Parents and Families

We are the “people” college – a welcoming home within a large, research-intensive university. The faculty and staff of the College of Human Sciences will challenge your student to become the best, and we will support your student mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Iowa State University is uniquely positioned in Ames, Iowa – the heart of the American Midwest – an area known for its hospitality and safety. Ames has the benefits of a larger city without the drawbacks: the people are friendly, the schools are good, and the cultural attractions are diverse. Ames is 30 minutes from Des Moines, Iowa’s state capital (population 500,000) and about 45 minutes from the Des Moines International Airport.

Helping your student transition to ISU

Living and thriving at ISU

Student transition information and tips

College of Human Sciences departments

Explore the links below to learn more information about CHS departments. You can also check out the majors CHS offers or use the Find Your Major section to see which human science suits your student.

Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management

Apparel, Design, and Merchandising

  • Apparel, Design, and Merchandising students produce the Iowa State University fashion show, which is regarded as one of the largest student-produced fashion shows in the nation.

  • Students in the AMD major have received national scholarships, including the prestigious $25,000 Geoffrey Beane scholarship (2009), YMA Fashion Scholarships valued at $5,000 each, and the Steamboat Foundation $12,000 scholarship and internship.

  • Each semester, students take lessons learned on the Iowa State campus to New York, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between for prestigious internships and careers with top fashion companies.

  • Students on campus receive valuable publication experience with the student-produced and award-winning Trend fashion magazine, distributed campus-wide and online each semester.

  • AMD faculty are regarded as some of the best in the nation by their peers and professional organizations. With nine published textbooks in wide circulation among apparel programs, students nationwide learn from our faculty’s expertise in the industry.

  • The Donna Rae Danielson Conservation Laboratory is a hands-on classroom where chemical processes, restoration methods, and clothing conservation come to life. In the lab, which opened in 2007, students combine science skills with the art of apparel preservation.

  • In the Mary Alice Gallery, housed in Morrill Hall, rare clothing, accessories, and other apparel-related items are meticulously stored, cared for, and displayed in an intimate learning environment.

Event Management

  • Demand for a rigorous curriculum and hands-on training in one of the nation’s hottest job fields led to the creation of the event management major and minor.

  • Students in the Event Management program learn from the best. Our faculty members are experts in a wide range of areas related to hospitality, food service, catering, promotion, brand management, trend analysis, resource management, and finances.

Hospitality Management

  • Iowa State’s hospitality management program is 15th among the world’s top 100 hospitality and tourism programs, according to a new ranking by the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research.

  • The Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom is a 105-seat laboratory located right on campus. Each day, students take responsibility for planning, preparing, and serving a noon meal for paying guests.

  • Students have the opportunity to manage the entire Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom operation, use large-quantity recipes, operate industrial equipment, and deliver top-notch customer service.

  • The VEISHEA cherry pie tradition, started in 1919, was carried on by Hospitality Management students until VEISHA’s end in 2014.

  • An innovative, blended version of the foodservice and lodging management doctoral program consists of both online courses and annual summer sessions on the Iowa State campus.


Apparel, Merchandising, and Design

Event Management

Hospitality Management

Food Science and Human Nutrition

  • Faculty in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition provide students with hands-on research experience in state-of-the art laboratories. Students gain skills critical to their success in their academic and professional futures.

  • FSHN researchers are affiliated with the Nutritional and Wellness Research Center (NWRC), a facility for human research and the development of translational, applicable solutions to enhance human health.

  • FSHN faculty also collaborate with the Center for Crops Utilization Research and the BioCentury Research Farm, both focused on adding value to Midwest crops, developing green technologies, and technology transfer to the private sector.

  • Iowa State University’s food product development team, composed of undergraduate and graduate students, has enjoyed national success with creations such as “French Sticks,”  – a healthful alternative to French fries (fourth place, 2008) and “Fruit Soylicious,”  a nutritious soy beverage (second place, 2009). “Flight Bites” took second place in the IFTSA-Disney new product development competition in summer 2014, and “Oodlebar” placed third in the Dairy Research Institute new product competition the same summer.


Culinary Science

Diet and Exercise


Food Science

Nutritional Science

Human Development and Family Studies

  • The Child Development Laboratory School at Iowa State University is one of the ten best in the nation at involving families in early learning, which supports their children’s school readiness and subsequent academic success, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

  • The Family and Consumer Sciences program is the only four-year program in Iowa. Students benefit from excellent job placement.

  • LeBaron Hall is home to the Universal Design Learning Laboratory, featuring an accessible home and product design that meets the needs of people with varying physical abilities.

  • Human Development and Family Studies teamed up with Iowa State University’s Government of the Student Body to increase financial literacy education efforts. The department now offers five personal and family financial planning classes and enrollment has more than doubled in just a year.

  • Human Development and Family Studies also houses the Financial Counseling Clinic – one of just three in the nation.


Child, Adult, and Family Services

Early Childhood Education

Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies

Financial Counseling and Planning


  • The Department of Kinesiology houses well-equipped laboratories for research, evaluation, and teaching. These labs and their equipment simulate extreme environments, record and test precise movements of the body, monitor physiological responses to physical activity, and advance understanding of medical treatments.

  • Researchers in the Department of Kinesiology are making groundbreaking discoveries on critical health issues, such as the effects of exercise on flu virus.

  • Students gain real world experience through internships, practicums, and volunteer activities. Opportunities include work with ISU student-athletes and area high school athletic programs, volunteering in hospitals and clicis, and fitness activities within corporate programs and private clubs, as well as student-teaching and coaching around Iowa and the U.S.


Athletic Training

Kinesiology and Health

Diet and Exercise

School of Education

  • The Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching (CTLT) gives students access to high-tech teaching equipment, state-of-the-art multimedia facilities, and experienced staff to train students on usage.

  • The Psychology in Education Research Lab (PERL) serves as the principal investigator and external evaluator on four Iowa Department of Education projects and several state-wide initiatives. Psychological research methods and design are applied in examining the impact of school intervention in increasing student achievement.

  • The Student Affairs and Higher Education graduate programs ranked among the top 15 public university programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

  • The Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate programs have the highest number (39 percent) of ethnic/racially diverse faculty among top-ranked higher education programs in the country.

  • The School of Education offers the nation’s first Social Justice concentration in a higher education graduate program.


Early Childhood Education

Elementary Education

Secondary Education Licensure

Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour of campus. To learn more about the College of Human Sciences, click on the link to MacKay Hall once you’ve opened the virtual tour.