An associate degree in social work can open multiple doors to students. While many graduates with associate degrees transfer into four-year programs, others pursue entry-level positions in the field. Graduates with an online human services degree related to social work can find work as human services assistants or personal care aides.

The BLS projects that the demand for social and human services assistants should grow by 16% between 2016 and 2020.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected growth rate for these positions far outpaces the national average of 7%. The BLS projects that the demand for social and human services assistants should grow by 16% between 2016 and 2026, while the personal care aide field should expand by 41% in that same decade.

Associate degree in human services graduates should determine whether they want to go on to four-year programs or enter the workforce immediately. The rankings and information below can help readers find the right fit.

The Best Online Associate in Human Services/Social Work Programs

Minot State University

Located in Minot, North Dakota, MSU serves as North Dakota's third largest university. Founded in 1913 as an institution to train teachers in northwestern North Dakota, MSU offers undergraduate and graduate programs through three academic colleges to over 3,000 students each year. Offered through the College of Education and Health Sciences, MSU's online associate degree in human services prepares students to work with and support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

MSU's Online Associate of Science in Human Services


  • Concentrations: The associate degree in human services offers a specialization in intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program prepares students to work as direct support professionals.
  • Credits and courses: MSU's human services program comprises 66 credit hours. Students complete 38 credit hours of general education coursework with 28 hours of required core classes.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete the associate degree in two years.
  • Field education: Students complete field experience in intellectual and developmental disabilities to cultivate individual program and medication management plans; train in positioning, turning, and transitioning patients; and gain insights into facilitating participant empowerment and relationships. Field experience may include work with vocational, education, and career support services to assess, document, and monitor person-centered success.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students must demonstrate a 2.0 GPA or higher on all previous college coursework.
  • Online student support: Online students complete coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. MSU provides supporting software for online learners.
  • Cost: $317 per credit hour for undergraduate programs.
  • Admissions requirements: High school diploma or equivalent documentation with ACT or SAT test results.
  • Accreditation: MSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Madisonville Community College

Established as a member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in 1968, MCC serves learners in seven Kentucky counties through four campus locations and online. Based in Madisonville, Kentucky, MCC offers an associate degree in human services to prepare learners for careers in social, community, educational, and mental health services. The program also builds the foundational knowledge and skills needed to continue onto a bachelor's degree in social work, psychology, or a related discipline.

MCC's Online Associate of Applied Science in Human Services


  • Concentrations: MCC's online associate degree in human services provides generalist information on theories and techniques in human services, group dynamics, and clinical foundations in the field.
  • Credits and courses: The human services associate degree comprises 64 credit hours. Students complete 27 credit hours of general education coursework, 24 hours of technical classes, and nine hours of elective classes. Technical courses emphasize the foundations of human services while allowing learners to explore aspects of human services, such as crisis intervention, foundations of youth work, and working with foster and adoptive parents.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete the associate degree in human services in two years.
  • Field education: Students complete a clinical practice in human services or a foundational skills paraprofessional practice. The clinical practice comprises 120 hours of clinical work, whereas the paraprofessional practice allows students to apply degree principles and skills while preparing to continue to a bachelor's degree in social work.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit previous college transcripts for consideration.
  • Online student support: Online students benefit from technical support and financial aid assistance.
  • Cost: Online students pay $147 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants must submit high school or equivalent documentation and SAT or ACT scores.
  • Accreditation: MCC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Thomas Edison State University

Focused on providing educational programs to adult populations, TESU serves over 10,000 students each year. Based in Trenton, New Jersey, TESU houses five academic schools and offers undergraduate and graduate programs in over 100 areas of study. TESU's associate degree in human services offers online coursework and field experience opportunities that prepare learners for careers in the field or continuation on to a bachelor's degree.

TESU's Online Associate of Arts in Human Services


  • Concentrations: The general human services associate degree comprises coursework in theoretical foundations, intervention, and client population. The theoretical foundations class emphasizes theory, knowledge, and skills within the human service profession. Intervention classes focus on criteria for selection of appropriate interventions while applying theory and knowledge of the practice, and the client population courses explore different populations and their needs as they relate to human services.
  • Credits and courses: TESU's online associate degree in human services comprises 60 credit hours. Students complete 42 hours of general education classes alongside 18 hours of elective and major courses.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can finish the online associate degree in human services in two years.
  • Field education: As part of major coursework, students participate in a capstone course that includes integration of theory and practical experience. To qualify for the capstone course, students must document six months of relevant employment or at least 800 hours of applicable experience.
  • Transfer credits: TESU awards transfer credit for previous military and professional training, licensure, and certifications. Students may also earn transfer credit based on portfolio assessment of previous work experience.
  • Online student support: Online students benefit from advising, technical support, enrollment services, and financial aid resources.
  • Cost: New Jersey residents pay a flat tuition rate of $3,963 for 10 credits; nonresidents pay $4,928 for 10 credit hours.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants must be 21 years or older and possess a high school degree or equivalent. Military applicants must be 18 years or older.
  • Accreditation: TESU is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Bismarck State College

