Advancing the science and technology of living and learning
Iowa State University and the College of Human Sciences are widely recognized for excellence in science and technology.
Our programs provide a springboard for students who seek to gain deep understanding of how people live and learn, from the very young to the very old – to help them lead happy, healthy, productive, and meaningful lives.
- Due to student’s heightened interest in the science and technology of living and learning – and the increasing relevancy of our programs in today’s ever-changing society, enrollment in the college’s programs since 2005 has grown by 36 percent to 4,465 students.
- While facilitating crucial, cross-campus dialogues on issues of diversity and the social context of education, the College of Human Sciences is also growing in diversity. Minority student enrollment in the College of Human Sciences has nearly doubled since 2005, to the current enrollment of 408 students. Among all U.S. minority graduate students at Iowa State, more than one in five (22 percent) is enrolled in a College of Human Sciences program.
- Iowa State’s Dietetics Internship program, already the largest in the country, is also the first such accredited program in the nation to offer a rotation in a developing nation; interns can improve nutrition by working with the University of Ghana in that African country.
- College of Human Sciences student teams place high in international competitions, including a third place finish by the Food Product Development team in the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association contest, in 2012.
- Teacher education alumna Sarah Brown Wessling was named 2010 National Teacher of the Year, as announced by U.S. President Barack Obama.
The college is home to programs that are highly ranked among peers, nationally and globally:
- The higher education program in educational leadership and policy studies is ranked among the nine best in public colleges and universities, by U.S. News and World Report magazine.
- The education graduate program as a whole was ranked 65th among 279 public institutions, by U.S. News and World Report.
- The hospitality management program is counted among the top 15 in the world by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.
- The kinesiology program is ranked among the top 20 in the nation by the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical education.
- National ranking systems do not exist for a number of other programs in the college that are highly regarded for their rigor, including programs in food science and human nutrition as well as apparel, merchandising, and design.
Programs are led by top-notch faculty, who make world-changing discoveries, such as:
- Kinesiology professor Rick Sharp, who helped test and design revolutionary swimsuit that helped Michael Phelps earn eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, where 94 percent of the gold medal-winning swimmers wore the suit.
- Byron Brehm-Stecher, assistant professor in food science and human nutrition, who developed a quicker, more convenient test for salmonella. Using next-generation DNA sequencing techniques, investigators can now spot contaminated products in three-or-four hours rather than one-to-seven days.
- Suzanne Hendrich, university professor in food science and human nutrition, who discovered that ingesting flaxseed can decrease high cholesterol and significantly reduce the risk of heart attack, hear disease, and stroke.
- Soko Starobin, assistant professor in educational leadership and policy studies, and colleagues who found that women who receive postsecondary career and technical education are still being short-changed in their career earnings when compared with male counterparts.
The College of Human Sciences is widely recognized for effective outreach that leads to healthier citizens, more effective educators, a high-tech workforce, and thriving communities. A sampling of our multifaceted success stories:
- The Strengthening Families program, designed by Extension specialists in the College of Human Sciences, has been ranked as the world’s most effective system for decreasing the onset of drugs and alcohol problems in youth, by Oxford Brookes University researchers who studied 6000 intervention programs.
- Aldine Schools in Houston, Texas received the world’s largest education award, the $1 million Broad Prize for Urban Education, for improving student achievement in a low-income, inner-city environment – and the district is thanking Iowa State teacher education graduates for making it happen.
- The Nutrition and Wellness Research Center improves human well-being through study of dietary intake, physical activity, and social and lifestyle behaviors, with a three-pronged focus on translational research, obesity-related research, and community health-related research.
- The college provides leadership for improving quality of life around the globe with partners in countries such as Turkey, China, and Indonesia.
With more than 38,000 living alumni, we offer a superb network of prominent leaders who are advancing health and well-being, education and human development, science and technology, communities, and entrepreneurship. Our alumni also mentor young graduates to help them grow as professionals and shape their own adventures in improving people’s lives.
Just the facts
Get a quick look at facts and figures from departments and centers in the College of Human Sciences.
College of Human Sciences (PDF)
Teacher Education at Iowa State University (PDF)
School of Education (PDF)
Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management (PDF)
Food Science and Human Nutrition (PDF)
Human Development and Family Studies (PDF)
School of Education (PDF)
Affiliated Outreach Units
Extension and Outreach to Families (PDF)
Programs of Study
Apparel, Merchandising, and Design (PDF)
Master of Family and Consumer Sciences online degree program (PDF)
Hospitality Management (PDF)