Iowa State University

iowa-state-universityIowa State University Degree Programs

Iowa State University appears in our ranking of the 20 Best Online Schools for Doctorate Degrees.

Iowa State University (ISU) is one of the largest public educational institutions in the U.S., providing quality education to over 33,000 students. Iowa State is located on 1,813 acres of land within the city limits of Ames, Iowa. The university is noted as a premier educational institution and is one of 62 elected members of the Association of American Universities, an association of universities composed of the most highly ranked public and private research institutions in the U.S. and Canada. Iowa State is one of fifty universities in the country that is a “Space Grant” school and is rated as an “R1: Doctor Universities—Very high research activity” by the Carnegie Institute. The university offers over 100 Bachelor degree programs along with 112 master’s-level and 83 doctoral-level programs. Students at ISU have over 800 student organizations of varying interests in which to participate and 50 Greek organizations to help enrich their student years.

The school is so large that it finds it appropriate to facilitate its educational opportunities through eight colleges or schools. Those internal divisions include:

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Design
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Ivy College of Business
  • College of Human Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Graduate College

Students who apply to enter ISU with a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher and an ACT score of 30 or better are advised to apply for entrance into the honors program. Those who qualify for honors status enjoy greater access to library services, one-on-one contact with faculty members, greater access to tutors, and housing within the honors dorm where intellect is the principal value. Graduates who add an honors degree from ISU to their resumes are more likely to start their working life at a higher level than other graduates.

ISU prefers for students to experience their education in on-campus classrooms. The university concentrates its online platform on graduate students in recognition that many students at that level of study are working and cannot attend the class. The courses offered online mirror those presented in the traditional classroom setting and the school anticipates increasing the frequency of those shown online.

ISU offers over 100 pathways toward an undergraduate degree. Students can choose from an array of subjects such as agriculture, business, engineering, English, anthropology, fashion, biology, chemistry, physics, economics, culinary science, nutrition, information technology, education, event management, forestry, geology, design, history, hospitality, art, architecture, management, linguistics, mathematics, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, religion, theater arts, women and gender studies, or world languages.

Iowa State gives very little attention to undergraduate degrees in their online presence. The school only offers two undergraduate certifications online—Occupational Safety Certificate and a Swine Science Certificate. Bachelor degree programs online include a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Programming and a Bachelor of Liberal Studies.

Iowa State asks students to consider a minor field of study to add to their major. Minors supplement a student’s portfolio and enhance their chances for quick employment after graduation. Most minors augment a student’s major field of study. Minors require a student to use 12-18 hours of their electives as a concentration on a given area.

In the place of a minor degree, or as an addition, ISU students can seek to satisfy a certification to add to their degree. These undergraduate certifications add prestige to a student’s degree. Undergraduate certifications at ISU include:

  • Certificate in Actuarial Science
  • Certificate in Computing Applications
  • Certificate in Data Science
  • Certification as a Health Coach
  • Certificate in Integrated Studio Arts
  • Certificate in Latin American Studies
  • Certificate in Leadership Studies
  • Certificate in Merchandising
  • Certificate in Occupational Safety

Iowa State offers 112 masters-level programs for students to increase their employment portfolio and move up in their respective fields. The opportunities that masters-level students enjoy cover the whole gamut of the educational array at Iowa State. Every department that offers an undergraduate degree also offers a master’s degree. In recognition of the importance of a master’s level education, Iowa State offers 27 masters degrees entirely online, including degrees in agriculture, business, community development, engineering, and education. The masters-level programs at ISU require a minimum of 30-credit hours of intense study with a thesis of capstone project included at the end of the process.

Post-graduate certificates at ISU help to sharpen the tools that employers need from graduates. Post-graduate certificate programs include 12-18 hours of study. Of the 56 certification programs offered at ISU, 22 are available online, including various levels of expertise in agriculture, business, engineering, education, veterinary medicine.

ISU provides access to 83 doctoral-level programs. Doctoral programs involve over 60-credit hours of study with a publishable thesis delivered and defended in front of a panel of peers. Almost all doctoral programs at ISU require campus classroom attendance. Just as at the masters level, doctoral programs at ISU cover nearly every field of study offered at the university. Only two doctorate-level programs are offered online—Doctor of Philosophy in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design and Doctor of Philosophy in Hospitality Management—and those are a hybrid course that requires attendance on campus for a significant portion of the classes.

About Iowa State University

The state founded Iowa State as a land-grant educational institution in 1858 as a coeducational school. Beginning life as an agricultural college, the school quickly increased its curriculum to include engineering, science, mathematics, education, and history in its array of degree programs. Within ten years, the school was awarding masters-level degrees and has not looked back since. Today, the school is one of the most important in the country if not in the world.

US News & World Report ranks ISU as 121st in its list of National Universities, 84th in Best Colleges for Veterans, and 101st in Best Value Schools. The publication goes on to note ISU as 89th on its list of Best Online Graduate Education Programs, 20th in Learning Communities, 46th in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs, and 55th in Top Public Schools. recognizes ISU as the 2nd Best Value School in Iowa, the 17th Best College for Agriculture in America, the 37th Best College for Architecture in America, and the 40th Best Big College in America.

Iowa State University Accreditation Details

ISU is regionally accredited through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools of the Higher Learning Commission. Program accreditations within ISU include:

  • Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)
  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
  • National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
  • Society of American Foresters (SAF)
  • Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NSPPAA)
  • Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE)
  • The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
  • Planning Accreditation Board (PAB)

Iowa State University Application Requirements

Successful applicants to enter ISU directly out of high school generally demonstrate their scholastic prowess by achieving a GPA of at least 3.00 and an ACT score of 20 or above or its SAT equivalent. Official high school transcripts must show a minimum of courses taken in these areas:

  • Four years of English
  • Three years of mathematics including algebra I and higher courses
  • Three years of science including two with lab experience in biology, physics, or chemistry
  • Two years of social sciences, including U.S. or world history

Applicants for Graduate studies must present official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended. Graduate-level programs at ISU may or may not require GRE or GMAT scores. Contact the Graduate College for more details.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition at ISU varies between residents of Iowa and non-residents. In-state students pay $9,320 in tuition and fees per year; non-residents pay $24,508. On-campus living adds another $9,149 in room and board. Graduate-level courses vary dependent on the program involved. Consult with either the Graduate College for price details.

The Financial Aid Department at ISU works closely with each student to evaluate their finance needs. The department finds possible scholarships, grants, and loans that can lower the out-of-pocket costs for students. The advice from the ISU Financial Aid Department is to accept as few funds as possible from the Federal Student Loans Program and concentrate on gaining scholarships or grants that do not need to be paid back after graduation.

ISU is one of the most excellent schools for research in the country. Students who graduate from Iowa State University enter the workforce with a solid education behind them to ensure a successful career.