Why This Matters

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 371,900 MORE OF YOU BY 2026

    Overall employment in human services is expected to increase by 14% over the next few years, which is faster than the average for all other occupations.

  • ELDERLY POPULATION IN THE U.S. TO RISE 7%

    By 2026, there will be 95 million Americans age 65 or older, resulting in a higher demand for social service workers who can provide meals, daycare, and rehab for senior citizens.

  • EARN $31,480 MORE WITH A MASTER’S DEGREE

    Master’s level human services management positions earn an annual median wage of $65,320, compared to $33,750 for bachelor’s-level assistant positions.

Our Research

As individuals can join the human services field with a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, our list includes Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees, as well as Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) degrees in human services.

All of the listed programs have regional accreditation, ensuring a high level of quality. The Council for Standards in Human Services Education (CSHSE) also offers a specialized accreditation for human services programs, which some of our listed programs have.

The coursework for all of the listed programs can be completed online, but they have in-person field experience components.

Once we narrowed our list of programs, we evaluated their course strength, cost, flexibility, and reputation, and then we calculated their Intelligent Scores on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 83 hours to write this article
  • 115 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 362 education programs we compared

The Top 10 Best Online Human Services Degree Programs

Colorado State University Global

Intelligent Pick

Colorado State University Global’s Online Bachelor of Science in Human Services program is highly career-driven and based on real-world skills you will use on the job from day one. This degree program is highly flexible, enabling you to complete all coursework online at your convenience. New courses begin every four weeks, so you don’t need to wait for a new semester or school year to enroll. Many courses are accelerated, allowing you to complete the same requirements in a shorter period of time. In addition to your core coursework in areas like human development and sociology, you can choose to specialize in one of the following domains: organizational leadership, project management, human resources and organizational development, marketing, emergency management, or healthcare management. If none of those specializations spark your interest, you can look farther afield to dozens of other options, including Foundations of Accounting or Digital Marketing.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $350
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: new start dates every four weeks

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 800-462-7845

Learn more

Indiana Wesleyan University

Best Alumni Network

Indiana Wesleyan University’s Bachelor of Science in Human Services program provides an education from a biblical understanding of advocacy. This means that Christian and biblical perspectives on providing care to oppressed or disadvantaged people are integrated into all aspects of the program. You benefit from extensive access to online library resources and detailed instructions on how to find what you are looking for. You typically take one course at a time, which gives you time to focus before moving onto the next class. In this 45-credit major program, you will take 30 credits of core human services courses and 15 elective credits. Before beginning the core coursework, you must pass two prerequisite courses: General Psychology and Interview Skills in Human Services. The last course of the program is typically a capstone project of your own design.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $392
  • Credits required to graduate: 51
  • Academic calendar: New start dates approximately once per month
  • Graduation rate: 59%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 866-498-4968

Learn more

Drury University

Best for Veterans

Drury University’s Bachelor of Science in Human Services program centers on sociology and psychology coursework and prepares you to make a positive difference in your community. The degree typically takes four years to complete and requires 42 credits in the major study coupled with approximately 82 general education course credits. While working toward your bachelor’s degree, you have the option to add a minor, second major, or certificate program, any of which could help you stand out in the job market. All students at Drury engage in the Drury Fusion, a career-focused academic experience that enhances your ability to problem-solve, think critically, and be more adaptable to a world that is rapidly changing. Drury is especially welcoming to veterans, active duty service members, and military families. You can earn up to 60 hours of transfer credit for your military education and experience and can benefit from discounted tuition.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $471 (in-state); $320 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 124
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 66%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 417-873-7373

Learn more

Antioch University

Best for International Students

Antioch University’s Bachelor of Arts in Human Services Administration program offers a unique mix of required and elective courses. The interdisciplinary core requirements include classes like Experience and Expression and Culture, Conflict, and Social Research, whereas the human services administration course requirements include classes like Child and Adolescent Development, Caring for the Aging, and Behavioral Physiology. Antioch’s generous transfer credit policy enables you to complete your degree quickly and affordably if you have already completed college coursework elsewhere. The school and program are particularly welcoming to international students. If you are an international student, you must submit the results of an English language proficiency test and get your transcript evaluated by an outside agency in addition to a completed application.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $416
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester

More program information:

Learn more

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Best Student Organizations

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College’s Bachelor of Science in Human Services program has been recognized by numerous media outlets as one of the best Bachelor of Science in Human Services programs in the country. In addition to the 39 credits required in the Woods core curriculum, you will take 49 credit hours of required major courses, including classes like The Family, Racial and Cultural Minorities, Techniques of Counseling, and Ethical and Legal Issues in the Helping Professions. You also have at your disposal 26 credit hours of electives, which makes it easy to customize your coursework — for instance, you could declare a minor or concentration. The university offers a wide range of student-run groups, many of which you can participate in remotely to get a holistic college experience.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $496
  • Credits required to graduate: 55
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 43%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 812-535-5151

