If you love people, a degree in human services can lead to a rewarding career working with those who are underserved to help improve their lives. You’ll have the chance to strengthen communities, address social concerns, and assist people in times of need.  

The human services curriculum focuses on helping you become a human services professional. You’ll gain a broad understanding of the various processes, systems, and institutions that serve individuals and groups across human societies. You’ll discover that who people are and the environments they live in influences everything around them, as people are in constant interaction with their environments, communities, and institutions. You’ll learn how socioeconomic and political environments influence individuals, families, and communities. The liberal arts approach to human services is especially important, as it provides a social context for understanding all aspects of individual human behavior.    

As a true liberal arts program, the human services discipline exposes you to courses from multiple disciplines. You’ll be able to take classes in a wide range of subjects to complete the human services major:

The human services major at UMN Morris offers four distinct subplans, or tracks: general human services, social justice, criminal justice, and human development. You’ll have flexibility in choosing courses across all tracks. Each subplan offers applied service-learning classes focused on community engagement and a capstone internship to give you a jump start on your professional experience.

You may also choose to complete the pre-licensed alcohol and drug counselor (pre-LADC) program as part of your human services studies at UMN Morris.

General Human Services

The general human services sub plan will provide you with an understanding of the individual, the family, and the community—and the systems that are set up to serve them.

Social Justice

If you choose to follow the social justice sub plan, you’ll learn about creating societies or institutions based on the principles of equality and solidarity, the value of human rights, and the importance of recognizing that every human being deserves dignity. This sub-plan will prepare you for jobs related to community activism, human rights advocacy, or non-profit administration.

Criminal Justice

By following the criminal justice sub plan, you’ll learn about the criminal justice system, theories of criminal behavior, law, administration, and policy. This sub plan will prepare you for pursuing a career related to the criminal justice system.

Human Development

The human development sub plan will provide you with an understanding of psychological, social, and biological human development and the sociocultural contexts that influence development. This track will prepare you for providing services to children and older adults.

Student Learning Outcomes

By completing a degree in human services you will be able to

  • demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the history and structure of human services systems;
  • understand human development, family functioning, community dynamics, and political systems;
  • employ basic skills of intervention with individuals, families, groups, and organizations;
  • identify and apply the ethics, values, and policies guiding human services practice;
  • confront problems more holistically (e.g., environmental, socially, politically, psychologically);
  • analyze research to more effectively deliver services; 
  • develop evidence-based practices; and 
  • share information and technological literacy through exposure to statistical packages.

General Education Requirements

The University of Minnesota and its faculty are committed to providing an education that invites you to investigate the world from new perspectives, learn new ways of thinking, and grow as an active citizen and lifelong learner. The University’s general education requirements are designed to be integrated throughout your four-year undergraduate experience. These courses provide you an opportunity to explore fields outside your major and complement your major curriculum with a multidisciplinary perspective.

Careers & Graduate School


Human services professionals may have many different roles, from case management and intervention to program administration and development. In the field of human services, there are many career options across the spectrum of social and human services, in both the public and private sectors. 

Those with a degree in human services from UMN Morris have gone on to work in a wide range of occupations, such as a social worker, family court advocate, or an addiction or crisis counselor. Careers in the following fields are common for human services graduates:

  • Counseling
  • Social services
  • Human resources
  • Teaching
  • Academic research
  • Daycare and childcare services
  • Correctional facilities, law enforcement, and county courts
  • Drug treatment centers
  • Health and human services offices

In addition, you’ll find opportunities for further study or advanced professional programs in your chosen human services field. Earning a bachelor's degree in human services while meeting the requirements of UMN Morris's pre-LADC program will also fully prepare you to take the Minnesota LADC licensure exam.

Graduate School

UMN Morris human services alumni have been admitted to many highly respected graduate and professional schools:

  • Adler Graduate School
  • Antioch University
  • Bowling Green State University
  • City University of New York
  • Des Moines University Osteopathic Medicine Center
  • George Mason University
  • Humphrey Institute
  • Lutheran Brethren Seminary
  • Minnesota School of Professional Psychology
  • Ohio University
  • University of California
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Madrid
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Wisconsin
  • United Theological Seminary
  • William Mitchell College of Law

Cost of Attendance

The University of Minnesota Morris is a national public liberal arts college committed to making a high-quality education available to students from across the country. Expenses for housing, meals, books and supplies, transportation, loan fees, and personal expenditures can vary.

Research & Engagement


As a human services student at UMN Morris, you’ll have ample opportunity to collaborate with faculty and participate in hands-on, real-world, quantitative and qualitative research, linking classroom and career.


Your final capstone course at UMN Morris will be a chance for you to put all of your academic experience together into a comprehensive, independent project. The human services capstone is an individually arranged internship or field experience that enables you to apply your theoretical classroom learning to a helping profession like social work, counseling, casework, child protection services, education, and human resource counseling.


As a UMN Morris student, you’re strongly encouraged to take part in academic opportunities outside the classroom to gain practical, hands-on experience in the field of human services. 

Through service-learning, internships, working in the field, and other opportunities, you’ll acquire the practical experience and professional skills you need to prepare for a career in human services. UMN Morris human services students have worked in many venues gaining field experience:

  • State and community hospitals
  • Residential treatment centers for disturbed adolescents
  • Community mental health centers
  • School and college counseling services
  • Business and government personnel offices
  • Programs for the disabled and aged
  • Nursing homes
  • Educational and therapeutic camps
  • Chemical dependency treatment centers
  • Rape and abuse crisis centers
  • Other human services programs


Service learning opportunities within the local community also may provide valuable, real-world experience. Recent projects include:

  • Life-history interviews with farmers
  • Assisting with domestic violence/sexual assault prevention
  • Mentoring girls in the juvenile justice system
  • Working on language acquisition and community integration in adults and children for whom English is a second language

Another way to connect with your major or area of interest is to join a human services club.


Quick Facts

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