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Iowa State University

Ames, IA


About This Campus

Iowa State is an international university with a friendly welcoming personality. An AAU Research University and the nation's first land-grant school, Iowa State is known for innovations in biorenewable resources, technology, and communication, and offers nationally recognized programs in the sciences and humanities in six colleges. Iowa State students enroll from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to engage in research, study with world-class scholars, and enhance leadership skills in our 800+ student organizations and exceptional extracurricular environment. The lush, sprawling 1800-acre park-like campus is ranked as one the country's most beautiful throughout the four seasons and includes the largest U.S. campus public art collection. Ames is near Des Moines, the State's capital and a center for insurance, finance, communications, and tech startups.

Location Information

Ames is a college town centrally located in the Midwest. Ranked a Best College Town by the American Institute for Economic Research and a Money Magazine Top 10 Best Places to Live in America.

Helpful Information

Fall course registration begins March 20. Admission process requires 2 weeks before eligibility to register for classes. Students must act promptly following NSE placement. Students whose native language is not English must provide the TOEFL prior to admission. International students have mandatory orientation prior to NSE orientation.

2020/2021 Placement

Host Payment (A)
Home Payment (B)

2021/2022 Placement

Host Payment (A)
Home Payment (B)
Very Good

Learn more about Chance of Placement
and choosing alternate options.

Fast Facts

Location | Ames
Population | 66,498
Enrollment | 34,992
Language | English
Calendar | Semester
Canada | Both (A/B)
Term Dates
Fall | 08/26-12/19
Spring | 01/13-05/07

Campus Diversity

White | 70%
Black | 3%
Hispanic/Latino | 5%
Asian | 3%
Native/1st Nation | 1%
Hawaiian/P.I. | 1%
Two or more | 2%
Other | 15%
featured area


-- Campus Catalog --

Registration Priority
  • Before seniors
Closed Programs
College of Design studio courses.

College of Engineering requires 3.0 GPA.

Notable Academic Programs

  • Agricultural Engineering - The Department at Iowa State was the first in the world to grant a degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1905. It is now the largest Agricultural/Biosystems/Biological Engineering department in the country.
  • Statistics - Department established in 1947 and ranks 20th nationally.
  • Computer Science - Iowa State is home to the first electronic digital computer created in 1939. Students may complete courses toward a B.S. in Computer Science or Software Engineering in addition to courses in the Bioinformatics & Computational Biology undergraduate program.
  • Chemistry
  • Apparel/Fashion Merchandising

Unique Academic Programs

  • Meteorology
  • Landscape Architecture/Design
  • Illustration - The Biological/Pre-Medical Illustration Program is designed for students who want to combine their interests and aptitudes in science and art. The major prepares students for careers in biological illustration or graduate education in medical illustration elsewhere.

Honors Access: Yes

Undergraduate Majors Open to NSE Students
Aerospace Sciences: Aerospace Studies

Agriculture: Agricultural Biology, Agricultural Business, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Education, Agricultural Journalism, Agricultural Sciences, Agronomy, Animal Sciences, Crop Science/Management, Dairy Science/Management, Farm and Ranch Management, Horticulture, Land Resources, Mechanized Agriculture, Plant and Soil Systems, Plant Genetics, Plant Pathology, Plant Protection, Soil Science, Vet Tech Emphasis, Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Science, Water Management

Anthropology: American Indian Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Ethnic Studies

Architecture: Architecture, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture/Design

Area Studies: African American Studies, African Studies, Chinese Studies, Gerontology, International Studies, Native American Studies

Art/Design/Fine Art: Applied Art, Art, Art Education, Art History, Ceramic Art/Ceramics, Computer Graphics, Design, Design Technology, Drafting, Drawing, Fiber-Fabric, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Jewelry and Metalsmithing, Media Arts, Painting, Printmaking, Theater Art, Visual Arts

Athletics: Athletic Training, Coaching, Exercise Science, Fitness and Sports Science, Fitness Management, Health and Fitness Teaching, Physical Education

