Human Development and Family Studies

As communities adapt to changing statewide and national demographics, the Human Development and Family Studies major will prepare you to work with people from the very young to the very old. In this field, you are trained to help people of all ages cope and conquer obstacles in order to lead a better, more fulfilling life. You will help them learn skills and strategies in:

  • Education
  • Child care
  • Youth development
  • Family interaction
  • Conflict resolution
  • Addiction/abuse treatment

Careers

As a graduate of the Human Development and Family Studies program, you are well-prepared for helping individuals and families overcome hardships. You are also able to pursue further education options in graduate programs.

Graduate programs in HDFS

Career Services
Prepare for your next job or internship with Career Services, where staff help you with job or internship searches, interview preparation, and resume/cover letter reviews.

Look at a list of career possibilities inside Human Development and Family Studies.

Facilities

The human development and family studies (HDFS) department is housed in the Palmer Building, which is also home to the Iowa State University Child Development Laboratory School and the Financial Counseling Clinic. In addition to these facilities, you will have access to high-tech classrooms and computer labs.

Program Information

The Human Development and Family Studies degree offers three specialized options (beginning fall 2022):

Advocacy, Administration, and Policy

  • For students interested in careers that involve advocacy and non-profit work.
  • These students can combine their knowledge of human development and intervention with good administrative and management skills to work at non-profit organizations focused on solving social problems.
  • These jobs involve less direct service and more program coordination and planning, developing public information materials and advocating for social change.
  • HDFS provides strong preparation for these entry-level positions as well as for the graduate degree programs required for professional level work in these fields.

Child Development and Guidance

  • For students interested in working with young children.
  • Students interested in careers that involve caring for and/or educating young children, will discover there are a number of opportunities within this option.
  • HDFS provides strong preparation for these entry-level positions as well as for the graduate degree programs required for professional level work in these fields.

Health, Well-Being, and Prevention

  • For students interested in working directly with those who need support or assistance, such as individuals with disabilities, justice- involved individuals, or older adults.
  • Students may also be interested in working with populations who have been negatively impacted by societal issues such as trauma, abuse, substance use, and family instability.
  • HDFS provides strong preparation for these entry-level positions as well as for the graduate degree programs required for professional level work in these fields.

Human Development and Family Studies

Curriculum Requirements
2022-23 catalog requirements and program options

4-year Plans
2022-23 sample 4-year plans with Advocacy, Administration, and Policy option
2022-23 sample 4-year plans with Child Development and Guidance option
2022-23 sample 4-year plans with Health, Well-Being, and Prevention option

General Education Requirements
Approved Course List for Social Sciences and Humanities

Background Check Policy for Practicum Courses

Syllabi

View class syllabi

Accelerated Degree

An accelerated degree option is available for each option in the Human Development and Family Studies.

Get Involved!

Study Abroad Programs

Are you considering a study abroad opportunity to broaden your educational perspectives and personal view of the world? We hope so!

The HDFS department offers various international opportunities through the College of Human Sciences International Programs office.

Internships

Internships are available with various organizations. For more information, visit our careers and internship page.

To apply for internships and full-time positions, use CyHire, on-campus career fairscareer services, or talk to your internship coordinator: Jen Van Ryswyk.

See where other students have interned. Visit Career Connections.

Ready for the Next Steps?

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