Associate of Arts in Human Services



60 credit hours

Program Length

as few as 24 months


Regionally Accredited by SACSCOC

Transform Lives and Pursue Your Passion with an Associate of Arts in Human Services from CIU

Are you seeking a career in the helping professions? Pursue your passion with a degree in Human Services from Columbia International University. Our faculty members are experienced professionals in the human services industry, dedicated to preparing students for meaningful and rewarding career opportunities. Our program offers a flexible online learning environment that is tailored to meet the unique needs of each student. 

In the Human Services program, you will develop a fundamental understanding of the human services field, including topics such as human behavior, social work ethics, and the role of culture in the helping professions. You will also have the opportunity to explore different career paths within the human services field, including social work, counseling, and public health. 

In addition to preparing you for entry-level positions as social service or human service assistants, the knowledge and skills gained in the program also prepare you for further study at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels in health and human services fields. Our graduates are well-prepared for a wide range of career opportunities in healthcare and social assistance industries, government organizations, and nonprofit organizations. 

At CIU, we believe that the study of human services is not just a career choice, but a calling. Our program is designed to foster in students a deep sense of empathy and compassion for those in need, as well as the skills and knowledge needed to help them achieve their goals. Whether you're just starting your journey in the helping professions or seeking to take your career to the next level, our Human Services program offers a supportive community of learners and faculty who are committed to helping you achieve your goals! 

Why Choose Columbia International University for an Associate of Arts in Human Services

Choosing Columbia International University for an Associate of Arts in Human Services degree means gaining access to an online program that balances academic excellence with practical experience. The program is led by experienced and passionate faculty members who are active professionals in the human services industry, ensuring that students receive the latest knowledge, skills, and training required to become successful human services professionals. The curriculum provides a solid foundation in the human services field, with a focus on counseling, social work, and public health. Emphasizing timeless truths, CIU’s Associate of Arts in Human Services degree provides students with a unique and fulfilling educational experience, preparing them for a range of meaningful career opportunities in the helping professions.

Overall Benefits of the degree — what you can do with the degree

With a Human Services degree from Columbia International University, you can pursue careers in the human and health services industries in government or the private sector.  If you do not have professional experience yet, CIU’s AA in Human Services helps you to pursue internships that will give you the experience you need while pursuing the degree. CIU graduates of the AA in Human Services often find entry-level positions such as Program Assistant, Program Coordinator, or Policy Analyst.  

Governments at the city, county, state, and federal levels, as well as school systems, offer rewarding career opportunities for Human Services graduates. Some possibilities include court-appointed special advocates or program assistants at the county level, a program analyst for family services at the state level, or a policy analyst for the Department of Health and Human Services at the federal level. There are many career opportunities for graduates to demonstrate their passion for service as they help the vulnerable and the voiceless citizens in their communities through service delivery and advocacy. 

What Will I Study?

You will take the following classes to earn your associate of arts:

  • ICS 1210 Discovering the Mission of God

    This course is designed to help you develop world-Christian characteristics. You will explore the Christian's heritage in the history of the church and missions, begin to develop a scriptural perspective on the purpose of the gospel in confronting ideologies, religions and spiritual needs of the world, and discuss current strategies for identifying and reaching the lost.

    3.00 credit hours
  • MSD 1110 Encountering Spiritual Formation

    This course is designed to introduce the student to the foundational principles of spiritual formation for effective life, ministry, and vocation. The process of the student's spiritual formation includes their relationship with God, their biblical self-image, their relationship with the Body of Christ, their personal relationships, and their relationship with the world. Students are invited into a multiple-year journey of encountering spiritual formation in community. The goal of this course is to help students build a foundation for continued spiritual formation at and beyond their time at CIU.