BSC in Bismarck, North Dakota, functions as the third largest school within the North Dakota University System. Established in 1939, BSC offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates alongside one bachelor's degree to its nearly 4,000 students. BSC's online associate degree in human services provides training in skills needed to administer assistance as public, private, and volunteer human service workers.

BSC's Online Associate in Applied Science in Human Services


  • Concentrations: The generalist human service degree integrates coursework on theories of human service with practical experience. Students gain insight into case management, needs assessment, advocacy, and program planning as it relates to human service delivery.
  • Credits and courses: Students complete 60 credit hours. Fifteen hours of general education classes accompany 12 elective credit hours. The curriculum integrates 33 credit hours of prescribed technical program coursework, such as temporary assistance for needy families, child care assistance, minority relations, and introduction to addictions.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete the program in two years.
  • Field education: The program includes a cooperative education internship during which students apply degree concepts to work in a human service setting.
  • Transfer credits: Students submit transcripts from all previous college coursework for consideration.
  • Online student support: Online students benefit from comprehensive support services like tutoring and success coaches.
  • Cost: North Dakota residents and military service members pay $139 per credit hour; Minnesota residents pay $155 per credit hour; other residents of the U.S., Manitoba, and Saskatchewan pay $208 per credit hour; international students pay $243 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Students submit high school transcripts or documentation from a completed equivalent.
  • Accreditation: BSC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Northwest Iowa Community College

Located in Sheldon, Iowa, NCC opened its doors in 1964. As a vocational school, NCC quickly expanded to offer technical programs and associate degrees through the 1960s and 1970s. Currently, NCC provides academic programs to over 1,600 students in rural Iowa and online. NCC's online associate of arts program with a specialization in pre-professional human services prepares students to continue on to a bachelor's degree in the field.

NCC's Online Associate of Arts in Pre-Professional Human Services


  • Concentrations: NCC offers an associate of arts degree with 12 pre-professional options. Students can study disciplines such as art, education, music, theater, and human services in anticipation of transferring to a four-year degree. The human services concentration builds skills needed to work alongside social workers, doctors, and other human service professionals.
  • Credits and courses: The online associate of arts degree comprises 60 credit hours. Learners take 45 credit hours of general education classes with 15 credit hours of coursework in human services. Human services classes include introduction to social work, social problems, juvenile delinquency, and introduction to chemical dependency.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students complete the program in two years.
  • Field education: Students complete classes in anticipation of transferring to a bachelor's degree where they may participate in field experiences.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from all previous college coursework.
  • Online student support: Online students gain access to more than 750 courses through the Iowa Community College Online Consortium (ICCOC). NCC provides online learners financial aid and transfer assistance.
  • Cost: $184 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants submit high school transcripts or equivalent documentation for consideration.
  • Accreditation: NCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Eastern Florida State College

Offering four campuses in Brevard County, Florida, EFSC is a member of the Florida College System. EFSC first offered courses in 1960 and currently provides nearly 100 certificate and degree options to more than 15,000 learners each year. EFSC's social and human services programs include certificates in aging services and community health work with an additional online associate degree in social and human services. The program prepares students to work with nonprofit organizations, social service organizations, and state and local government assistance agencies.

EFSC's Online Associate of Science in Social and Human Services


  • Concentrations: EFSC's online social and human services program includes specializations in aging services and domestic violence services. The aging services concentration emphasizes the psychology of aging, issues of aging and family dynamics, and elder abuse and aging. The domestic violence services specialization focuses on practices, issues, and ethics related to domestic abuse and family violence.
  • Credits and courses: The social and human services associate degree comprises 60 credit hours. Students take fifteen credit hours of general education courses, 24 credit hours of major courses, nine specialization credit hours, and 12 credit hours of technical electives. Major classes, such as introduction to crisis intervention, group dynamics, and case management in human services, build core knowledge and skills applicable to social and human service careers.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can finish the online MSW in two years. Part-time students have up to four years to complete the program. Advanced standing students with CSWE-accredited BSWs can complete the program with 30 credit hours in as little as one year.
  • Field education: Students hold the option to participate in an international practicum during a study abroad experience. Three weeks of classroom instruction accompany application of theories and practices of social and human services overseas. As an alternative, students take part in a human services practicum at an approved human services and community domestic agency.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for assessment by the registrar's office.
  • Online student support: Online students receive degree audit support, technical resources, and online tutoring.
  • Cost: $104 per credit hour for residents; $406 per credit hour for nonresidents.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants submit high school transcripts or documentation from a completed equivalent for admission.
  • Accreditation: EFSC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Cornerstone University

