Human Development and Family Studies


The Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies (BS HDFS) prepares students to work with individuals and families throughout the life cycle and in many different ways. Students examine how individual, family and community are interrelated, and develop sensitivity to the needs of families and their members through the broad lenses of relationships, culture, gender, age, social class and life stage.

This program is also appropriate preparation for entrance into law school.

High School Preparation


With a comprehensive approach to learning, students will be well prepared to apply their education to the many disciplines that serve the needs of families. Graduates of the program are prepared for positions in a number of areas:

  • 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

Average beginning salary for UW-Stout graduates in this major — $27,000, with some salaries as high $33,000 reported.

94% employed in 2012–2013

View our Annual Employment Report for more details.

Explore Your Courses:

» Sample Freshman Schedule

Freshman English – Composition or Freshman English – Honors I
Intro to Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS)
Family Relations
General Psychology
General Education

Freshman English – Reading or Freshman English – Honors II
Human Development: Early Childhood
Seminar on Self-Growth
Introduction to Sociology
Fundamentals of Speech
General Education

See our Undergraduate Bulletin for more information on these courses.

» Courses You May Take in the Major

Individual and Family Relations
Dynamics of social-psychological forces affecting family interaction. Explorations of courtship, husband-wife, parent-child relationships.

Human Development: Early Childhood
Principles and theories of growth and development prenatal through age 8, with a systemic perspective on physical, motor, cognitive, language, social and emotional development. Observations required.

Lifespan Human Development
Lifespan individual development. Critical examination of influences on individual development across the lifespan.

Lifespan Sexuality
Introduction to human sexuality over the lifespan, utilizing individual and family perspective. Focus is development of sexual behavior, relationships, and gender characteristics from infancy to late life.

Child Guidance
Developmentally appropriate principles and strategies for child guidance. Systems perspective, positive discipline, theoretical approaches, current topics, developing a personal/eclectic approach.

Seminar on Self-Growth
Course in personal growth and self-management. A starting point in working with families in the diverse world is to begin with an understanding of self. Learning strategies are aimed at bridging theory with real life experiences.

Parent Education and Involvement
Parent groups: training of leaders, survey of literature.

Divorced, Single Parent and Remarried Family
Trends and issues in divorce, single parenting and remarriage related to effects on adults, children

Human Development: Middle Childhood and Adolescence
Empirical study of physical, intellectual, social and emotional development of children.

Culturally Diverse Individuals and Families
Study of cultural, ethnic, racial and economic influences on individuals and families in the United States. Emphasis on knowledge and skills to improve human relations in settings serving individuals and families.


See our Undergraduate Bulletin for more information on these courses.


On Campus


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Contact Information

Amanda Barnett, Program Director
122 Heritage Hall
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751-0790

Phone: 715/232-1115

For online program:

Julie Zaloudek, Online Program Director
124 Heritage Hall
Menomonie, WI 54751

Phone: 715-232-2102

Program Website

Online Program Website

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