Learn more

Lees-McRae College

Best Scholarships

Lees-McRae College’s Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Human Services is a degree-completion program that builds on your associate-level coursework to provide additional insight and help you advance in your career. Lees-McRae College has been named a 2021-2022 College of Distinction, a 2022 U.S. News and World Report Best Online Bachelor’s Program, and a 2020 Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society Transfer Honor Roll. This two-year program is designed to be as flexible as possible to accommodate the needs of working professionals. If you are working in a profession related to human services, you can benefit from tuition discounts. The college also offers a wide range of scholarships to make your degree-completion as affordable as possible.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $350
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: New courses every 8 weeks
  • Graduation rate: 51%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 828-898-5241

Learn more

University of Arizona

Best for Addiction Recovery

University of Arizona’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Services program is U.S. News and World Report’s #7 Best Online Program in the Nation for 2022. This bachelor’s degree in human services is designed for students transferring coursework from regionally accredited and/or military institutions in order to complete a four-year degree. The program is very practice-based and focuses on workplace readiness, incorporating internship and senior capstone experiences so you get hands-on exposure in the field — the university calls these opportunities “100% engagement.” This program is unique in that it has pathways to prepare you for a range of careers within human services, including working with veterans, people with disabilities, people living with family violence, and those dealing with alcoholism or drug abuse.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $500
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 63%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 520-621-0898

Learn more

Ohio University Online

Best for School Counseling

Ohio University’s Bachelor of Applied Human and Consumer Services Online program allows you to select one of two paths: leadership and organization or diversity and communication. Depending on your career goals, you can select one of these paths and pursue specialized coursework that will help you stand out in the job market. You will also complete core major courses covering topics such as Families as Consumers in Global Communities, Career and Life Planning, Stress Management, and Human Relations. Meanwhile, you benefit from the university’s strong support systems for students, including personalized academic advising, strong career services, and counseling and psychological services such as therapy, workshops, groups, and other consultations.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $240 (in-state); $243 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 59%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 740-593-4100

Learn more

Western Washington University

Best for Community Partnerships

Western Washington University’s Bachelor of Arts in Human Services program is offered online and at two campuses in Washington state. The goal of the online program is to bring ​​the human services faculty and curriculum to learners throughout the state of Washington, particularly underserved areas. For over 20 years, the program has delivered online learning in human services to students throughout Washington state, so the online delivery runs very smoothly. Two pillars of the program are hands-on, real-world engagement and community partnerships. Courses are career-focused, and the program helps you build relationships in your local community so you can carry out internships and projects.

Things to consider:

  • Credits required to graduate: 75
  • Academic calendar: Quarter system
  • Graduation rate: 74%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 360-475-7507

Learn more

East Tennessee State University

Best Part-Time Program

East Tennessee State University’s Online Bachelor of Science in Human Services program is ranked sixth in the nation and can be completed 100% online in an asynchronous learning format. However, if you prefer some real-time interactions with peers and faculty, up to 25% of your courses can be taken in a synchronous format, but doing so is not required. East Tennessee State University has offered this program online for eight years with great success, and is accredited by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education. Only 10% to 15% of human services programs have earned this accreditation. The program requires 350 hours of field work, which is distributed throughout the curriculum and concentrated in your senior year. If you want to complete the program on a part-time basis, you can work one-on-one with an academic counselor to map out your path.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $483
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 49%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Council for Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 423-439-1000

Learn more

Other Online Human Services Degree Programs to Consider

Best Online Human Services Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Individuals working in human services help some of society’s most vulnerable people. The work can be emotionally, mentally, and even physically demanding. Human services workers must possess a variety of aptitudes, including compassion, stamina, patience, and interpersonal and communication skills. Your educating will help you hone these abilities, but it’s important to assess if you have the necessary qualities before choosing this career path.

Since the focus of working in human services is helping others, hands-on experience is a key component of human services education. Even if the program’s coursework is offered fully online, you will have to complete some field experience as part of your degree. The type of setting for this experience may vary, so it’s important to check with your program for details about how many hours you must complete and in what setting so that you can fit this element into your schedule.

A degree in human services does not lead to professional counseling licensure, which is required by most states to practice as a counselor. You can start your education with a bachelor’s degree in human services, but you will need a master’s degree in counseling to be eligible for licensure. Be sure you are selecting the right type of degree program for your career goals.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Human Services programs:

  • Does this program have the specialization that I want? There are a number of concentrations under the umbrella of human services, including gerontology, child and family services, and substance abuse. If you would like to focus on one of these areas, be sure to select a program that offers it as a specialization.
  • Can I pass a background check? Whether as part of your internship or hiring process for a job, you will likely have to undergo a background check at some point in your human services career. If there are any situations in your past that may prevent you from passing a background check, it’s important to discuss them with an adviser to find out what your options are.

During your research process, find out what the program’s admissions deadlines and procedures are to make your application process go smoothly. This information is typically available on the school’s website, or you can contact their admissions department. You should also consider your financing options for school, including financial aid, scholarships, assistantships, and tuition assistance from your employer.