    3.00 credit hours
  • THE 2010 Survey of Bible Doctrine

    This course provides you with a survey of the foundational ideas and teachings of Christian thought and doctrine. You will explore the biblical teachings which form Christian doctrine. You also will consider how to move from theory to practice and from ideas to behavior as you learn about practicing a Christian life and worldview. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • COM 1010 Communication for Leaders

    This course provides you a general overview of basic communication skills and strategies that typically accompany proven leaders. Topics covered include listening, evaluating an audience, speaking in public settings, facilitating small work groups, and business writing. The course is a blend of theory and practice. You will have the opportunity to engage and practice leadership communication techniques firsthand. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • CPT 1010 Technology for College

    This course provides foundational knowledge so you can use technology as an effective communication tool for researching and for presenting information. You will gain experience with key technology tools, with a view toward learning how to create documents and presentations, as well as use them to communicate appropriately to academic and professional audiences. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • ENG 1010 College Writing and Research 1

    This course overviews the tasks and skills involved in writing formal essays. You will increase your writing proficiency step-by-step, accomplishing smaller goals that lead to the achievement of larger goals. You will thoroughly cover the mechanics of good English grammar with the goal of identifying your strengths and weaknesses. As a summative exercise, you will examine biblical examples of various types of writing. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • ENG 1020 College Writing and Research 2

    This course builds upon the knowledge of writing and writing research skills you covered in ENG 1010 - College Writing and Research 1. The course stresses intellectual and analytical reasoning and their contribution to good research and writing practices. Students continue to drill the mechanics of grammar and provide input for other student writers. As a summative exercise, students will examine examples of research and reasoning as they relate to and help us understand the biblical text. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • HIS 2010 World Civilizations

    This course surveys world history from the beginning of civilization to AD 1700. You will study the origins and achievements of the major civilizations of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. You will also be exposed to Christian, Islamic, and Byzantine cultures. Upon completion of the course, you will have gained a foundational understanding of ancient history-historical, cultural, and geographical factors-and grasp its relationship to the biblical record. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • MAT 2010 Personal Financial Management

    This course will provide you a practical introduction to personal finance management. It highlights strategies for managing personal assets and also explores topics such as the development of personal financial goals, planning and budgeting; avoiding fraud and swindles; buying, insuring, and financing major assets; consumer credit; banking services; investments; insurance; retirement and estate planning; and income tax. You will also learn to understand biblical principles of stewardship that impact financial management. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PHI 1010 Philosophy and Worldview

    This course acquaints you with key philosophies and worldviews today that come from various sources and that impact people's understanding of reality and of the world. You will come to understand, recognize, and evaluate these various belief systems within the context of biblical Christianity. Such topics as the nature of God, the meaning of life, the nature of humanity, and morality will be covered. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PHI 3010 Personal and Social Ethics

    In this course, you will study the history of ethics, ethical decision-making, personal character development, and build a framework of Christian personal and social ethics. You will learn to apply a biblical ethic to a range of contemporary issues. (3)

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 2010 Organizational and Industrial Psychology

    In this course, you will study and apply the science and theory behind how people predict and manage human behavior within an organization. Students will cover theories of motivation, cognitive psychology, leadership theories, ethics, performance management, team management, and organizational development. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • SCI 2010 Earth Science

    This course is designed to provide you a general overview of environmental science, with an emphasis on sound science, stewardship, and sustainability. Students study basic concepts of environmental science, relationships between living and nonliving things, human impact upon the environment, and proper care of earth's resources. Critical thinking skills will be utilized throughout this course, with a view toward helping you carefully consider scientific concepts and their effects upon human interactions. The study of environmental science is approached from the perspective that human beings are tasked with practicing appropriate stewardship of God's creation. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • SOC 1010 Succeeding at CIU

    Through this course, you will be introduced to communication, self-motivation, and critical thinking skills necessary for academic success at CIU. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • SOC 2010 Cultural Diversity

