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Rivier University Adds Human Services Degree to Advance Workforce Development

Growth in the demand for social services is driving the need for human services professionals.

In response, Rivier University is launching a Bachelor of Science in Human Services degree for fall 2019; the degree offers an interdisciplinary program focused on key topics in human services, psychology, sociology, and social work. An optional track in substance use disorders (SUD) accommodates those students who plan to work in recovery services. The new human services program will be available on campus and online.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 16% growth in human services positions between 2016 and 2026, much faster than average for all occupations. This new program complements the host of degrees offered through Rivier’s Center for Behavioral Health Professions and Workforce Development, launched in 2017 to address workforce needs in the behavioral health and substance use disorders fields. It provides students with a hands-on learning experience through classroom interaction, study abroad opportunities, challenging internships, and life-changing community service.

Rivier continues to be a destination for students who want to make an impact through their passion for service,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, Rivier’s President. “This new degree directly supports Rivier’s mission of transforming hearts and minds to serve the world. By building the human services workforce, we contribute to improving the quality of life for citizens at home and abroad.”

Courses focus on social problems, health psychology, family dynamics, psychological disorders, social welfare policy, and more. Specialized courses in SUD treatment and rehabilitation are included in the optional Substance Use Disorders Track. The curriculum has an internship requirement that provides students with direct access to future work environments and a variety of populations, as well as opportunities to build their resumes and to develop a professional network.

“It is an amazing feeling to help people get their lives back on track,” says Dr. Susan Langlois, Dean of the Divisions of Arts and Sciences at Rivier University. “So many Americans are just a paycheck or a major illness away from poverty. Rivier students will learn to marshall the human services that are not always evident to people who have lost the ability to meet their family’s basic needs.”

More information on the B.S. in Human Services and other Rivier University programs is available at or by contacting the Office of Admissions at or (603) 897-8507. Rivier University, located in Nashua, New Hampshire, offers degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels with on-campus and online options.