Human Services

Undergraduate Major - 42 Credit Hours
Classes start every 8 weeks.

BVU’s human services major uses an interdisciplinary approach to prepare students to work in the social services industry. The curriculum combines courses in psychology, sociology, and human services, among others, to create an integrated approach to understanding theory and applying human services concepts.

Program Description:

The human services program at BVU integrates topics ranging from aging populations and family issues to addictions and mental health issues. The interdisciplinary human services major prepares students for a wide array of career options and as well as a strong foundation for a master’s degree in mental health counseling or professional school counseling.

Employment opportunities include:

  • Medical and health services manager
  • Long-term care facilitator
  • Manager at public health departments, governmental agencies, and medical group practices
  • Carroll
  • Council Bluffs
  • Creston
  • Denison
  • Emmetsburg
  • Estherville
  • Fort Dodge
  • Iowa Falls
  • Marshalltown
  • Mason City
  • Newton
  • Online
  • Ottumwa
  • Spencer
  • Spirit Lake

Human Services Recommended Prerequisites

  • PSYC 100 General Psychology or PSYC 102 The Science of Psychology
  • PSYC 203 Social Psychology
  • PSYC 239 Abnormal Psychology

Human Services Major Requirements

  • COMM 370 Leadership Communication
  • HMSV 301 Human Services in Rural Communities
  • PHIL/RELI 336 Professional Ethics
  • HMSV 350 Human Services Programs and Policies
  • PSYC 389 Introduction to Counseling
  • SOCI 380 Methods of Social Research I

Human Services Psychology Courses: Choose 2 courses (6 credit hours) from:

  • PSYC 329 Psychology of Gender
  • PSYC 333 Adolescent Psychology
  • PSYC 364 Industrial Psychology
  • PSYC 369 Psychology of Personality
  • PSYC 429 Stereotypes and Prejudice

Human Services Courses: Choose 4 courses (12 Credit Hours) from:

  • HMSV 351 Aging in American Society
  • HMSV 352 Child and Family Welfare
  • HMSV 353 Social Interventions with Families
  • HMSV 370 Adoption Services and Counseling Strategies
  • HMSV 371 Alcohol, Tobacco, Other Drugs and Other Addictions
  • HMSV 372 Chemical Dependency Issues
  • HMSV 373 Family Violence
  • HMSV 374 Group Counseling
  • HMSV 375 Mental Health Issues
  • HMSV 376 Social Stratification
  • HMSV 377 Stress Management Strategies
  • HMSV 450 Selected Topics in Human Services
  • HMSV 495 Internship

Human Services Upper Level Courses: Choose 2 courses (6 credit hours) from:

  • HMSV/PSYC Upper-Level Electives
  • SOCI 302 Deviant Behavior
  • SOCI 361 Racism and Sexism in American Life
  • SOCI 450 Selected topics in Sociology
  • TRAC 300 Introduction to Trauma Advocacy
  • TRAC 460 Collaborative Victim Services
  • TRAC 470 Psychology of Relationship Violence
Admissions criteria for the Human Services program

BVU's degree completion programs are classified as junior-senior level. Persons who have completed an associate degree or 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution qualify for admission. College level examination program credits (CLEP) and life experience credit may be available as described in the academic section. 

Admissions process for the Human Services program
  • Although personal interviews are not required, applicants are urged to confer with an advisor.
  • Request that official transcript(s) from each college or university previously attended be sent to BVU. Without official transcripts and records, a student will not be allowed to register beyond the initial semester.
  • Complete the BVU Degree Completion Application
  • If you will be applying for financial assistance including student loans, complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) at
  • Students who have previously earned a B.A. or B.S. degree may be eligible to earn a second bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista University.

Tuition & Fees

BVU offers a quality, affordable education, and our financial specialists are here to help as you navigate the costs of your educational investment so you can move forward with your career.

Financial Aid

BVU's Institution code: 001847

Don't miss the opportunity for financial aid. Fill out the FAFSA at and use BVU's institution code.

The G.I. Bill & Yellow Ribbon Program

All Buena Vista University programs are approved for the G.I. Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program.

Technology Requirements for Online Courses

  • Operating System: Windows Vista, 7 or 8. Or Macintosh OS X with RAM at or above OS recommendations
  • Processor: A PC with a Pentium IV or newer, or a Macintosh with a G3 or newer
  • Internet Connection: DSL or cable modem (high speed internet). Dial-up will not be sufficient.
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 7+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari, Chrome.
  • Software: A current installation of Java ( Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are required, (Microsoft Office XP, 2003, 2007, 2010 on Windows or Microsoft Office 2001, 2004, 2008, or 2011 for the Macintosh). Newer versions are recommended (Microsoft Office 2007, 2010 on Windows or Microsoft Office 2008, or 2011 for the Macintosh).


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