Human Services

If you are interested in working with people to help improve their life circumstances, the Human Services major may be an excellent choice for you. Students in this major are concerned about today's individuals and families and want to help them find solutions to challenging circumstances.

Human Services students are trained for a variety of careers in community-based programs, home-based programs, health-related social services, and mental health organizations. The Human Services option is designed to provide students with basic knowledge in human development and family studies, skills for working with people in service agencies, and program evaluation skills. Throughout the academic program, students develop knowledge and skills to work with children, adults and families.

With the help of their academic advisors, students select courses to meet the requirements of the major and their individual interests and needs. Students are prepared to serve their communities through internships, application of coursework and development of professional skills in the work force.

Addiction Studies Concentration

Purdue students who chose to major in Human Services may elect to add the addiction studies concentration. The concentration is not available outside of the Human Services major. Both the major requirements and the concentration are needed to meet Indiana's LACA licensing requirements. For more information, see the Addiction Studies Concentration web page.

Experiential Learning - Capstone Experience

Human Services students complete a capstone to provide students with “hands-on” experience in the human services field. Students complete either a 12 credit (full-time) or 6 credit (half-time) internship in a human services agency or program with the assistance of the HDFS department’s Internship Placement Coordinator.

Examples of internship placements for Human Services include:

  • addiction treatment/recovery centers
  • advocacy organizations
  • autism centers
  • behavioral health centers
  • child and youth development programs
  • child protection agencies
  • community centers
  • community outreach initiatives
  • day camps
  • disability resource services
  • education programs
  • elder care centers
  • family support services
  • health and wellness programs
  • non-profit agencies
  • probation departments
  • public welfare agencies
  • transitional housing facilities

Potential Career Options

Possible careers upon completion of a degree in Human Services include:

  • Autism specialist
  • Adoption/foster care specialist
  • Camp counselor
  • Child and family case manager
  • Child protection worker
  • Crisis specialist
  • Developmental specialist
  • Employment counselor
  • Event planner
  • Family life educator
  • Fundraising specialist
  • Health educator
  • Intake coordinator 
  • Non-profit administrator
  • Parent educator
  • Prevention and outreach coordinator
  • Program developer
  • Program evaluator
  • Public health educator
  • Residential counselor
  • Social services manager
  • Special interest advocacy
  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Youth worker

Potential Graduate School Options

  • Social Work 
  • Marriage and Family Therapy 
  • Human Development & Family Studies 
  • Youth Development & Agricultural Education
  • School Counseling
  • Public Health
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Mental Health Counselor

Degree Requirements & Academic Advising Worksheet

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