[ skip to content ]

B.S. in Human Services


The program leading to the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Human Services prepares students for entry-level positions in a wide variety of community services settings. Students in the program learn the roles and functions of the human services professional, characteristics of human growth and development; characteristics of human services agencies; theories and skills of human services; and the basics skills related to program evaluation, grant writing, and fundraising. The program also includes ethical, legal, and multi-cultural issues as they relate to the responsibilities of the human services professional. Professional writing skills are stressed in all coursework to ensure that students understand the importance of documentation requirements in the human services field as related to such issues as legally defensible case notes and justification for service billing.

Please note that students with a prior felony conviction are strongly encouraged to select a different major as most agencies require background checks and those with a criminal record may not be able to complete an internship or find employment in the human services field post-graduation.

Students can pursue a major in human services on the main campus or online. The minor in human services is also a good compliment for many of the majors offered at ODU, such as psychology, sociology, criminal justice, and special education. Please refer to the major and minor curriculum sheets in the menu on the right side of this page. All human services students are required to be thoroughly familiar with and responsible for the information contained in the Program Handbook (access in menu on the right of this page).

Graduates of the human services program are prepared to assist clients in coping successfully with a variety of developmental concerns and in solving problems resulting from personal, social, and environmental stress. Graduates may be employed to work with a variety of populations including mental health, intellectual disabilities, substance abuse, aging or gerontology, domestic violence, youth service, correction or criminal justice, health care, recreation or fitness, and vocational rehabilitation. Graduates are qualified to work in a wide range of settings, including community services boards, social services, residential services, day support services, hospice programs, career and vocational counseling, and a variety of other non-profit settings. Graduates can also apply for the Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP) credential which is a distinction for graduates who provide human services to a variety of population groups.

Types of jobs for human services majors include Case Worker, Family Support Worker, Child Abuse Worker, Community Outreach Worker, Social Service Liaison, Mental Health Aide, Residential Counselor, Behavioral Management Aide, Intake Interviewer, Case Management Aide, Eligibility Counselor, Social Work Assistant, Psychological Aide, Adult Day Care Worker, Life Skills Instructor, Assistant Case Manager, Residential Manager, Social Service Aide, Group Activities Aide, Probation Officer, Case Monitor, Rehabilitation Case Worker, Child Advocate, Juvenile Court Liaison, Gerontology Aide, Community Organizer, Home Health Aide, Therapeutic Assistant, Youth Worker, Halfway House Counselor, Parole Officer, and Social Service Technician.

Many graduates of the human services program pursue a master's degree. Options for master's degrees may include human services, counseling, social work, criminal justice, psychology, and sociology.

Students interested in pursuing a degree in human services should speak with an advisor from the Career and Academic Resource Center (CARC) located in the Education building, room 126. Walk-ins are welcome between 11:00am and 4:00pm. Appointments may also be scheduled by contacting CARC at carc@odu.edu or (757) 683-6987. Current human services students in need of advising pertaining to course selection and/or career decision-making should also see a CARC advisor.