Human Services option | Human Development and Family Sciences

The nationally accredited Human Services HDFS option will prepare you for diverse entry-level careers in fields such as family social services, youth or aging programs, volunteer management and crisis services. You also will be prepared for graduate studies in human development and family sciences, counseling, marriage and family therapy, and social work.

Coursework includes family relationships, human development across the lifespan, proposal writing, and human service foundations skills, ethics and administration.

You may tailor elective courses to focus on particular issues or populations and will gain real-life experience through at least two supervised internships in human services agencies.

Future Students

Current Students

Prospective careers

Graduate school pathways slides

The Graduate School Pathways slides feature graduate programs in the state of Oregon most closely affiliated with the Human Services field.

Career pathways slides

The Career Pathways slides highlight the most common career choices in Human Services.

*May require post-baccalaureate/graduate/professional education to qualify or certify for employment.

  • Private or Public Human Service Agency
  • Personnel Officer
  • Crisis Intervention Worker
  • Adoption Agency Counselor
  • Youth Program Specialist
  • Neighborhood Outreach Worker
  • Activity Director
  • Housing Service Workers
  • Emergency Relief Worker
  • Coordinator of Volunteers
  • Residential Treatment Center
  • Social Worker*
  • Caseworker
  • Marriage and Family Counseling

Additional resources

Career Opportunities

The HDFS program in Human Services trains students for careers in the field upon graduation and prepares them for further study in graduate programs such as Human Development and Family Sciences, Social Work, Counseling, and Marriage and Family Therapy.

Our graduates work in fields such as social services, employment, housing, child welfare, community prevention, youth recreation, youth leadership development, gerontology, mental health and public policy, with job titles such as case worker, family support worker, family life educator, therapeutic assistant, alcohol counselor, probation officer, residential treatment worker, Life Skills instructor and psychological aide. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (2003), job opportunities for Human Service workers are expected to be excellent, ranking among the most rapidly growing occupational fields between 2000 and 2010.

A career in Human Services is not for everyone. Although the pay is relatively low at the entry level, the work can be emotionally draining. Few careers offer as many opportunities to directly impact lives in such a profound manner. Human Service professionals believe strongly in advocacy and the difference that each of us can make. In the end they change this world for the better . . . one individual, family, and community at a time.

If you have what it takes for a career in Human Services, the HDFS program will give you the knowledge, practical experience and training to excel in the field.

The Human Service profession is dedicated to improving the human condition by intervening during crises, preventing future crises, helping people access resources and advocating for change in the systems that affect the lives of those in need. The primary purpose of Human Services is to empower individuals, families and communities to survive, function and thrive, even in the face of adversity.

Strengths of the HDFS Human Services Program

  • A strong base in the most current research and theory in human development, family studies, and social policy and programs
  • Courses focusing on practical skills such as communication, fundraising and agency management
  • An emphasis on hands-on learning and real world experience through the HDFS Internship Program

The Philosophical Approach of the HDFS Human Services Program

  • A foundation in human services including history, models of delivery, characteristics of effective helpers, client problems, crisis intervention, the helping process, systems theory and ethics
  • A multidisciplinary approach including human development, counseling, social work, psychology and sociology
  • A strength-based philosophy recognizing the importance of physical, mental and psychological wellness and crisis prevention