Graduate Program

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) provides educational programs covering a range of human sciences and services related to children, adults, and families through the following graduate degrees:

Doctorate (Ph.D.)

Masters (M.S.)

Graduate minor in HDFS

Graduate Certificates

Master of Family and Consumer Sciences

Admission Requirements »

What is being studied in HDFS?

Graduate study in HDFS at Iowa State University is multidisciplinary and focuses on research and practice in several content areas such as:

  • Adolescent/youth development
  • Adult development and aging
  • Family studies
  • Family policy
  • Family economic well-being and financial planning
  • Health and well-being
  • Infant and child development
  • Lifespan development

HDFS research »

Financing your graduate education

Each year around 50 students are pursuing either a Ph.D. or a M.S. degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Nearly all of these graduate students receive assistantships, scholarship support, and/or tuition waivers making graduate training in HDFS at Iowa State University a viable graduate education experience. More »

Degree requirements

The HDFS graduate curriculum provides current research-based coursework to prepare professionals for exciting opportunities in human development and family studies.

  • Students may be admitted to our doctoral program with either a bachelor’s (M.S./Ph.D. track, 5 years) or a master’s degree (Ph.D. track only, 3 years).
  • Students admitted without a prior master’s degree complete requirements for a thesis-based master’s degree at ISU as part of the doctoral program of study.
  • The Masters of Science degree typically takes two years to complete.

Apply »

What kind of job can I get?

HDFS alumni have been successful nationally and internationally in obtaining teaching, research, and service positions in research institutes, human service agencies, colleges and universities, including the cooperative extension service.  More »