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Serving people. This is at the heart of the MSU Denver Human Services major. 

Human Services is the art and science of helping people. And as such, MSU Denver combines extensive hands-on experience with challenging academics so you develop into a competent and compassionate professional.

At MSU Denver, you can choose from five Human Services concentrations, offering clear career pathways in these areas:

  • Addiction Studies
  • High Risk Youth Studies
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Nonprofit Studies
  • Paramedic

Learning in small classes from professors who have worked in the field, you will receive countless opportunities to learn by doing that include field trips, service-learning, 750 hours of skill-building practicums and an internship, research and even study abroad experiences.

By the time you graduate, you will have the academic credentials, resume and professional connections to begin a career or pursue graduate studies.

Learn more about scholarships for Human Services students.

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

As a Human Services major you will complete a hundreds of hours of fieldwork, giving you both professional skills and experience to put on your resume.

Your fieldwork includes the following:

A one-credit Pre-Field Seminar

An eight-credit Practicum (Addiction Studies students complete two practicums in order to qualify for addiction counselor certification, CAC I).

12-credit Professional Internship

MSU Denver has affiliation agreements with a number of organizations for fieldwork placements including:

  • First Judicial District (probation)
  • Colorado AIDS Project
  • Colorado Mental Wellness Network
  • Counseling Center of the Rockies
  • National Stroke Association
  • Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

four images firefighter on the job, students speaking on stairs, and people holding hands

The Human Services bachelor’s degree program offers an enormous range of career choices.

Addiction professionals, youth counselors, mental health counselors, nonprofit administrators and emergency responders, these are just a smattering of the professions you can enter as an MSU Denver Human Services graduate.

Students who complete the Addiction Studies concentration can apply to the Department of Regulatory Agencies to become a Certified Addictions Counselor after graduation.

Salaries in these fields range dramatically depending on whether or not you have a master’s degree from $30,000 to $70,000 a year and above.

Learn more about Human Services careers.

Hear from our students:

"I've only been at my job for two days, and I can tell you that everything they are teaching their new employees, MSU Denver has already covered in depth. I have sat there thinking, 'Wow, I already know this and I had a whole semester on each topic you're covering.'"


Lynann Butler_Human ServicesLynann Butler

Associate Professor Lynann Butler is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Addictions Counselor Level III. She founded Professional Counseling Services, Inc., providing a six-week intervention program for students facing suspension from high schools in five different school districts. She is also the author of "Walking with Tigers: One Refugees Incredible Story of Survival." 



Tricia Hudson-Matthew_Human ServicesTricia Hudson-Matthew

Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Addiction Studies Tricia Hudson-Matthew is a certified play therapist and works in private practice with children aged five years and above. She also works with substance abuse individuals and couples, assisting them in their relational journeys.



Learn more about MSU Denver Human Services faculty.

Featured Alumni

Meet Elizabeth Hubbard

MSU Denver ‘17


Drug Counselor.


Alumni at Work

More than 50 percent of MSU Denver Human Services students are offered a job before the end of their internships. Plus 97 percent report that they plan to pursue graduate school.

MSU Denver Human Services alumni are working at these organizations:

  • Arapahoe House
  • Turning Point Mental Health Services
  • Family Tree
  • The Haven
  • Servicios de La Raza
  • Denver Children’s Advocacy Center
  • City and County of Denver

Human Services graduates have been accepted for post-graduate study at:

  • Regis University
  • University of Colorado Denver
  • Colorado State University
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • University of Denver
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver  

Sample Classes

students working together and taking notes

Addiction Studies

  • Pharmacology of Drugs and Alcohol
  • Addictions, Immunity and Infectious Diseases
  • Counseling the Substance Abuser

High Risk Youth Studies

  • High Risk and Offender Youth
  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Addictive Experiences: Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll
  • Youth, Drugs and Gangs

Mental Health Counseling

  • Psychopathology and the Mental Health Clinician
  • Theory and Practice of Counseling
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Nonprofit Studies

  • Grant Writing
  • Financial Accountability and Organizational Controls
  • Fundraising Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Human Resources Development in Nonprofit Organizations


If you are selecting this concentration, you must have completed or be enrolled in the Paramedic School at the Denver Health Medical Center and obtain a valid and current paramedic certificate from the State of Colorado. You can apply your credits from Denver Health toward a Human Services degree. In addition, if you are currently certified as a Paramedic by the State of Colorado and completed your Paramedic program at a different location, MSU Denver will work with you to pursue a Human Services degree.

  • Ethical and Legal Issues in the Helping Professions
  • Professional Internship
  • Multicultural Issues in Human Services
  • Small Group Dynamics: Theory and Experience

 Learn more about the Human Services curriculum.

Facilities and Resources

Located adjacent to the heart of downtown Denver, the Auraria Campus is situated in close proximity to government agencies, nonprofit offices, hospitals and other settings where you might complete research, a practicum or internship.

Program Accreditation

MSU Denver’s Human Services program is accredited through the Council for Standards in Human Services Education and the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission.

MSU Denver’s Fire and Emergency courses meet the U.S. Fire Administration’s Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education recognition program standards.

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