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Iowa State University

Ames, IA



  1. Recognized as one of the 25 most beautiful campuses in the country
  2. #1 Best College in America for Affordability, Accessibility and Academic Quality
  3. Iowa State is widely recognized as a top research university

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.

2021/2022 Placement

Host Payment
Home Payment

2022/2023 Placement

Host Payment
Home Payment
Very Good

Learn more about Chance of Placement
and choosing alternate options.

Fast Facts

Location | Ames
Population | 66,772
Enrollment | 29,368
Language | English
Calendar | Semester
Canada | Home & Host
Term Dates
Fall | 08/23-12/17
Spring | 01/18-05/13

Campus Diversity

1st Nation/Native | 1%
Asian | 4%
Black | 3%
Hawaiian/P.I. | 1%
Hispanic/Latino | 6%
Two or more | 3%
White | 71%
Other | 11%
International | 0%
featured area


  • Campus Catalog
  • Priority: Before seniors
  • Syllabus Request for Course Pre-Approval: Contact Host Coordinator for assistance
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 - Ranked #3 among public fashion schools by Fashion School.

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

  • Accounting
  • Actuarial Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • African American Studies
  • African Studies
  • Agricultural Biology
  • Agricultural Business
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Agricultural Education
  • Agricultural Journalism
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • American Sign Language
  • Anatomy
  • Animal Sciences
  • Anthropology
  • Apparel/Fashion Design
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Physics
  • Archaeology
  • Art Education
  • Art History
  • Astronomy
  • Athletic Training
  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biological Engineering
  • Biology/Life Science
  • Biopsychology
  • Botany/Plant Sciences
  • Business Administration
  • Business Management
  • Cell Biology
  • Ceramic Art/Ceramics
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Child Care
  • Child Development
  • Choral Music
  • Civil Engineering
  • Classical Studies
  • Coaching
  • Communication
  • Community Health
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Graphics
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • Culinary Arts
  • Dance
  • Dietetics
  • Drawing
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Earth Science
  • Economics
  • Education Administration
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Elementary Education
  • English
  • Entomology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Epidemiology
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Exercise Science
  • Experimental Pathology
  • Family Consumer Science
  • Family Studies
  • Fashion/Retail Merchandising
  • Feed Science
  • Finance/Banking
  • Food Science
  • Forestry
  • French
  • Genetics
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • German
  • Gerontology
  • Health Education
  • History
  • Horticulture
  • Hospitality Management
  • Human Development
  • Illustration
  • Industrial Engineering
  • International Agriculture
  • International Business
  • International Studies
  • Journalism
  • Junior High/Middle School Education
  • Kinesiology
  • Land Use Planning and Management
  • Landscape Architecture/Design
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Logistics
  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Materials Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanized Agriculture
  • Merchandising and Buying Operations
  • Meteorology
  • Microbiology
  • Military Sciences
  • Molecular Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Music
  • Music Education
  • Native American/American Indian Studies
  • Natural Resources Conservation
  • Nutrition
  • Organizational Communications
  • Painting
  • Performance and Directing
  • Philosophy
  • Physical Education
  • Physical Sciences
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Plant Pathology
  • Political Science
  • Pre-Veterinary Medicine
  • Printmaking
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Public Relations
  • Religious Studies/Theology
  • Rural Sociology
  • Secondary Education
  • Sociology
  • Soil Science
  • Spanish
  • Special Education
  • Speech/Rhetoric/Public Address
  • Statistics
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Teacher Education
  • Technology Education
  • Theater Arts/Drama/Acting
  • Urban Studies
  • Water Management
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Wildlife Management
  • Women and Gender Studies
  • Zoology


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
  • Not available
International Students (Visa Students)
  • Will not accept

Tuition / Finances

Figures per Semester are current as of 06/08/21

  • 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 Students
  • 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 students.
Tuition and Fees - Home Payment 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 students.
Maximum Credit Hours Per Semester
  • Host Payment: None.
  • Home Payment: 18

Financial Aid - Host Payment
For Host Payment 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 Host Payment applicants U.S. federal financial aid may be available in the following programs:

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

Financial Aid - Home Payment
For eligible Home Payment students, aid is awarded by and disbursed from your home campus.

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

Miscellaneous Fees - Per Semester

Purpose Amount Period Plan Status
Admission Fee $40 Year Host & Home Mandatory
NSE Program Fee $50 Semester Host & Home Mandatory
Parking Fee $150 Year Host & Home Optional
International Student Health Insurance Fee $942 Semester Host & Home Mandatory

Important Notes: Health Insurance: All NSE students with non-U.S. Citizenship will be assessed student health insurance 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. The current cost for the fall term is $785 and the spring term is $1099. The average per term cost is shown above.

Room / Meals

Figures are current as of 06/08/21

On-Campus Housing Per Semester
  • On-Campus Housing
  • 30% living on campus
  • Double: $2628
  • Per semester unless otherwise noted
  • On campus living encouraged
  • Maximum housing reserved for women: 15
  • Maximum housing reserved for men: 15
Off-Campus Housing
  • Off-Campus Housing
  • Approximate monthly cost: $750.
  • Proximity to campus: .75 mile
  • Local Public Transportation Available to Campus
Meal Plans Notes About Meal Plans
Meal plans consist of a combination of dining center 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. The default plan includes anytime access to dining centers, 20 Flex Meals per semester, and $100 Dining Dollars. The cost of this plan is $2205/semester. The other variations of the traditional meal plans are listed here https://www.dining.iastate.edu/meal-plans/residence-halls/


Figures per Semester are current as of 06/08/21

Purpose Amount Period Plan Status
Health Insurance $942 Semester Plan A & B Optional

Important Notes about Health Insurance
All NSE students with non-U.S. Citizenship will be assessed student health insurance 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. The current cost for the fall term is $785 and the spring term is $1099. The average per term cost is shown above.

Exchange with Canada - Health Insurance
Students must purchase campus health insurance at $942 per semester.


  • Health / accident insurance (encouraged)
  • Immunization: MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)

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