A bachelor’s in Human Services will start you on a path for a satisfying career in a range of careers in helping people. If you have an interest in helping people to prevent a personal crisis, want to help people in improving their quality of life, or are interested in maintaining quality services in your community and non-profit agencies, accelerated human services degrees are a great beginning for a great career.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has a well-researched article on the Human Services career, you might find of interest.
If you qualify, financial aid is available for all these online programs by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for qualified students.
Our Method: Ranking the 10 Fastest Human Services Bachelor’s Online Programs for 2021
To rank the 10 Fastest Human Services Bachelor’s Online Programs for 2021, Best Degrees editors researched accredited, trusted programs of all kinds. From our initial pool, we ranked programs according to price, accreditation, reputation, and salary potential, using data from IPEDS and Niche, U.S. News and World Report, and other higher education rating publications.
1. St. Joseph’s College New York
This B.S. in Human Services may be a perfect option if you have an Associate Degree, been working in the Human Services field, and want to advance your education and career.
You’ll take general Human Services classes in Administration, Principles of Counseling, Introduction to Case Management, Capstone Research in Human Services, and others. SJC offers a wide variety of electives in the field, including studies in Medicaid, Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias, Addictions and Dependencies, Counseling Techniques, Gerontology, Alcoholism and Addictions Evaluation and Treatment Plans, etc.
Admission for online students is fairly simple. You’ll complete an application (with $25 fee) and provide official academic transcripts. As a working professional you may receive up to 27 hours of academic credit for your work experience through the Prior Experiential Learning Assessment Program (PELA). Transfer students can transfer up to 90 credit hours of academic credit.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $29,190/per academic year
Fast Fact: Ranked #312/#1,572 in Niche’s Best Value Colleges in America
2. Dominican University
This Illinois-based university, provides an accelerated, online Bachelor of Professional Studies with a major in Human Services degree completion bachelor’s.
You can transfer up to 58 semester hours from a community college and/or up to 90 semester hours of community college and colleges/universities studies toward this 20-month long program. Studies include core classes in Human Services Administration, Behavioral Theory, Professional Ethics, and others. The program has five areas of emphasis in Training and Development, Sustainability Studies, Disability Advocacy, International Studies, and Labor Relations.
To be admitted to this degree program, you’ll need to transfer 30 credits or more from a college or university, submit an application, official academic transcripts from every school you’ve attended, a personal statement, and a current resume. College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits are also considered and can reduce the number of hours you may have to take toward this degree. The College Board administers CLEP exams.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $490/per credit hour
Fast Fact: U.S. News and World Report ranks Dominican University at #144 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
3. California Baptist University
Students, on average, can complete this B.A. in Human Services in 16 months.
You’ll need to complete prerequisite classes in English and sociology prior to taking lower and upper-division courses. Classes offered include Theories of Human Services, Reading and Writing in Behavioral Sciences, Crisis Intervention, Context of Human Social Behavior, Abnormal Psychology, Sociology of Health and Illness, Marriage and the Family, Ethics and Legal Implications of Human Services, etc. Practicum experiences are part of the curriculum.
Requirements for admission includes 23 transferable credits, an application, completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and submission of official academic transcripts. You’ll be assigned a personal Admissions Counselor who will help guide you through admission completion as well as registration/enrollment.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $26,000/program cost Estimated Program Length: 20 months
Fast Fact: CBU is rated #67 in the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report
4. Springfield College
With the campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, Springfield College has a hybrid B.S. in Human Services which can be completed in 16 months (depending on transfer credits).
Four concentrations are available in this degree covering Substance Use Disorder Counseling, Early Childhood Education, Community Youth Development and Leadership, Criminal Justice. You’ll take a range of pertinent courses to your concentration as well as electives. The curriculum includes studies in Education, Oppression, and Resistance, Global Economy, Culture, and Community, Social Transformation and Alternative Visions, A Critical Overview of Human Services, Issues in Research, Human Services Portfolio Development, Group Projects in Community and Change, and a Senior Seminar.
