Human Services
Major | 42 credit hours

Credits shown here reflect the number required to graduate for the given major. Your actual number of required credits may be higher or lower depending on your previous college experience. The actual number of credits you will need to graduate from BVU will be determined by a free official transcript evaluation.

  • Carroll
  • Council Bluffs
  • Creston
  • Denison
  • Emmetsburg
  • Estherville
  • Fort Dodge
  • Iowa Falls
  • Le Mars
  • Marshalltown
  • Mason City
  • Newton
  • Online
  • Ottumwa
  • Spencer
  • Spirit Lake
  • BVU’s human services major uses an interdisciplinary approach to prepare you to work in the social services industry. The curriculum combines courses in psychology, sociology, and human services, among others, to create an integrated approach to understanding theory and applying human services concepts. 

    Topics range from aging populations and family issues to addictions and mental health issues. The human services major also provides you a strong foundation for a masters in mental health counseling or professional school counseling.

    Employment opportunities include:
    • Medical and health services manager
    • Long-term care facilitator
    • Manager at public health departments, governmental agencies, and medical group practices


    Human Services Recommended Prerequisites

    • PSYC 100 General Psychology or PSYC 102 The Science of Psychology
    • PSYC 203 Social Psychology
    • PSYC 239 Abnormal Psychology

    Human Services Major Requirements

    • COMM 370 Leadership Communication
    • HMSV 301 Human Services in Rural Communities
    • PHIL/RELI 336 Professional Ethics
    • HMSV 350 Human Services Programs and Policies
    • PSYC 389 Introduction to Counseling
    • SOCI 380 Methods of Social Research I

    Human Services Psychology Courses: Choose 2 courses (6 credit hours) from:

    • PSYC 329 Psychology of Gender
    • PSYC 333 Adolescent Psychology
    • PSYC 364 Industrial Psychology
    • PSYC 369 Psychology of Personality
    • PSYC 429 Stereotypes and Prejudice

    Human Services Courses: Choose 4 courses (12 Credit Hours) from:

    • HMSV 351 Aging in American Society
    • HMSV 352 Child and Family Welfare
    • HMSV 353 Social Interventions with Families
    • HMSV 370 Adoption Services and Counseling Strategies
    • HMSV 371 Alcohol, Tobacco, Other Drugs and Other Addictions
    • HMSV 372 Chemical Dependency Issues
    • HMSV 373 Family Violence
    • HMSV 374 Group Counseling
    • HMSV 375 Mental Health Issues
    • HMSV 376 Social Stratification
    • HMSV 377 Stress Management Strategies
    • HMSV 450 Selected Topics in Human Services
    • HMSV 495 Internship

    Human Services Upper Level Courses: Choose 2 courses (6 credit hours) from:

    • HMSV/PSYC Upper-Level Electives
    • SOCI 302 Deviant Behavior
    • SOCI 361 Racism and Sexism in American Life
    • SOCI 450 Selected topics in Sociology
    • TRAC 300 Introduction to Trauma Advocacy
    • TRAC 460 Collaborative Victim Services
    • TRAC 470 Psychology of Relationship Violence

    Tuition & Fees

    Undergrad Tuition

    2016-17 Tuition:
    $413 per credit hour
    2017-18 Tuition:
    $421 per credit hour

    How to Apply

    Admissions Requirements

    BVU's degree completion programs are classified as junior-senior level. Persons who have completed an associate degree or 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution qualify for admission. College level examination program credits (CLEP) and life experience credit may be available as described in the academic section. 

    Application Process

    1. Although personal interviews are not required, applicants are urged to confer with an advisor.
    2. Request that official transcript(s) from each college or university previously attended be sent to the BVU. Without official transcripts and records, a student will not be allowed to register beyond the initial semester.
    3. Complete the BVU Degree Completion Application
    4. If you will be applying for financial assistance including student loans, complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) at
    5. Students who have previously earned a B.A. or B.S. degree may be eligible to earn a second bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista University. 

    Financial Aid

    Financial Assistance is available to qualified students at our traditional campus and to students taking degree completion and graduate coursework. All students are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at The FAFSA is processed by the U.S. Department of Education. You may request to have your FAFSA results sent to BVU. Even if you are currently unsure if you will attend, completing this free application will help determine your financial need.

    BVU's institution code: 001847


    Grants are funds that do not have to be repaid. Click on a grant below to see more information.

    Federal Pell Grants vary based on financial need. Individual awards are determined based on federal formula. Payment is calculated for full-time enrollment (12 or more hours per semester), three-quarter-time enrollment (9-11 hours per semester), or half-time enrollment (6-8 hours per semester). Students enrolled less than half-time may also be eligible. To be considered for a Federal Pell Grant, the results of your valid aid applications (FASFA) must be received while your are still enrolled. Students enrolled in summer courses may be entitled to Federal Pell Grant funds for that enrollment. Students with prior baccalaureate degrees are not eligible. There is a 6 year limit on funding per individual. Learn more about Federal Pell Grants.

    TEACH Grant

    The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides up to $4,000 per year in grants for graduate and undergraduate students who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years at schools that serve students from low-income families. Students must meet all eligibility requirements.

    Iowa Tuition Grants (ITG) are available to eligible residents of Iowa attending private institutions. Iowa Tuition Grants are available, based on financial need, for full-time undergraduate study and for less than full-time enrollment. The grant may be renewable for a total of eight full-time semesters of study and may be used for tuition only. Application deadline is normally July 1. Learn more about Iowa Tuition Grants.
    Available to many students through Vocational Rehabilitation, Social Services, Commission for the Blind, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other programs. For more information, contact the agency counselors directly.


    Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships

    Phi Theta Kappa transfer scholarships are also available for those who qualify.


    Loans are made to students at low interest rates and must be repaid, but generally payments are not due until the student has completed his or her education or ceases at least half-time enrollment.

    Tuition Reimbursements

    Tuition Reimbursements are available through many area employers. Many companies will pay part or all of an employee's educational costs. Check with your company's benefits representative to see if you qualify. All tuition reimbursement benefits must be reported to the Office of Financial Assistance.

    G.I. Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program.

    All programs are approved for the G.I. Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program.

    Have more questions?

    In addition to the above information, our staff is happy to answer any questions you have about applying for financial aid. If you are in need of financial assistance, such as college scholarships in Iowa or scholarships for adults returning to college, please contact us at 712.749.1000 to receive more information about how affordable our programs can be.

    Contact Us

    Phone: 712.749.1000
    Fax: 712.749.1470

    Buena Vista University
    610 W. Fourth Street
    Storm Lake, IA 50588

    Technology Requirements for Online Courses

    • Operating System: Windows Vista, 7 or 8. Or Macintosh OS X with RAM at or above OS recommendations
    • Processor: A PC with a Pentium IV or newer, or a Macintosh with a G3 or newer
    • Internet Connection: DSL or cable modem (high speed internet) Dial-up will not be sufficient.
    • Browser: Internet Explorer 7+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari, Chrome.
    • Software: A current installation of Java ( Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are required, (Microsoft Office XP, 2003, 2007, 2010 on Windows or Microsoft Office 2001, 2004, 2008, or 2011 for the Macintosh). Newer versions are recommended (Microsoft Office 2007, 2010 on Windows or Microsoft Office 2008, or 2011 for the Macintosh).