Office of Admissions
Katharine Johnson Suski
When to Apply
Applicants for the fall semester are encouraged to apply during the fall of the year preceding their entry to Iowa State University. Applications for other terms should be submitted well in advance of the desired entry date.
Application deadlines are available at www.admissions.iastate.edu.
Completed applications for admission to the professional curriculum in the College of Veterinary Medicine, together with the required supporting transcripts, must be received by an established deadline. See College of Veterinary Medicine, Application and Admission.
How to Apply
Applications for admission are available online at www.admissions.iastate.edu.
Iowa State University operates on a rolling admissions basis. Admission of applicants for fall semester begins in July of the preceding year. Admission for other terms begins approximately 12 months prior to the beginning of the term. Admission offers are issued for a specific term and are valid only for the term specified.
Undergraduate Admission Directly from High School
Admission decisions are made by admissions officers in accordance with the entrance requirements as set forth in the Iowa Administrative Code as well as the admission policies established by the Faculty Senate.
Students who seek admission must meet the following requirements and also any special requirements for the college or curriculum of their choice.
Applicants must submit an application for admission and the appropriate application fee (see www.admissions.iastate.edu for current application fee information). In addition applicants must have their secondary school provide an official final transcript of their academic record, including cumulative grade point average, rank in class, and certification of graduation.
Applicants must also arrange to have their ACT or SAT scores reported to Iowa State directly from the testing agency. U.S. citizen and immigrant applicants who will not graduate from an approved U.S. high school and whose primary language is not English must meet university communication proficiency requirements. This can be accomplished by achieving satisfactory scores on the TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, ACT, or SAT. Detailed information concerning test score requirements can be found at http://www.admissions.iastate.edu/intl/requirements.php.
Applicants may be required to submit additional information or data to support their applications.
A. Graduates of approved Iowa high schools who have the subject-matter background required by Iowa State University and who achieve a Regent Admission Index (RAI) score of at least 245 will be offered admission. Graduates of approved Iowa high schools who have the subject-matter background required by Iowa State University and who achieve less than a 245 RAI score will be considered for admission on an individual basis.
The RAI score will be calculated for each applicant based upon one of two mathematical formulas: the Primary RAI Formula (for students whose high school provides class rank) and the Alternative RAI Formula (for students whose high school does not provide class rank). The mathematical equation for each formula is listed below:
Primary RAI Formula (for students whose high school provides class rank):
Percentile class rank x 1
+ (ACT composite score x 2)
+ (Cumulative GPA x 20)
+ (Number of years of core courses in high school x 5)
= RAI Score
Alternative RAI Formula (for students whose high school does not provide class rank):
(ACT composite score x 3)
+ (Cumulative GPA x 30)
+ (Number of years of core courses in high school x 5)
= RAI Score
Note: For purposes of calculating the RAI, SAT scores will be ACT composite equivalents; high school rank is expressed as a percentile with 99% as the top value; high school GPA is expressed on a 4-point scale: and number of high school courses completed in the core subject areas is expressed in terms of years or fractions of years of study.
Applicants from high schools that do not present all of the factors required for calculation of the RAI score will be considered for admission on an individual basis.
Those applicants who are not offered unconditional admission will either be given the opportunity to enroll for a trial period during the preceding summer session or be denied admission.
B. Nonresidents of Iowa, including international students, may be held to higher academic standards, but must meet at least the same requirements as resident applicants.
C. Applicants who are graduates of nonapproved high schools will be considered for admission in a manner similar to applicants from approved high schools, but additional emphasis will be given to scores earned on standardized examinations.
D. Applications may be considered from students who did not graduate with their high school classes. They will be required to submit all academic data to the extent that it exists and achieve scores on standardized examinations which will demonstrate that they are adequately prepared for academic study.
E. Students with satisfactory academic records may be admitted, on an individual basis, for part-time university study while enrolled in high school or during the summers prior to high school graduation.
F. Exceptional students may be admitted as full-time students before completing high school. Early admission is provided to serve persons whose academic achievement and personal and intellectual maturity clearly suggest readiness for college-level study.
