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Human Services

  • Credits:
  • Degree:
    Bachelor of Science

Program Description

The human services degree provides broad-based knowledge of individuals, families, and communities, with historical and multicultural perspectives. The program is guided by systemic and holistic thinking—along with an appreciation of research and how it informs practice. Graduates will be prepared to work effectively with people across a variety of settings using a unique strengths-based and culturally relevant approach. Our goal is to be an integral part of the change that needs to happen to create a more just and equitable society.

What Is Human Services?

Health and human services is a vast field that focuses on helping people and communities. It encompasses a wide range of professions and combines aspects of social work, psychology, and criminal justice studies. For example, social workers, family therapists, substance abuse counselors, and disaster relief workers are all jobs that fall under the larger umbrella of human services. Health and human services professionals often work in administrative settings, organizing efforts that serve individuals, families, and communities.

Cambridge College Human Services Program Highlights

If you have a desire to help people through your work, you might be a perfect fit for one of the many rewarding careers in health and human services. Cambridge College offers a flexible, affordable degree program to help you achieve your goals.

  • Flexible class options. Complete your degree in human services via convenient day, evening, weekend, and online classes designed to meet the needs of working adults. To start planning a course of study that works for you, talk to a Cambridge College academic advisor.
  • Hands-on learning. Field experiences will take your education beyond the classroom, giving you opportunities to provide counseling, advocacy, research, and other services, and then document and reflect on your activities. The program also includes a research intensive final capstone project.
  • Exceptional value. Rated one of the most affordable four-year private nonprofit colleges in the United States, Cambridge College is dedicated to making quality education accessible.  
  • Experienced faculty. Cambridge College faculty are experts in diverse areas of human services, and will work with you to help you find your passion and achieve your goals.
  • Great location. All of our classroom locations are close to public transportation and/or offer free parking for students. 

Cambridge College welcomes more than 300 students from over 50 different countries around the world. We were recently ranked #7 for Most Ethnically Diverse Colleges in America by Best College Reviews. Cambridge College also offers scholarships, clubs, organizations, and associations for ethnic groups.

Health and Human Services Concentrations

Focus your human services program in an area that fits your personal and professional interests. We offer a wide selection of concentrations to meet your needs.

  • Addiction Studies Concentration: Learn more.
  • Accounting Concentration: Learn more.
  • Education Concentration: Learn more.
  • Expressive Therapies Concentration: Learn more.
  • Family Studies Concentration: Learn more.
  • General Management Concentration: Gain a broad understanding of business management, including marketing, sales, ethics, nonprofit management, and an introduction to human resources. Learn more.
  • Health Care Management Concentration (undergraduate): Develop a practical understanding of health care administration including economic, financial, and regulatory concepts within health care systems. Learn more.
  • Holistic Studies Concentration: Learn more.
  • Hospitality Management Concentration: Learn the fundamentals of management for the hospitality industry, with a focus on restaurant front of the house and back of the house management, and on hotel management. Learn more.
  • Information Technology and E-Business Concentration: Learn about managing the information systems of an organization, including infrastructure design, server management, security, e-business strategy, and marketing. Learn more.
  • Juvenile Justice Studies Concentration: In addition to providing a background in youth services and current theories of adolescent development, this concentration explores the impact of community disadvantage, child abuse, and neglect on behavior. Learn more.
  • Legal Studies Concentration: Designed for students who are interested in pursuing a law career, this concentration provides foundational knowledge of various aspects of law school and the legal profession. Learn more.
  • Organizational Psychology Concentration: Learn more.
  • Peace and Justice Studies Concentration: This concentration focuses on ways to promote the fair and equitable provision of justice as the path to a more just and humane world. Learn more.

Human Services Program Learning Outcomes

As a human services major at Cambridge College, you’ll gain the skills needed to work with people in a way that preserves their dignity and builds on their strengths, empowering them to address their concerns and leading to better outcomes.

You’ll learn to identify and work with the strengths inherent in individuals, families, and communities. Gain practical skills to assist people to make positive changes that will improve the quality of their lives. And prepare for personal and professional growth.

