USU Human Development & Family Studies

About USU Human Development & Family Studies

Our Mission

Committed to Teaching Excellence
The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is committed to excellence in teaching and research enabling students to gain an understanding and appreciation of the complexities of individuals and families as they interact within various contexts. Students learn to address the developmental needs of individuals, families, and consumers, and to apply this knowledge in educational, organizational, and outreach programs.

Committed to Cutting-Edge Research
Faculty members conduct cutting edge basic and applied research to better understand individual development and family relationships across the life span. Of particular interest is the interplay of these processes with economic and consumer forces, societal norms, and public policies. Graduate and undergraduate students participate fully in the research enterprise. Faculty and students engage with individuals and families, as well as social agencies and organizations to enhance the quality of life through Extension and other outreach programs.

A History of The Department of Human Development and Family Studies

What we now call the Department of Human Development and Family Studies went through many and various changes through its history, since the time when it was only the Department of Domestic Art. This was one of the first departments established at Utah State University. As the role of women changed over the 20th century, so too did this department in order to better suit the educational needs of its students.

The courses offered within the department in its earliest days emphasized “women’s work,” that is, cooking and sewing. [1] Over the following years, however, the department expanded its course offerings, to the point where Domestic Art and Sewing split into separate entities, and Domestic Art became Household Economy. This renamed portion of the university offered education in “laundering, fruit work, cooking, the science of nutrition, hygiene, household management, and aesthetics.” [2] The offerings were diverse even in Sewing, with different courses looking at different scale projects. The skills expected of women at the time were increasingly refined and given an almost scientific precision. Subsequently, in 1903, the department became the School of Domestic Science and Art, though its time with this name was short lived. [3]

Formerly Family, Consumer & Human Development (FCHD)

Full Notice of Non-discrimination

Utah State University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination including harassment in employment including in hiring, promotion, transfer, or termination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by university policy or any other federal, state, or local law. Read USU’s notice of non-discrimination.

Executive Director of the Office of Equity
Alison Adams-Perlac
Old Main Rm. 161

Title IX Coordinator
Hilary Renshaw
Old Main Rm. 161

For further information regarding non-discrimination, please visit, or contact:

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

U.S. Department of Education
Denver Regional Office


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