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Welcome to the ISU Department of Human Development and Family Studies where your adventure features:

What is HDFS?

Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) is the science of how individuals and families develop behaviorally, cognitively, economically, emotionally, physically, and socially throughout the lifespan and within various contexts. HDFS emphasizes the application of knowledge and resources to promote positive development and expand human potential as well as the importance of diversity, inclusiveness, and social justice. HDFS takes an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge development and application.

From the very young to the very old, students in human development and family services help populations reach their full potential, despite life’s challenges, such as addiction, abuse, aging, chronic illness, immigration, and special needs.

If you want to help youth, adults, families, or the aging lead a better, more fulfilling life, a degree in HDFS may be your ideal adventure!


Financial counseling and planning is an approved program of excellence!

The Iowa State University financial counseling and planning bachelor’s degree program, which is the only program of its kind in Iowa, is now an approved program of excellence by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

Great with numbers but want to work with people, too? Visit LoveMoneyLovePeople.com  for the numbers on the Financial Counseling and Planning degree!

HDFS News Stories from the College of Human Sciences

4-H alums credit youth program with launching human sciences careers
For a number of 4-H alumni, a commitment to community service and a desire to use skills developed in 4-H led them to pursue human sciences careers.
Harsh parenting, food insecurity predicts obesity for young women
A new Iowa State study suggests when the teen years include prolonged periods of food insecurity and harsh parenting, females are prone to early adulthood obesity.
New book features Iowa State leaders in family and consumer sciences
At least 15 Iowa State University leaders are featured in a new book that recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the field of family and consumer sciences.
Bad behavior may not be a result of bad parenting, but a lack of common language
New research from Iowa State University suggests that a language barrier can have negative consequences for adolescent self-control and aggressive behavior.
Iowa State students shine in internships across the nation
More than 300 College of Human Sciences students are interning with organizations in Iowa and across the globe. Fourteen of the college's 15 majors require an internship to help students gain work experience.
Low-income, rural mothers express need for family time outdoors
Kimberly Greder co-authored a new paper that shows low-income, rural mothers desire increased access to family-based outdoor activities.
College of Human Sciences scholarships support students at unpaid internships
Scholarships through the College of Human Sciences ease the financial burden on students interning with organizations unable to provide compensation.
College of Human Sciences graduating seniors to be recognized at ceremonies
The Iowa State University College of Human Sciences will recognize the accomplishments of more than graduating students in a series of events on May 6 and 7.
‘Good cop’ parent not enough to buffer some harmful effects of ‘bad cop’ parent
Research by Thomas Schofield, an assistant professor of human development and family studies, shows harsh parenting may increase a child's risk for poor health and obesity as they age.
Iowa State presents research aimed at equity, awareness, acceptance
Iowa State will receive national recognition at a gathering of 15,000 peers for its efforts to improve the educational conditions of students, families, and communities.