Home > Top 25 Online Bachelor’s in Human Services Programs for 2018

Top 25 Online Bachelor’s in Human Services Programs for 2018

Rising demand for affordable and effective approaches to healthcare create a need for human services professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% increase in employment for community health workers by 2026. Graduates who have earned a human services degree online help people understand and seek health and social services. This page will help you select the human services bachelor’s degree online program that best meets your professional goals.

What are the Best Online Bachelor’s in Human Services Programs?

1

Saint Joseph's College of MaineStandish, ME

Degree Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, Human Services Minor
Admissions Rate 78%
Default Rate 5%
Retention Rate 86%
Graduation Rate 58%
Online Enrollment 57%

St. Joseph's College of Maine, a liberal arts college and religious institution, is located in Standish, just two hours from Boston. The school's human services degree online is offered as a bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies program with a minor in human services. The program has an industry-specific curriculum that prepares students to obtain social science positions. Degree candidates must complete 128 credits, and at least a quarter of those credits must be earned through SJC. Considered one of the top online colleges for human services, SJC requires a four-step application process, which involves completing an application, submitting all prior transcripts, and sending Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Testing (ACT) scores. Distance learners can tour the campus and meet with an admissions counselor for the chance to receive the Visit Scholarship.

2

LeTourneau UniversityLongview, TX

Degree Bachelor of Human Services
Admissions Rate 45%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 57%
Online Enrollment 44%

LeTourneau, a religious institution with more than 90 academic programs, prepares students for success in numerous fields, including aviation, biblical studies, education, and human services. The main campus is located in Longview, Texas. The online bachelor’s degree in human services program, which is taught in an accelerated format, offers courses in a five-week format. LeTourneau requires learners to complete 124 credit hours, including 36 credit hours in the major. Distance learners must complete LU’s application for online programs. Human services bachelor's degree online learners pay the same per credit hour tuition, regardless of residency. Courses include abnormal psychology, theories and techniques of counseling, and addiction theory. Graduates are prepared for careers as caseworkers, grant writers, and more.

3

Indiana Wesleyan University-MarionMarion, IN

Degree Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Admissions Rate 95%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 60%
Online Enrollment 45%

Indiana Wesleyan, a religious institution in Marion, provides a liberal arts education to online and on-campus students. IWU offers programs from centers throughout the state, as well as Kentucky and Ohio. The online bachelor’s degree in human services, a 45-credit program, prepares distance learners for work in human service organizations. Learners can complete the program in 18 to 20 months. Classes provide group support by meeting either one night per week in person or online. Before applying to the human services degree online program, distance learners must complete at least 60 transferable credit hours from a regionally accredited college or university or religious institution. Admission requirements also include an application, a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate, and original transcripts.

4

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods CollegeSaint Mary of the Woods, IN

Degree Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Admissions Rate 59%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 50%
Online Enrollment 44%

SMWC, a private liberal arts college in St. Mary's, Indiana, offers more than 50 programs. The school is a religious institution that provides individual attention to learners with an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. SMWC offers several online programs, including an online bachelor’s degree in human services. The human services bachelor's degree online requires distance learners to complete at least 49 credit hours of human resources-related coursework in addition to general studies. The online admissions application requires degree candidates to submit official high school transcripts or a GED, official ACT or SAT test scores, and any official college transcripts. SMWC may require some degree candidates to submit a resume, a letter of recommendation, or a 500-word essay in addition to application materials.

5

Saint Joseph's College-New YorkBrooklyn, NY

Degree Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Admissions Rate 68%
Default Rate 6%
Retention Rate 86%
Graduation Rate 68%
Online Enrollment 5%

SJC has campuses in Brooklyn and on Long Island. The school offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate majors and provides individualized attention through a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The school offers many distance programs, including an online degree in human services. Saint Joseph's also offers a master’s degree in human services leadership, a certificate in human services leadership, and an accelerated dual-degree program. Graduates of the dual degree program earn an undergraduate and graduate degree in human services. The human services bachelor's degree online program requires students to earn at least 120 credits. Courses are taught asynchronously. SJC accepts up to 90 transfer credits from undergraduate students.

