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $310,900
  • Median Salary: $34,633
  • Annual Tuition: $14,550
  • Median Debt: $36,652

At Mercer University, the online Bachelor of Science in Human Services program offers concentrations in family services, gerontology services, mental health services, social services, and substance abuse services. With the human services degree, graduates can pursue careers in case management, social work, or other human services fields. Courses cover topics such as interpersonal... relations, research methods, substance abuse, disability awareness, and conflict resolution, and students must also complete a field services practicum to earn this degree. The length of time for this program varies based on how many transfer credits the student has and whether they study full-time or part-time. Over 90% of graduates from this school are employed or in master's programs within six months of graduation.

Students take classes using Canvas to access course materials, complete homework assignments, and engage in class discussions. Before applying, students can use the transfer credit equivalency estimator to see how many credits they can transfer.

Students can apply online, and the program offers five different start dates in January, March, May, August, and October. The school has two-eight week terms in the fall and spring semesters and one eight-week term and one four-week term in the summer. After being accepted, students attend a virtual student orientation, and the school assigns them an academic adviser to guide their progress.

Cost per Credit: $485
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 65%
Acceptance Rate: 73%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 1170 - 1340
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 612

#19 (tie)

Judson University

Elgin (IL) (and 1 other)
  • 10-Year ROI: $310,600
  • Median Salary: $33,138
  • Annual Tuition: $16,950
  • Median Debt: $24,500

The online Bachelor of Arts in Human Services degree program at Judson University focuses on faith and critical thinking skills to prepare students to serve human services clients in a Christian-based way. To earn this degree, students take courses such as foundations in human services, social justice, managing nonprofits, legal and ethical issues, and faith-based issues. This program... is designed to build on the student's previous work and professional experience, and although total time varies based on those elements, the courses in the major program take about two years to complete. After earning this degree, graduates can apply for diverse jobs such as activities director, admissions coordinator, case manager, program manager, substance abuse counselor, or social worker.

Most online courses are delivered through eLearn, the school's learning management system. This application lets students access syllabi, participate in required discussions, email professors, submit assignments, and receive feedback. Judson alumni can access a number of services and network with one another through the Judson Connect portal.

Interested applicants can apply online, and the school has start dates in the fall, spring, and summer terms. While studying at Judson, students have access to services such as ebooks through the bookstore's website, career help, and counseling.

Cost per Credit: $565
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 57%
Acceptance Rate: 71%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 880 - 1100
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 98

#19 (tie)

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Oshkosh (WI)
  • 10-Year ROI: $310,600
  • Median Salary: $33,077
  • Annual Tuition: $10,800
  • Median Debt: $24,000

In the online Bachelor of Science in Human Services Leadership program at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, students learn about conflict resolution, grant writing, resource allocation, human behavior, intervention strategies, professional development, project planning, and social issues. They can also complete a professional internship. This four-year degree program welcomes... transfers, and completion time varies based on the number of transfer credits. For instance, students with an associate degree can typically transfer in 60 credits and complete this program in two years. With this degree, students can pursue careers in aging and disability services, family and child services, health and wellness, and social and protective services, or they can apply to a master's program.

Students use the Canvas learning management system to participate in online discussions, engage with course materials and lectures, and submit assignments asynchronously. The school provides financial aid, including scholarships expressly for online students.

Typically, the deadline to apply online for the fall semester is in August, but students should check with an admissions counselor for application deadlines related to their program. The school provides students with dedicated academic advisers and access to campus resources such as libraries and career services.

Cost per Credit: $360
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 61%
Acceptance Rate: 63%
Financial Aid Recipients: 75%
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 632

#21

Upper Iowa University

Fayette (IA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $310,100
  • Median Salary: $33,535
  • Annual Tuition: $14,640
  • Median Debt: $28,240

At Upper Iowa University (UIU), the Bachelor of Science in Human Services program includes courses on methods in human services, mental health, social work, and healthcare economics. Students must also complete a capstone project that can involve an internship. This degree program takes varying amounts of time, depending on the student's transfer credits and number of courses taken.... UIU offers a two-at-a-time schedule, where students take two courses every eight-week session and complete an accelerated six-week summer session. Online students can also take part in the biannual study abroad in Ireland program. More than 95% of graduates are employed within a year of graduation.

Students take classes using the Desire2Learn Brightspace learning management system. The school also offers several self-study courses that students can take completely at their own pace over a period of six months. Students can transfer in up to 90 college credits, and UIU also offers credits for experiential learning. About 88% of students enrolled in the program receive some form of financial aid.

UIU accepts applications at any time, and online programs start every eight weeks. Self-paced courses start every month. Once accepted, students work with dedicated advisers who help with academic plans and advise on financial aid. For support services, the school offers a field tutoring center, peer writing consultants, a library, and disability services.

