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 or Online

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.

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

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 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.

The Bachelor of Science Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) 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.

Fostering Success peer mentor, adviser receive state awards

A University of Wisconsin-Stout Fostering Success peer mentor and an adviser were recently recognized by Gov. Tony Evers.
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Get Your HDFS Degree Online

The HDFS online degree program is designed for individuals with an associate’s degree or equivalent who wish to increase professional potential by earning a bachelor’s degree in HDFS.  

Online Program Highlights

  • Courses delivered 100% online by award-winning faculty
  • Consistent Fall, Spring, and Summer program course offerings
  • Support from Adult Student Services Coordinators and Distance Librarians
  • Efficient transferability of credits
  • Proven preparation for graduate school

Our full-time tenured or tenure-track program faculty have worked to create a flexible and enhanced online learning environment that fits your schedule with full time and part time options. 

UW-Stout's online Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies is known in the field for quality education and effectively preparing graduates for being competent, ethical professionals.

Tuition & Fees

Customized Instruction at UW Stout can be described as programs that are designed with the adult learner in mind. If you're comparing UW-Stout's online degree customized instruction (CI) tuition to our competitors, keep in mind:

  • $342 per undergraduate credit customized instruction tuition rate includes the textbook rental fee.
  • There are no additional university-based semester or technology fees.
  • Students in customized instruction programs pay the same rate of tuition regardless if Wisconsin residents, out-of-state or international participants.

Value for your Money

There’s more to value than just tuition. UW Stout also provides:

  • Program Director – faculty with discipline expertise.
  • Student Services adviser – one point of contact, providing support to students for each program.
  • Course sequences and matrices – know what courses are offered when so you can plan ahead.
  • Courses and programs may be stackable for use in another program.
  • Courses are flexible and convenient for working professionals.

Other universities will present costs and value differently - make sure you're comparing apples to apples.



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

2018 HDFS Advisory Board

Kelly  Christianson Professional in the Field Family Promise of Chippewa Valley
Brittany Coulter HDFS Alum  
Kevin  Doll CEHHHS/HDFS  
Bradley  Erickson Professional in the Field State of Wisconsin - Department of Corrections
Phylicia Fehlen HDFS Alum/Certified Child Life Specialist  
Lorraine Garland HDFS CI Student/Professional in the Field Arbor Place, Inc.
Taylor Gibson HDFS Alum  
Dale Hawley HDFS Department Chair  
Jeremy  Hernandez Professional in the Field Alpha House Group Home
Tina  Lee CACHSS/Applied Social Science Program Director  
Georgios  Loizides CACHSS/Director of Social Work Certificate  
Jill Magnus Professional in the Field HR Eau Claire County
Jennifer Reinke Program Director    
Robert  Salt CEHHHS Dean  
Angie Scott HDFS Alum/Professional in the Field Dunn County Dept. of Human Services
Bethanne  Shriner Program Director - online  
Janine  Thull First Year Advisor - UW-Stout Advisement Center  
Julia Tronnier HDFS Stout Online  
The HDFS program has helped me grow in so many ways professionally and personally.
Joylin Baranick B.S. Human Development and Family Studies
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