6

Southwestern Assemblies of God UniversityWaxahachie, TX

Degree Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Admissions Rate 28%
Default Rate 13%
Retention Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 41%
Online Enrollment 38%

Located in Waxahachie, Texas, SAGU offers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs. The university, a religious institution, features four undergraduate degrees in human services, including SAGU’s human services bachelor's degree online. The degree offers three concentrations: counseling, psychology, and criminal justice. The program is only offered completely online to student 22 and older. Online students pay a lower tuition than on-campus learners. Distance learners complete asynchronous classes on the online platforms Blackboard and Tegrity. SAGU offers credit for life experiences through an experiential learning credit program, which awards a degree candidate up to 45 credit hours. The experiential credit program requires students to demonstrate work experience and enroll in a single, three-credit course.

7

Grace Bible CollegeWyoming, MI

Degree Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Admissions Rate 81%
Default Rate 3%
Retention Rate 56%
Graduation Rate 60%
Online Enrollment 53%

Grace Bible College, a religious educational institution, provides access to a variety of degrees online and on campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan. GBC, one of the top online colleges for human services, offers a bachelor’s degree in human services, which trains students to serve individuals, families, and society. Degree candidates can complete the 60-credit program in two years. The program is taught in an accelerated format, and the required online application is free. Applicants must submit official transcripts from any prior educational institutions. Degree candidates must have earned a minimum high school GPA of 2.0 to apply. GBC provides a lower tuition rate for military students.

8

Southeastern UniversityLakeland, FL

Degree Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Admissions Rate 46%
Default Rate 9%
Retention Rate 67%
Graduation Rate 39%
Online Enrollment 40%

Southeastern University is a religious institution that was previously located in Alabama. SEU’s current campus is found in Lakeland, Florida. The university requires students to attend weekly chapel services. SEU offers many online programs, including a bachelor’s degree in human services. The 124-credit human services bachelor's degree online prepares students to work in numerous human services environments, including nursing homes, homeless shelters, and substance abuse programs. This accelerated online program features short classes, which only last four weeks. Distance learners must submit a personal reference form, ACT or SAT scores, a biographical essay, and all official transcripts. Major courses include case management and intervention, group dynamics, research methods, and human diversity.

9

Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester, NH

Degree Bachelor of Arts in Human Services
Admissions Rate 92%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 58%
Online Enrollment 88%

Southern New Hampshire University currently enrolls more than 80,000 distance learners and 3,000 residential students. The university’s main campus is located in Manchester. Degree candidates can complete programs through a regional center in Brunswick, Maine. SNHU is a private, nonprofit university. The school is considered one of the best online schools for human services and offers a bachelor’s degree in human services, which trains degree candidates for various career roles, including caseworker, juvenile court liaison, and mental health aide. The 120-credit program offers three concentrations: child and family services, gerontology, and substance abuse. This online program requires a capstone project. SNHU offers a 30% tuition discount for military members and spouses of servicemen and women currently on active duty.

10

Western Washington UniversityBellingham, WA

Degree Bachelor of Arts in Human Services
Admissions Rate 82%
Default Rate 4%
Retention Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 71%
Online Enrollment 1%

Western Washington University, located in Bellingham, offers more than 160 academic programs. The school keeps classes small with a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio. WWU’s online human services bachelor's degree online prepares learners for careers in case management, advocacy, and social work. Distance learners can complete the 76-credit program in six quarters, which last 10 to 12 weeks. Students can finish the program completely online or by taking evening classes in Bellingham or Everett. Learners must complete 380 hours of field experience. Distance learners complete courses asynchronously and may submit assignments through mail, fax, or email. Degree candidates must submit a human services application form.

11

Anderson UniversityAnderson, SC

Degree Bachelor of Human Services
Admissions Rate 55%
Default Rate 9%
Retention Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 49%
Online Enrollment 9%

Anderson offers more than 40 majors and 38 concentrations in graduate and undergraduate studies. The school is located in Anderson, South Carolina. AU is a religious institution that offers numerous online programs, including the bachelor’s degree in human services. This program features convenient eight-week courses. Degree candidates may transfer up to 64 credits towards the degree. AU’s human services bachelor's degree also offers an optional concentration in behavioral science. Learners may enroll in the program with or without an associate degree, but must show proof of a high school diploma. Unlike other online schools for human services, AU charges distance learners an additional online delivery fee per credit hour.

