Human Services Degree Online

Helping others – it’s what you do and who you are. You were born to make an impact – to change our communities. Today, our society needs social workers, case workers and other human service professionals now more than ever before.

Earn Your Human Services Degree Online

Your desire to serve. Our ability to show you how.

If you aspire to get more out of life through serving others, then an online degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods can help you reach higher!

An human services degree from Woods Online can propel you to the next level in your career as a:

  • social worker
  • nonprofit leader
  • community wellness educator, or
  • abuse counselor

We have high expectations for you. Here’s what you can expect from us:

Support: Our professors are more than just teachers. They are advisors, cheerleaders and friends. We offer online academic support so you’re never alone and career services specifically tailored to individual student goals.

Dedication: Our faculty and staff have stood in your shoes before. We know about the homework, class projects and presentations. We’re here to help, advise and encourage you through all of your classes.

Convenience: We understand you’re busy—you’re a student, a parent and an employee. We know that you have many responsibilities to balance, so we work with you to ensure that you graduate with the human services degree that breaks down the barriers in your career.

Your passion is serving people. You have the drive to aspire higher.  The staff, professors and mentors at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College will help you get there.

A program you can trust: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is fully-accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report ranks our online program as one of the best online programs in the country.

For more information about the department visit the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Human Services Major - (49 credit hours)

In addition to the general study requirements, the Human Services major requires the completion of 49 credit hours of human resource related coursework.

Required Courses

43 Credit Hours required; all courses listed

Designed to serve as the capstone course for Not-for Profit Administration majors. Covers advanced topics in Not-for-Profit Administration and current issues facing not-for-profit organizations. Students gain a view from the executive perspective and in-depth study of not-forprofit operations at that level.

Combines the study of state and local government and the American federal system. Students will view federalism as a dynamic relationship between the various levels of government in order to develop an understanding of the interplay of laws at each level.

A general overview of the knowledge base, value structure, purpose, nature, history and functions of work in the various settings of the human services.

Supervised introductory field experience (100 hours) in a selected social service agency. Prerequisites: HS 211 and PS 285.

Techniques of human services practice and helping processes for individuals and families, with emphasis on system analysis, needs assessment, case planning, documentation, ethics, and the professional use of self in human services roles. Prerequisite: HS 311 (may be taken concurrently).

Skills for human services practice with groups and communities, with emphasis on system analysis, ethics, the helping processes used in therapeutic groups and the community, and the professional use of self in human services roles. Prerequisite: HS311 (may be taken concurrently).

Supervised field experience (250 hours) in a selected social service agency combined with reflective and analytical writing assignments. Prerequisites: HS 325. Human Services majors only. Course must be taken at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College; applied learning, transfer, or course substitution not accepted.

The study of law and the legal system. Introduces case law, analysis and ethical consideration in our world. Provides an overview of the courts, civil and criminal procedure, torts, contracts, property law and the individual’s rights. An excellent course for any student because of its practical, universal content and for students who are interested in attending law school.

Theoretical and practical knowledge needed to make use of basic counseling skills. Emphasis on process in utilizing these skills. Activities include role playing and video presentations.

Studies the dynamics of abnormal behavior including etiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of emotional disorders, psychoses, substance abuse and childhood disorders. Prerequisite: PS 111.

Sociological perspectives on the societal conditions and institutional roots as well as the social consequences of major social problems; includes analysis of assumptions underlying both popular and theoretical explanations of social problems, and policies and programs by which society attempts to alleviate them. Prerequisite: SO 211 or instructor‘s consent.

Sociological analysis of the structure and functions of the family in contemporary society;interrelationships and structures; impact of social change on family structure and stability; and current trends in the institution. Focus on industrial societies with some comparative material included.Prerequisite: SO211 or instructor's consent.

Studies interracial and interethnic relations, prejudice, discrimination and the changing nature of contacts and problems generated between groups within the social institutions of multiethnic societies. The primary focus is the U.S., with use made of comparative material from several societies. Prerequisite: SO 211 or instructor‘s consent.

Presents basic principles of research design and the primary techniques used by social scientists in the collection and analysis of data; for example, surveys and polling, observation, experiment, case study and content analysis. Prerequisite: SO 211 or instructor‘s consent.


6 credit hours of human services focused courses must be completed. Elective choices must be approved by your advisor.

Woods Core Courses

The following courses are required for Human Services majors but also meet general studies requirements.

An overview of contemporary psychology introducing students to: human development, cognition and language, learning, memory, sensation, perception, motivation, emotion, biological basis of behavior, social psychology, personality, psychopathology and psychotherapy. The focus of the course is on both the scientific method of acquiring psychological data, as well as the theories which interpret that data and help guide further research in the field. For majors and non-majors, this course also serves as the prerequisite for most psychology classes. Fulfills general studies requirement.

Studies the basic principles, perspectives and concepts of sociology. Broad overview with emphasis on social structure, social interaction, culture, socialization, groups, formal organization, stratification, social institutions and social change. Fulfills general studies requirement.

The human services degree prepares you for work under the supervision of a helping professional with a more advanced degree in a variety of entry level social worker positions in a diverse array of settings including:

  • Group homes and halfway houses
  • Community mental health centers
  • Hospital psychiatric units
  • Service agencies for families, children
  • Shelters or outreach services for the homeless
  • Agencies that protect and serve the elderly
  • Health care settings
  • Organizations serving youth
  • Agencies working to end substance abuse
  • Victims of family violence
  • Financial assistance to those in need
  • Criminal justice system
  • Hotlines that respond to crisis or help people find assistance

For more specific information regarding the human services degree, please contact Christine Wilkey.