You’ll also build a solid base for graduate studies in a wide variety of professional and academic fields, and become an effective agent of positive change.

Jobs in Human Services

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the health and human services industry is growing rapidly, offering a wide range of professional opportunities for candidates with the essential skills and training.

Our graduates have gone on to work and lead in a variety of settings—working with adolescents in residential programs, with the elderly in nursing homes, in community health centers, as program directors, as case managers, and as outreach workers. They also work in prevention and in treatment, in after-school programs, and criminal justice programs.

Graduates of the bachelor’s program are also well positioned to enter graduate studies in human services, psychology, counseling, social work, and related fields.

Example Human Services Courses

The human services degree at Cambridge College includes courses such as:

  • Strategies for Change
  • Case Management for Human Services
  • Community Building Principles and Strategies
  • Human Services Field Education

Download the Human Services program sheet.

Human Services Scholarships and Financial Aid

Get financial assistance to help pay for your degree in Health and Human Services. In addition to scholarship opportunities, you might also be eligible for federal and state grants, loans, and other types of financial aid.

The first step is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Learn more about applying for financial aid

Related Programs at Cambridge College

If you’re still exploring options, you might be interested in learning more about these programs at Cambridge College:


General Education

WRT101-102 and MAT101-102 may be waived if equivalent courses have been accepted in transfer. Credits will be replaced with open electives. WRT201 required if both WRT101-102 are waived; not required for students completing WRT101-102 at Cambridge. WRT090 and MAT100 required if assessment indicates need.

Principles and Processes of Adult Learning
LRN 175 3 credit(s)
Students explore theories of adult learning. They clarify the fit between their academic program and their learning and career needs, and see how their prior learning fits in. They assess their academic skills of critical thinking, mathematics, writing, and computer literacy. Students become independent learners who can effectively manage the structures, processes and expectations of undergraduate education.
College Writing I
WRT 101 3 credit(s)
Through challenging readings, class discussion, small group col­laboration, and different forms of writing, students learn the skills and process of “thinking on paper.” They learn to construct an argument or discussion that supports a clear thesis and present it effectively in a well-organized essay that observes the conventions of written English. They write academic papers that analyze and synthesize the issues suggested in two or more readings. Critical reading, critical thinking, research skills, and forms of documentation are also introduced.
Foundations of Critical Thinking
CTH 225 3 credit(s)
We learn to engage in reasoned thinking. We learn to formulate hypotheses; conceive and state definitions, and understand logical consistency and inconsistency. We explore the differences between claims of fact, value, and policy; what constitutes credible evidence; the nature of assumptions. We learn what constitutes a persuasive argument as opposed to an emotive and propagandistic one, and critically examine them. Students learn to present clear, well thought out critical arguments in writing and oral presentations. We look at the relationships among thinking, writing, speaking and listening, laying a strong foundation for improving our capacity to write, speak, and listen well.
College Mathematics I
MAT 101 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MAT100 If assessment indicates need. This course introduces students to the value of mathematics for students’ career and educational goals. Students will acquire mathematical study skills, gain strategies for problem solving, and develop a sound foundation for future mathematics coursework. The course is structured towards engaging students in active, applied, and real-life learning in order to facilitate mathematical problem solving and conceptual understanding.
Introduction to Computer Applications
CMP 130 3 credit(s)
Assessment available. This course provides a hands-on introduction to the personal computer, Windows, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software, the Internet, and an overview of Word, Excel and Power-Point uses. Students begin with the basics of each application and progress through intermediate level.
College Writing II
WRT 102 3 credit(s)
WRT102 acquaints students with the academic research paper as both process and product. The course begins with an intensive review of the strategies and techniques for writing an academic essay that are covered in WRT101 and then moves to selecting and narrowing a topic, preliminary research, and establishing a focus for a 12-15 page argument research paper. The final paper includes an abstract, an introduction, discussion, conclusion, and references. Students learn how to write an annotated bibliography and use APA documentation for in-text citations and references.
College Mathematics II
MAT 102 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MAT101 If assessment indicates need. Challenge exam available. This course develops students’ mathematical thinking and problem solving around issues of both mathematical content and process. Students will acquire a conceptual and practical understanding of and familiarity with numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and basic data analysis and probability. The course focuses on supporting students’ understanding of problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections, and representations. A key feature of the course is active student involvement to support communicating mathematics in everyday and academic contexts.
Information Literacy
CMP 230 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: CMP130 (course or portfolio) and familiarity with Windows and/or Mac operating system, or permission of instructor. Information literacy is necessary for lifelong learning and career advancement. It is the ability to analyze problems, research and select relevant information, create an effective presentation from that information, and, when appropriate, publish it in print or electronic formats. Students acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities to apply principles of information literacy to their academic and professional lives. A problem-centered approach is used. Students use the Internet and e-mail news groups, file transfer and Netscape, and search engines. They learn to evaluate the credibility of information and use problem-solving paradigms.
Distribution Requirements

