What Are the Courses in an Online Associate Degree in Human Services?

The core courses of an online associate's degree in human services focus on social sciences, particularly psychology and sociology. The program gives graduates a background in studying individuals and their interactions in society. Schools offering Human Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Online Associate Degree in Human Services Program Information

A human services specialization can be earned online as an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science degree at several schools. A human services associate's degree program is designed to give students the social sciences background necessary to work with people in need in fields such as addiction counseling or eating disorder recovery. The program generally calls for about two years of full-time study to complete and also requires general education courses such as English composition, mathematics and history. Descriptions of common core courses are detailed below.

Important Facts About These Programs

Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent
Common Courses May include topics such as psychology, sociology or counseling skills
Possible Careers Human service assistant; substance abuse counselor; childcare worker
Continuing Education Graduates of an associate's degree program may consider transferring into a bachelor's degree program Human Services, Social Work or Psychology
Median Salary (2018) $33,750 (for social and human service assistants)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 16% (for social and human service assistants)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Introduction to Psychology

This core course is an introduction to the basic concepts of psychology. Students study abnormal psychology, intelligence, learning, memory, personality, research methods and social processes.


Students explore the nature of abnormal behavior, what causes it and how it is treated. The class teaches students about problems that affect others and how to recognize abnormal behavior in themselves.

Principles of Sociology

In this class, students learn about the concepts and methods of research that help them to understand human life in society. Focus of the class is on the study of culture, socialization and social institutions.

Social Problems

This core class in social problems focuses on the major social problems and issues of the modern industrial and post-industrial society. A student learns how to analyze social problems and make informed judgments about causes and solutions. Human services workers often deal with people affected by social problems, and the online associate's degree in human services prepares students with an academic understanding of the major issues.

Race and Ethnic Relations

Focus of this class is on inter-group relationships and interactions between religious and ethnic groups. Students learn about cultural pluralism, integration and segregation.

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