About us


The mission of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies is to have a positive impact on the quality of life for individuals and families across the lifespan, as well as for schools and communities through research, teaching, extension/outreach, and service.


We strive to achieve excellence in research, teaching, extension/outreach, and service, recognized statewide, nationally, and internationally, that addresses the multifaceted strengths and needs of individuals and families as well as their environments within the context of a larger society.

Points of Pride

  • Human development and family studies (HDFS) offers pre-service teachers an excellent learning environment with the state-of-the-art Child Development Laboratory School, a Gold Seal Quality Child Care Center.
  • The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences recognizes Iowa State University students with top honors for excellence, community service, research, and dissertations.
  • HDFS collaborates with Iowa State’s Government of the Student Body to increase financial literacy education efforts. Enrollment in the basic personal finance courses has nearly tripled in two years. The department also houses the Financial Counseling Clinic. One of only three of its kind in the nation, the clinic serves 3,400 Iowa State students through individual counseling or group workshops each year.
  • Experts in HDFS provide $4 million worth of training annually for Iowa Department of Human Service workers, ensuring that Iowa State University research is translated into practice through structured programs.