Human Services with Legal Studies Concentration

  • Credits: 120
  • Degree:
    Bachelor of Arts

Program Description

The Bachelor of Science in Human Services at Cambridge College is guided by systemic and holistic thinking along with an appreciation of research and how it informs practice. A collaborative model of teaching and helping creates an environment where all students are encouraged to reach their potential. We do this by providing opportunities for our students to increase their knowledge and practical skills while recognizing the valuable contributions they are making in their workplaces and in their communities. Our goal is to be an integral part of the change that needs to happen to create a more just and equitable society.

Required courses provide broad-based knowledge of individuals, families, and communities with historical and multicultural perspectives. They present a unique strengths-based, systemic and culturally relevant approach to working with people effectively across many varied settings.

The Legal Studies concentration introduces students to the history and function of the American legal system and provides students interested in pursuing a law career with a basic understanding and knowledge of various aspects of law school and the legal profession. 

Cambridge College students are introduced to diverse topics and learning that incorporate principles of social justice, civil liberties and service to the community. It is in this context that students learn about and discuss executive, legislative and judicial law and their power to both shape and reflect our understanding of our changing society, world and communities.

Concentration Options

The bachelor's degree accepts any undergraduate concentrations as open electives. Concentration options will vary at each location.  Learn more about the available options by contacting the Admissions Office at 1-800-829-4723.

Program Outcomes

  • Students gain the skills needed to work with people in a way that preserves their dignity and builds on their strengths, empowering them to address their concerns and leading to better outcomes.
  • Students learn to identify and work with the strengths inherent in individuals, families and communities.
  • Students gain practical skills for assisting people in making positive changes that will improve the quality of their lives.
  • Students are prepared for personal and professional growth.
  • Students have built a solid base for graduate studies in a wide variety of professional and academic fields.
  • Students become effective agents of positive change.
  • Develop an understanding of the history and evolution of the US legal system
  • Appreciate the scope and implications of civil liberties and social justice in the US
  • Gain working knowledge of the structure of legal systems and legal processes in the US
  • Acquire an understanding of the different branches of government, and their impact and influence on our legal system
  • Recognize how legal processes and practices shape our communities and society
  • Develop analytical and critical thinking skills, critical reading abilities, writing skills, oral communication and listening abilities.

Careers and Further Study

Our graduates are well positioned to enter graduate studies in human services, psychology, counseling, social work and related fields.  The health and human service industry has been identified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as an area of increasing growth in the 21st century. Students majoring in human services may find themselves working and leading in a variety of settings — with adolescents in residential programs or with the elderly in nursing homes, in the community or in health centers, as program directors, as case managers or outreach workers. They work in prevention or in treatment, in after-school programs or criminal justice programs.

Program Chair

Carol Pepi


General Education - required courses

WRT101-102 and MAT101-102 may by waived if equivalent courses have been accepted in transfer. Credits will be replaced with open electives. WRT201 required if both WRT101-102 are waived; not required for students completing WRT101-102 at Cambridge. WRT090 and MAT100 required if assessment indicates need.

Principles and Processes of Adult Learning
LRN 175 3 credit(s)
Students explore theories of adult learning. They clarify the fit between their academic program and their learning and career needs, and see how their prior learning fits in. They assess their academic skills of critical thinking, mathematics, writing, and computer literacy. Students become independent learners who can effectively manage the structures, processes and expectations of undergraduate education.
College Writing I
WRT 101 3 credit(s)
Through challenging readings, class discussion, small group col­laboration, and different forms of writing, students learn the skills and process of “thinking on paper.” They learn to construct an argument or discussion that supports a clear thesis and present it effectively in a well-organized essay that observes the conventions of written English. They write academic papers that analyze and synthesize the issues suggested in two or more readings. Critical reading, critical thinking, research skills, and forms of documentation are also introduced.
Foundations of Critical Thinking
CTH 225 3 credit(s)
We learn to engage in reasoned thinking. We learn to formulate hypotheses; conceive and state definitions, and understand logical consistency and inconsistency. We explore the differences between claims of fact, value, and policy; what constitutes credible evidence; the nature of assumptions. We learn what constitutes a persuasive argument as opposed to an emotive and propagandistic one, and critically examine them. Students learn to present clear, well thought out critical arguments in writing and oral presentations. We look at the relationships among thinking, writing, speaking and listening, laying a strong foundation for improving our capacity to write, speak, and listen well.
College Mathematics I
MAT 101 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MAT100 If assessment indicates need. This course introduces students to the value of mathematics for students’ career and educational goals. Students will acquire mathematical study skills, gain strategies for problem solving, and develop a sound foundation for future mathematics coursework. The course is structured towards engaging students in active, applied, and real-life learning in order to facilitate mathematical problem solving and conceptual understanding.
Introduction to Computer Applications
CMP 130 3 credit(s)
Assessment available. This course provides a hands-on introduction to the personal computer, Windows, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software, the Internet, and an overview of Word, Excel and Power-Point uses. Students begin with the basics of each application and progress through intermediate level.
College Writing II
WRT 102 3 credit(s)
WRT102 acquaints students with the academic research paper as both process and product. The course begins with an intensive review of the strategies and techniques for writing an academic essay that are covered in WRT101 and then moves to selecting and narrowing a topic, preliminary research, and establishing a focus for a 12-15 page argument research paper. The final paper includes an abstract, an introduction, discussion, conclusion, and references. Students learn how to write an annotated bibliography and use APA documentation for in-text citations and references.
College Mathematics II
MAT 102 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MAT101 If assessment indicates need. Challenge exam available. This course develops students’ mathematical thinking and problem solving around issues of both mathematical content and process. Students will acquire a conceptual and practical understanding of and familiarity with numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and basic data analysis and probability. The course focuses on supporting students’ understanding of problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections, and representations. A key feature of the course is active student involvement to support communicating mathematics in everyday and academic contexts.
General Education - distribution requirements