Cost per Credit: $488
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 47%
Acceptance Rate: 56%
Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
Average SAT Scores: 980 - 1160
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,872

#22

Colorado State University Global

Greenwood Village (CO)
  • 10-Year ROI: $302,600
  • Median Salary: $32,569
  • Annual Tuition: $10,500
  • Median Debt: $26,240

The online Bachelor of Science in Human Services program at Colorado State University (CSU) Global helps students gain the knowledge they need for a career in human services. As they work toward this 120-credit degree, students learn about human development, intervention methods, case management, and human services administration. They can also opt to specialize in organizational... leadership, project management, human resources and organizational development, marketing, emergency management, healthcare management, or multiple other fields. This program can take up to four years to complete, but with transfer credits and accelerated learning options, most students finish in a shorter amount of time.

Online students at CSU use the Canvas learning management system to access their coursework and participate in classes. Graduates of the program earn an estimated annual salary of over $46,000. Students can transfer in 64 credits from community colleges and up to 90 credits total, and they can earn credits through exams, self-study assessments, and prior learning. In addition to financial aid packages, CSU Global offers a 10% discount to the employees of 3,000 partner companies, and it offers a tuition guarantee that keeps rates the same from registration to graduation.

Students can apply online, and the program offers start dates every month. The school offers free online 24/7 tutoring services and career advising services.

Cost per Credit: $350
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 64%
Average SAT Scores: 950 - 1140
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 8,114

#23

Bluefield College

Bluefield (VA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $302,400
  • Median Salary: $31,890
  • Annual Tuition: $10,950
  • Median Debt: $20,833

At Bluefield College, the online Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human Services program is rooted in the Christian faith and heart-centered principles. This degree requires 120 credits, including 49 general education credits, 32 minor or elective hours, and 48 core hours in courses such as human development across the lifespan, theories of personality, family dynamics, human... sexuality, case management, and group dynamics. Students must complete a senior seminar, and also have the opportunity to complete an internship. This four-year program can be completed in a shorter period of time with transfer credits and accelerated learning. This degree prepares students for the Master of Arts in Counselor Education, or they can start diverse careers as psychiatric technicians, case managers, occupational therapists, or behavioral researchers, among others.

Faculty use the Moodle learning management system to facilitate course delivery. Students can study on their own schedule, but they need to sign into their courses several times per week to participate in online forums and ensure they meet assignment deadlines. The school offers scholarships based on academics, faith, and select degree programs.

Bluefield accepts applications at any time, and the school has several start dates throughout the year for online students. There are career services and support for academic success, such as tutoring, math and writing labs, disability services, and academic coaching.

Cost per Credit: $365
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 34%
Acceptance Rate: 91%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 900 - 1070
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 626

#24

Geneva College

Beaver Falls (PA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $300,500
  • Median Salary: $32,213
  • Annual Tuition: $12,450
  • Median Debt: $25,000

At Geneva College, students can earn an online Bachelor of Professional Studies in Aging Services or an online Bachelor of Professional Studies in Child and Family Services in a Christ-centered academic environment. These programs focus on the physical and social aspects of aging and the challenges of working with children and families in human services settings. Courses include... topics such as the politics of aging, child and adolescent development, professional ethics, program management and evaluation, and human diversity. Students must complete 36 credit hours in the major, but before starting these courses, they must complete or transfer in 60 general credit hours. These degrees prepare students for careers such as home health team managers, assisted living managers, adult day center directors, early childhood interventionists, family resource coordinators, or children's librarians, as well as many others.

Online students take courses through Moodle, which lets them read course materials, engage in forums, take quizzes, and submit questions to their instructors. Students can apply for financial aid, and the school distributes $13.5 million in scholarships every year.

Students can apply anytime from a month to a year before their intended start date. Once they are accepted, they can access services such as the student success center, health and counseling resources, and the career and calling center.

Cost per Credit: $415
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 72%
Acceptance Rate: 69%
Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
Average SAT Scores: 1020 - 1240
Accreditation: MSCHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 94

Overview of a Human Services Degree

A human services degree is similar to a degree in social work, but there are some key differences. For instance, human services degrees don’t lead to licensure and often focus on preparing students for a wide range of careers.

The best online schools for human services provide students with an understanding of alcohol and drug counseling, rehabilitation services, family therapy, social work, and healthcare management. Online human services degrees are offered at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, as well as certificates.

A bachelor’s degree in human services takes about four years to complete with a full-time schedule. Some programs may accept previous credits or an associate degree, which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your degree. Applicants to an online bachelor’s degree program will need a high school diploma or GED and transcripts from high school or previous college-level coursework. Some programs may require SAT or ACT scores.

Can You Get a Human Service Degree Online

Absolutely. There are many online human service degrees, and they provide the same courses as an in-person degree. Online degree programs are respected by employers and higher education institutions, especially in today’s technology-driven world.

