Major in Human Services at BHSU

The Black Hills State University Human Services program (BHSU HMS) provides students with the knowledge necessary to understand and address unique needs of various human populations. BHSU HMS is an interdisciplinary program where students study the psychology and sociology of human behavior and learn how this information can be used to address human needs. Through three emphasis areas, students also have opportunities to focus their studies and take internships within the field for academic credit.

Within and beyond South Dakota, our alumni are working as ranking law enforcement officers, child protection specialists, disabilities services administrators, probation and parole officers, and in many other critical professions. Graduates also attend graduate school in the counseling, social work, and public health fields.

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BHSU Human Services consists of an interdisciplinary core curriculum of Human Services, Psychology, and Sociology courses. The core curriculum is supported by electives from three emphasis areas, including: Community Studies, Family Studies, and Justice Studies. With these emphases, advisors and students choose courses to build a path toward the student’s professional interest. (See curriculum below, for full course listing please see official university catalog)

BHSU HMS Core Curriculum – 30 semester hours

• HMS200: Introduction to Human Services
• HMS351: Case Management
• HMS400: Program Planning & Evaluation
• SOC100: Introduction to Sociology OR SOC150: Social Problems
• SOC307: Research Methods I
• SOC350: Race & Ethnic Relations
• SOC400: Social Policy
• PSYC101: General Psychology
• PSYC451: Psychology of Abnormal Behavior
• PSYC452: Psychology of Trauma

BHSU HMS Emphases – 12 semester hours

Community Studies

Community Studies courses cover political and social organization of communities, mediation and conflict resolution, and other topics relevant to students desiring careers in local and state government, community development, or community programming.

Family Studies

Family Studies coursework provides students foundational knowledge for work in family or youth services or perhaps with older adults.

Justice Studies

Courses in Justice Studies cover various aspects the criminal justice system. Students interested in law enforcement, justice administration, and corrections study under this emphasis.

Supportive Electives - Take 1 course from each group below. Courses must be different than those used to satisfy Gen Ed & Major requirements


General Education Requirements – 32 credits

A minor is required with this major plus electives to total 120 hours, of which 36 hours must be 300-400 level courses.

Notes: This program guide serves as a resource for you. For official program requirements, please check with the official catalog at

Community Service

  • HMS  492  Special Topics (3)
  • HMS  494  Internship: Human Services (1-6)
  • POLS  210  State & Local Government
  • POLS  320  Public Administration
  • SOC  350  Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SOC  440  Urban Sociology
  • SOC  462  Population Studies
  • SOC  463  Environmental Sociology
  • SOC  480  Sociology of Education

Justice Studies

  • HMS  492  Special Topics (3)
  • HMS  494  Internship: Human Services (1-6)
  • POLS  402  Judicial Process
  • POLS  430  Constitutional Law
  • PSYC  481  Psychology and Law
  • SOC  201  Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • SOC  402  Social Deviance
  • SOC  452  Prisons and Penology
  • SOC  455  Juvenile Delinquency
  • SOC  456  Community Corrections

General Education Requirements

  • 3  ENGL  101  Composition I
  • 3  SPCM  101  Fundamentals of Speech
  • 3  MATH  102, 103, 104, 115, 120, 121, 123, or 281
  • 3-5  Natural Science & Lab
  • 3  Social Science - SOC 100/150 will satisfy SS requirement
  • 3  Arts & Humanities - 1 course required*

Additional Electives required to total 60 credits

Certificate Requirements

  • SOC 100 - Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 201 - Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • SOC 351 - Criminology

  • SOC 452 - Prisons and Penology
  • ​SOC 456 - Community Corrections

Career Opportunities

Human Services majors are able to find careers in a variety of fields:

  • Case Worker
  • Family Support Worker
  • Social Service Liaison
  • Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counselor
  • Adult Day Care Worker
  • Client Advocate
  • Juvenile Court Liaison
  • Child Abuse Worker
  • Crisis Intervention Counselor
  • Community Outreach Worker
  • Probation/Parole Offices

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