Admission requirements call for a minimum of 15 credit hours and transcripts demonstrating a GPA of at least a 2.0 GPA. You can also earn credit for work experience, military training, volunteer work, and other options. As always, an application is necessary.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $500/per credit hour
Fast Fact: Springfield College is #18 in Best Value Schools as ranked by U.S. News and World Report
5. Grace College and Theological Seminary
Grace College in Indiana has a B.S. in Human Services offered completely online which is a degree completion program you can complete in 16 months.
Among the topics of the curriculum are Systems of Social Welfare, Human Growth and Development, Intervention Strategies and Techniques, Fundamentals of Lifelong Learning, Delivery of Human Services: Theory and Practice, Interpersonal Communication and Interviewing Skills in Human Services, as well as a Senior Seminar. You’ll need 75 credit hours of previous college/university education to enroll in this 45 credit hour major.
An application and academic transcripts are needed for admission showing 60 prior college credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA. You may be asked by the Admissions Office to provide additional documentation. Once admitted, you’ll be expected to make a $100 Enrollment Deposit.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $17,550/program total
Fast Fact: The Princeton Review lists Grace College and Theological Seminary in its 2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region ranking
6. Florida State College at Jacksonville
If you have an Associate Degree, or have 60 transferrable college credits, you may want to explore this accelerated, online B.S. in Human Services program. It will take approximately 20 months for completion.
The Human Services major requires 45 credit hours of study in upper-division courses. You’ll study Introduction to Human Services, Introduction to Crisis Intervention, Human Development Through the Lifespan, Current Issues in Mental Health, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning in Human Services, along with others, including an internship. Additional Human Services courses are in Child and Family Welfare, Drug Awareness and Education, Aging and Family Dynamics, and others.
To be admitted as mentioned, you’ll need an Associate degree or 60 transferrable college credits. An application to FSCJ and college transcripts will also be required. You also need to have completed prerequisite courses in general education which are detailed on the website.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $12,586/total program cost
Fast Fact: Florida State College at Jacksonville opened its doors in 1965
7. Walden University
This B.S. in Human Services is offered online with six concentration options.
You can choose from concentrations in Addictions, Child and Adolescent Development, Administration, Psychology, Leadership and Administration, Criminal Justice, as well as a customized, Self-Designed studies. General education studies are required for all concentrations, along with core and concentration courses. A capstone project is part of the curriculum regardless of the concentration. On the quarter system, this degree requires 181 quarter hours for completion.
Application to the program requires you provide personal information, such as your employment history as well as academic history, and academic transcripts. Once you’ve completed the application, you’ll submit the documents to an Enrollment Specialist. WU accepts up to 135 credit hours from prior collegiate work which is one of the most generous transfer options we’ve found.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $12,150/per academic year
Fast Fact: Niche recognizes Walden University as #627/1,572 in its Best Value Colleges in America
8. Southern New Hampshire University
You can choose from three concentrations with this online B.S. in Human Services degree program from SNHU.
The curriculum for this degree has a General Education and Arts and Sciences requirements along with major courses. Among the topics covered in the major are Introduction to Human Services, Law and Ethics in Human Services, Public Policy and Advocacy, etc. Several electives are available in areas ranging from Healthcare Systems, Community Psychology, Prevention and Crisis Intervention, and several more. You may also choose from concentrations in Child and Family Services, Substance Abuse, and Gerontology.
You’ll begin the admission process by completing an application and talking with an admission counselor and provide an academic transcript release form for all colleges or universities you’ve attended, attestation of your graduation from high school, or completion of the GED. The SAT/ACT scores are not required. Walden University accepts up to 90 transfer credit hours.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $31,136/per academic year
Fast Fact: SNHU is ranked #1 in U.S. News and World Report‘s Most Innovative Schools
9. Lesley University
Here’s another New England school that awards a B.S. in Human Services online that offers a generous, 90 credit hour transfer policy as well as credit for prior learning.
The 120 credit hour curriculum is designed to provide you with a well-rounded human services foundation. You’ll study courses in Abnormal Psychology, Race, Class, and Gender, Social Policy, Lifespan Development, Practical Ethics in Human Services, Micro/Macro Assessment, and more. The program requires an online internship as well as field placement experiences.