Biological Sciences: Bacteriology, Bioinformatics, Biology/Life Science, Biophysics, Botany/Plant Sciences, Cell Biology, Entomology, Genetics, Human Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Molecular Biosciences, Physiology, Wildlife Biology, Zoology

Business: Accounting, Actuarial Science, Business, Entrepreneurship, Finance/Banking, International Business, Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Supply and Logistics Management

Chemistry: Biochemistry, Chemistry, Molecular Biochemistry

Communications: American Sign Language, Communication, Interpersonal and Public Communication, Organizational Communication, Science Communication, Scientific and Technical Communication, Speech/Rhetoric/Public Address, Visual Communication Technology

Computer Science: System Administration

Consumer and Family Studies: Child Consumer and Family Studies, Consumer Sciences/Services, Family Economics and Resource Management, Family Science/Services, Family Studies

Criminal Justice: Criminal Justice, Criminology

Earth Sciences: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Atmospheric Sciences, Earth Science, Geology, Meteorology, Physical Sciences, Science

Economics: Applied Economics, Economics, International Economics

Education: Adapted Physical Education, Child Development, Communications, Early Childhood, Educational Administration and Supervision, Elementary Education, English, Exceptional Children, Health Education, Home Economics, Human Development, Instructional Sciences, Junior High/Middle School, Junior High/Middle School Mathematics, Kindergarten Education, Learning Disabilities, Learning Skills, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Preschool Education, Reading, Science, Secondary Education, Social Science Education, Spanish, Special Education, Technology Education

Engineering: Aerospace Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Biological Engineering, Biosystems Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Construction Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering, Engineering Management, Engineering Operations, Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Software Engineering

English: Classical Studies, English, Linguistics, Literature

Environmental Studies: Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Fish and Game Management, Fisheries Science, Natural Resources, Natural Resources/Science/Management, Renewable Natural Resources, Wildlife Biology/Science, Wildlife Ecology, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Resources

Fashion: Apparel/Fashion Design, Apparel/Fashion Merchandising, Textiles and Clothing

Food Science: Culinary Arts, Food Science, Food Science and Technology, Food Services Management, Food Services Management Technology, Nutrition

Forestry: Forest Management, Forestry, Wood Science

General Studies: Arts and Science, Classical Studies, Gender Studies, Humanities, Individualized Degree Program, Individualized Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Liberal Studies, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Social Studies

Geography and Urban Studies: City Planning, Community Development, Geography, Planning, Regional Analysis/Planning, Rural Community Development, Urban Studies

Geology: Geology

Health and Safety Sciences: Community Health, Dietetics, Environmental Health, Exercise Science, Gerontology, Health Education, Health Science, Kinesiology, Public Health

History: History

Hospitality and Tourism: Hospitality Management, Hotel/Restaurant Management

Industrial Studies: Industrial Administration and Management, Industrial Design, Industrial Technology

Information Studies: Applied Computer Science, Computer Programming, Computer Science, Information Technology, Systems Programming

International Studies: International Studies

Languages: American Sign Language, French, German, Spanish

Mathematics: Applied Mathematics, Mathematics, Statistics

Military Sciences: Air Force ROTC, Army ROTC, Military Sciences, Naval ROTC, Naval Sciences

Music: Choral Music

Performing Arts: Acting, Choral Music, Dance, Music, Music Education, Music Performance, Music Theater, Theater Arts/Drama, Theater Production

Philosophy/Religious Studies: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Physics: Applied Physics, Materials Sciences, Physics

Political Science: International Studies, Political Science

Pre-Professional : Medicine Pre-Professional, Veterinary Medicine Pre-Professional

Psychology: Human Development, Psychology

Sociology/Social Work: Applied Sociology, Human Services, Rural Sociology, Sociology, Womens Studies