Originally known as the Baptist Bible Institute, CU first offered classes in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1941. Undergraduate and graduate programs at CU hold true to the institution's mission, reflecting the centrality of Christ in learning and global influences alike. Online programs at CU similarly allow students to develop knowledge and faith, including those like the associate degree in human services. The human services associate of science stresses prevention and remediation of human services issues in both secular and faith-based contexts.

CU's Associate of Science in Human Services


  • Concentrations: The online associate degree in human services comprises generalist classes to build foundational knowledge and skills of intercultural relations, interviewing and counseling, personal wellness, and contemporary social issues.
  • Credits and courses: Students complete 62 credit hours of sequential coursework. During the first part of the program, students take 30 credit hours of general education classes in communication, sociology, human services, and leadership studies. The second half of the degree comprises 32 credit hours of courses in wellness, social issues, and human services fundamentals with a field experience or applied project requirement.
  • How long does it take?: Learners can complete the program in 28 weeks. Classes are offered one at a time in sequence.
  • Field education: CU's program allows students to complete a field experience practicum or applied project.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for consideration.
  • Online student support: CU offers online students technical support alongside tutoring resources.
  • Cost: $355 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent. Two years of full-time work experience since completing a high school diploma or equivalent may also be required.
  • Accreditation: CU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Franklin Pierce University

Founded in 1962, Franklin Pierce offers academic programs from its main campus in Rindge, New Hampshire; locations in Manchester, Portsmouth, and Lebanon; a campus in Goodyear, Arizona; and online. Franklin Pierce provides online undergraduate degrees and certificates in fields like accounting, healthcare administration, and human services. The online associate degree in human services prepares students for careers in social work, business, and psychology fields.

Franklin Pierce's Associate of Science in Human Services


  • Concentrations: The associate degree in human services incorporates comprehensive coursework in psychology, sociology, statistics, and communication to build overall knowledge of the discipline.
  • Credits and courses: Franklin Pierce's human services degree comprises 60 credit hours. Students study general education coursework in writing, statistics, sociology, and social work with additional classes in race and ethinic relations. Research methods classes accompany elective options in community organization, health psychology, and child and adolescent development.
  • How long does it take?: Students can complete the online associate degree in human services in as few as three semesters.
  • Field education: The associate degree does not include a field education requirement.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for consideration. Students may receive transfer credit for professional certification and licensure or on-the-job training.
  • Online student support: Online students benefit from career services, assistance with the Canvas learning management system, and financial aid resources.
  • Cost: $400 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants submit high school transcripts or equivalent documentation for admission. Additional application materials include one letter of recommendation, standardized test scores, and a writing sample or personal essay.
  • Accreditation: Franklin Pierce is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Gateway Community and Technical College

As one of the 16 schools within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, GCTC offers more than 200 degrees, diplomas, and certificates to nearly 4,000 students annually. Based in Covington, Kentucky, GCTC also offers campuses in Boone County and Edgewood, with additional programs available online. GCTC's online associate in applied science in human services prepares learners for entry-level careers within private and public healthcare and social assistance agencies and organizations.

GCTC's Online Associate in Applied Science in Human Services


  • Concentrations: GCTC's associate degree in human services emphasizes the general knowledge and skills needed to work in social, educational, and mental health services. Students also gain competencies to continue on to a bachelor's degree in social work, psychology, or a related discipline.
  • Credits and courses: Students complete 60 credit hours of general education, major, and technical elective coursework. Major classes in values of human services in a contemporary society, theories and techniques in human services, and group dynamics precede a clinical practice in the discipline.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students complete GCTC's program in two years.
  • Field education: The clinical practice in human services allows students to apply theories and practices in an approved setting through 120 contact hours.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for review.
  • Online student support: Online students receive technical support for the Blackboard learning management system and other assistance through the Center for eLearning.
  • Cost: Residents pay $174 per credit hour; nonresidents pay $348 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants submit high school or equivalent documentation with ACT or SAT scores for admission.
  • Accreditation: GCTC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Waukesha County Technical College

Located in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, WCTC serves as one of the 16 schools within the Wisconsin Technical College System. WCTC offers associate degrees, technical diplomas, and apprentice-related training to more than 20,000 students annually. The online associate degree in human services trains students to work alongside social workers, psychologists, and counselors with coursework that emphasizes client care, treatment, and rehabilitation.

