Human Services - General Human Services Concentration

Composite Major

Department Chair: Dr. Anthony Dutton,, (701) 845-7107
Faculty Contact: Dr. Emily Fenster,, (701) 845-7313
Department Office: 315 McFarland Hall, (701) 845-7310
Schedule a Visit:, (701) 845-7101 or (800) 532-8641, ext. 7101


The Human Services major prepares you to meet the growing demand for human service workers, whose occupations encompass a broad range of helping professions. The program combines courses from the disciplines of communications, sociology, and psychology to provide an overall understanding of the field. The curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of human behavior and to develop the skills necessary to function as a human services professional.

The general concentration in the Human Services major prepares graduates who strive to work with a wide range of client populations in a variety of settings. The curriculum provides flexibility through a broader range of multidisciplinary course options, including political science, communication, psychology, sociology, management, economics, and health and physical education.

Recent graduates have found employment as case managers, directors of residential facilities, probation officers, parole officers, and personnel specialists at local agencies. Other career opportunities are: youth worker, social services liaison, director of residential facilities, family support worker, residential counselor, life skills instructor, client advocate, case manager, intake interviewer, community organizer, home health aide, social work (with completion of a master’s degree in social work).

Explore Human Services

Practical Experience

Completion of an internship is required. Majors who have a cumulative GPA of 2.50 are eligible to apply for semester-long internships, for which students earn 3-12 credit hours. The internship provides supervised training in various regional agencies and service organizations. Students have completed their internships in various places, such as Head Start, K-12 public schools, Sheyenne Care Center and other long-term care facilities, and Barnes County Social Services.

VCSU prepared me socially, academically, and professionally for the Human Services field by educating me in Psychology, Sociology, and Communications. I found myself constantly engaged in important conversations while being introduced to paradigm-shifting perspectives, which have helped me as a professional and, most importantly, a human being.” —Jacob Olson ’15, Valley City, N.D.; victim services/prevention coordinator, Abused Persons Outreach Center, Valley City, N.D.

General Education Requirements

English Composition
Select one of the following:6
College Composition I
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition III: Persuasive Writing
Speech Communication
Select one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Finite Mathematics
Calculus I
Elementary Statistics
Lab Science
Select two of the following:8
Concepts of Biology
General Biology I
General Biology II
General Zoology
Introductory Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry II
Introduction to Earth Science
The Earth Through Time
Concepts of Physics
Introductory Astronomy
College Physics I
College Physics II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Cognition and Brain Science
Technology, Engineering, and Design
Select one of the following:2
Concepts of Fitness and Wellness
Introduction to Stress Management
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Computer Information Systems
Introduction to Programming in Java
Introduction to Structured Programming I
Discovering Computing
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Film
ENGL 232Mythology3
World Literature I
World Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Civilization, Thought, and Literary Heritage
Ethics and Philosophy of Science
1st Year Spanish I
1st Year Spanish II
2nd Year Spanish I
2nd Year Spanish II
Introduction to Theatre Arts
Acting One
Art and Music
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to the Visual Arts
Fine Arts and Aesthetics
Music Appreciation
Music Fundamentals
World Music
History of Rock and Roll
Social Science
Select two of the following:6
Understanding Media and Social Change
Human Communication
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Human Geography
United States to 1877
United States to Present
World Civilizations to 1500
World Civilizations since 1500
Environmental History
Native American Studies
American National Government
State and Local Government
Introduction to Psychology 1
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
Additional Humanities or Social Science
Select one additional course from Humanities or Social Science or select from the following:2
Drawing I
Ceramics I
Survey of Geography
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Concert Choir
Athletic Band
Concert Band
Planetarium Science
Theatre Practicum
Total Credits42

Major Requirement

Required Courses
COMM 311Communication and Interviewing3
COMM 483Organizational Communication3
MGMT 330Principles of Management3
PSYC 250Developmental Psychology3
PSYC 310Behavior Modification3
PSYC 360Group Dynamics3
PSYC 470Counseling Theory and Practice3
SOC 110Introduction to Sociology 13
SOC 130Introduction to Human Services3
SOC 220The Family3
or SOC 300 Race, Ethnic, and Gender Relations
SOC 330Understanding Statistics3
SOC 340Research Methods3
SOC 422Social Science Theory3
SOC 491Capstone1
SOC 497Internship3-12
Total Credits43-52

General Human Services Concentration

Select 21 hours from the following:21
Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Gender Communication
Public Relations
Criminology and Delinquency
Technical and Scientific Writing
First Aid & CPR
Drug Education and Information
Human Sexuality
Current Issues in Community Health
Business Ethics
Human Resource Management
Compensation and Benefits Administration
American National Government
State and Local Government
U.S. Constitution: Civil Liberties
Social Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Health Psychology
Introduction to Anthropology
Introduction to Gerontology
Native American Studies
Health, Illness, and Disability
Death and Dying
Special Topics
Total Credits21

Total General Education 39 Hrs
Total Major Requirement 43-52 Hrs

Total Concentration Requirement 21 Hrs
Total Credits Needed to Graduate 120 Hrs

For degree and graduation requirements, visit degree requirements and graduation requirements.


Plan of Study 

First Year
English Composition (Gen Ed)3Art and Music (Gen Ed)3
MATH 210 (Gen Ed)3English Composition (Gen Ed)3
SOC 1103Lab Science (Gen Ed)4
Speech Communication (Gen Ed)3PSYC 111 (Gen Ed)3
Technology (Gen Ed)3Wellness (Gen Ed)2
UNIV 1501 
 16 15
Second Year
Additional Electives3Additional Electives3
Additional Humanities or Social Science (Gen Ed)2General Concentration Course3
Lab Science (Gen Ed)4PSYC 2503
Literacies (Gen Ed)3SOC 1303
Social Science (Gen Ed)3SOC 2203
 15 15
Third Year
Additional Electives3Additional Course (if only taking 3 credit internship)3
Additional Electives3COMM 4833
General Concentration Course3General Concentration Course3
MGMT 3303SOC 3403
SOC 3303SOC 4973
 15 15
Fourth Year
Additional Electives3General Concentration Course3
COMM 3113General Concentration Course3
General Concentration Course3General Education Course3
PSYC 3603PSYC 3103
SOC 4223PSYC 4703
SOC 4911 
 16 15
Total Credits 122

Please note:  This plan is intended for general information only.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor each semester before registration.

Learning  Outcomes

  1. Knowledge of Society & the Field: Students will accumulate an understanding of the interaction between individual and societal forces, and why knowledge of social and historical context, norms, institutions, and inequalities are important to the field of human services. Further, students will become more knowledgeable of the field of human services, how it continues to evolve, and where they fit into it as emerging professionals.
  2. Confidence in Assessment, Critical Evaluation, & Theory: Human services students will understand the utility of theory and research in the field of human services and for improving quality of care. Further, students will develop their skills in theory application, conducting research, and critical evaluation of current research.
  3. Application of Knowledge, Skills, & Values in Applied Settings: Students will be able to demonstrate their proficiencies as emerging professionals in real world experiences and applied settings.