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.
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.
The productivity of researchers in Iowa State’s science education is ranked among the 30 highest in the nation, according to the Journal of Education and Learning.
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.
Dean Pamela White is a Fellow of AACC International, an organization of scientists and food industry professionals who advance the understanding and knowledge of cereal grain science and its applications.
Professor Kim Greder, associate professor in human development and family studies, has received the 2013 Outstanding Engagement Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Board on Human Sciences.
Professor Gregory Welk – a specialist in the promotion of physical activity, cause, consequences, and prevention of obesity, and youth fitness testing and evaluation – is a Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology.
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)