Online Classes for Human Services

After graduating with a degree in human services, individuals work as counselors, healthcare administrators, family therapists, and more. So, courses in this major provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to have a successful career. Here are some examples of courses offered by human services degree programs:

Social Service Systems

This course gives students an understanding of the different US systems that provide social and human services. These may include charities, government organizations, and private institutions.

Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Individuals looking to work in a human services job should understand human behavior and how they can best meet the needs of those they’re helping. This course examines different social environments and the ways people navigate them.

Child Welfare

Because human services graduates may work as school or family counselors, students learn about the laws and regulations in place to protect children. They may learn about domestic violence, social work, and how the foster system functions.

Public Policy

So much of human service work relies on government organizations and the regulations that non-profit and private organizations have to follow. It’s necessary for human service workers to know the laws they’re subject to and how to work with other agencies.

Crisis Intervention

Occasionally, it may be necessary for social services to act quickly and efficiently, so students learn the best methods of helping people in crisis situations. This course, and similar ones, prepares graduates to handle emergencies and de-escalate crisis situations.

Career Options for an Online Human Services Degree

The online human services bachelor’s curriculum provides a well-rounded introduction to the skills of the helping professions. Students learn the skills for effecting change at the individual, group, and community levels. Many programs also train students in the administrative aspects of human services organizations, such as fundraising and program development.

Many human services bachelor’s programs include the opportunity to specialize in a particular aspect of the helping professions, such as child and family services, substance abuse, emergency management, or health and human services management. Most programs require an internship or practicum in a local human services agency.

Social and Community Service Managers

Annual Median Salary: $74,000
Job Growth Rate: 15%+

Social and community service managers create and oversee administrative programs for their organizations. They maintain records and policies and work with others to ensure their communities receive the best possible care. Often, they develop policies themselves and decide on budget distribution.

Medical and Health Services Managers

Annual Median Salary: $101,340
Job Growth Rate: 15%+

Medical and health services managers oversee medical, nursing, clerical, service, maintenance, and other personnel. They may work in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, and public health organizations to plan and coordinate care. Often, they are in charge of finances and research as well.

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

Annual Median Salary: $48,520
Job Growth Rate: 22%

Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors advise people with addictions, eating disorders, and mental health issues as they go through rehabilitation and modify their behaviors during recovery. They work with clients’ families to develop and maintain strategies that will help clients cope and recover. These counselors also conduct outreach programs to help other professionals and organizations identify and help people in need.

Social and Human Service Assistants

Annual Median Salary: $37,610
Job Growth Rate: 15%+

Social and human service assistants help other providers with the services they offer. These services cover psychology, rehabilitation, social work, and other community services. SHS Assistants may be in charge of finding and obtaining benefits from other organizations and developing programs to help their clients.

Rehabilitation Counselors

Annual Median Salary: $38,560
Job Growth Rate: 10-15%

Rehabilitation counselors help individuals with birth defects, illnesses, physical traumas, and other health issues live independent lives and hold successful careers. They coordinate activities for care and treatment facilities, assess client needs, and maintain records. Often, they work with their clients on a long-term, ongoing basis.

Is a Human Services Online Degree Worth It?

Not every degree will fit every person, but if you’re interested in a social services career, then consider an online human services degree. Many jobs require a bachelor’s degree in human services, or a related field, so attending post-secondary school is a common starting point for professionals. Here are some benefits and drawbacks to a human service degree:

Potential Benefits

Faster-than-average job growth

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Community and Social Service Occupations are projected to grow 12% between 2020 and 2030. This is faster than the average for all occupations, and translates to nearly 350,000 jobs.

A great launching point

The field of human services is vast and has a large variety of job options. Graduates of a bachelor’s degree program can work as counselors, administrators, assistants, policy makers, and managers.

It feels good to help others

If you’re looking into a human service degree, you’re probably interested in helping those in need. It can feel good to help people and see them improve over time.

Potential Drawbacks

Low job satisfaction

While school counselors and career counselors have a higher satisfaction rate, health service managers and family service workers have a very low satisfaction rate. Career Explorer reports that health service managers rate their job satisfaction in the bottom 33% of all careers. Family social workers rate their job satisfaction in the bottom 17% of all careers.

Restrictive laws and regulations

Because human service workers work with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and people in need, there are a lot of regulations and limitations on the work. It’s common to run into barriers, such as funding or oversight, which make it harder for human service workers to do their jobs.

May require higher education

A bachelor’s in human services is a good starting point, but it doesn’t license graduates to work as social workers. Many counseling and healthcare management careers require master’s degrees or various certifications.

Bottom Line

Earning your degree in human services can lead to a successful career that helps others and changes society for the better. There are many facets of the degree, such as law, healthcare administration, human behavior, and counseling, but the extra work is worth it. If you’re interested in working closely with people in need and healthcare organizations, then pursuing an online degree in human services may be right for you.

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