Iowa State University

The history of Iowa State University dates back to 1858. State legislature passed an act that called for the formation of the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm. When it first opened its doors, most of the courses it offered focused primarily on agricultural and farming. The model farm even helped students gain experience in farming and let them use the skills they picked up in their classes in practical ways. This ensured that students would take those skills with them to better develop farming communities across the state. Newer programs eventually came around in the coming years, including domestic arts classes and a program in veterinary science. ISU is now home to eight colleges that offer dozens of majors and degree programs for students, including programs in veterinary science, business, engineering and life sciences.

As an incoming student, you can take pride in the national and international recognition that ISU received. Washington Monthly ranked the university as the 42nd best college in the nation, and it also made the national rankings put out by ARWU, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report. ISU also ranks as one of the top schools on a global scale, according to the lists released by ARWU, QS and Times. With more than 36,000 students, ISU is one of Iowa’s largest colleges.

Iowa State University Accreditation Details

Iowa State University has accreditation from 14 different organizations. The first of its accreditation, and the most important, comes from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Also known as the NCACS, this is an organization that grants regional accreditation to colleges in the north central region of the country. This type of accreditation gives you the right to fill out and submit the FAFSA to get federal aid for your college expenses and guarantees that you will have the best education possible. Iowa State also has program or specialized accreditation from groups like the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc. (ABET). ABET accreditation applies to all engineering programs the university offers, including those in computer, civil, software, material and mechanical engineering. Depending on the program that interests you, you may find that it has accreditation from a group like:

  • American Society of Landscape Architects
  • Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration

Iowa State University Application Requirements

Like many colleges, Iowa State University now requires that all students complete the online application process before enrolling. The university uses a specific algorithm that looks at several factors when determine which applicants will receive an acceptance letter. This algorithm takes into consideration where you rank within your class, the score you received on the ACT, your grade point average and the number of core classes you took in high school. Core classes are those that the state requires for those planning to attend college and are sometimes called preparatory classes. ISU requires that you take four years of English, three years of math and life science classes plus labs and at least two years of social studies classes. Taking a higher number of those required courses may help you get into college. ISU also accepts students who have a GED and those who attended a home school program.

After filling out the online application, the university will wait to receive all supplemental materials before making a decision. You will need to request that your high school send an official copy of your transcript to the university and that the testing board mail your score to the university as well. ISU offers conditional acceptance for students who do not meet the minimum requirements for admission. This program lets you take classes in the summer to get your grades up before enrolling as a full-time student in the fall.

Tuition and Financial Aid

It’s important that you look at the total cost of attendance before enrolling in Iowa State University. That figure will show you how much you must pay after you factor in the final aid you receive. The cost of tuition and fees for Iowa residents is around $7,900 a year and covers the full cost of classes and fees for both the fall and spring semester. Students from outside of Iowa will see that the cost of their tuition and fees comes to around $21,400 a year. Room and board add around $8,000 or more to that amount, and you’ll pay at least $1,000 a year for all the supplies you need in your classes.

Whether you live in Iowa, live in a neighboring state or move from across the country, you should still qualify for some type of financial aid. After receiving an acceptance letter, complete and file the FAFSA. Make sure you use the appropriate code to show that you will attend ISU. ISU will mail you a letter that shows you the total size of your aid package and explain any steps that you need to take to get that aid. Students in one of the university’s undergraduate programs may qualify for grants, scholarships, student loans or a spot in the university’s work-study program.

Counseling and Psychology Programs

The university offers multiple degree programs in psychology and counseling through its education and psychology departments on campus. Its Couple and Family Therapy program is a doctoral program open to students with both an undergraduate and graduate degree in counseling or a related field. Though doctoral students must take a minimum of 10 courses, ISU also expects students to spend a minimum of 1,000 hours working in the counseling field. You can transfer in some of the clinical work you did in a graduate program, but you must do at least 500 hours of work through ISU.

Psychology students have even more options. The university offers doctoral level programs in social, cognitive and counseling psychology. Its social psychology program includes multiple concentrations that students can choose from, including psychology and the law, advertising, cultural psychology and human behavior. You can transfer up to 36 credit hours from another college, but ISU requires that you complete at least 36 additional credits during your time at the university. Iowa State University also offers an undergraduate program in psychology for students just starting out.