12

University of Wisconsin-OshkoshOshkosh, WI

Degree Bachelor of Science in Human Services Leadership
Admissions Rate 81%
Default Rate 4%
Retention Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 51%
Online Enrollment 6%

UW-Oshkosh, located in Wisconsin, offers small classes despite being the state’s third largest university. The school provides personalized career and academic advising for all degree candidates, including distance learners. UWO, a part of the University of Wisconsin System and one of the largest public higher education systems in the U.S., offers an online bachelor’s degree in human services leadership. The human services bachelor's degree online is taught asynchronously, allowing distance learners to complete courses on their schedule through the Desire 2 Learn platform. The university welcomes transfer students with an associate degree or at least 56 credits from another college or university. UWO also accepts the transfer of certain technical college degrees for the university’s human services degree.

13

University of the CumberlandsWilliamsburg, KY

Degree Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Admissions Rate 68%
Default Rate 10%
Retention Rate 65%
Graduation Rate 37%
Online Enrollment 57%

Cumberlands, a liberal arts institution, offers a personalized learning approach with small class sizes and individualized attention. UC, a religious institution, is located in Williamsburg, Kentucky. Approximately 50% of UC’s total student population comes from families without prior college attendance. The school offers a human services bachelor's degree online with no on-campus requirements. Distance learners can choose from two concentrations: human services or counseling. The online program requires learners to complete 128 credit hours, including general education courses. Degree candidates can enroll in two, eight-week courses each semester in the spring, fall, and summer. Cumberlands accepts up to 90 hours of transferable college credit.

14

Franklin Pierce UniversityRindge, NH

Degree Bachelor of Arts in Human Services
Admissions Rate 80%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 67%
Graduation Rate 43%
Online Enrollment 24%

Franklin Pierce, a private, nonprofit university, provides flexible learning through it's many on-site locations and online. The main campus is located in Rindge, New Hampshire. FPU offers a bachelor’s degree in human services. Course subjects include psychology, sociology, social work, criminology, and business. FPU awards college credit for life experiences, including prior certifications, professional licenses, and work training. Unlike other online schools for human services, the university does not require a minimum GPA or admissions test scores for program acceptance. Distance learners must submit an application and official transcripts from previous schools. Students must complete major, general education, and elective requirements.

15

Drury UniversitySpringfield, MO

Degree Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Admissions Rate 84%
Default Rate 16%
Retention Rate 84%
Graduation Rate 56%
Online Enrollment 12%

Drury University combines liberal arts and science education with career preparation. Located in Springfield, Missouri, the third largest city in the state, this university offers small classes with a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and more than 70 majors and programs. DU is one of the best online schools for human services. The university's online bachelor’s degree in human services equips distance learners with the skills needed to serve the public. With an optional concentration in leadership, the online program requires a minimum of 124 college credit hours, which includes 36 to 48 credit hours in the human services major and 47 credit hours in general education. DU delivers courses in a flexible, asynchronous format over a 15-week semester schedule or an accelerated eight-week period. The schedule depends on the particular course.

16

Judson UniversityElgin, IL

Degree B.A. in Human Services
Admissions Rate 71%
Default Rate 5%
Retention Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 52%
Online Enrollment 3%

Located in Elgin, Illinois, Judson University promotes energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. JU hosts an annual World Leaders Forum, which brings global leaders, including U.S. presidents, to the university. Judson is a religious institution that offers more than 50 programs on campus and online. The human services bachelor's degree online combines coursework with real-world experiences. Degree candidates for the online bachelor’s degree in human services must complete 120 credit hours. Unlike other online schools for human services, JU requires program applicants to finish two years of full-time work experience before enrollment. Additional application requirements include the submission of official transcripts showing the completion of 40 college credits and a minimum, transferable GPA of 2.0.