High School Preparation
Graduation from an approved high school shall ordinarily precede entrance into Iowa State University.
Students who wish to enter Iowa State University directly from high school (or transfer from another college or university with less than 24 semester hours of graded transferable college credit) must meet the level of academic performance described above and show evidence of the following high school preparation:
Four years, emphasizing writing, speaking, and reading, as well as an understanding and appreciation of literature
Three years, including one year each of algebra, geometry, and advanced algebra
Three years, including one year each of courses from two of the following fields: biology, chemistry, and physics
Additional Requirements for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering
In addition to the high school preparation requirements described above, students applying to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must have completed an additional year of social studies, for a total of three years, and two years of a single foreign language. Students applying to the College of Engineering must have completed two years of a single foreign language.
Students who do not meet the high school course preparation requirements listed here, but who are otherwise well qualified, may be admitted after individual review of their applications.
Undergraduate Admission - Nondegree Undergraduate
Students who wish to attend Iowa State University to take undergraduate courses but who do not plan to seek an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University should apply as nondegree undergraduate students. Credit taken under the nondegree undergraduate classification is applicable for undergraduate degree purposes for those who are later admitted as degree-seeking undergraduate students. Nondegree undergraduates who have already earned an undergraduate degree may not enroll in graduate credits. To take courses listed as available for graduate credit, a student must enroll as a nondegree graduate and pay graduate fees. Credit obtained under the nondegree undergraduate classification may not be applied toward a graduate degree.
Nondegree applicants are held to the same standards of admission as degree-seeking applicants, including English language proficiency.
Students enrolled in the Intensive English and Orientation Program (IEOP) are classified as nondegree undergraduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Permission to enroll in one academic course in addition to full-time intensive English study may be granted under special circumstances.
Reentering Students - Undergraduate and Graduate
Reentering students are those who have previously attended Iowa State University and are returning after an absence of at least one full year. See lndex, Reentry Students.
International students need to reapply after an absence of one full semester, exclusive of summer session. International reentries must also contact the International Students and Scholars office to request the necessary visa application forms.
Reentering graduate students do not need to complete a reentry form but should notify their department and the Office of the Registrar of their intent to reenter Iowa State University. See Index, Reentry Students for more information.
Undergraduate Admission by Transfer from Other Educational Institutions
Students who seek admission must meet the following requirements and also any special requirements for the college and curriculum of their choice.
Applicants must submit an application for admission, and the appropriate application fee (see www.admissions.iastate.edu for current application fee information). Applicants must also request that each college they have attended send an official transcript of record to the Office of Admissions. Failure to provide transcripts from all colleges or universities attended may result in denial of the application or dismissal from the university. If less than 24 semester hours of graded transferable college credit is completed prior to entry at Iowa State University, applicants must also request that their official high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores be sent to the Office of Admissions. Other transfer applicants are encouraged to provide high school academic information. Students who do not do so may be asked to take course placement examinations during orientation.
U.S. citizen and immigrant applicants who have not graduated from an approved U.S. high school and whose primary language is not English must meet the university's English communication requirement. This can be accomplished by achieving satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the SAT. Contact the Office of Admissions for minimum score requirements for each examination.
A. Transfer applicants with a minimum of 24 semester hours of graded transferable credit from regionally accredited colleges or universities will be admitted provided they have achieved a minimum 2.00 transfer grade point average (on a 4.00 grading scale) for all college work previously attempted. Note: Applicants entering Iowa State beginning Fall 2019 and beyond who have not earned an associate's degree will be required to have earned a minimum 2.25 transfer grade point average.
Some programs may require a transfer grade point average higher than this minimum. Higher academic standards may be required of students who are not residents of Iowa, including international students.
Applicants who have not maintained the grade point average required by Iowa State University for specific programs or who are under academic suspension from the last college attended generally will be denied admission.
B. In addition to meeting the minimum transfer grade point average requirement described above, applicants who have completed fewer than 24 semester hours of graded transferable college credit prior to their enrollment at Iowa State must also meet the admission requirements for students entering directly from high school.