Arts & Humanities - 6 credits

Natural & Physical Sciences - 6 credits

Social Sciences - 6 credits

Open Electives

Choose electives and/or concentrations to support your academic interests and professional goals.

Human Services Major

In addition to the required courses below, choose 14 credits of human services electives.

Introduction to Social Justice
JUS 225 3 credit(s)
Social Justice, the state where conditions are met for all of creation to survive and flourish, is the bedrock which supports all other forms of justice. This course examines the understanding of Social Justice tradition that has developed over the last century. Principles of power, community, and responsibility will be examined in light of practical political and social problems - racism, sexism, hunger, poverty and environmental issues.
Introduction to Human Services
BHS 305 3 credit(s)
This course provides an overview of the history, philosophies, structures and systems of delivery for human services. Drawing from a variety of resources including case studies, students learn what the programs are, whom they serve, and how they work; they explore protocols and procedures to evaluate their success. Particular attention is paid to questions of poverty and wealth and their impact upon public welfare. Students become familiar with ethical issues involved in working with different populations and communities, and consider the implications for public policy.
Understanding Family & Community Systems
BHS 315 3 credit(s)
This course builds on systems thinking by applying systemic concepts to understand the makeup and functioning of families and communities. Students review the characteristics and interrelationships among family and community systems, and learn how to assess their respective strengths, resources, needs, and coping strategies. Local community issues impacting families, such as kinds of employment opportunities and unifying traditions on the one hand, and violence and discrimination on the other, are addressed. Students use assessment models to look at their own life situations such as job, family, neighborhood. Students interact with their peers and others seeking to make an impact with families and communities.
Community Building Principles & Strategies
BHS 320 3 credit(s)
This course introduces the history, theory, and practice of community building in order to increase the effectiveness of people working to improve their communities. It increases students’ capacity and engagement in community planning, advocacy, organizing, decision-making and evaluation. The fundamental principles of community building are explored: Such as incorporating those directly affected by policies at the heart of dialogue and community building; valuing racial and cultural diversity as the foundation for wholeness; promoting active citizenship and political empowerment, building on community strengths and assets; ensuring access to fundamental opportunities and removing obstacles to equal opportunity; supporting and enhancing the well-being of children and their families; fostering sustained commitment, coordination and collaboration based on a shared vision and mutual respect. This course is based on The Boston Community Building Curriculum, developed by the Boston Foundation and currently being implemented by Interaction Institute for Social Change.
Strategies for Change
BHS 420 3 credit(s)
This course provides theoretical frameworks for understanding the process of change and its implications for individuals and families. We look at intervention systemically and in human service agencies, substance abuse treatment programs, medical and mental health centers, and schools. Students identify barriers to change and examine all aspects of an intervention process, from assessment and treatment planning, to choice of strategies, and implementation. A variety of techniques are presented for use with individuals, families and larger groups. Preventive, problem-solving approaches are discussed as well as strategies for creating new solutions. Students hear from agents of change, analyze their own personal and professional experience, and practice techniques in class and, as appropriate, at their work sites.
Developmental Psychology
PSY 210 3 credit(s)
The CLEP exam in Human Growth and Development is accepted as equivalent. This course helps students understand the ways in which people from various cultures and countries develop and change over their lifetimes. Students focus on particular topics such as cognition, social development, or identity, and follow the topic across the lifespan. In this way, we get away from a “stage theory” approach and focus instead on the variety of ways that people live out developmental scripts. Students are introduced to terms and concepts which are basic to a cross-cultural view of development, such as developmental orientation, cross-cultural “perspective,” and a systems approach. These concepts are applied to each topic area, so that students learn, for example, how cognitive development is affected by living in different cultures and how one’s identity is influenced by the various systems within which we live. In addition to reviewing readings and discussion, each class features a group exercise to help students understand and apply information and concepts.
