The field of Human Services is one of the most rapidly growing sectors within the United States’ economy. Human Services jobs typically require a bachelor’s degree for employment or promotion. To address this need, Iowa Wesleyan University condensed Criminal Justice, Psychology, and Sociology majors into a single Human Services major that is attractive, valuable, and practical for many helping professions.

The Iowa Wesleyan Online Program is designed to be flexible and convenient to meet the needs of today’s students. Our online classroom allows you 24/7 access to your coursework when and where it’s convenient for you. We are non-profit, regionally accredited and nationally ranked as one of the best online bachelor’s programs by U.S. News and World Report

  • Eight-week terms with six start dates during the year
  • Learn from faculty with practitioner experience
  • Accept up to 90 transfer credits in transfer
  • Credit awarded for military experience


Discover more reasons why IW Online is the right choice!


Our graduates have rewarding careers throughout the United States and around the world. Join the ranks in careers such as:
  • Nonprofit, state, and federal agencies
  • Alcohol and drug treatment centers
  • Organizations serving senior citizens
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Probation/parole offices
  • Corrections
  • Family services
  • Department of Children and Family Service

Learn More About the Occupational Outlook for Human Services

2018 Median Yearly Pay
Available Jobs in 2016
Growth of Jobs 2016-2026



Admissions Requirements

Cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale)

Support Courses

MATH 171 Elementary Statistics

An introduction to probability and statistics. Students satisfactorily completing this course will demonstrate skills in assignment of probability using permutations and combinations, distributions of random variables and statistics, and large sample theory, introduction to estimation and tests of significance. Includes Excel lab.

CJ 309 Report Writing

This course explores the fundamental principles of successful professional communication. Topics included are, how to write business correspondence, job search correspondence, public relations documents and professional reports. Learning include how to define audiences and purpose, designing document layout, as well as writing, revising and proofreading text. Prerequisite ENG 109

COMM 147 Introduction to Public Speaking

This course teaches effective presentational skills through the performance of speeches and literary interpretations. Students develop key public speaking skills such as audience analysis, exigency analysis, critical and interpretive analysis of content, organization of content in appropriate presentational formats, and the effective use of voice, diction, pacing, and emphasis.

Human Services Major

CJ 231 Introduction to Criminal Justice

A survey of the major components of the criminal justice system including the police, courts, and corrections. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to describe the American criminal justice structure and functions, distinguish between consensus and conflict models of the criminal justice system and explain the meaning of due process and equal protection under the law.

CJ 260 Criminal Law and Individual Rights

This course covers substantive criminal law and criminal procedure. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to articulate the origins of criminal law; identify the elements of various types of crime and defenses to criminal acts; and discuss constitutional protections related to search and seizure, due process, double- jeopardy, rights against self-incrimination, rights to an attorney, rights to a jury trial and court decisions on cruel and unusual punishments.

CJ 302 Public Administration and Policy

Public administration is a broad-ranging and amorphous combination of theory and practice; its purpose is to promote a superior understanding of government and its relationship with the society it governs, as well as to encourage public policies more responsive to social needs and to institute managerial practices attuned to effectiveness, efficiency, and human requirements of the citizenry.

CJ 355 Law Enforcement

A comprehensive study of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to articulate methods, problems, issues, and challenges of police work; explain the rule of law as it applies to probable cause for arrest, Miranda rights, search and seizure, and the questioning of criminal suspects; and discuss the civil liabilities for civil rights violations and police misconduct.

SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology

An introduction to the basic concepts, principles, and theories of sociology. Special attention will be given to examination of individuals and groups in society; social class and conflict; social institutions such as family, education, religion, political organization; and social change. Students who successfully complete the course will be able to explain the above-mentioned social topics and to analyze the dynamics of various social situations.

PSYC/SOC 205 The Family

This course examines the basic dynamics of family relationships from both psychological and sociological perspectives. By completing this course, students should be able to explain the major family structures and the family life cycle, identify typical patterns that develop within families, show proficiency in the practical skills for handling family conflict and describe the reciprocal influence of family life, culture and society. Cross listed as PSYC 205 The Family.

SOC 243 Social Problems

This course is designed to present an enlightened analytical review, understanding, and interpretation of contemporary social problems within the context of broad social and structural forces that make America what it is today. Emphasis is on the links between specific modern social problems and broader structural issues of inequality and the economic priorities in the United States today. Strategies for dealing with or solving social problems will be explored. Those who successfully complete the course will be able to identify and analyze the elements of most of the major social problems, especially in the United States.

SOC 310 Race and Ethnicity

This course will discuss the concepts of race, ethnicity, dominant group vs. the minority group status, human diversity as well as the concepts of discrimination, racism, attitudes, prejudice and stereotyping in this concept. It will also discuss various racial, ethnic, religious, nationality, linguistic, and cultural groups in the U.S. in particular, and the human diversity all over the world in general.

PSYC 131 General Psychology

This course provides a broad overview of the science of psychology including its main sub-disciplines, such as abnormal psychology, motivation, personality, memory, learning, emotions, therapy and biopsychology. By completing this course, students should be able to demonstrate an increased understanding of themselves and others, show appreciation for the nature and range of the science of psychology, identify the career possibilities that are available in the field of psychology and show themselves proficient in the scientific methods employed in psychological research.

PSYC 326 Introduction to Counseling

This course covers the basic principles and techniques of counseling. By completing this course, students will be able to articulate the major approaches to counseling (e.g., action oriented therapies, experiential/emotive-oriented therapies, cognitive-behavioral therapies, group approaches, and systems approaches), demonstrate specific skills commonly used in counseling, understand common issues typically faced by counselors, appreciate the mechanics of the healing process, and understand career possibilities in the field of counseling. Prerequisites: PSYC 324 or PSYC 361.

