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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

Human sciences students call work with Dance Marathon “life-changing”
Students are taking their passion for helping people to make a difference in the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses, as leaders of this year's Dance Marathon.
Iowa State provides rich training for career working with children
Callie Chambers gained hands-on experience working with children as a Heddleson intern with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach. Today, she works as a teacher with 2-year-olds.
Iowa State senior rebounds from head injury to graduate
On her way to becoming a teacher, Amanda Paulsen Rohlf hit a brick wall. On Saturday, Dec. 17, she will graduate magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education.
Iowa State alumnus opens flagship store in New York City
Huxley native Todd Snyder, one of Iowa State’s most celebrated and well-known menswear fashion designers, is inspiring students with the opening of his flagship store in New York City.
Students to receive special honors at fall College of Human Sciences convocation
The Iowa State University College of Human Sciences will recognize accomplishments of nearly 110 graduating students in a series of events Dec. 16 and 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.