Social Services

The social services major at Earlham prepares ethical, culturally sensitive individuals who are prepared to thrive in a variety of careers in counseling, social work, human resources and other fields. Throughout the major, you will gain a deep understanding of how people and social systems affect one another. You will gain policy skills and knowledge and graduate equipped to make meaningful change in the world.

Program Details

Social services majors take a variety of courses in social services, psychology and sociology/anthropology, as well as other disciplines, providing you with a breadth of knowledge and a grounding in ethical practices.

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in social services, you must complete the following courses, in addition to general education requirements:

Complete nine required courses (29-30 credits):

If you intend to pursue an MSW, you should take BIOL 112 Cells, Genes and Inheritance as one of your natural science courses.

Course Code
Credit Hours
Sub-Total Credit Hours

Complete four competency courses:

Complete at least 2 of the competency courses at the 300-level. Competency courses must be taken across at least two departments.

Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, & communities (one of the following courses):

Course Code
Credit Hours
Sub-Total Credit Hours

Total requirement: 13 courses (41-46 credits)

  • Students majoring in Social Services are prepared to earn jobs as behavioral technicians, at non-profit organizations, in human resources, as coaches and more.

  • Students interested in careers in social work will be well prepared to pursue a Master of Social Work degree or other counseling or therapy degree. Licensure in these fields requires an advanced degree.


13% growth in overall employment of social workers is projected from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, specialized areas of social services such as mental health and substance abuse, healthcare, and child, family and school social services are projected to grow 17 percent, 14 percent and 13 percent, respectively, between 2019 to 2029.


91% of work seekers who majored in the social sciences between 2018-2022 were employed, pursuing graduate school or volunteering within six months of graduation.

A degree in social services will prepare you for a variety of potential career paths, including social work, school and career counseling, marriage and family therapy, and human resources.

What types of jobs and graduate school programs do graduates pursue?

The social services major will prepare you for jobs and graduate/professional programs in social services, public health, counseling, human resources and many other professions. You will be equipped to understand societal and organizational structures and work in ethical ways to support the people living and working within these structures.