Online Human Services Degree and Certificate Programs

Looking for a human services program that aligns with your career goals?

With a large aging population, communities will demand greater social services and leaders that can ensure that these populations get the best support. If you’re interested in improving the quality of life for all people, Purdue Global’s human services programs can prepare you to develop and manage ethical interventions and services, setting you up for roles in youth and family services, rehabilitation facilities, mental health centers, and more. And because your classes are 100% online, it’s easy to create a study schedule that fits your life.

See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

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Online Human Services Programs

Have a passion for helping others? Human services may be right for you. Drawing from health services, psychology, sociology, and law, you’ll build the knowledge to work in roles such as social and community service managers, case workers, and more.

Build skills to identify, plan, and implement client interventions. This program meets the requirements to sit for Human Services — Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP™) certification exam.

    15–18 hrs/week
    2 years

    Learn to advocate for individuals and communities through theory and practice. Coursework develops skills in planning, assessing and delivering interventions, laying the groundwork for roles in nursing homes, mental health centers, and more.

    • Child and Family Welfare
    • Community Organization and Advocacy
    • Gerontology
    • Human Services Administration
    15–18 hrs/week
    4 years

    Build the advanced skills needed to design and implement human services programs. Prepare for leadership positions in a variety of nonprofit, government, or private agencies. Plus, gain real-world career practice in an optional internship.

    • Organizational and Social Services
    • Family and Community Services
    15 hrs/week
    1.5 years

    Online Elder Care Services Programs

    Gerontology programs prepare you with a basic foundation centered on working with and creating human services that support older adults. With an increasing aging population, elder care and social services are needed now more than ever.  

    Looking to enter the field of gerontology? Prepare for specialized human services roles or lay the groundwork for a future degree. Coursework centers on developing ethical client interventions, evaluating the impact of aging on society, and more.

      15–18 hrs/week
      11 months

      Online Child and Family Services Programs

      A specialized field within human services, child and family services works to address the needs of adolescents and families, assisting social workers to resolve or prevent problems related to substance abuse, relationships, dependent care, and more.

      Looking to make an impact on the wellbeing of children and families? Prepare for specialized human services roles examining developmental milestones of children, building social service programs, and more, or lay the groundwork for a future degree.

        15–18 hrs/week
        11 months

        Industry Partnerships, Accreditations, and Designations

        Member of CSHE

        Purdue Global’s associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in human services adhere to the curriculum standards of the Council for Standards in Human Services Education (CSHSE)

        Prepare for Certification

        With a Purdue Global human services degree, you’ll fulfill the educational requirements to sit for the Human Services—Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP™) certification exam offered by the Center for Credentialing and Education.

        What Are the Admissions Requirements?

        To get started as a Purdue Global student, you must meet certain academic requirements and complete an enrollment application. Here’s what you’ll need to begin:

        Admissions for Undergraduate Programs

        • GED or high school diploma for associate's and bachelor's degrees

        Admissions for Graduate Programs

        • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university for master's degrees and certificate programs

        Want to know if online learning is right for you before you enroll? Watch our virtual campus tour to learn more.

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        Understanding Your Investment

        How long? How much? These are important questions! Try our online Calculator to estimate when you’ll finish and see how your prior credits and experience can save you time and money.

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        Ready to Enroll?

        Purdue Global makes the process easy. You can apply online today (self-guided) or contact us to walk you through the process.

        Upcoming Start Dates

        We offer rolling start dates throughout the year. Choose the one that works best for your schedule.
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        Which Program Is Right for You?

        Discover your interests and set your goals for success. Take our Career Assessment to chart your ideal path.

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        Take 3 Weeks to Get to Know Us

        Start an undergraduate program with no financial obligation and no cost to apply.

        Human Services Industry Resources

        Explore career outcomes and industry trends, and choose the program that best suits your needs. 

        Looking to enter the rewarding field of human services? Discover common career paths.

        Go further in your human services career. Learn how to climb the ladder by expanding your experience.

        Human Services Programs

        Explore the benefits of earning a certificate or degree in human services.

        Graduate Programs

        Why choose Purdue Global for your master's degree in human services?

        Dedicated Faculty Offer Rich Experience

        Purdue Global faculty members share knowledge gained through the powerful combination of higher learning and real-world industry experience.

        Human Services FAQs

        • Human services is an interdisciplinary field encompassing a variety of social services that improve the quality of life and promote the self-sufficiency of individuals and communities, focusing on prevention and remediation.

          Examples of human services include programs focused on child and family welfare, rehabilitation, human service administration, gerontology, food and shelter, client advocacy, guidance, health care, counseling services, and more. 

