HDFS Home

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

Online training equips child care providers with information about health and safety
About 23,640 Iowa child care providers have received training through an online course by Human Sciences Extension and Outreach.
Hurricane relief with love, from Iowa State
Iowa State and the Aldine school district in Houston have a 27-year partnership and helped one another after Hurricane Harvey.
Iowa State University research sheds light on trends in male alcohol use
A new study from Iowa State University researchers reveals the impact of parent communication on male adolescents' alcohol use.
Sanders, Woods to be featured in 2018 calendar
Eulanda Sanders and Barbara Woods will be featured in the 2018 Women Impacting ISU calendar.
College of Human Sciences to recognize graduating seniors at fall convocation
Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences will recognize nearly 300 graduating students in a series of events on Dec. 15 and 16.
Iowa State researchers leading initiatives to improve rural health
Iowa State researchers are working to reduce the gap in rural and urban health outcomes.
New overseas programs to help students engage in high-impact learning
Students in the College of Human Sciences will have four additional opportunities to study abroad next summer.
Learning two languages does not limit academic potential for Head Start students
A new Iowa State University study found as dual-language learners gained English proficiency, they had significant growth in cognitive and academic development.
Lee builds resiliency among aging Iowans through relationship research, outreach
Jeong Eun “Jel” Lee leverages the power of relationships to help individuals age well.
College of Human Sciences and departmental scholarship recipients recognized
The College of Human Sciences celebrated student scholarship recipients and donors at its annual scholarship recognition event.