HSEV 499 Human Services Capstone

This course is designed as a capstone experience for students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Human Services.  This course will require students to demonstrate their ability to meet program objectives, demonstrate knowledge and skills required of their field, integrate, and build on knowledge gained throughout the course of the program.  Students will achieve these goals through the completion of a major research paper that exhibits significant comprehension of a subject area within the area of Human Services.

Choose one of the following:

PSYC 324 Child Psychology

The purpose of this course is to help students understand the continuum of normal and abnormal human development. The course approaches the topic by combining developmental and abnormal psychology perspectives. Students will be able to describe, discuss, implement, and appraise the major theories of the causes and treatment of developmental psychopathology. They will gain knowledge of the process of evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of childhood disorders. In addition, students will gain an understanding of the influence of biological, cultural, and familial contexts on human development. Prerequisites: PSYC 131 or PSYC 251

PSYC 361 Abnormal Psychology

This course surveys a range of major pathological behavioral patterns identified by the DSM-IV-TR and discusses the theories and diagnoses of these patterns. By completing this course, students will be able to differentiate the major models of abnormal behavior and their implied methods of intervention, identify the basic types of mental disorders, and explain the major issues confronted in abnormal psychology. Prerequisites: PSYC 131 or PSYC 251.

Choose one from this group:

CJ 301 Juvenile Justice

The juvenile justice system is examined with an emphasis on its difference from the judicial system for adults. This course tracks the historical development of the system and examines the different approaches followed by the court and correctional authorities of various jurisdictions.

CJ 316 Introduction to Corrections

An overview of the history and contemporary development of the field of corrections. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to articulate philosophies of punishment, discuss correctional law and inmate rights, and evaluate correctional programs to rehabilitate correctional clients.

PSYC 209 Social Psychology

The purpose of this course is to introduce the field of social psychology. There are three major sub-goals: (1) To introduce the ways in which social psychologists think about and approach the world. One of the recurring themes will be that social psychology relies on experimental studies of the social processes that surround us in everyday life. The results of such experiments sometimes do, and sometimes do not, support intuitions that people might have about social behavior. (2) To introduce the body of knowledge and underlying principles that currently exist in the field. (3) To encourage thought about the implications of social-psychological research for daily life. Prerequisites: SOC 100 or PSYC 131.

PSYC 240 Theories of Personality

This course focuses on the principles and theories of normal personality development and adjustment, with emphasis on stress, coping skills and communication. By completing this course, students should be able to explain how to cope with common problems encountered at each stage of the adult lifecycle, demonstrate an awareness of how to derive greater fulfillment from his/her relationships with others, show improved communication skills by learning the basic ways people communicate, and identify his/her own needs and motives, and analyze how these impact on our relationships by discussing the role of childhood experiences, physical constitution, and the environment in forming our needs and motives. Prerequisites: PSYC 131.

SOC 320 Social Organizations

A study of the structures and processes of social organization – from the small group to complex bureaucratic institutions. Attention will be devoted to exploring the nature of life in an “organizational society” and the relationship of organizations to their social, cultural, political, economic, and natural environment. Those who successfully complete the course will be able to identify basic principles of social organizations, as well as to analyze and evaluate specific organizations. Prerequisites: SOC 100.

Choose one of the following:

CJ 347 Research Methods in Criminal Justice

This course provides students with the fundamental tools for evaluating, designing and implementing basic and applied empirical research within the area of criminal justice. This course will provide students with an introduction to research methods in criminal justice and criminology, with applications to both pure and applied research. The course provides a basic conceptual framework for understanding and interpreting criminal justice research as well as designing, conducting, and evaluating research projects. The association between theories and research methods used in the study of criminal justice is explored through a variety of related data sources. Topics covered include: the principles of research design; problems of inference; survey design; and basic methods of data analysis. Students will obtain hands-on experience in project design and data analysis. Prerequisites CJ231, CJ260, CJ316 & CJ307.

PSYC 347 Research Methods in Psychology

This course teaches the basic principles and practices of the scientific method as applied to the behavioral sciences. By completing this course, students will be able to conduct a research project through all of its stages, including research design, implementation, analysis of results, and draft of a research paper. Students should also demonstrate proficiency in the broad research skills necessary for creating and testing hypotheses and in the evaluation of research in business, economics, psychology, sociology, criminal justice, education and biology.

Wesleyan Studies

Wesleyan Studies is the general education curriculum at IW.

Rhetorical Foundations

ENG 109 College Composition (WI)
ENG 110 College Research (WI)
COMM 147 Introduction to Public Speaking

Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning

Math – complete Math for Life, Elementary Stats, Pre-Calculus, or Calculus
Science – complete one Natural or Physical Science course with lab


Complete two classes, one theory-based and performance-based

Understanding Self and Society

Complete two classes from a choice of Religion/Philosophy/History/English/Economics. Must be from two different categories.

Individuals and Society/Groups

Complete one class from a pool of Psychology or Sociology options.

Global Awareness

WS 300 Global Issues

Service Learning

WS 320 Leadership and Service

Learn more about the details of Wesleyan Studies


  1. Complete all Wesleyan Studies, support and major courses and requirements with an overall GPA of 2.0
  2. Complete a minimum of 120 credit hours, with at least 30 upper level credits
  3. Complete at least 30 credit hours from Iowa Wesleyan University

All degree requirements are subject to change. Please see the current Undergraduate Course Catalog for degree requirements


  • Federal Financial Aid
  • Military/Veteran’s Benefits
  • Tuition Reimbursement/Employer Assistance Programs
  • Payment Plans

Discover more details regarding options to finance your education at Financial Aid Information