Jan 31, 2023  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Human Services Major, B.S.


Department of Human Services and Counseling  

College of Health and Applied Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program


Human Services refers to the art and science of helping people. At MSU Denver, students get just the right mix of hands-on experience and challenging study to become consummate and compassionate professionals. Within the Human Services major, you can choose between six study concentrations: Addiction Studies, High Risk Youth Studies, Mental Health Counseling, Nonprofit Studies, Trauma Studies and Paramedic (transfer in credit only). Most concentrations in our major are accredited through the National Council for Standards in Human Service Education. The Department of Human Services and Counseling at Metropolitan State University of Denver prepares students to become competent, self-reflective practitioners in the delivery of human services. At the core of the curriculum is an emphasis on experiential learning in the classroom and through intensive field experience and study abroad opportunities. In addition, the department offers an “Early Entry to the Master of Science in Clinical Behavioral Health, Emphasis in Addictions Counseling Pathway” for students who wish to begin their masters program while completing their undergraduate requirements. The department is committed to supporting students to develop high ethical standards and cultural sensitivity while becoming agents for positive change in people’s lives and in their communities.

Student Outcomes


  • Students will evaluate the scope of conditions that impact all levels of human systems: individual, family, group, community, and society.  
  • Students will ​explore the mission and services of ​local organizations and their role and community impact  
  • Students will examine their own culture and values as well as those of communities other than their own and the implications for working with diverse communities.   
  • Students will acquire skills necessary to facilitate change at an individual, family, group, and/or programmatic level.  
  • Students will demonstrate professional behavior and ethical decision-making skills in the context of the human services/nonprofit sector.   
  • Students will develop clear professional writing and effective verbal and interpersonal communication skills.   
  • Students will apply knowledge and skills related to effective direct service delivery and appropriate interventions in their concentration area.  

General Degree Requirements


To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements


  • A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation. 
  • A grade of “C” or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required.
  •  For students in the “Early Entry Master of Science Pathway” A grade of “B-” or better is required in any graduate Human Services and Counseling course to be applied towards their undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.
  • A minor is not required for this program.  
  • Students participate in field experience as part of this major, contributing to professional experience, skill development, networking, and resume-building. 

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits


Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  

 

** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. 

Multicultural Requirement: 0 or 3 credits


Senior Experience: 8 credits


All students will complete the following course for their Senior Experience requirement.

Addiction Studies Concentration: 53 credits


This concentration will provide students with broad knowledge and skills that are in all behavioral health services. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to apply for certification in Colorado as an addiction counselor (CAC I). The counseling skills, training and knowledge that students receive are on the cutting edge of evidence-based outcome studies and best practices. Graduates attain skills and attitudes necessary to function as professional addiction counselors and that may lead to national certification. These are the required courses to fulfill OBHs educational requirements for CAC I-III. 

Summary of Requirements


General Studies Requirements 33 credits
Multicultural Requirement 0-3 credits
Major Required Courses 23 credits
Addiction Studies Concentration 53 credits
Senior Experience 8 credits
Unrestricted Electives 0-9 credits
Total for the Human Services Major, B.S., Addiction Studies Concentration 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and Multicultural requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree. 

High Risk Youth Studies Concentration: 41-42 credits


This concentration prepares the human services professional to work in a variety of settings that serve high risk youth. Some possible program locations include outpatient counseling, institutional settings, juvenile corrections, schools, mentoring sites, and child protection. Students are also encouraged to have an understanding of substance abuse, domestic violence, and trauma as part of their degree program, due to the strong overlap between high risk youth behaviors and these issues.

Choose one of the following:


Summary of Requirements


General Studies Requirement 33 credits
Multicultural Requirement 0-3 credits
Major Required Courses 23 credits
High Risk Youth Studies Concentration 41-42 credits
Senior Experience 8 credits
Suggested and Unrestricted Electives 14-15 credits
Total for the Human Services Major, B.S., High Risk Youth Studies Concentration 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and Multicultural requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree. 

Mental Health Counseling Concentration: 36 credits


The Mental Health Counseling concentration teaches students about counseling theory and develops client interaction skills to assist clients to cope with life’s personal and emotional challenges. This concentration prepares students for entry-level employment in community mental health, nonprofit counseling agencies, employee assistance programs, and general human service delivery systems under the supervision of licensed mental health professionals.

Students are encouraged to pursue graduate education in a variety of areas, including human services, counseling, psychology, social work direct services, addiction counseling, marriage and family, and pastoral counseling programs. Students should note that professional counseling licensure requires the completion of a graduate degree, passing a comprehensive examination, and completing a period of practice supervised by a licensed mental health professional.

Summary of Requirements


General Studies Requirements 33 credits
Multicultural Requirement 0-3 credits
Major Required Courses 23 credits
Mental Health Counseling Concentration 36 credits
Senior Experience 8 credits
Unrestricted Electives 17-26 credits
Total for the Human Services Major, B.S., Mental Health Counseling Concentration 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and Multicultural requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree. 

Nonprofit Studies Concentration: 24 credits


This concentration provides both degree-seeking and career advancement professionals with the academic background and management skills necessary to become effective managers in a variety of nonprofit settings.

Summary of Requirements


General Studies Requirements 33 credits
Multicultural Requirements 0-3 credits
Major Required Courses 23 credits
Nonprofit Studies Concentration 24 credits
Senior Experience 8 credits
Unrestricted Electives 29-38 credits
Total for the Human Services Major, B.S., Nonprofit Studies Concentration 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and Multicultural requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree. 

Pathway for Current Paramedics: 16 credits


The Pathway for Current Paramedics is designed for students interested in combining their previous paramedic training with additional academic course work. Students with a current and valid Colorado and/or national Paramedic Certification will receive 24 credits towards their degree requirements.   

Summary of Requirements


General Studies Requirements 33 credits
Multicultural Requirement 0-3 credits
Major Required Courses 23 credits
Additional Required Human Services Courses 16 credits
Paramedic Certification 24 credits
Senior Experience 8 credits
Unrestricted Electives 13-22 credits
Total for the Human Services Major, B.S., Paramedic Pathway 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and Multicultural requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree. 

Trauma Studies Concentration: 41 credits


There is a strong documented connection between trauma and subsequent mental health and substance abuse issues. The concentration in Trauma Studies offers students the ability to gain practical knowledge and skills necessary for careers that serve a client population that likely has experienced trauma. Students will examine the myriad effects of trauma on physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral functioning as well as the skills necessary to be effective with this population. Coursework focuses on both trauma and complex trauma, the impact trauma has on overall functioning, and treatment interventions and supportive activities for practitioners who work with this population. The concentration in Trauma Studies was designed not only to allow students choice in meeting their educational and career goals but also to prepare them well for graduate study, as students who want to be counselors are encouraged to continue their education at the graduate level upon graduation.

Summary of Requirements


General Studies Requirements 33 credits
Multicultural Requirement 0-3 credits
Major Required Courses 23 credits
Trauma Studies Concentration 41 credits
Senior Experience 8 credits
Unrestricted Electives 12-21 credits
Total for the Human Services Major, B.S. Trauma Studies Concentration 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and Multicultural requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.