WCTC's Online Associate in Applied Science in Human Services


  • Concentrations: The associate degree in human services offers specializations in mental health or addictions studies. The mental health track focuses on support, care, and advocacy with specific attention paid to youth care and individuals with developmental disabilities. The addiction studies option prepares learners to counsel and support clients with substance abuse disorders.
  • Credits and courses: The 60-credit-hour human services degree comprises 18 credit hours of general education classes and 42 credit hours of major coursework. Students complete classes in basic counseling skills, case management and documentation, ethics for human service professionals, and methods of intervention. Additional classes include understanding diversity and family systems. Students also participate in two practica.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students complete the human services associate degree in two years.
  • Field education: The program includes two practicum courses during which students work within a human service environment while participating in weekly seminar meetings with classmates and faculty members.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for consideration. Applicants may also earn transfer credit for life and work experience or military training.
  • Online student support: Online students complete an online orientation to learn more about technical requirements and tools of online learning at WCTC. Additional online resources include tutoring, writing assistance, and technical support.
  • Cost: Residents pay $137 per credit hour; nonresidents pay $205 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants submit high school transcripts or equivalent documentation.
  • Accreditation: WCTC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Hagerstown Community College

Founded in 1946 in Hagerstown, Maryland, HCC occupies over 300 acres complete with numerous gardens and an outdoor amphitheater. HCC holds the distinction of being Maryland's first community college and provides continuing education and business services programs alongside more than 100 academic programs. HCC's human services offerings include a letter of recognition program and two associate degrees. The associate of science with human services concentration, arts and sciences, serves as a pathway to students who plan to continue on to a bachelor's degree in the field.

HCC's Online Associate of Science, Human Services Concentration, Arts and Sciences


  • Concentrations: The human services associate of science in arts and sciences emphasizes knowledge and skills needed to continue to a bachelor's degree in social work.
  • Credits and courses: HCC's program incorporates 60 credit hours of general education and major classes. Required human services classes include social work with individuals and groups, understanding diversity in the helping profession, and developmental psychology. Students complete 15 credit hours of electives like juvenile delinquency and the sociology of social problems.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete the associate degree in two years.
  • Field education: HCC's human services associate degree requires no field experience.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for consideration.
  • Online student support: Online students gain access to technical assistance and advising resources.
  • Cost: $123 per credit hour for Washington County residents; $190 for out-of-county residents; $234 for neighbor-state students; $250 for all other nonresidents.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants must submit high school or equivalent documentation for admission.
  • Accreditation: HCC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

University of the Cumberlands

Established as Williamsburg Institute by Baptist ministers in 1889, Cumberlands offers undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 12,000 students annually. Based in Williamsburg, Kentucky, Cumberlands became Cumberland College after the acquisition of Highland College in 1913 and took its current name in 2005. The online human services associate degree at Cumberlands trains students to work in social work, criminal justice, and healthcare fields.

Associate of Science in Human Services at Cumberlands


  • Concentrations: The generalist human services associate degree incorporates classes in human behavior theory, research methods, and welfare policy. Students interested in counseling professions take classes in child and adolescent development.
  • Credits and courses: Students complete 61 credit hours of coursework, including 18 credit hours of human services core classes. Classes include basic counseling skills, group dynamics, individual and family assessment, and case management.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete the program in two years.
  • Field education: The associate degree in human services has no field experience requirements.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for consideration.
  • Online student support: Online students benefit from technical support and academic tutoring resources.
  • Cost: $199 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants submit high school and equivalent documentation with ACT scores for admission.
  • Accreditation: Cumberlands is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Brescia University

Founded by the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph in 1925, Brescia began as a junior college for women. Steeped in Catholic tradition and faith, Brescia offers undergraduate and graduate programs from its main campus in Owensboro, Kentucky, and online. The associate degree in human services at Brescia prepares students for careers in social work and related fields. Students also complete core coursework required for bachelor's degrees in social work, psychology, theology, or integrated studies.

Brescia's Online Associate of Arts in Human Services


  • Concentrations: The associate of arts in human services includes comprehensive classes in sociology, psychology, biology, and social work.
  • Credits and courses: The associate degree in human services comprises 63 credit hours. Students complete 21 credit hours of human services core classes, including developmental psychology, principles of sociology, introduction to social work, and social issues in diversity.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students complete Brescia's online human services associate degree in two years.
  • Field education: The human services associate degree at Brescia has no field experience requirements.
  • Transfer credits: Students may transfer up to 42 credit hours into the degree.
  • Online student support: Online students at Brescia gain access to technical support and online academic resources. An additional online course demonstration prepares students for online education at Brescia.
  • Cost: $425 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants must submit high school transcripts or equivalent documentation for admission.
  • Accreditation: Brescia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Nassau Community College

Created in 1959 as part of the State University System of New York (SUNY), NCC functions as the largest single-campus community college in New York. From its 225 acres on Long Island, NCC offers undergraduate degrees and certificates in nearly 80 disciplines and areas of study. NCC's online associate degree in human services with an emphasis in community service and social welfare builds the knowledge and skills needed for students to continue on to a bachelor's degree in social work.