17

Shorter UniversityRome, GA

Degree Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Admissions Rate 63%
Default Rate 12%
Retention Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 46%
Online Enrollment 30%

Shorter University, a religious institution, offers more than 40 programs at the university’s main campus in Rome, Georgia; remote campuses throughout Atlanta; and online. The human services bachelor's degree online features an interdisciplinary approach. The 120-credit hour program provides learners with real-world training through a required 16-week internship. Learners must complete their internship at a clinic, but all other program requirements are completed entirely online. Distance learners may complete Common Core (general education) requirements through the online associate degree program. Transfer students with less than 24 college credits must submit a high school transcript and meet minimum test score requirements. SU does not require ACT or SAT scores for students who graduated from high school more than five years ago.

18

Lees-McRae CollegeBanner Elk, NC

Degree Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Human Services
Admissions Rate 67%
Default Rate 11%
Retention Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 36%
Online Enrollment 26%

Located in Banner Elk, North Carolina, Lees-McRae College's campus stands at 4,000 feet, which makes it the highest elevated campus in the eastern United States. One of the top online human services degrees, LMC’s bachelor’s in human services prepares distance learners for a career in the direct service field. Graduates of the human services bachelor's degree online may acquire certification to become human services board practitioners. Distance learners can complete the 60-credit hour program in about two years. Lees-McRae accepts transferable credit from an associate program. The school uses the Sakai learning platform to deliver coursework, and the program is offered completely online.

19

Quincy UniversityQuincy, IL

Degree Bachelor of Human Services Degree
Admissions Rate 63%
Default Rate 10%
Retention Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 52%
Online Enrollment 4%

Quincy University, a liberal arts college, offers a close-knit educational community with small class sizes and a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The main campus is located in Quincy, Illinois. The school is a religious institution. The university’s human services bachelor's degree online gives learners the opportunity to earn work experience through internships at various local organizations and companies, including Quincy schools, Hannibal Regional Hospital, and the Department of Children and Family Services. Transfer students must submit an official application, transcripts, and a personal statement. Distance learners who do not hold an associate degree or have less than 60 transferable must also submit high school transcripts.

20

City University of SeattleSeattle, WA

Degree Bachelor of Arts in Human Services Default Rate 6% Graduation Rate 47% Online Enrollment 58%

City University operates 20 locations worldwide. The school is a private, nonprofit university that provides flexible and accessible learning for degree candidates, both online and on campus. CityU-Seattle offers a 180-credit human services bachelor's degree online that equips learners with the social skills required for a career in the field. The program offers three areas of focus: addiction recovery services, child and adolescent services, and specialized study. Each focus area includes a six-month, 350-hour internship. Core courses include ethics of human services practice, organizational systems, and working with families and groups. Degree candidates must submit an application and, once CityU approves the application, send official transcripts. The university may ask some students to demonstrate English proficiency.

21

Bluefield CollegeBluefield, VA

Degree Bachelor's Degree in Human Services
Admissions Rate 93%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 54%
Graduation Rate 39%
Online Enrollment 48%

BC, located in Bluefield, Virginia, offers more than 40 programs. The college provides small classes with an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Bluefield College is a religious institution that helps fund every student's tuition. Approximately 99% of BC’s current student body receives financial aid. The college offers tuition discounts for military and emergency responders. BC’s human services bachelor's degree online requires the completion of 126 semester hours. Graduates pursue careers in human services, including community organizing and social work. Applicants must already possess a minimum GPA of 2.0 and a high school diploma or GED. Students should have already completed college-level math and English courses.

22

East Tennessee State UniversityJohnson City, TN

Degree Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Admissions Rate 79%
Default Rate 13%
Retention Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 43%
Online Enrollment 9%

East Tennessee State strives to create a student-centered educational community. ETSU’s main campus resides in Johnson City, Tennessee. ETSU’s completely online bachelor’s degree in human services trains professionals for employment in counseling, case management, administration, and other human service careers. Degree candidates must complete 120 credit hours, a senior exit exam, and a proficiency exam or equivalent course to qualify for graduation. Distance learners residing in North Carolina and Virginia counties bordering Tennessee receive in-state tuition. All other distance learners living out of state pay a special reduced tuition rate, known as eRate. The human services bachelor's degree online has no on-campus requirements, and students have the opportunity to double major.

