Human Services

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Human Services Degree Program Overview

The Human Services degree program at Burlington College strives to integrate our understanding of individuals with a comprehension of how society and social policies affect individuals and how public and private organizations intervene. Through both study and field experience, students learn to work effectively in complex human service organizations and develop strong project-management, communication, research, and writing skills. 

Students are required to take Foundations in Human Services and Psychology Foundations as prerequisites to the major. All students then take supplemental and focused foundational courses in human development, counseling, communications, psychological development, research, not for profit management and social policy. At the upper level, students choose electives from human services, psychology, sociology, economics and the law.

A degree in Human Services provides a variety of career options in a field that is projected to grow considerably over the next decade, as the need for social programs increases and demographics change. Graduates may choose to work in state or local government, in health care or social service agencies, in childcare, elder care, substance abuse or support programs, or in various special needs fields. Graduates may also use this degree as a foundation to pursue a Master's Degree in counseling, social work, public administration, or other related fields of study.

Human Services Degree Requirements

All students are required to complete both an intermediate-level and an upper-level internship in the major, including participation in the Action Learning Seminar. This 6 credit internship requirement is unique to this major. Typical placements include experience and practice in local social service agencies, schools, various private, not for profit and community action organizations. Each student also undertakes a 6-credit capstone Degree Project in the last two semesters to produce a substantial research-based project relevant to their interest and the field.  

Every Bachelor of Arts degree candidate must complete Burlington College's General Education requirements and earn a minimum of 120 credits to achieve a degree.  The following course requirements are specific to the Human Services major. Other coursework may be substituted with permission of the academic advisor. All courses are 3-credits unless otherwise noted.

Entry Level: 6 Credits

IPS100 – Psychology Foundations
HMS100 – Foundations in Human Services

Areas of Concentration: 9 Credits
Intermediate Level – Required
IPS300 - Introduction to Counseling
HMS205 - Communication Skills for Helping Relationships 
IPS200 - Life-Span Development

Intermediate Level Electives: 3 Credits
HMS202 - Ethics in the Helping Profession
PLS210 - Family Court & the Law
HMS211 – Early Childhood Development
HMS212 – Adolescent Development and Emerging Adulthood
IPS201 - Psychopathology
PLS230 - Legal Ethics: Theory & Practice    * 
IPS202 - Theories of Personality
HMS203 – Diversity and Inclusion
HMS241 – Families in the 21st Century
PLS210/310 – Family Court and the Law     *   
IPS252 – Spirituality of Service 
Note: * These two courses are available to students who might have interest in working in the legal clinic with family issues. 

Upper Level Required: 6 Credits

HMS350 - Research Methods in the Social Sciences
HMS370 - Social Policy

Upper Level Electives: 6 Credits  

IPS305 -   Interpersonal and Group Dynamics
HMS300 – Social Entrepreneurship 
HMS311 – Aging: Issues and Arguments
HMS/IAS343 - Community Development 
HMS364 - Criminology
* There may be other elective course offerings not listed at this time.
* Mini-courses or workshops at the 200 level or above may be substituted for courses

Action Learning Seminar and Internships: 6 Credits Degree Projects I & II : 6 Credits

General Education Requirements

  • Demonstration of proficiency in academic computing
  • Vision and Revision (or assessment of writing sample)
  • Research and Reflection

Evidence of proficiency in the four fundamental learning skills 

  • Writing
  • Oral Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Researching

3 credits in each of the following areas of the liberal arts 
  • Creative Expression
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Historical Consciousness
  • Media Literacy
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Responsible Action
  • Scientific Thought
  • Social Awareness
This program integrates an understanding of the human experience and the ways society and social policies affect individuals