Explore your passion for a career in human services

Follow your passion for working with people by building skills in social justice, ethical practice, and advocacy in our distance-learning program. Join a learning community of student-colleagues with similar passions and a wide diversity of life experience committed to the larger goal of working in the human services professions. Work with faculty who are scholar-practitioners working in both research and the field, committed to your learning goals and who serve as advisors and mentors in your professional careers.

Why choose a distance-learning program in the human services?

Quality education across learning sites

The Distance Learning Program brings the Human Services faculty and curriculum to learners throughout the state of Washington. Western Washington University’s Woodring College of Education actively seeks ways to provide access to higher education for individuals on the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula and in other underserved areas of the state. The human services program offers the same curriculum across our three sites: Distance Learning and on the Bellingham and Everett campuses.

Diverse faculty with interdisciplinary backgrounds

Faculty in our program hold degrees that represent diverse interdisciplinary fields including but not limited to socio-cultural studies of childhood, developmental psychology, adult education, family studies, social work, community psychology, global health and health promotion, and sociology.

Personalized learning experience

We offer a personalized learning experience that aligns with individual students’ needs, skills and interests. The program has over twenty years’ experience working with online platforms of learning and has evolved best practices over time in order to meet the needs of students across the state of Washington.

Program that works with your lifestyle

We offer the distance-learning program with high quality faculty support in an asynchronous format that allows the work to be completed around your schedule.

Education based in real world challenges and needs

We provide a curriculum designed to educate students in thinking skills (including critical reflection, source evaluation, research and analytical skills, and argumentation); professional identity preparation (including unveiling positionality and standpoints, developing skills through direct and indirect practice, and a personal sense of agency); systems change theory (including historical and ecological understandings, dynamics of power and inequity, and strategies for navigating systems change); and citizen participation (including community work, advocacy, organizing, and collaboration).

Community based learning and partnerships

The program focuses on helping you engage in learning based in your local communities by collaborating with local organizations for projects and internships. We help you build relationships with mentors in your community.


The Human Services major is comprised of 75 upper division credits. We admit for fall quarter each year. The program is delivered over five consecutive quarters (summer is optional). To provide an interdisciplinary and systems-oriented theoretical lens by which to view the profession, the curriculum is grounded in a series of interconnected courses with an optimal balance between course content and experiential learning that meets national standards in human service education.

Concurrently, students enroll in required knowledge and skills-based courses preparing them for careers in both direct and indirect service. Links to the program overview, curriculum, application process, and tuition for the distance program can be found on the left side of this screen.

The core course work is delivered online and includes two supervised internships. To complete the major, students take 15 credits for each of five quarters. Since 180 credits are required to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts, it is recommended that applicants complete up to 105 transferable credits at a Washington State community college before entering Western Washington University. Students transferring in fewer than 105 credits can take electives during their sixth quarter in the program to reach the 180 total credits necessary for the BA degree.

Application Process, Tuition, Requirements

Requirements for admission to the Human Services Program include:

  • Admission to Western Washington University
  • Cumulative college level GPA of 2.75
  • Within 5 credits of a direct transfer degree (DTA) from a Washington State community college or equivalent
  • Completion of a program application, including essay
  • Successful completion of a Washington State criminal history background check
  • Indication of ability and willingness to meet essential functions while enrolled in the major
  • High-speed internet access is required

Advising and Additional Information

Please contact or call 360.475.7507 for additional information.