C. Transfer applicants under disciplinary suspension will not be considered for admission until information concerning the reason for the suspension has been received from the college assigning the suspension. Applicants granted admission under these circumstances will be admitted on probation.
D. Transfer applicants from colleges and universities not regionally accredited will be considered for admission on an individual basis, taking into account all available academic information.
Transfer Credit Practices
Iowa State University endorses the Joint Statement on Transfer and Award of Academic Credit approved by the American Council on Education (ACE) and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). The current issue of Transfer Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions, published by AACRAO is an example of a reference used in determining transfer credit.
The acceptance and use of transfer credit are subject to limitations in accordance with the educational policies of Iowa State University.
A. Students from regionally accredited colleges and universities.
Credit earned at regionally accredited colleges and universities is acceptable for transfer, except for the following, which may not be accepted, or may be accepted to a limited extent:
—credit in courses determined by Iowa State University to be of a developmental, vocational, or technical nature
—credit in courses or programs in which the institution granting the credit is not directly involved.
No more than 65 semester or 97 quarter credits earned at two-year colleges can be applied to a bachelor's degree from Iowa State University. While there is no limit to the number of credits that may be transferred from a four-year institution, the last 32 semester credits must be completed at Iowa State University.
B. Students from colleges and universities which have candidate status.
Credit earned at colleges and universities which have become candidates for accreditation by a regional association is acceptable for transfer in a manner similar to that from regionally accredited colleges and universities if the credit is applicable to the bachelor's degree at Iowa State University.
Credit earned at the junior and senior classification from an accredited two-year college which has received approval by a regional accrediting association for change to a four-year college may be accepted by Iowa State University.
C. Students from colleges and universities not regionally accredited.
Courses completed at colleges and universities that are not regionally accredited will be evaluated according to the recommendations made by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Offices or the American Council on Education.
In determining the acceptability of transfer credit from private colleges in Iowa which do not have regional accreditation, the Regent Committee on Educational Relations, upon request from such institutions, evaluates the nature and standards of the academic program, faculty, student records, library, and laboratories.
In determining the acceptability of transfer credit from colleges in states other than Iowa which are not regionally accredited, acceptance practices indicated in the current issue of Transfer Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions will be used as a guide. For institutions not listed in the publication, guidance is requested from the designated reporting institution of the appropriate state.
D. Students from foreign colleges and universities.
Transfer credit from foreign educational institutions may be granted after a determination of the type of institution involved, its recognition by the educational authorities of the foreign country, and an evaluation of the content, level, and comparability of the study to courses and programs at Iowa State University. Credit may be granted in specific courses or assigned to general areas of study. Extensive use is made of professional journals and references which describe the educational systems and programs of individual countries.
Additional Transfer Credit Policies
A. Students with credit obtained during military service.
Credit will be awarded for successful completion of technical or specialized schools attended while on active duty with the armed forces to the extent that the material is applicable toward degree requirements at Iowa State University. Application for such credit is made at the Office of Admissions, which follows many of the recommendations in the American Council on Education (ACE) publication A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services.
B. Students with credit obtained through non-college sponsored instruction.
Credit will be awarded for successful completion of learning acquired from participation in formal courses sponsored by associations, business, government, industry, and unions to the extent that the material is applicable toward degree requirements at Iowa State University. Application for such credit is made at the Office of Admissions, which follows many of the recommendations in the American Council on Education (ACE) publication The National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs.
C. Students with credit obtained through correspondence courses.
Although Iowa State does not offer correspondence courses, college level courses taken by correspondence from accredited colleges or universities are acceptable for transfer at the undergraduate level if the courses taken are those that do not require laboratory study.
D. College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
Iowa State University will award credit for each of the following 15 examinations: Financial Accounting, Principles of Accounting, American Government, Biology, Calculus, French Language, German Language, Humanities, Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics, Natural Sciences, Introductory Psychology, Social Sciences and History, Introductory Sociology, Spanish Language.
