B.S. Human Development and Family Studies

Do you enjoy family dynamics and helping other people?
Degree Type Bachelor of Science
Careers & Salaries Annual Employment Report
Delivery On Campus

UW-Stout's Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) is dedicated to the study of human development and family life in which the individual, family, and community are viewed as interrelated. It is an interdisciplinary field that draws from other social sciences but has established distinct assumptions, approaches to studying families, and worldview. A multidisciplinary approach provides students with both a broad perspective and specialized knowledge.

You’ll learn to care for people’s needs with sensitivity to relationships, culture, gender, age, and life stages. / UW-Stout

What We Offer:

  • An established and highly reputable program
  • Award-winning instructors
  • Applied learning opportunities
  • Professional networking opportunities
  • Excellent employment in the field
  • Proven preparation for graduate school

Our goal is to foster positive sensitivity to the needs of families and their members through the lenses of relationships, culture, gender, age, and life stage, among others. UW-Stout's Human Development and Family Studies program has a strong, established reputation of preparing our graduates to work in a variety of human service related areas.


Program Overview

View program plans, credit requirements and course descriptions.


Program Objectives

Upon completing the B.S. HDFS program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate professional competence in educational, civic, and career settings.
  • Integrate knowledge of family dynamics to enhance relational functioning.
  • Demonstrate cultural competence, inclusive of multiple aspects and intersections of diversity within a historical and social context.
  • Integrate understanding of the developmental processes in individuals across the lifespan, based on physical, social, emotional, cognitive, moral, and personality aspects within an ecological framework.
  • Critique social scientific knowledge as applied to families and human development.
  • Evaluate the impacts among and between societal institutions and families.
  • Demonstrate personal and interpersonal growth.
  • Demonstrate competent communication skills.

Our program is designed for students ranging from incoming freshmen who are beginning their professional journey to transfer students who are wishing to advance their professional opportunities. The excellent transferability of credits assists transfer students in completing their degree in a timely manner.

Use the Request Information form to receive a program summary and learn more about the Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies.

Request Information

Ranked the Fifth Best Human Development Degree Program

In 2021, BestValueSchools.org ranked Stout's BS HDFS program fifth in the best Human Development programs.

B.S. Human Development and Family Studies Online

Learn how to meet the needs of families with sensitive regards to relationships, culture, gender, age, and life stages.


To apply for the on-campus and online Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies, you need to apply to UW-Stout.

Financial Aid

Students who are attending another institution, but are planning to receive their degree from UW-Stout, may be eligible to receive aid from UW‐Stout. In these cases, UW‐Stout is considered the Home Institution and the other campus is considered the Visiting Institution.Transfer Students

Note: When filling out the application form, be sure to make a note in the student comment section that you intend to apply to the "online program." 

Career Opportunities

An academic study, service learning opportunities, and experiential learning with a senior internship prepare graduates for positions in a number of areas, such as:

  • Human service agencies
  • Residential treatment programs and group homes
  • Afterschool/youth mentoring programs
  • Probation and corrections facilities
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Older adult activity and living centers
  • Aging and disability services
  • Human resources management
  • Family resource centers
  • Youth summer camps
  • Child care facilities
  • Public/family policy and advocacy
  • Research 

The program also serves as an excellent foundation for graduate school in disciplines including:

  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Social Work
  • Alcohol and Drug Counseling
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • School Counseling
  • Student Personnel
  • Health and Wellness
  • Family Science
HDFS Advisory Board

2020 HDFS Advisory Board

Maria Alm CAHS Interim Dean  
Kevin  Doll HDFS Department Chair / Interim PD  
Erica Gaetz HDFS Student  
Lorraine Garland HDFS Alum/Professional in the Field Arbor Place
Jeremy  Hernandez Professional in the Field Positive Alternatives
Skylar Kitchner HDFS Alum  
Tina  Lee CAHS/Applied Social Science Program Director  
Candice Maier HDFS Assistant Professor  
Genevieve Sabala Director - Social Work Certificate  
Angie Scott HDFS Alum/Professional in the Field Dunn County Dept. of Human Services
Bethanne  Shriner Program Director - online  
Janine  Thull First Year Advisor - UWStout Advisement Center  
Julia Tronnier HDFS Stout Online  

Human Development and Family Studies

All Human Development and Family Studies News

Alumni Admissions counselors bring compassion, perspective to their careers

First-generation graduates share tips, advice with first-year students

Professor receives national award for research on gender stereotypes in heterosexual relationships

Maier’s dissertation explores ways therapists can help couples build supportive relationships

McNair Scholars Program provides first-generation students resources for greater opportunities

Student, recent alum thankful for support; university to hold first-generation celebration Nov. 8.