Online Human Services Degree

Online human services programs provide students with the skills required to provide assistance and counsel to individuals in need. These programs are geared towards individuals who empathize with others, have strong communication, organizational, problem solving, and time-management skills. Human services degree programs are available online at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. Career diploma and certificate options may be available at select schools.

Individuals who obtain a certificate or degree in human services may have the skills and training to work in criminal justice, social services, or healthcare. Programs may provide students with the opportunity to seek a career as a case manager, volunteer coordinator, counselor, victim advocate, or probation officer.

Available Degree Levels

  • Career Diploma: Varies
  • Certificate: One to two years to complete
  • Associate Degree: Two years to complete
  • Bachelor’s Degree: Four years to complete
  • Master’s Degree: One to two years to complete
  • Doctoral Degree: Three to five years to complete

An online career diploma in human services is an introductory program designed to arm students with the beginning knowledge to improve the quality of life for others and provide those in need with the proper services. Students may be prepared to seek entry-level employment through a curriculum that focuses on providing students with the theoretical and practical skills to advocate for those with social, physical, or developmental issues. Coursework may focus on community health needs, fundamentals of helping, activities therapy, and introduction to human and social services.

An online certificate in human services helps develop students’ basic academic skills in addition to providing specialized training in human services. Certificate programs may be beneficial to those who already have a career in business, healthcare, ministry, or community services. These programs may provide students an overview of sociology, cultural anthropology, and psychology of personality as well as touch on current social problems. Coursework may include principles of sociology, crisis intervention, and social problems.

Associate-level degree programs in human services may provide students with the skills to assist with client needs, serving as an advocate on their behalf and utilizing community resources. These programs enable students to work with people with emotional and social problems, mental illnesses, or substance dependencies. Coursework may include applied skills for human services, human behavior and the environment, and human services programs and professions.

Online baccalaureate-level degree programs in human services aim to educate students on the proper methods for improving the quality of life of others. Human services bachelor’s programs may also provide students with the knowledge and tools to prevent problems when possible and ensure the well-being of others through the study of human behavior. Curriculum for these programs may focus on the theoretical and practical aspects of human services, including the application and effectiveness of specific techniques. Coursework may include working with individuals, American social policy, and general psychology.

Master’s degree programs in human services are geared toward professionals who wish to improve the culture of society by implementing practices based on the study of human behavior. These programs may be beneficial for those who wish to obtain a graduate degree, but not necessarily pursue counselor licensure. Master’s-level humans services programs typically allow students to specialize in a certain area, such as marriage and family counseling, health and wellness, business, or global studies. Coursework may include human services policy research methods, and legal issues in human services.

Doctoral-level human services programs are typically research-heavy and focus on developing students’ skills surrounding the innovative techniques and theories that may prepare them to provide better care to those in need. Students may opt to pursue counseling licensure, or choose a concentration in other areas, such as criminal justice, healthcare, or clinical social work. Coursework may include methods of inquiry, human services development, and special topics in human services.

Career Options

Online human services programs provide the skills and training needed to work in many fields, including criminal justice, social services, and healthcare. Certain programs may afford individuals the opportunity to obtain a counseling license, which allows graduates to go into private practice if they choose. Those who obtain a human services degree or certificate may have the skills needed to advocate for the needs of their clients, communicate effectively with professionals in other social services agencies, and obtain assistance for clients when necessary.

Possible career fields include:

  • Case Manager
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Counselor
  • Victim Advocate
  • Probation Officer

Recommended Schools

Matching School Ads

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*


  • BS in Human Services in Youth/Family Services and Administration
  • Human Service Certificates in Child and Family Services
  • Human Services
  • And more...

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

A liberal arts institution with 16 colleges and schools, Liberty offers programs in fields such as medicine, religion, law, aviation, cinematic arts, psychology, business, and more. Part of the Big South Conference, Liberty fields 20 NCAA Division I athletic teams and 32 Club Sports teams, offering fans an unparalleled college sports experience.


  • MA Human Services: Military Resilience
  • MA Human Services: Christian Ministry
  • MA Public Policy: International Affairs
  • And more...