Application of CLEP credit to a degree program varies with the department, so students should consult with their department before they register for CLEP examinations. Additional information is available at www.admissions.iastate.edu/cbe/cbe_clep.php.
E. Students with "test-out" credit.
Students who have earned credit at other colleges or universities through Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations may qualify for credit at Iowa State University. Scores from these examinations should be sent directly to the Office of Admissions; credit will be awarded provided the scores satisfy Iowa State's requirements.
Credit earned at another college through locally designed test-out examinations may transfer to Iowa State University if accompanied by at least 12 transferable semester credits earned through coursework taken at that institution.
A. Iowa Regent Universities General Education Articulation Agreement.
Iowa State University participates in an articulation agreement with the other two Iowa Regent universities concerning the acceptance of their general education programs into the Iowa State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Under the terms of this agreement, students who have satisfied general education requirements at the University of Northern Iowa or in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Iowa may transfer to Iowa State's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with their general education requirements met (with the possible exception of the foreign language, diversity, and library requirements).
B. Associate of Arts (A.A.) Articulation Agreement with Iowa public community colleges.
Students who plan to enter the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or the College of Business at Iowa State University with an associate of arts degree from an Iowa public community college, and who have at least 60 prescribed semester (90 quarter) credits acceptable for transfer and at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, will be considered to have met the general education requirements of that college. College of Business students will still be required to take an ethics and a global course to satisfy general education requirements unless they are taken as part of the associate of arts degree.
C. Associate of Science (A.S.) Articulation Agreement with Iowa public community colleges.
Students who plan to enter the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University with an associate of science degree from an Iowa public community college, and who have at least 60 prescribed semester credits acceptable for transfer and at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, will be enrolled at junior level status upon entry to Iowa State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Transfer students with AS degrees will have their transfer credits evaluated course-by-course to determine how the courses will be applied to their intended Iowa State major/degree program requirements.
D. Career-technical credit from Iowa public community colleges.
Iowa State University will accept up to 16 semester (24 quarter) credits earned in career-technical courses where the sending Iowa public community college will accept such courses toward its associate of arts or associate in science degree. Certain career-technical courses at Iowa community colleges may be articulated to Iowa State University as academic credit. The credit hours earned in these articulated courses would transfer in addition to the 16 semester hour career-technical maximum. Please refer to the course equivalency guides on the Web (www.admissions.iastate.edu/equiv) or contact the Office of Admissions for more information.
E. AP and CLEP credit from Iowa public colleges and universities.
Iowa State University has an agreement with the Iowa public colleges and universities which allows credit earned through AP and CLEP examinations to transfer directly to Iowa State University if accompanied by at least 12 transferable semester credits earned through coursework taken at the sending institution.
On-line Transfer Articulation System (TRANSIT)
TRANSIT is Iowa State's online system, which displays how credits from a community college or another university may transfer to a degree program at Iowa State. In TRANSIT, prospective or current students can generate a transfer credit evaluation showing how their courses and degrees from a community college or university transfer to Iowa State University. In addition, students can request an unofficial degree audit, which will display how their transfer courses are applied within a particular Iowa State major/degree program. TRANSIT is easy to use and can be accessed by going to http://transit.iastate.edu.
Transfer of Credits
Credits presented from another institution are evaluated initially by the Office of Admissions to determine whether the courses are acceptable for transfer credit. In addition, credits applied toward a particular degree will be determined by the student's college, based on relevance to the students' program requirements as well as the level of performance deemed necessary for successful progress in that program. For example, courses that are deemed important to a program but were earned with less than a C grade may or may not be approved for a program. This policy also applies to students already enrolled at Iowa State University and to new transfer students. Grades earned in courses transferred to Iowa State University will not be used in calculating a transfer student's Iowa State cumulative grade point average.
A student who is admitted as a transfer from another college or university is required to have at least a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average for all transferable work taken elsewhere. If, due to special circumstances, a student is admitted with less than a 2.00 average, that student will have a transfer quality-point deficiency.
