Human Services Major

Department of Human Development and Family Science

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Students in the human services major are concerned about today’s individuals and families and want to help them find solutions to challenging circumstances. As a human services major, you’ll be trained for a variety of careers in community-based programs, home-based programs, health-related social services and mental health organizations. Majoring in human services provides you with basic knowledge in human development and family studies, skills for working with people in service agencies and program evaluation skills. Throughout the major, you’ll develop knowledge and skills to work with children, adults and families.

You may also choose to participate in one of the Department of Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) interdisciplinary programs in gerontology, applied behavior analysis or public health.

Within the human services major, you can also elect to add the optional addiction studies concentration. Both the major requirements and the concentration are needed to meet Indiana’s Licensed Addiction Counselor Associate (LACA) licensing requirements.

Note: The addiction studies concentration is not available outside of the human services major. 

Career Opportunities

  • Addictions counselor
  • Aging/elder care program administrator
  • Autism or developmental specialist
  • Child protection worker
  • Community programs coordinator
  • Family or social services case manager
  • Family support specialist 
  • Human resources specialist
  • Nonprofit administrator
  • Probation officer
  • Youth development worker

Potential Areas of Advanced Study

  • Social work
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Mental health counseling
  • Public health
  • Non-profit management and leadership
  • School counseling
  • Human development and family studies

Learning Experiences

  • Complete either a 12-credit (full-time) or six-credit (half-time) required capstone internship to gain hands-on experience in the human services field. 

Examples of human services internship placements

  • Addiction treatment/recovery centers
  • Autism centers
  • Behavioral health centers
  • Child and youth development programs
  • Child protection agencies
  • Day camps
  • Disability resource services
  • Family support services (in hospitals or community agencies)
  • Probation departments
  • Retirement/senior living communities
  • School counseling services
  • Social advocacy organizations
  • Transitional housing facilities
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Indiana and the United States face a public health crisis in the form of widespread opioid addiction. There is a pressing need for more treatment programs and more professionals to provide those services.

Purdue’s Department of Human Development and Family Science and Ivy Tech Community College’s Human Services program have collaborated to create an optional addiction studies concentration within the existing human services major at Purdue. The concentration includes five courses from Ivy Tech and leads to an addictions studies certificate from Ivy Tech as well as a bachelor’s degree from Purdue. The program has been carefully designed to align with Indiana’s bachelor’s-level, pre-supervision Licensed Addiction Counselor Associate (LACA) licensing requirements in the field of addiction counseling. Only Purdue students who choose to major in human services may add the concentration. The concentration is not available outside of the human services major. 


Major Requirements

You must complete all requirements of the Human Services major, including the 12-credit version of the required capstone internship (HDFS 45500) in an addiction counseling setting.

Addiction Concentration Requirements

  • Purdue Psychology courses  =  6 credits
    • PSY 12000 (Elementary Psychology)
    • PSY 35000 (Abnormal Psychology)

  • Ivy Tech courses  =  15 credits
    • HUMS 113 (Problems of Substance Abuse in Society)
    • HUMS 208 (Treatment Models of Substance Abuse)
    • HUMS 209 (Counseling Issues in Substance Abuse)
    • HUMS 210 (Issues of Substance Abuse in Family Systems)
    • HUMS 267 (Theories of Personality)

You will enroll at Ivy Tech Lafayette as a “non-degree student.” The courses are offered online in 8-week terms. Courses are available during the fall, spring and summer terms.


What about costs?

Although two institutions are involved, the entire program is contained within a typical, 120-credit degree. Every effort has been made to minimize additional costs or barriers. The program will be covered by a consortium agreement that manages financial aid issues. The five required Ivy Tech courses will be included in financial aid eligibility.

Where do I go with questions?

Jennifer Rosselot Wilkins, senior/coordinating academic advisor for HDFS,

Natasha Watkins, undergraduate committee chair for HDFS,