NCC's Online Associate of Arts in Human Services: Community Service and Social Welfare


  • Concentrations: The online associate of arts in human services at NCC focuses on the social work profession by introducing students to theories, practice, and generalist skills.
  • Credits and courses: Students complete 64 credit hours of general education, sociology, and anthropology classes alongside 15 credit hours of human services core courses. Human services emphasize interviewing in human service practice and community service skills.
  • How long does it take?: NCC's online associate degree in human services comprises four semesters of coursework.
  • Field education: The program includes a community service internship during which students complete five field work hours per week at an approved human service agency. The supervised internship allows students to gain insight into practical aspects of working in human services.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students should submit transcripts from all previous college coursework along with high school documents.
  • Online student support: Online students participate in an online orientation and gain access to software downloads, technical support, and academic resources.
  • Cost: Nassau County residents and nonresidents with a certificate of residency pay $234 per credit hour; nonresidents pay $468 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants submit high school transcripts or equivalent documentation for admission to NCC.
  • Accreditation: NCC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

Formed out of the consolidation of two Elizabethtown, Kentucky, institutions in 2004, ECTC now serves as one of the 16 schools within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). ECTC provides associate degrees, diploma and certificate programs, and continuing education programs from 11 additional locations throughout the state. ECTC offers three associate degrees in human services to prepare students for careers in the field or to continue on to a bachelor's program in social work or counseling.

ECTC's Online Human Services Associate Degrees


  • Concentrations: ECTC offers a generalist associate degree in human services for students who want to work at agencies and institutions that provide social, mental health, and educational services. The associate of arts degree includes transfer options to Western Kentucky University's bachelor of social work program. The applied science and arts degree facilitates transfer to Lindsey WIlson College's bachelor's degree in human services and counseling.
  • Credits and courses: The associate of applied science degree and the associate of arts degree both comprise 60 credit hours. The combined program incorporates 64 credit hours. Each curricula includes general education classes alongside specialized classes in social work, psychology, and human services.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete each program in two years.
  • Field education: The combined associate of applied science and associate of arts program includes a human services practicum.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students must submit transcripts from all previous college coursework for consideration.
  • Online student support: Online students gain access to online academic resources and technical support.
  • Cost: Residents pay $174 per credit hour; nonresidents in contiguous counties pay $348 per credit hour; all other nonresidents pay $609 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants must submit high school or equivalent documentation with ACT, SAT, or KCTCS placement scores.
  • Accreditation: ECTC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Niagara County Community College

Located near the Canadian border and Niagara Falls, NCCC offers nearly 50 associate degrees and almost 20 certificate programs. NCCC traces its origins to the sponsorship of the County of Niagara in 1962 and currently serves more than 5,500 learners each year. The online associate degree in human services addresses the needs of a changing society by incorporating classes in technology, family dynamics, and social trends to prepare students for careers in human services.

NCCC's Online Associate of Arts in Human Services


  • Concentrations: NCCC's online human services associate degree blends general education classes with comprehensive coursework in education, social work, psychology, and related human services areas. Students can choose specialized coursework in four areas, including chemical dependency counseling, disabilities studies, and social work. Additional focus areas include gerontology and early childhood education.
  • Credits and courses: The online associate degree in human services at NCCC comprises 64 credit hours. Students complete required coursework in human service classes like the helping process, human services research, and disabilities from birth to adolescence. Electives allow students to focus on one of the five specialization areas.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete NCCC's program in two years.
  • Field education: An internship in human services requires students to participate in at least 80 hours of supervised experience in a human services agency. Students are placed in a setting based on specialization area.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from all previous college coursework for consideration.
  • Online student support: Online students gain access to Blackboard learning management system assistance, the online learning student success center, and the online time management calculator at NCCC.
  • Cost: Full-time tuition for New York residents is $2,280; for nonresidents, tuition is $4,560. Part-time resident students pay $190 per credit hour; nonresidents pay $380 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants should submit high school transcripts or equivalent documentation for admission with ACT, SAT, or placement scores, as appropriate.
  • Accreditation: NCCC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Herkimer County Community College

Established by the State University of New York System in 1965, Herkimer moved to its permanent campus in Herkimer, New York, in 1971. Herkimer offers associate degrees and certificate programs to nearly 2,400 students each year. Partnerships with Cazenovia College also afford Herkimer the ability to offer bachelor's degrees in two disciplines. Online programs, offered through Herkimer's Internet Academy, include an associate degree in human services.