This deficiency will be added to any deficiency accumulated at Iowa State University and will be used to determine whether satisfactory progress toward a degree is being made. To graduate, students must earn sufficient quality points above a 2.00 at Iowa State University to offset any quality-point deficiency, including a transfer quality-point deficiency.
Students should consult with their academic advisers and the Registrar's Office before taking coursework at other colleges and universities to be certain the credits will transfer and will be applicable to their program of study. Students who believe that any transfer credits have not been correctly evaluated should consult with their academic adviser and with the Office of Admissions. Questions concerning how transfer credits are applied toward a degree program should be referred to the academic adviser and college office.
No more than 65 semester or 97 quarter credits earned at two-year colleges can be applied to a bachelor's degree from Iowa State University. While there is no limit to the number of credits that may be transferred from a four-year institution, the last 32 semester credits before receiving a degree from Iowa State University must be completed at Iowa State University.
Iowa State University students who attend one of the other Iowa Regent universities under the Regent Universities Student Exchange Program will have the credits earned at the other university counted as resident credit and grades received included in their Iowa State University cumulative grade point average, even if the credits are included in the last 32 semester credits. For information on applying to the program see Index, Regent Universities Student Exchange Program.
Credit by Examination (CBE)
It is Iowa State University policy to grant academic credit by examination in many of the undergraduate courses listed in the university bulletin. Credit is awarded primarily in the introductory level classes in mathematics, natural, physical, and social sciences, and the liberal arts. Students with superior high school backgrounds or those with college-level proficiency in certain subject areas are strongly encouraged to investigate and attempt testing in the CBE programs available.
Types of Credit By Examination Programs (CBE)
Students may earn academic credit in any of four ways and have that credit recorded on their academic record when they enroll. Programs accepted at Iowa State include the Advanced Placement (AP) Program, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Examinations, departmental examinations, and the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Iowa State's policies for awarding credit for each of these programs may be found at www.admissions.iastate.edu/cbe.
Advanced Placement (AP) Program of the College Board
This program allows students, while still in high school, to take examinations for credit at the college level. Iowa State University awards credit or advanced placement through the Advanced Placement Program in art, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, environmental science, foreign languages, geography, government and politics, history, mathematics, music, physics, psychology and statistics. High school counselors and teachers will assist with testing arrangements.
Generally, students scoring 3 or better on the exams will be considered for course credit based on departmental review of the exams. In some departments, only scores of 4 or better will be considered for credit.
Detailed information concerning the Advanced Placement Program can be found at https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/home.
International Baccalaureate Examinations
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, offered at many high schools in the United States and abroad, allows students the opportunity to take examinations for credit at the college level. These examinations are offered at standard and higher levels.
Iowa State University awards credit for most higher level examinations and some standard level examinations. Students must receive a minimum score of 4 to qualify for academic credit in most subject areas. Some departments require higher scores. Official IB examination results must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions from the International Baccalaureate Americas Office. Results listed on high school transcripts are not considered official.
Detailed information concerning the IB Program can be found at http://ibo.org/iba/.
Students may take locally constructed departmental examinations for undergraduate credit in specified subject areas for which they and the department feel they have the necessary preparation. These exams are generally administered by the department which offers the course (for exceptions, see CLEP offerings below). Students interested in taking departmental (or CLEP) examinations should contact the appropriate department for specific information on the course covered by the exam and the exam itself. A nonrefundable fee is charged for each departmental examination requested.
If an acceptable exam score is achieved, a grade of T will be reported to the Office of the Registrar. The T grade represents performance equivalent to a C or better in the course. T grades are not used in computing students' grade point averages; however, the credit does become part of their official academic record and may be applied toward their graduation requirements.
Most examinations for credit are prepared by the departments offering the courses. In some cases, the examination used is part of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), where the content of the CLEP test has been judged to be an equivalent to the content of the course.
College Level Examination Program
CLEP is available on computer only and Iowa State University only accepts the CLEP tests listed in this section, and does not accept College Mathematics, College Algebra, Precalculus, College Composition, College Composition Modular, American Literature, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, or English Literature. Up to six semester credit hours in each of these three CLEP general tests is awarded: Social Sciences and History, Humanities, and Natural Sciences. In addition, the College of Engineering does not allow credit earned from CLEP Social Sciences and History, Humanities, and Natural Sciences tests to be used in their students' degree programs.