    This course is an exploration of cultural diversity and multiculturalism within the framework of a biblical worldview. This course provides you with a process to understand and relate to people of various cultures. It also provides ongoing preparation for effective interaction with all kinds of people in our culturally diverse world. Growth in these skills will equip you with what you need to build trust across cultural differences. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • HMS 1010 Introduction to Human Services

    This course explores the historical context and the current structure of the Human Services field. You will be exposed to case management and group facilitation as well as the primary intervention strategies used in human services. The arenas involving special populations served in the Human Services profession will be examined, such as addictions, mental health, developmentally disabled, and the homeless. Topics include values and ethical dilemmas, the social welfare system, diversity, program planning, organizing and changing systems, legal issues and the need to stay current as a human services professional.(3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • HMS 3110 Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis

    This course is a concentrated look at the application and practice of applied behavior analysis. This course provides practical knowledge and experience with a critique from the Christian worldview. (3)

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 2020 Developmental Psychology

    This course is designed to explore human development from conception through death, looking at human development using the bio-psycho-social model from a Christian worldview. You will explore how we as humans share developmental similarities, yet are unique due to various factors such as temperament, personality, etc. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • SOC 2020 Principles of Sociology

    This course is a study of contemporary Western society. The emphasis is on culture, socialization, group life, social processes and social change. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
  • SOC 2030 Marriage and Family

    This course is designed to lay foundational principles for an understanding of biblical manhood, biblical womanhood, biblical marriage, and the nurture of children. Along with this will be a review of the stages of life involved within marriage and family. (3) Limited to online program students.

    3.00 credit hours
For a comprehensive list of courses related to this program visit the Academic Catalog.

Admission Requirements

  • Online application
  • Official high school transcript or successful completion of General Education Development (GED) Testing Program
  • Applicants who have attempted 12 or more college credits post-high school must provide official college transcripts of all work completed or in progress. Recommended college grade point average (GPA) is 2.0 on a 4.0 scale (those with a GPA under 2.0 may be admitted on a provisional basis)

Accreditation and Accolades

SACSCOC (The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges)

Career Path Opportunities

  • Social Service Assistant 

  • Human Service Assistant 

  • Community Outreach Worker 

  • Case Management Aide 

  • Mental Health Technician 

  • Rehabilitation Specialist 

  • Youth Counselor 

  • Substance Abuse Counselor Assistant 

  • Home Health Aide 

  • Nursing Assistant 

  • Family Support Worker 

  • Crisis Intervention Specialist 

Top FAQs

How long will it take to complete the degree program?

The Associate of Arts in Human Services program at Columbia International University is designed to be completed in two years, with students taking an average of 15 credit hours per semester. However, the program is flexible, and students may choose to complete the program at their own pace. Full-time and part-time options are available to accommodate students' schedules and preferences.

How much does it cost to complete the entire program?

The cost of the Associate of Arts in Human Services program at CIU varies depending on several factors, including the number of credit hours taken each semester and whether the student is a resident or non-resident. Students are encouraged to speak with a financial aid advisor to discuss tuition and fees, as well as available scholarship and grant opportunities.

Can I transfer credits from another program that I did not complete?

CIU welcomes transfer students and accepts credits from other accredited institutions. The amount of transfer credit that can be applied to the Associate of Arts in Human Services degree program will depend on the number of credits earned and the relevance of the coursework to the CIU program. To transfer credits, students must request that official transcripts be sent directly to CIU.

Do I have to be a Christian to enroll in your program?

No, students do not have to be Christians to enroll in the Associate of Arts in Human Services program at CIU. However, students should be aware that the program has a strong emphasis on Christian values and ethics, and many of the courses incorporate biblical principles into the curriculum.

Does CIU help students with gaining employment opportunities?

Yes, CIU's Career Services department aids with job search strategies, resume and cover letter writing, and interview preparation. The department also hosts job fairs and other networking events to help students connect with potential employers. Additionally, many of CIU's alumni have found success in a wide range of careers in the human services field, and the university has a strong network of industry connections that students can leverage for career opportunities.


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