Lesley University requires you complete an application form and official transcripts documentation. If you’ve attended another college or university, you’ll also needs to submit course descriptions of the classes you want considered for transfer credit.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $445/per credit hour
Fast Fact: The Princeton Review recognizes Lesley University as one of its Best Northeastern schools
10. Antioch University
Antioch University is a private, not-for-profit school that offers an online B.A. in Human Services you can complete in 24 months or less (depending on transfer credits and number of hours you take each term.)
The major requires 45 credit hours, which includes interdisciplinary core classes in Culture, Conflict, and Social Research, Modes and Methods of Learning, Ecology, Technology, and Society, Experience and Expression, and others. Among the human services topics you’ll study are Caring for the Aging, Human Services Systems and Grants, Gender and Multicultural Issues in Healthcare, Behavioral Physiology, and more. This degree requires 120 credit hours for completion.
Antioch University has a simple admission process which includes submission of an application, goal statement, and a minimum of 24 credit hours of transfer credit from a college or university. You may be asked to provide letters of recommendation and/or meet with a faculty member for an admissions interview.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $375/per credit hour
Fast Fact: Antioch University was founded in 1852 and claims illustrious alumni such as Coretta Scott King and Eleanor Holmes Norton. The school boasts two Nobel laureates in physiology or medicine, as well as a Nobel Peace Prize.
What are the Advantages of an Accelerated Human Services Degree?
Traditionally, college degrees take four years to complete. That’s four years of tuition costs, books, fees, and time. If you work full-time, having to take four years off for school may keep you from going after an undergraduate or graduate degree.
Accelerated human services degree programs, in many cases, can trim one year from your time in school. These programs are designed to include the same coursework as traditional programs, somewhat shorter class sessions, and be a more immersive experience, overall. The degrees are recognized the same as traditional programs and are accredited by the same U.S. Department of Education-approved accrediting bodies.
Completing your accelerated program online provides you greater flexibility to balance school, work, and home life. The quicker you complete your degree, the faster you’ll be able to make positive career changes, earn more money and benefits, pay less in tuition and fees, and advance your education to a master’s or doctorate degree. Many schools will offer dual degree options, allowing you to take both undergraduate and graduate courses simultaneously.
Finally, regardless of length, online degree programs will make you eligible to apply for financial aid and scholarships, just as traditional programs. Financial Aid, for those who qualify, can come in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Accelerated programs will reduce the amount you will have to repay in loans.
What Kinds of Jobs Can I Get with a Human Services Degree?
Human Services is a helping profession. A bachelor’s degree in the field offers a wide range of job opportunities, depending on your interests. You can find work as an advocate, an advisor, a counselor, a case manager, and more. Employment can be found in non-profit, healthcare systems, judicial advocacy agencies, as well as community and governmental agencies.
A career in a Human Services field, will allow you to concentrate on helping those in need, improve social services structures, and provide options for people who may be struggling. If you’re an empathetic person looking to find a career that will value that empathy, a Human Services position may be the perfect position for you.
Some of the job titles in this discipline include: Child Abuse Worker, Crisis Intervention Counselor, Community Outreach, Child and Geriatric Advocate, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor, Case Worker, Home Health Aide, Public Administration, and others. A master’s degree in this field, will broaden your career opportunities.
As reported by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Human Services is a field with a faster than average job growth rate (17% between 2019-2029) and offers a median salary of $67,150 per year depending on where you live and work.
If you continue your education in Human Services, by focusing on a concentration, and obtain a master’s degree, your career options will significantly increase.
How Much Can I Make with a Bachelor’s in Human Services?
As mentioned above, the median salary for a person with a bachelor’s in Human Services is $67,150 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Depending on where you work, the BLS salary estimations range from $60,180-$85,550 annually. Job opportunities reported by BLS can be found in individual and family services, religious organizations, community and vocational rehabilitation services, nursing and residential care agencies, and local governments.
The online employment service, Indeed offers a description of “35 Best Jobs for Helping People” that describes job duties and salary estimates that you may find helpful. PayScale is another excellent online resource for determining salary estimates.
As you determine your salary, be sure to include other factors such as benefits. Many employers offer compensation packages that may include sign-on bonuses, retirement benefits, paid sick and personal leave, employee tuition assistance, and more.