Case Management for Human Services
BHS 306 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on the practice of human services in a case management context. This course is designed to introduce students to a variety of ways in which case management is used to assess and assist clients with identified needs. A particular focus will be placed on how to develop effective service plans with clients and how to find necessary community resources for clients. All phases of the case management process will be discussed.
Human Services Field Education I
BHS 470 4 credit(s)
Human services field education gives students opportunity to practice knowledge and skills gained in the classroom, and to become familiar with the structure and functioning of organizations and community agencies. Under agency supervision, students provide counseling, advocacy, research, information, referral, and similar services, and then document and reflect on their activities. The accompanying seminar includes students from varied placements, who give and receive feedback on case presentations and agency and organization issues. All field sites must be approved in advance by the concentration director and close ties are maintained between the agency supervisor and the course instructor. Students wishing to use their place of employment as a site should contact the concentration director to start the approval process before signing up for this course. The parameters (number of hours, days, etc.) are negotiated between the site, the student, and the College; and a joint contract is signed. Site supervisors must be immediately available to students, and must provide weekly individual or small group supervision. Students should be at their field sites approximately 6-8 hours a week and participate in a 2-hour/week seminar. Satisfactory completion requires satisfactory work at the site and the College seminar. HS Field Education II continues HS Field Education I or covers a new or special situation; offered as a focused study.
Human Services Capstone
BHS 490 3 credit(s)
Prerequisites: 90 credits minimum, including WRT101 and WRT102. The Capstone is a comprehensive research project which is the culminating academic activity that helps to synthesize students’ learning in the undergraduate human services program. It is an opportunity to explore a topic of personal or professional interest in human services and to create an original project or piece of research that contributes to the field. The Capstone is 25-30 pages in length and follows a research paper format appropriate to the field of study. Students work together in class and meet or communicate individually with the instructor as needed. Those who take an additional term to complete the Capstone must register for BHS491 and pass before graduating.

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor



  • Admission Test:

    No SAT or ACT tests required.

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application Form:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)

School Requirements

See Admissions Requirements for School of Undergraduate Studies


State Health Requirements

The Massachusetts Health Department and Cambridge College require the following of students in Massachusetts:

Immunizations – All students in Massachusetts are required to get certain immunizations before you can register for your first term. See form

Health Insurance – In Massachusetts, undergraduate students taking nine or more credits/term and graduate students taking six or more credits/term must enroll in the College’s health insurance plan. Students who have insurance with comparable coverage may request a waiver. See information and enroll or waive.

International Students 

International students are accepted at Massachusetts location only, and need to provide supplemental documentation:

  • Official demonstration of English language proficiency
  • Supplemental documentation for issuance of I-20
  • International transcripts, evaluated by an accepted evaluation service

Transfer Credit

Graduate program applicants, please complete the transfer credit request form if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer. Learn more.

Undergraduate program applicants, once you are accepted, your official transcripts are evaluated for transfer credit.


  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $2,059 (Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.)

Note: Rates are as of September 2018, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

Grants, Scholarships and Loans

Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

Getting Your Company to Help

Many companies have tuition assistance programs, designed to help their employees with their professional development. Learn more

Take the Next Step Toward Your Degree in Human Services