23

Ottawa University-OttawaOttawa, KS

Degree Bachelor of Arts in Human Services
Admissions Rate 41%
Default Rate 10%
Retention Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 47%
Online Enrollment 3%

Ottawa University, a religious institution with 150-year of history, serves degree candidates online and at two residential campuses in Ottawa, Kansas, and Surprise, Arizona. The university’s online bachelor’s degree in human and social services prepares distance learners to help people with personal challenges, including poverty, mental health, and substance abuse. The human services bachelor's degree online offers a concentration in communication. Distance learners can also complete a minor program, which adds about 20 credits. Distance learners pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. The university provides a nearly 50% tuition discount to active duty military servicemen and women, and spouses of military members on active duty.

24

Indiana Institute of TechnologyFort Wayne, IN

Degree Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Admissions Rate 70%
Default Rate 11%
Retention Rate 52%
Graduation Rate 31%
Online Enrollment 53%

Indiana Institute of Technology provides individualized attention to all learners. The school's main campus is located in Fort Wayne. Indiana Tech offers an online bachelor’s degree in human services. Graduates are prepared for careers in counseling, social services, and victim advocacy. Unlike other online human services degree programs, this 120-credit program uses a tracked educational adult modules (TEAM) approach, which puts distance learners into teams of 12 to 18 students. The teams work through the curriculum in a specific sequence. Tuition costs the same for each five-week or six-week course. Degree candidates must mail an application, provide official high school transcripts or a GED certificate, and complete financial aid forms.

25

Columbia CollegeColumbia, MO

Degree Bachelor of Arts in Human Services
Default Rate 12%
Retention Rate 49%
Graduation Rate 46%
Online Enrollment 57%

Columbia College, a private, nonprofit school, is located in Columbia, Missouri. Among the college’s 39 bachelor's programs, CC offers a human services bachelor's degree online. The program requires the successful completion of six semesters of a single foreign language. The 120-semester hour program costs the same for all students, regardless of location. Degree candidates must submit an online application, authenticate their identity, send official high school or college transcripts, and complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Columbia College accepts unofficial transcripts at first, but applicants need to send official transcripts within 90 days. Military learners must send transcripts through email.

What Will I Learn in an Online Human Services Program?

While course requirements vary by program, all human services bachelor’s degree online programs provide core knowledge through key foundational courses, such as those listed below. These courses equip students with skills necessary for careers in human services.

  • Case management

    This course examines theoretical approaches to treatment and common ethical issues to prepare students for careers as case managers and human service assistants. Topics include assessment, intervention strategies, and treatment planning for marginalized populations.

  • Lifespan development

    This course provides future health educators and counselors with knowledge of human development. Students explore prominent theories of growth and development, which inform treatment plans and community programs. Areas of focus include physical, social, and cognitive development and cultural and environmental influences.

  • Abnormal psychology

    This course examines the symptoms and treatments for various types of psychopathology. Students explore social and cultural perspectives of abnormal behavior and gain skills required for careers as community health workers and addiction counselors.

What Can I do with an Online Human Services Degree?

Earning a human services degree online allows graduates to pursue careers in areas such as community outreach, family services, and health education. A career in human services provides opportunities to engage in community advocacy, and professionals who pursue managerial positions often increase their salaries by 30%. The following table highlights potential careers for graduates with an online human services degree.

Job Outlook and Salary

Demand for health educators and community health workers is increasing with efforts to promote preventative health practices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a rise in employment in the human services industry and the creation of more than 15,000 jobs from 2014 to 2024. This growth is partially due to a growing desire for reductions in treatment costs and improved outcomes by healthcare organizations. While employment in human services is growing faster than the national average, factors such as location and industry influence job availability and annual earnings.

Employment Growth for Human Services
Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024
115,700 131,300

Salary Growth by Experience

Generally, professionals with more experience in a specialized area earn higher salaries. Professionals with more than 10 years of experience in human services careers average about $4,000 more annually than those in entry-level positions. Case managers often double their salaries after 20 years. Earning a human services bachelor’s degree online is the first step toward establishing a lucrative career in the human services field.


To determine the best online Bachelor’s in Human Services programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the best online Bachelor’s in Human Services programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.