Herkimer's Online Associate of Applied Science in Human Services


  • Concentrations: Herkimer offers a generalist program with options to complete specialized coursework in chemical dependency, trauma informed care, and group counseling.
  • Credits and courses: Herkimer's program incorporates 64 credit hours of general education and human services coursework. Students complete classes in communication, psychology, sociology, and biology during the first semester followed by courses in social problems and case management. During the second year of the program, students choose specialized classes based on their individual career goals or plans to transfer to a four-year program.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete the associate degree in human services in two years.
  • Field education: Herkimer's associate of applied science in human services program includes no field experience requirements.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework. To earn a degree, transfer students must complete 30 hours of coursework at Herkimer.
  • Online student support: Online students benefit from Herkimer's Internet Academy resources, such as advising, tutoring, disability services, and technical support.
  • Cost: Full-time residents pay $2,435 per semester; nonresidents pay $3,750 per semester.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants must submit high school transcripts or equivalent documentation for admission.
  • Accreditation: Herkimer is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Hazard Community and Technical College

HCTC offers more than 200 programs as a member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Based in Hazard, Kentucky, HCTC provides educational services at locations in Jackson, Hindman, and Hayden as well. Online human services programs through HCTC include certificates in aging services, direct support work, and substance abuse recovery coaching. Students can also earn an online associate degree in human services at HCTC to prepare for entry-level positions in the field.

HCTC's Online Associate of Applied Science in Human Services


  • Concentrations: The generalist human services associate degree explores theories, techniques, and practices of human services alongside courses in communication, psychology, and sociology.
  • Credits and courses: Students complete 64-65 credit hours. Coursework includes the values of the helping profession, human services theory, group dynamics, and modern social problems. Learners choose from classes like dynamics of human behavior, crisis intervention, the psychology of dying, and psychosocial aspects of death and dying.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete the program in two years.
  • Field education: The human services associate degree includes one practicum course. Students gain practical insights into the application of principles and skills learned in human service courses at an approved community agency.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from all previous college coursework for consideration.
  • Online student support: Online students gain access to an online learning self-assessment, technical support, and academic resources.
  • Cost: $174 for residents; $348 for nonresidents in contiguous counties; $609 for all other nonresidents.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants submit high school transcripts or equivalent documentation with ACT or SAT scores.
  • Accreditation: HCTC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Hopkinsville Community College

HCC, established in 1965, is one of the 16 schools within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). From its main campus in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, a location on Fort Campbell Army base, and online, HCC offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in over 20 fields of study. HCC's online associate degree in human services technology builds interdisciplinary knowledge and skills applicable to careers with mental health, education, criminal justice, and social service organizations and agencies.

HCC's Online Associate of Applied Science in Human Services Technology


  • Concentrations: The human services technology degree includes comprehensive coursework in the ethics of human services, theories and techniques of human services, and clinical aspects of the field.
  • Credits and courses: HCC's human services technology program includes 62-65 credit hours. Students complete core human services technology courses topics, such as human services in a contemporary society, group dynamics, and theories and techniques of the field, in preparation of a clinical internship in human services. The degree also includes technical courses in areas like child guidance, human relations, and development of social welfare.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete HCC's program in two years.
  • Field education: Students participate in 180 hours of clinical practical experience.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for consideration.
  • Online student support: Online students gain access to courses offered through any of the KCTCS institutions and through the Kentucky Virtual Campus. Additional resources include a virtual library, online bookstore, and technical support.
  • Cost: $174 for residents; $348 for nonresidents in contiguous counties; $609 for all other nonresidents.
  • Admissions requirements: To apply, students submit high school transcripts or equivalent documentation with ACT or SAT scores.
  • Accreditation: HCC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Genesee Community College

As one of the schools within the State University of New York System, GCC provides degree and certificate programs from its main campus in Batavia, six educational centers in the region, and online. GCC opened its doors in 1972 and now serves over 5,500 students each year. Human services programs include online associate of science and associate of applied science degrees in the field.

