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Iowa State University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn what degree programs Iowa State University in Ames, IA, offers. Research its academics, and read about its admission and financial aid info to make an informed education decision.

About Iowa State University in Ames, IA

Iowa State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The university is located in Ames, which is about 35 miles north of Des Moines, IA. In 2011, U.S. News and World Report ranked it number 44 of the 'Top Public Schools' in the nation and number 97 of the 'Best National Universities.'


The school houses 57 departments within eight colleges and one school. It offers more than 100 undergraduate fields of study and graduate programs in about 115 fields of study. The school's library houses almost three million volumes of text. The campus also houses the Ames Laboratory, a Department of Energy lab that focuses on creating solutions to energy problems.

The school offers students the ability to join a 'learning community'. In these communities, students take 3-4 courses together and live in the same residence hall. Members might also participate in community service projects and attend social events together. Some communities are comprised of students in the same major, while others include many different majors.

Students may also study abroad. Some locations in which they may study include France, New Zealand, Greece and Spain.


Incoming freshman students may apply to the university online or by mail. Applicants who submit online applications receive admission notifications within two days of their receipt, while those who mailed applications receive notification within 3-7 days of receipt of all required application materials. The school does not use the common application. Graduate students may apply online.

In 2011, the school enrolled about 30,000 students, approximately 24,000 of which were undergraduates. In that same year, it received 15,000 applications for undergraduate admission, and accepted 81% of applicants.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The university charges different rates for in-state and out-of-state students. During the 2011-2012 school year, in-state undergraduate students paid $7,485 and graduate students $8,505 in tuition. During that same time, out-of-state undergraduate students paid $19,358 and graduate students $20,224 in tuition.

In addition to loans, the University of Iowa offers scholarships and grants to students. It also allows undergraduate students to engage in work study or research assistantship programs.

School Type 4-year, public**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Small city**
Student Body About 24,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students*
Student Housing Available; the majority of incoming freshmen live in residence halls*
Schools and Programs Eight colleges, one school; 100 undergraduate and about 115 graduate fields of study*
Student-Faculty Ratio 18:1 (fall 2011)**
Most Popular Fields of Study Bachelor's: engineering - 855 degrees awarded; master's: engineering - 175 degrees awarded; doctoral: health professions and related programs - 151 degrees awarded (fall 2011)**
Graduation Rates 68% (students who began studies in fall 2005)**
Admissions Rate 81% (fall 2010)**
Entering Class Size 5,725**
First Year Retention Rates 88% (full-time bachelor's degree students who began studies in fall 2010)**
Average SAT/ACT Score of Admitted Students 50th percentile, ACT composite: 22-28; 50th percentile ACT critical reading: 460-640; 50th percentile ACT math: 530-670**
Application Due Date Rolling admission; applications are processed one year prior to enrollment start date*
Decision Notification Date 2 days after submission for online applicants, 3-7 days after all materials received for all other applicants*
Tuition & Financial Aid
Tuition $7,485 for undergraduate and $8,505 for graduate students per year (2011-2012)*
Financial Aid Sources Available Loans, grants and scholarships**
Percent of Students Receiving Aid 87% (fall 2011)**

Sources: *Iowa State University, **National Center for Education Statistics**.

School Contact Info

  • Main Address: 100 Enrollment Services Center, Ames, IA 50011
  • Phone: (800) 262-3810
  • Website:

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