Arts & Humanities - 6 credits

Natural & Physical Sciences - 6 credits

Social Sciences - 6 credits

Open Electives

Choose electives and/or concentrations available at your location to support your academic interests and professional goals. (Course prerequisites must also be met.)

Human Services Major

New required course: BHS 306 Case Management for Human Services

Also choose 14 credits of human service electives.

Introduction to Human Services
BHS 305 3 credit(s)
This course provides an overview of the history, philosophies, structures and systems of delivery for human services. Drawing from a variety of resources including case studies, students learn what the programs are, whom they serve, and how they work; they explore protocols and procedures to evaluate their success. Particular attention is paid to questions of poverty and wealth and their impact upon public welfare. Students become familiar with ethical issues involved in working with different populations and communities, and consider the implications for public policy.
Systems Thinking in Psychology
PSY 110 3 credit(s)
Systems thinking in psychology is introduced as a theoretical approach to understanding the relationships and interactions of individuals, families, groups, and organizations. Attention is paid to application of the systemic model and how it differs from the linear model, when studying human interactions, analyzing social problems, and developing interventions. Students apply systems theory to problems they select from their daily lives or jobs.
Understanding Family & Community Systems
BHS 315 3 credit(s)
This course builds on systems thinking by applying systemic concepts to understand the makeup and functioning of families and communities. Students review the characteristics and interrelationships among family and community systems, and learn how to assess their respective strengths, resources, needs, and coping strategies. Local community issues impacting families, such as kinds of employment opportunities and unifying traditions on the one hand, and violence and discrimination on the other, are addressed. Students use assessment models to look at their own life situations such as job, family, neighborhood. Students interact with their peers and others seeking to make an impact with families and communities.
Community Building Principles & Strategies
BHS 320 3 credit(s)
This course introduces the history, theory, and practice of community building in order to increase the effectiveness of people working to improve their communities. It increases students’ capacity and engagement in community planning, advocacy, organizing, decision-making and evaluation. The fundamental principles of community building are explored: Such as incorporating those directly affected by policies at the heart of dialogue and community building; valuing racial and cultural diversity as the foundation for wholeness; promoting active citizenship and political empowerment, building on community strengths and assets; ensuring access to fundamental opportunities and removing obstacles to equal opportunity; supporting and enhancing the well-being of children and their families; fostering sustained commitment, coordination and collaboration based on a shared vision and mutual respect. This course is based on The Boston Community Building Curriculum, developed by the Boston Foundation and currently being implemented by Interaction Institute for Social Change.
Strategies for Change
BHS 420 3 credit(s)
This course provides theoretical frameworks for understanding the process of change and its implications for individuals and families. We look at intervention systemically and in human service agencies, substance abuse treatment programs, medical and mental health centers, and schools. Students identify barriers to change and examine all aspects of an intervention process, from assessment and treatment planning, to choice of strategies, and implementation. A variety of techniques are presented for use with individuals, families and larger groups. Preventive, problem-solving approaches are discussed as well as strategies for creating new solutions. Students hear from agents of change, analyze their own personal and professional experience, and practice techniques in class and, as appropriate, at their work sites.
Developmental Psychology
PSY 210 3 credit(s)
The CLEP exam in Human Growth and Development is accepted as equivalent. This course helps students understand the ways in which people from various cultures and countries develop and change over their lifetimes. Students focus on particular topics such as cognition, social development, or identity, and follow the topic across the lifespan. In this way, we get away from a “stage theory” approach and focus instead on the variety of ways that people live out developmental scripts. Students are introduced to terms and concepts which are basic to a cross-cultural view of development, such as developmental orientation, cross-cultural “perspective,” and a systems approach. These concepts are applied to each topic area, so that students learn, for example, how cognitive development is affected by living in different cultures and how one’s identity is influenced by the various systems within which we live. In addition to reviewing readings and discussion, each class features a group exercise to help students understand and apply information and concepts.
Human Services Capstone
BHS 490 3 credit(s)
Prerequisites: 90 credits minimum, including WRT101 and WRT102. The Capstone is a comprehensive research project which is the culminating academic activity that helps to synthesize students’ learning in the undergraduate human services program. It is an opportunity to explore a topic of personal or professional interest in human services and to create an original project or piece of research that contributes to the field. The Capstone is 25-30 pages in length and follows a research paper format appropriate to the field of study. Students work together in class and meet or communicate individually with the instructor as needed. Those who take an additional term to complete the Capstone must register for BHS491 and pass before graduating.
Concentration: Legal Studies

