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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

Researchers tackle obesity from multiple perspectives
College of Human Sciences researchers in several departments seek to better understand, prevent, and treat obesity.
More human sciences faculty engage in extension and outreach
Three new projects from Iowa State University will bring human sciences research to Black Hawk, Polk, and Jefferson counties.
New intervention program reduces domestic violence recidivism rates, Iowa State study finds
A new Iowa State study finds that domestic violence offenders who complete a new intervention program are less likely to reoffend.
Iowa’s rural centenarians help unlock the secrets to aging well
Researchers are peering into the secrets of aging well. By studying lives well-lived, they’re addressing global health challenges.
Summer internships provide springboard to careers
At least 345 College of Human Sciences students secured internships this summer in Iowa and across the globe.
Renovated labs provide researchers with critical space for advancements
Building renovations provide College of Human Sciences researchers with the space and equipment crucial to their research.
Emotional toll from mass trauma can disrupt children’s sense of competence
How children respond to trauma relates to their perception of competence – or how they view their ability to control a situation.
Family history of Alzheimer’s may alter metabolic gene that increases risk for disease
A new Iowa State study may have identified the link explaining years of conflicting research over a gene and the risk for Alzheimer’s.
Iowa State provides 21st century skills through family and consumer sciences
Iowa State University is equipping family and consumer sciences educators to provide today’s students with 21st century skills.
College of Human Sciences to recognize graduating seniors at spring convocation
The College of Human Sciences will recognize nearly 450 graduating students on May 5 and 6.