GCC's Online Human Services Associate Degrees


  • Concentrations: The associate of science degree includes comprehensive coursework, whereas the associate of applied science allows students to specialize in alcohol and substance abuse, gerontology, and developmental disabilities.
  • Credits and courses: The human services associate of science degree comprises 60 credit hours. Students complete required coursework in communications and psychology alongside general education classes and internships. The associate of applied science in human services similarly incorporates 62 credit hours with elective options for students specializing in one of the three focus areas.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete the associate degrees in two years.
  • Field education: Each program includes two internship classes during which students complete a minimum 250 hours of supervised work in an approved human services setting.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for consideration.
  • Online student support: Online students benefit from online orientation, time commitment calculators, and academic resources.
  • Cost: Full-time residents pay $2,175 per semester; nonresidents with a residency certificate pay $2,247 per semester; all other nonresidents pay $4,350 per semester.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants must submit high school transcripts or equivalent documentation for admission.
  • Accreditation: GCC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Northcentral Technical College

Established as Wausau Industrial School in 1912, NTC now operates as part of the Wisconsin Technical College System. Based in Wausau, Wisconsin, NTC boasts regional centers in six locations, with additional online offerings. NTC offers over 190 associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificate programs. The online associate degree in human services trains students to support, care for, and advocate on behalf of individuals, groups, and communities as a human services professional.

ASU Online's Human Services Associate Degree


  • Concentrations: NTC's generalist human services associate degree blends coursework in social services, communication, psychology, and professional readiness with two internship or service learning requirements.
  • Credits and courses: The human services associate degree at NTC includes 60-61 credit hours. Students study introductory courses in human services, counseling, and psychology while exploring boundaries and ethics in helping professions, methods of social casework, and behavior assessment. The curriculum allows students to explore topics like issues in child maltreatment, gerontology, and substance abuse behaviors.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete the online human services associate degree in two years.
  • Field education: Students participate in two internships or service learning requirements. Internships build practical skills in a supervised setting through a minimum 288 hours.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for consideration. Students may also earn transfer credit from prior work, military, and life experience.
  • Online student support: Online students can access technical support, career assistance, and academic resources.
  • Cost: $137 per credit hour for Wisconsin residents; $294 for nonresidents.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants must submit high school or equivalent documentation and undergo a criminal background check.
  • Accreditation: NTC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

New England College

Founded in 1946, NEC offers over 40 undergraduate and more than 12 graduate programs from its main Henniker, New Hampshire, campus and online. NEC boasts a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and serves nearly 3,000 students each year. The online associate degree in human services emphasizes critical-thinking skills while preparing students for careers as social workers, client advocates, and community outreach professionals.

ASU Online's Associate of Science in Human Services


  • Concentrations: NEC's human services associate degree incorporates comprehensive coursework in business, criminal justice, sociology, and human services.
  • Credits and courses: The program at NEC includes 60 credit hours. Students complete 28 credit hours of general education classes, four credit hours of electives, and 28 major courses. Required major classes include delivery of human services, social psychology, client assessment and planning, and substance abuse.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete the associate degree in human services in two years.
  • Field education: NEC has no field education requirements in the human services associate degree.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students can transfer up to 44 credit hours into the program. Students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for consideration. Students may earn transfer credit for military training as well.
  • Online student support: Online students gain access to career counseling, technical support, alongside extensive advising and library resources.
  • Cost: $405 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants must submit high school transcripts and equivalent documentation for admission.
  • Accreditation: NEC is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Big Sandy Community and Technical College

Formed from the consolidation of Prestonsburg Community College and May Technical College in 2003, BSCTC offers educational programs from a main campus in Prestonsburg, Kentucky; locations in Paintsville, Pikeville, and Hager Hill; and online. BSCTC functions within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System with nearly 5,000 students. Online programs at BSCTC include an associate degree in human services.

ASU Online's Associate Degree in Human Services


  • Concentrations: The generalist applied science in human services at BSCTC prepares students for entry-level positions with social, community, and educational agencies.
  • Credits and courses: BSCTC's human services incorporates 27 credit hours of general education classes with 33 hours of human services core coursework. Core courses include theories and techniques in human services, group dynamics for social services, and values of human services in contemporary society. Additional technical elective options allow students to explore topics like drugs, society, and human behavior; cultural diversity in human services; and human sexuality.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete the human services associate degree in two years.
  • Field education: Students participate in a clinical practice in human services or a cooperative learning experience. The clinical practice includes 120 contact hours to practice and apply principles and skills learned in human services courses at an approved community agency.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for consideration.
  • Online student support: Online students gain access to technical support and academic resources.
  • Cost: $174 per credit hour for residents; $348 per credit hour for nonresidents in contiguous counties; $609 per credit hour for all other nonresidents.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants should submit high school transcripts or equivalent documentation and ACT or SAT scores.
  • Accreditation: BSCTC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Great Basin College

Uniquely tasked with serving students in two time zones, GBC serves nearly 4,000 learners each year. With a main campus in Elko, Nevada, over a dozen additional educational facilities in its service area, and online programs, GBC holds membership to the Nevada System of Higher Education. GBC's online human services programs prepare students to work within social service agencies, mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities, and community health education organizations to provide individual and group support.