          Government and nonprofit agencies are key players in the human service field. Support is delivered through organizations, individuals or agencies that provide access to a broad range of services, support, and coordination in service delivery.

        • Due to the nature of a continually evolving society, an aging population, and policy changes, human services professionals are needed in a variety of settings, for a variety of reasons. No matter the route, a degree in human services will prepare you for roles helping others, counseling and advocating for those suffering substance abuse, mental health issues, domestic violence, and more.

          Human service careers require strong written and verbal skills, the ability to connect with people and build relationships regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, collaboration and teamwork skills, and empathy above all else. Graduates receive a well-rounded education that’s valuable in a variety of settings from legal assistance organizations, to food and nutrition agencies, senior citizen centers, women’s shelters, disaster relief, and more.

          Human service careers have a lot in common with careers in social work, in that both fields focus on helping people solve their problems and improve their quality of life. However, human services professionals focus more on everyday challenges and finding solutions through organizations or agencies that provide case management, administrative support, or client advocacy. Students who ultimately want to be licensed social workers need to earn a master’s degree in social work and get licensed based on their state’s requirements.

          So, what can you do with a human services degree? Here are some human service careers you may qualify for, depending on your program:

          Social Worker

          Social workers help individuals solve and cope with issues in their everyday life. Their employment is expected to grow 9 percent from 2021 to 2031.

          School and Career Counselor or Advisor

          School counselors help develop academic and social skills that pave the way for career- and life-readiness. Employment is expected to grow 10 percent from 2021 to 2031.

          Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, or Mental Health Counselor

          Mental health counselors advocate for and advise those who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction, mental health obstacles, and more. Their employment is expected to grow 22 percent from 2021 to 2031.

          Marriage and Family Therapist

          Family therapists help manage and overcome problems within specific family structures and dynamics. Their employment is expected to grow 14 percent from 2021 to 2031.

          See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

        • Yes, human services programs are often accredited by the CSHSE (Council for Standards in Human Service Education). This accreditation is voluntary and labor-intensive, and assures the quality, consistency, and relevance of the curriculum through research-based standards.

          Several of Purdue Global’s online human services degrees are accredited by the CSHSE. CSHSE accredited programs certify that these meet the National Standards related to human services programs and curriculum.

          The following Purdue Global School of Human Services programs are CSHSE accredited:

          When selecting a human services program, you’ll also find that some offer coursework that fulfills the requirements to sit for the exam to become a Human Services–Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP™). You’ll need to meet post-degree experience requirements as well in to earn the HS-BCP™ credential. Refer to Purdue Global's State Licensure and Certifications page for state-specific licensure information.

          As an institution, Purdue Global is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

        • The length of time it takes to complete your human services degree depends on the type of degree you’re studying for and your previous experience. Many students enroll at Purdue Global with a range of prior learning credits and experiences. Our student body includes everyone from professionals looking to advance their careers to career-changers who are new to the human services field. To make things easy, we provide a graduation date calculator to help you determine your expected graduation date based on your unique situation.

          Depending on the degree, average completion times vary from student to student—but here are some sample degree completion time estimates (based on full-time study):

          • Associate of Applied Science in Human Services: 2 years
          • Bachelor of Science in Human Services: 4 years
          • Master of Science in Human Services: 1.5 years

          For those looking to enter the field of human services or specialize their role with a certificate, our Child and Family Services and Elder Care Certificates in Human Services take less than a year on average to complete.

          For weekly time commitments, we estimate Purdue Global students should plan for the following:

          • For students enrolled in 10-week terms:  ~15-18 hours per week, per course
          • For students enrolled in 12-week terms: ~20-25 hours per week, per course

          (These estimates include time spent in the online classroom in addition to offline study. Advanced courses may require additional time.)

          See Notes and Conditions below for important information.


        Credit for Prior Learning: Purdue Global does not guarantee transferability of credit. See the University Catalog for the Prior Learning policy.

        Employment and Career Advancement: Purdue Global does not guarantee employment placement or career advancement. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience and opportunities for employment. Additional certification or licensing may be required to work in certain fields.

        Human Services Programs Licensure: The coursework in this program fulfills the academic requirements to sit for the exam to become a Human Services—Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP). Please note that you must meet post-degree experience requirements in order to earn the HS-BCP credential. The University cannot guarantee students will be eligible to sit for or pass exams. This program was not designed to lead to certification or licensure as a social worker or counselor in any specific state, and Purdue Global makes no representations or warranties as to whether the degree or any individual courses meet such requirements. Refer to the University Catalog for additional information.

        Job Growth: Sources: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers, School and Career Counselors and Advisors, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors, and Marriage and Family Therapists. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.