Technology: Agricultural Engineering Technology, Industrial Technology

Theater: Performance and Directing


Quick Links GPA and Other Academic Requirements
  • No students accepted from NSE members within my own state
  • 2.5 GPA
Exchange Preferences
  • Full-year exchange Accepted
  • Single term exchange Accepted
Mid-Year Exchange (Exchange that begins with the Spring/Winter Term)
  • Available
Non-Native English Speakers
  • TOEFL: must have a score of 530.00 paper, N/A computer or 71.00 Internet
  • IELTS: must have a score of 6.00
Summer Exchange
  • Plan A with full-term enrollment
International Students (Visa Students)
  • Will accept on Plan A/B

Tuition / Fees

-- Campus Budget --
  • Fees are subject to change without notice.
  • Two semesters = one academic year
  • Three quarters = one academic year
Tuition and Fees Per Semester - Host Payment (Plan A) Students
  • Figures are current as of 09/11/19.
  • Estimated cost: $4660.
  • Expect 5-15% increase for the subsequent academic year.
  • Figures are based on 15 hours. Actual costs may be greater or less depending upon your actual enrollment.
  • Figures do not include costs you will incur for course specific enrollment (e.g., laboratory courses, student teaching, studio art)
  • See below for credit hour restrictions and/or miscellaneous fees applicable to Host Payment (Plan A) students.
Tuition and Fees - Home Payment (Plan B) Students
  • No tuition/fees are paid to the host campus.
  • Figures do not include costs you will incur for course specific enrollment (e.g., laboratory courses, student teaching, studio art)
  • See below for credit hour restrictions and/or miscellaneous fees applicable to Home Payment (Plan B) students.
Maximum Credit Hours Per Semester
  • Host Payment (Plan A): None.
  • Home Payment (Plan B): 18
Miscellaneous Fees - Per Semester
Figures are current as of 09/11/19.

Purpose Amount Period Plan Status
Application Fee $40 Year Plan A & B Mandatory
NSE Program Fee $50 Semester Plan A & B Mandatory
Health Insurance $910 Semester Plan A & B Optional
Parking Fee $150 Year Plan A & B Optional
International Student Health Insurance Fee $910 Semester Plan A & B Mandatory

Important Notes: Health Insurance: All NSE students with non-U.S. Citizenship will be assessed student health insurance (approximately $900) during Iowa State enrollment, regardless of NSE payment plan. You may be eligible for a waiver if your current institution insurance or Canadian health insurance covers required items.

Exchange with Canada - Health Insurance
Students must purchase campus health insurance at $892 per semester.

Financial Aid

Host Payment (Plan A)
For Plan A U.S. students, aid is awarded by and disbursed from your host campus. Students apply for federally funded financial aid by using the FAFSA code of their host campus. Host campuses award aid to eligible incoming Plan A students on a first-come, first-served basis as long as funds are available. Ask your home campus NSE coordinator if your campus awards aid to their own outgoing students. If so, do not apply for aid from your host campus.

For eligible Plan A applicants U.S. federal financial aid may be available in the following programs:

  • Pell
  • CWS
  • Perkins
  • SEOG
  • DL
  • Plus
Use FAFSA CODE: 001869

Home Payment (Plan B)
For eligible Plan B students, aid is awarded by and disbursed from your home campus.

Regardless of Payment Plan, students exchanging to or from Canada, apply for financial aid at their home campus.

Room / Meals

Figures are current as of 09/11/19

On-Campus Housing Per Semester
  • 35% living on campus
  • Double: $3296
  • Per semester unless otherwise noted
  • On campus living encouraged
  • Maximum housing reserved for women: 15
  • Maximum housing reserved for men: 15
Off-Campus Housing
  • Approximate monthly cost: $750.
  • Proximity to campus: .75 mile
  • Local Public Transportation Available to Campus
Meal Plans Per Semester
  • Meal purchase is required for on campus living.
  • $2391 per semester for 19 meals per week.
  • $2183 per semester for 17 meals per week.
  • $2051 per semester for 14 meals per week.
Notes About Meal Plans
Meal plans consist of a combination of meals and Dining Dollars. Meals can be used in all dining centers and in certain campus retail locations. Dining Dollars can be used in any ISU Dining Center location.

All data in this document is the responsibility of the campus and has been provided by the campus NSE coordinator.
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