Concentrations are accepted as open electives (see above).

Also choose one 3-credit JUS elective.

Introduction to Legal Studies
JUS 205 3 credit(s)
Introduction to Legal Studies introduces students to the legal system and the legal profession in the United States. The course will explore theoretical and historical influences on the American legal system and the practice of law, the origins of the legal system in English common law, the sources of American law, including an overview of the Constitution, state and federal status, the court system, and the legislative and trial process. Students will explore the legal profession and the varied roles assumed by the legal professional in contemporary society. Students will gain an understanding of the emergence of specialized areas of law and the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a law career.
Introduction to the American Legal System
SOC 212 3 credit(s)
To be effective citizens, employees, parents, and members of society we must comprehend the conceptual frameworks of the law and its implications in our daily lives. This course introduces legal concepts and activities, and their pragmatic applications: contract law, civil rights law, employment law, family law, and patient rights. We also discuss how the United States Constitution impacts contemporary legal issues including government regulation of private business, separation of church and state, right to privacy, government funding of educational and religious institutions, and property rights versus environmental and other governmental constraints.
Crime and Criminal Justice
JUS 200 3 credit(s)
This course provides an introduction to the nature of the crime problem in the United States, including patterns of victimization and offending and the ways in which the criminal justice system responds to these behaviors.
Forensic Psychology
PSY 328 3 credit(s)
This course is an introduction to the field of forensic psychology and examines how psychological theory and practice intersect with the law, the legal system and the field of criminal justice. It will offer a broad perspective of the field and will cover the role that psychology has played in an number of related areas including: theories of crime and criminal behavior, the nature of eyewitness tertimony, criminal investigation, the psychological evaluation and understanding of criminal suspets and jury selection.
Restorative Justice and Victim-Offender Reconciliation
JUS 435 3 credit(s)
An alternative to the retributive model of justice, Restorative justice offers a reconciliation model in which the victim, the offender, and the broader community can work toward a more personal and satisfying response to juvenile crime. The emergence and growth of several models such as balanced and restorative justice, VORP (Victim Offender Reconciliation Program), and circle conferencing are viewed within the context of adolescent offending. Attention is paid to issues of age, gender, and culture in various methods of conflict resolution.

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor

Adjunct Instructor



  • Admission Test:

    Passing grade on TOEFL (English language proficiency test) is required for international students.

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)

General Requirements

Official Transcript: High school or GED
One Completed Recommendation Form
Personal Statement

Learn more about General Requirements 

State Requirements

College students are required to comply with state laws regarding individual health insurance and immunization. Compliance requirements currently exist for students in Massachusetts, Virginia and Tennessee. Learn more

International Students – Additional Requirements

International Students will need to complete supplemental documentation when applying. International transcripts must also be translated prior to submission in order to be evaluated for applicability. Learn more about international student requirements.

Transfer Credit Request Form

Only needed if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer credit. Learn more about transferring credits.


  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)
  • Graduation Fee:
    $110 (charged in last term)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $1,497 (Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.)

Note: Rates are as of September 2013, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

Grants, Scholarships and Loans

Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

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