CLEP tests accepted at Iowa State University include American Government (Pol S 215); Financial Accounting (Acct 284; engineering majors should consult with their academic adviser before registering for this examination); Biology (Biol 101, not for biology or engineering majors); Calculus (Math 165); Introductory Psychology (Psych 101); Introductory Sociology (Soc 134); Principles of Macroeconomics (Econ 102); and Principles of Microeconomics (Econ 101).
In addition, Iowa State University will award up to 9 semester credit hours for CLEP French Language, up to 9 semester credit hours for CLEP German Language, and up to 9 semester credit hours for CLEP Spanish Language. Please note that native or near native speakers of French, German, or Spanish may not test out of the beginning or intermediate levels in these languages.
Information about testing centers and registration can be found at https://clep.collegeboard.org/search/test-centers. For information on whether to take any of the CLEP tests, contact your academic adviser. Additional information on the CLEP exam is available at https://clep.collegeboard.org/.
Policies and Procedures Governing CBE Tests
1. Departmental and CLEP tests are offered to newly admitted or currently enrolled students at Iowa State University. Former and future students will receive credit only if they enroll sometime during the twelve months immediately following the test(s).
2. Permission to take a departmental examination is obtained from the department. Students may be denied permission because (a) the nature of the course is such that proficiency cannot be measured by such a test, (b) the student does not appear to have adequate background to pass the examination for the course, or (c) the student would not otherwise be allowed to enroll in the course. Students may appeal such a denial to the dean of the college in which the department is administered and subsequently to the provost.
3. Students may ordinarily attempt a CBE test only once in any course or area. Under special circumstances a retest may be taken upon approval of the department in which the course is offered.
4. Credit by examination will not be granted if it duplicates courses previously passed or failed.
5. Departmental examinations and CLEP subject tests cover only a single course and students may not test out of independent study or special topic courses.
6. There is a nonrefundable fee for all departmental tests. The fee is set by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, and is subject to change.
7. Departmental examinations are usually given just prior to, or within two weeks of, the beginning of fall and spring semesters. For more information, students should contact the department that offers the class. CLEP tests are given throughout the year.
8. Credit for the CLEP examinations Social Sciences and History, Humanities, and Natural Sciences is not evaluated as equivalent to any specific course and cannot be used in place of specific course requirements for the major. All colleges (except Engineering, which does not accept these tests) allow these CLEP credits to be used for either general requirements (not in Liberal Arts and Sciences) or elective credit. Students are responsible for checking with their academic advisers to determine whether such credit is to their benefit.
9. Listed below are policies for transferring CBE from another college or university to Iowa State University:
a. AP or CLEP credit which is earned at an Iowa public college or university may be transferred directly to Iowa State University provided it is accompanied by at least 12 semester credits earned in residence at the sending institution. AP or CLEP credit which is earned at any other college or university may not be transferred directly to Iowa State. However, the scores from these examinations may be sent to Iowa State University from the testing agency, and credit will be awarded based on Iowa State's AP and CLEP policies.
b. IB credit earned at another college or university may not be transferred directly to Iowa State University. However, the scores from IB examinations may be sent to Iowa State from the testing agency, and credit will be awarded based on Iowa State's IB policies.
c. Credit earned at another college or university through local test-out examinations may be transferred directly to Iowa State University provided it is accompanied by at least 12 semester credits earned in residence at the sending institution.
10. Credit earned from CBE will be posted to the student's academic record at the end of the term. CBE credits will be counted toward the projected year in school classification used to establish registration start dates.
11. Some professional programs do not accept T (test-out) credit in preprofessional courses. Students who anticipate applying to such programs should inquire about the acceptability of such credit before registering for such CBE tests.
12. Credit established at Iowa State University will usually transfer to other colleges and universities; however, the final decision rests with the institution reviewing the transcript.