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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

Students to receive special honors at fall College of Human Sciences convocation
Iowa State’s College of Human Sciences will recognize accomplishments of nearly 110 graduating students Dec. 16-17.
Margrett named American Psychological Association fellow
Jennifer Margrett, an associate professor in human development and family studies who studies aging, is a newly named American Psychological Association fellow.
Alvarez credits Iowa State experience with building leadership, teaching talents
Yesenia Alvarez, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Waukee High School, honed her teaching talents at Iowa State.
Creating a space where students can be themselves
Carmen Flagge leads the College of Human Sciences' efforts to improve the Iowa State experience by enhancing an environment of diversity and inclusion.
Bartholomae brings financial education, outreach to Iowans on campus and across state
Suzanne Bartholomae, a human development and family studies assistant professor, researches ways to help with financial stress.
Iowa State researchers to share promises, vulnerabilities of families at national conference
More than 50 Iowa State University researchers will offer their expertise in family health at a national family relations conference.
Iowa State internships aim to secure employment for youth with disabilities
Four youth with disabilities are this fall gaining hands-on work experience through Project SEARCH internships with the Iowa State University College of Human Sciences.
College of Human Sciences students driven by passion to help others
The College of Human Sciences enrolls 4,915 students this fall, contributing to Iowa State University’s eighth consecutive year of record enrollment with 36,660 students.
Fellowship in family health powers Arellanes’ passion for impacting Latino families
Jordan Arellanes, a Dorothy A. Wyant Fellow in Family Health, has a passion for empowering Latino dads and preparing Latino families for their children’s success.
Human Sciences Week to feature new dean, ways to help others
Meet our new dean, learn about living a healthy lifestyle, enjoy cherry pies, and make shoes out of used jeans during the second annual Human Sciences Week, Sept. 26 to 30.