GBC's Online Associate of Applied Science in Human Services


  • Concentrations: GBC's online associate degree in human services comprises foundational coursework in psychology, sociology, and human development. Students can earn certificates in substance abuse counselor training and human services as part of the curriculum.
  • Credits and courses: The program includes 61.5 hours of coursework. Students take 37 hours of human services coursework in topics like substance abuse fundamentals, psychology of human relations, and small group interaction techniques. The curriculum also includes two practica requirements.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete the program in two years.
  • Field education: GBC's human services associate degree includes two practica during which students complete a minimum 360 supervised field observation and study hours.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for consideration. At least 15 credit hours of coursework must be taken at GBC to earn an associate degree in human services through the institution.
  • Online student support: Online students gain access to technical support, the GBC library, advising assistance, and additional academic resources through the academic success center.
  • Cost: $109 per credit hour for residents; $160 for nonresidents enrolled in online courses.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants submit high school transcripts or equivalent documentation for admission.
  • Accreditation: GBC is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Finger Lakes Community College

Established in 1965, FLCC provides academic programs to nearly 6,000 students from its main location in Canandaigua, New York; campuses in Geneva, Newark, and Victor; and online. FLCC functions as an affiliate of the State University of New York System. FLCC's online programs include an associate degree in human services designed to train students to work with children, adolescents, individuals with disabilities, and elderly populations in community health, education, and welfare service capacities.

FLCC's Online Associate of Science in Human Services


  • Concentrations: FLCC's program includes generalist coursework in sociology, communication, and psychology.
  • Credits and courses: Students complete 63 credit hours of general education and core coursework. Human services classes in case management, interviewing and counseling, and human services in contemporary America prepare students for two field experience requirements.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students can complete the human services associate degree in two years.
  • Field education: During two field experience courses, students participate in a minimum of 180 hours of supervised work in a human services setting. The first field experience combines practical experience with group work during class time to develop and strengthen assessment, case management, and interviewing skills. The second field experience allows students to become more familiar with advanced human service practice while simultaneously completing a major research project.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer students submit transcripts from previous college coursework for consideration. Students may also earn transfer credit for life experiences submitted through a portfolio, professional training, and college level examination programs.
  • Online student support: Online students have access to technical and academic support through FLCC's Office of Online Learning.
  • Cost: New York residents with certificate of residence pay $197 per credit hour; New York residents without a certificate of residence pay $394 per credit hour; nonresidents pay $295 per credit hour.
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants should submit high school transcripts and equivalent documentation for admission.
  • Accreditation: FLCC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Educational Paths

While you can find a job with an associate in human services, many students need to transfer to bachelor's programs to fulfill their career goals. Many positions in the field -- including social work jobs -- require at least a bachelor's degree.

Furthermore, professionals with bachelor's degrees earn more than their colleagues with associate degrees in human services. While the average pay for professionals with associate degrees in social work is $28,000/hour, professionals with bachelor's degrees earn $48,000 annually on average. Students who want to transfer to four-year schools should earn an associate degree in social work from a regionally accredited program.

Here are some different educational paths in the field.

  • Bachelor's Degree in Social Work

    These programs prepare learners for careers as licensed social workers. Licensure levels vary by state. Students can specialize in areas such as child welfare or mental health.

  • Bachelor's Degree in Human Services

    Students in these programs take courses in public policy, psychology, and public administration. Specializations for these degrees include criminology, health services, substance abuse, and child services.

  • Bachelor's Degree in Counseling

    These programs focus on mental health through coursework in human development, psychological assessments, and professional ethics. Graduates typically need to earn master's degrees to work as licensed counselors.

Online Associate in Human Services/Social Work Careers

While transferring to a four-year program helps many people, it is not always the right option. Graduates only need an associate degree in human services for the following careers.

Social and Human Services Assistant

These professionals help licensed social workers complete their daily tasks. Social and human services assistants work in mental health clinics, social work offices, and rehabilitation centers.

Median Annual Salary: $33,750

Childcare Worker

These professionals attend to the basic needs of children in their care. They supervise playtime, make sure children get enough to eat, change diapers, and teach new skills.

Median Annual Salary: $23,240

Personal Care Aide

Human services graduates can assist the elderly with their daily lives, helping with things like cooking, cleaning, and administering medications. These professionals work in patient homes, nursing facilities, and group living homes.

Median Annual Salary: $24,060

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