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East Tennessee State University

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    East Tennessee State University
  Feb 18, 2018
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Human Services Major, B.S.

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General Program Information

Human Services (HSER)

The program in Human Services leads to the Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) and is designed to provide a human and behavioral science background for persons interested in entering professions such as counseling, case management, teaching, program  administration, and similar endeavors. Human service practitioners work in a variety of settings for a broad range of organizations dedicated to helping others transition through their developmental issues and processes.

Human service professionals are credentialed under the auspices of the National Organization of Human Services, a collaboration of over 1200 colleges and universities in the U.S. with degree programs in Human Services, in addition to human service practitioners throughout the country. The Southern Organization of Human Services represents the ETSU region. The Center for Credentialing and Education administers certification as a Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP). Human service professionals compose the largest number and proportion of helping professionals, exceeding psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers combined. All these professions work together in providing the best of care for people as they grow and develop through life.

Many graduates of Human Services continue their education beyond the bachelor’s degree. Students often select the Human Services degree program in order to become licensed counselors, especially in school, marriage and family, community agency, and college/university settings. Students entering graduate programs in audiology and speech-language pathology, counseling, education, psychology, and related health professions regularly take Human Services coursework to prepare for their competencies.

Professional employment in Human Services is applied in treatment centers, hospitals, child and youth care facilities, community mental health centers, licensed professional practice, colleges/universities, schools, academies, governmental and non-governmental organizations, institutions, group homes, foster and transitional care, in-home counseling, homeless and runaway shelters, community action agencies, wilderness and adventure programming, and similar programs for social and personal development.


  1. Students are not formally admitted to the program until they have completed 30 credit hours; however, interested students are encouraged to seek advising earlier. Students seeking advising or admission should see the program coordinator.
  2. A broadly based determination of the applicant’s potential for academic and professional success will be made by departmental faculty. Factors considered for admission will include the applicant’s academic record, entrance examination scores, career goals, and communication skills. The following indicators of academic performance will be given particular attention.
    1. Scores on either the ACT or SAT will be considered in the context of the applicant’s high school and college record. Students with ACT subscores of less than 19 (16 if the ACT was taken prior to 1989) or SAT subscores of less than 360 and students who have not taken the ACT or SAT may be required to complete a prescribed program of HDAL courses prior to a final decision for admission.
    2. A grade point average of 2.50 on all college-level courses completed at the time of admission is a minimum criterion.
    3. Effective communication skills are required. Students who lack acceptable communication skills but who are otherwise qualified for admission may be asked to complete certain courses or undergo other experiences in order to correct the noted deficiencies. Upon completion of the assigned remedial experiences, admission will either be granted, denied or additional work will be recommended.
  3. Certain students who fail to meet minimum requirements for admission may be admitted on a probationary basis provided they have acceptable communication skills as noted above. Those students who present evidence of significant work experiences with children or adults, or those students whose admission test scores and/or grades are determined to have been diminished by cultural, linguistic, or certain educational factors may be admitted with the written understanding that they maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.50. Students who also lack acceptable communication skills must satisfy the requirements described in item 2(c), above, prior to probationary admission.

Course and Graduation Requirements

  1. Two lower division prerequisites are required for entrance into certain of the major courses. The prerequisite courses include Child Psychology-HDAL 2320  or Developmental Life Span Psychology-HDAL 2310 , and Elementary Statistics-PSYC 3100  or Probability and Statistics (Non-Calculus) -MATH 1530 . The preceding required major courses and prerequisites, must be completed with a grade of C - or higher in order to be accepted for major credit. Otherwise they must be repeated.
  2. In addition to the courses constituting the HSER major (and their prerequisites), students majoring in HSER are required to complete the university’s general education core, a minor or second major, and electives chosen by the student and approved by the faculty advisor. In all, students must complete 120 credit hours (see typical program of study).
  3. A minimum grade point average of 2.50 is required for all work completed at the time of graduation.
  4. Provided they have satisfied all other university, college, and departmental requirements, students may be granted the Bachelor of Science degree if:
    1. they have completed the major described in item one above;
    2. and the approved general education core and the minor or second major, and electives described in item two.

Human Services Major

TBR General Education Requirements: 41-42 Credit Hours

Human Services Major Requirements: 36 Credit Hours

To graduate with a degree in Human Services, students must earn a C- or better in all courses within the major and have a cumulative overall GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Be sure to check with an advisor to determine availability of classes. Not all classes meet every semester.

Human Services Field Experience: 6 Credit Hours

(Must take both courses.)

  • HDAL 4710   - Human Services Practicum (3 credits)
  • HDAL 4720   - Human Services Internship (3 credits)

These two courses MUST be arranged with and supervised by a Certified Child Life Specialist.

Interdisciplinary Requirements: 12 Credit Hours Total

Choose ONE of the five following groups. Substitutions must be approved by an advisor.

Group One – Human Development

Required: 6 Credit Hours

Select two of these, excluding the course from the Human Services Core.

Guided Elective: 3 Credit Hours

Select one of the following:

Human Development Elective: 3 Credit Hours

Select one of the following:

Group Two – Social Services

Required: 6 Credit Hours

Must take both of the following:

Human Development Elective: 3 Credit Hours

Select one of the following:

Group Three – Offender Services

Required: 6 Credit Hours

Must take both of the following:

Human Development Elective: 3 Credit Hours

Select one of the following:

Group Four – Health Services

Required: 6 Credit Hours

Must take both of the following:

Human Development Elective: 3 Credit Hours

Select one of the following:

Group Five - Child Life Specialist

 Group 5 was added effective Spring 2012.


HDAL 2330  or HDAL 2320  may not be used to satisfy both major core and group 5 requirements. If a student has opted to take HDAL 2330  as part of the Major core, he/she should take HDAL 2320  to satisfy the group 5 requirements and vice versa.

Minor Requirements: 18-26 Credit Hours

(chosen from the list below)

(If required, must be advised for requirements in minor by an advisor in that minor.)

  • African and African American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Appalachian Studies
  • Applied Sociology
  • Applied Spanish: Community Studies
  • Communicative Disorders
  • Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Environmental Studies
  • International Studies
  • Leadership Studies
  • Leisure Services
  • Management
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Social Work
  • Special Education
  • Women’s Studies

Total Hours Required for Degree: 120 Credit Hours

Additional Information

Click here to view the Human Services Major Suggested Course Sequence 

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