Iowa State University

3410 Beardshear Hall, Ames, IA 50011-2030

School Details

First established as a land-grant institution, Iowa State University is a public, four-year university, located in the city of Ames, Iowa.


In 1858, the State of Iowa approved the establishment of Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm, and the first students enrolled in 1869. A reported 24 men and 2 women were the first to receive diplomas in 1872. The school initially promoted “agriculture, engineering, extension, home economics,” and introduced veterinary medicine prior to the turn of the century. In 1959, the school became Iowa State University of Science and Technology. As the campus grew, programs emphasized technology and research. Today, Iowa State University continues to focus on well-established academic fields of “agriculture, technology, science, and art.”

The mission of Iowa State University, according to its 2010 - 2015 Strategic Plan, is to: “Create, share, and apply knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place,” with a vision to “lead the world in advancing the land-grant ideals of putting science, technology, and human creativity to work.” Iowa State University is at the forefront of research, and is recognized for:

  • Digital processes essential to FAX machines
  • U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and its research to develop lead-free solder
  • Largest tornado simulator in the world
  • Innovator of farming practices with one of the largest faculty devoted to agricultural research
  • Leader in the development of new resources for energy

With more than 800 student organizations, Iowa State University offers an abundance of extracurricular activities. About 300 events occur annually on campus, hosted by the Student Union Board, and venues include the Cyclone Cinema. Additionally, Memorial Union supports a live music venue, bowling and billiards, and an arts and crafts center. Students can also participate in intramurals, wellness programs, sport clubs, and outdoor recreation. In addition, students have access to two recreational facilities. Iowa State “Cyclones” compete intercollegiately in the Big 12 Conference of the NCAA.


Iowa State offers 100 bachelor’s, 112 master’s, and 83 doctoral degree programs. Students can also pursue veterinary medicine, the university’s single professional degree program. Iowa State maintains eight Colleges: Agriculture and Life Sciences, Business, Design, Engineering, Graduate, Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine. Schools include the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, and the School of Education. Students have access to a number of academic resources, some of which include academic support, disability resources, counseling, tutoring, and Iowa State’s e-Library database. Iowa State supports a number of global initiatives and students can also study abroad.

Iowa State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. A number of agencies accredit individual programs, some of which include but are not limited to: the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, National Association of Industrial Technology, Landscape Architectural Board, National Association of Schools of Music, American Veterinary Medical Association, Society of American Foresters, American Psychological Association, and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


Iowa State University supports online degree opportunities for nontraditional learners. Students can complete the online Bachelor of Liberal Studies. About 25 master’s programs are available online, including studies in education, business, agriculture, engineering, family and consumer sciences, mathematics, public administration, and more. Online PhD degrees include the Apparel, Merchandising, and Design Distance Doctor of Philosophy, and the Hospitality Management Distance Doctor of Philosophy. More than 25 undergraduate and graduate certificates are also offered online, ranging from the undergraduate Occupational Safety Certificate to postgraduate certificates in Environmental Sciences, and Seed Science and Technology. Students can also enroll in professional development, short-term online classes through the colleges of Agriculture & Life Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Human Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine.


More than 33,000 students are enrolled and students attend from all 50 states and over 100 different countries. About 95 percent of undergraduate students are enrolled on a full-time basis, and about 59 percent of graduate students enroll full-time. The student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. An estimated 56 percent of students are male, and minority students make up about ten percent of the student population, with four percent Hispanic, three percent Black, and three percent Asian. Ten percent of undergraduate students are enrolled in some distance education, while 23 percent of graduate students are enrolled in distance-only education programs.


Tuition is based on state residency. Undergraduate in-state students pay an estimated $7,731 annually in tuition and fees, while the estimated cost is $20,617 for out-of-state students. The annual estimated cost of tuition and fees for graduate students is $9,027 for in-state, and $21,841 for out-of-state students. The annual cost for veterinary medicine students is based on residency, in addition to the year they are enrolled. For example, years 1,2, and 3 cost $21,097 for in-state, and $45,851 for out-of-state students. Tuition in year 4 is $20,805 for residents, and $36,933 for non-resident students.

Financial assistance for qualifying students includes grants, scholarships, loans, and employment. Specific grants include the Iowa Grant, LEAP Grant, Federal Pell Grant, Federal TEACH Grant, ISU Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and ROTC Grants. Federal loan programs include the Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Graduate and Veterinary Medicine PLUS Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, and the Federal Health Professions Loan. Additionally, military personnel and veterans may be eligible for financial assistance through benefits, including: the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Reserve Educational Assistance (REAP), Veterans Educational Assistance (VEAP), Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (DEA), Educational Assistance Test Program (Section 901), National Call to Service Program, and Go Army.




School Overview:

  • Sector Of Institution:
    Public, 4-year or above
  • Religious Affiliation:


  • Highest Level Of Offering:
    Doctorate degree
  • Total Enrollments:
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