Talk to us arrow

hipchat Call
text.skipToContent text.skipToNavigation
institution profile image

Iowa State University

United States


Set on a charming campus steeped in history, Iowa State University (ISU) offers students an inspirational academic experience.

With roots dating back to 1858, Iowa State today has over 33,000 enrolled students, 6,000 faculty members and a global alumni network of over 248,000 across 150 countries.

The university is known globally for its excellence in discovery and innovation. There are eight distinct colleges with more than 300 programs, where passionate faculty are challenging some of the world's most pressing issues. Many members are prize winners and internationally-recognized scholars.

Iowa State's research enterprise consists of almost 100 world-class centers and institutes. The university is known for many world firsts, including the first electronic digital computer and the first moving tornado simulator. Additionally, a new Student Innovation Center is opening in 2020, which will elevate the educational experience for students.

Iowa State ranked 1st in Iowa and in the top 12 percent in the U.S. for best college value by Money Magazine. It placed 2nd for graduate and 3rd for undergraduate programs in agricultural and biosystems engineering by the U.S. News & World Report in 2019. It also has a number of top 25 graduate programs in the ranking.

It can be found spread over 1,900 acres in Ames, Iowa, which is 30 minutes north of the state capitol Des Moines. As well as a beautiful campus, students can enjoy countless internship placements, leadership opportunities and learning communities. There are also many exciting student-run activities, such as 900 organizations, festivals, parades and more.

At Iowa State, students have the opportunity to be part of a one-of-a-kind community: the progressive and inventive Cyclone experience.

Show more +Show less -
What's new

What's new

Student Innovation Center opening Spring 2020

The exciting new Student Innovation Center is set to open in 2020, where students will find an inspiring hub for ideas, experimentation and interdisciplinary collaboration. The USD 84 million building will offer an inclusive space that brings together a diverse range of students, faculty and external partners.

There will be unique, flexible spaces and facilities to suit a variety of curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. These will allow students to engage with others from different disciplines through pilot projects and unscripted learning. They will be able to develop leadership and team-building skills, as well as gain hands-on experience that will benefit a large range of career paths.

Features of the new Student Innovation Center include:

  • Five floors spread over 140,000 square feet
  • Breakout and project rooms
  • Online learning classrooms
  • Informal areas
  • Fabrication spaces
  • 3D printing
  • Student-run cafe and coffee shop

Show more +Show less -
Department Structure

Department Structure

Study options are offered across the following colleges:

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

With 160 years of experience, the college offers leadership in science, education and research.

College of Business

Students can study at bachelors, masters or PhD level, in a college where esteemed faculty provide an unmatched business education.

College of Design

Those looking to be designers, planners, artists, scholars and more can find programs in the College of Design that work towards improving the quality of life for society.

College of Engineering

The college teaches future leaders who make the world a better place through ground-breaking research and technology.

Graduate College

Students looking to advance their studies can find a community of innovative minds where they'll grow through research and discovery.

College of Human Sciences

With the desire to help others, the College of Human Sciences studies human life in order to find transformative solutions.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

A range of academic programs in the sciences, humanities and social sciences is on offer for students who are ready to become global citizens.

College of Veterinary Medicine

The fully accredited college is committed to improving the wellbeing of animals and human beings.

Show more +Show less -
Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

Academic requirements

To be eligible for freshman entry to Iowa State University, international students must have completed:

  • Four years of English or their native language
  • Three years of science
  • Three years of math
  • Two years of social studies.

SAT or ACT test scores are not essential, but they will help admission decisions.

To be eligible to transfer to Iowa State, international students must have a cumulative GPA score of at least 2.3, or 2.75 if applying for engineering courses.

English language requirements

As classes are taught mostly in English, students will need to satisfy the English language proficiency requirements. They will need to submit results for one of the following language tests:

  • TOEFL iBT – a minimum score of 71 with at least 17 in speaking and writing
  • IELTS – a minimum score of 6.0 with no section below 5.5
  • PTE – a minimum score of 48
  • or an accepted equivalent

Students who live in a country where English is the only official language are not required to submit English language test scores.

Internationals who can meet all the entry requirements but not the English language requirements may be able to enter via the Intensive English and Orientation Program.

Show more +Show less -
Scholarships & Funding

Scholarships & Funding

International Freshman Merit Scholarships

Iowa State rewards international freshmen students for academic excellence. Eligible students may receive an award of USD 2,000–10,000 per year for a maximum of eight semesters. To be eligible, international students must have been offered a place to study and have submitted high SAT or ACT scores. No application is necessary, as students who submit their scores by 15 January are automatically considered.

International Transfer Merit Scholarships

Iowa State rewards international transfer students for academic excellence or outstanding achievement. Eligible students may receive an award of USD 4,000–8,000 per year for a maximum of five semesters. To be eligible, international students must have no more than 65 transferable semester credits, a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0, a resume or CV, a letter of recommendation and a 500-word essay.

Students are strongly encouraged to check the availability and eligibility requirements for each award.

Show more +Show less -


There are many academic, social and personal facilities available at Iowa State University, to help all students make the most of their time there. This includes:


Internationals will immediately be able to meet new people and make friends when living in Iowa State's campus halls of residences. Accommodation is located close to classrooms and other campus facilities and includes dining options and utilities. There are community advisors and hall directors who offer plenty of support to all who live there.


Students have easy access to countless academic resources at Iowa State's libraries, as well as digital materials and personal assistance.

Career Services

The Iowa State University Careers Services is an expansive network of support services where students can access many programs and resources to boost their career prospects. Alumni and employers can even use these services.

Student Government

Representatives of the student body run the Student Government, who are dedicated to ensuring that all voices across campus are heard and empowered.


Students can get involved with plenty of activities outside of their studies, led by Recreation Services and the Student Activities Center. There are more than 900 student organizations to join!

ISU Dining

Across campus, ISU Dining offers a vibrant array of dining spaces, stores, restaurants, cafes, bakeries and much more to nourish the university community.

Show more +Show less -
Student Safety

Student Safety

At Iowa State University, the Department of Public Safety works tirelessly to ensure that the campus is a secure and enjoyable area. The department is made up of a committed team of experienced law enforcement professionals who, along with the university, provide and maintain a safe university environment.

As well as safety precautions and procedures, Iowa State runs many security initiatives, such as the safety escort system, SafeRide. Students, staff, faculty or visitors can take advantage of this service. If they are on campus late in the evening or very early in the morning and are feeling a little uneasy, they can call a member of the friendly SafeRide team who will happily escort them to where they need to be.

Students can have peace of mind when considering their safety at the Iowa State. They can access details about all of the safety services and procedures, where they'll find plenty of information about personal safety, workplace safety, crisis services and much more.

Show more +Show less -
International students

Average cost of living in United States

View full cost of living
401st  / 1250

THE World ranking

At Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State
At Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State
At Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State
At Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State
Join us at Iowa State

Total average cost: $1767

  • $816
  • $677
  • $98
    Daily life
  • $176
Calculate your cost of living

To find out more about the information shown here – read about How we collect and display course information. IDP assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. We always recommend that you speak to an IDP counsellor to get the latest and most accurate advice.

Please select a level of study

Enter subject, choose from the list or hit search

  • Start typing, choose from the list or hit search

  • Enter subject, choose from the list or or hit search

Please type and select an institution

  • Type 3 characters of a university name and select from the list

  • Enter a university or school name and select from the list

Please select a level of study

Got any ideal countries in mind?