Admission to the Graduate College may
be granted to a graduate of an institution in the United States
that is accredited by a recognized regional association or to a
graduate of a recognized institution in another country whose requirements
for the bachelor’s degree are substantially equivalent to
those of Iowa State University. For information concerning graduate
study in a particular academic discipline, prospective students
should correspond with the chair of the major program in which they
wish to study.
The graduate application process at Iowa State is
“self-managed,” which means that the student manages
his/her own application by collecting the application, fee, academic
records, letters of recommendation, and other supporting materials,
and sends them in one package to the address listed in the Majors
and Programs section of the graduate application brochure. The addresses
are also listed on the Graduate College web site at www.grad-college.iastate.edu/academicprogram/programsummariesbya.html.
If an electronic application is submitted, two copies
of the application are printed and the supplementary materials are
collected and sent to the same address.
The application fee is $20 ($50 for international
applicants). An electronic application is available on ISU’s
graduate web site at www.grad-college.iastate.edu. This application
fee is $25 for U.S. students and $57 for international applicants
and msut be paid by credit card or electronic check (U.S. banks
only). The application fee is required of all applicants except
those who have attended Iowa State as undergraduates, or those applying
for admission in the nondegree admission status. In addition, an
applicant must request that each previous college or university
attended provide official transcripts of grades and credits earned,
and request that the institution from which the degree was granted
provide a statement of the degree received and the applicant’s
quartile class rank.
Many programs have very early application deadlines.
For more details, check program deadlines at www.grad-college.iastate.edu/academicprogram/programsummariesbya.html.
If a program has no deadline listed, the Graduate College recommends
that for priority consideration of financial support and other program
opportunities, applications should be submitted by March 1 for summer
and fall and October 1 for spring, prior to the term for which admission
Categories of Graduate Admission
An applicant pursuing an advanced degree must be recommended
by the program in which he/she will be pursuing an advanced degree
and must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate College.
There are three admission categories for students who wish to pursue
an advanced degree:
Full Admission status
may be granted to students who meet either of the following requirements:
1. Graduate in the upper one-half of the graduating
class with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited
U.S. institution; or
2. Graduate in the upper one-half of the graduating
class from a recognized foreign institution where the requirements
for the bachelor’s degree are similar to those at Iowa State.
Provisional admission status
may be granted to students who meet the requirements for full admission
(listed above), but have academic or prerequisite deficiencies to
remedy. Transfer from provisional admission to full admission status
requires the completion of the graduate English requirement, completion
of the coursework prescribed to remedy the background deficiencies
with a grade average of B or better, and the written recommendation
of the major professor and approval by the Dean of the Graduate
status may be granted to students who do not rank in the upper one-half
of their graduating class and/or lack adequate undergraduate preparation
in the proposed field of study. Restricted admission may be granted
to graduates of non-English-speaking foreign institutions, even
though the student ranks in the upper one-half of the graduating
class. Advancement from restricted to full admission status requires
completion of 9 semester credits of graduate level course work as
a graduate student with a cumulative grade average of B or better
and satisfaction of the Graduate College English requirement. A
recommendation is submitted in writing by the major professor and
must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate College.
Graduate Admission Without a
Admission without a declared major is a category for graduates
of regionally accredited institutions in the United States who do
not intend to seek an advanced degree from Iowa State University.
Such students usually include:
1. Those who intend to transfer graduate credit earned
at Iowa State University to other institutions.
2. Those who intend to use graduate credits earned
for professional certification.
3. Those who enroll for personal satisfaction.
4. Those who enroll occasionally in off-campus graduate
Students who wish to apply to Iowa State University
without a declared major need to contact the Office of Admissions,
100 Alumni Hall (1-800-262-3810) for the nondegree application form
for students in this category. The application form is also available
at the web site at www.iastate.edu/~adm_info/nondegreegrad.html.
Applications and schedules for such students with
an undeclared major are processed directly by the Office of Admissions
and the Graduate College office; no program approvals are required.
(Applications and schedules for students declaring a major require
program evaluation and approval.)
A student without a declared major who subsequently
seeks full, provisional, or restricted admission must apply to and
be accepted by a graduate program and by the Graduate College for
degree study. A new application, the application fee (unless the
student attended Iowa State University as an undergraduate), and
transcripts from all colleges attended are required.
For those students originally admitted to the Graduate
College on a nondegree basis, no more than 9 semester hours of graduate
credit earned under the nondegree option may be applied if the student
later chooses to undertake a graduate degree program. The student’s
program of study committee will recommend to the Graduate College
which courses (if any) taken on a nondegree basis may be included
in the degree program.
Graduate Admission of International
An applicant who is a graduate of a recognized foreign institution
is subject to the same criteria for admission as a graduate from
an institution in the United States and may be recommended for the
same admission categories described above except that of the nondegree
option. International applicants for nondegree status may be considered
for admission at the discretion of the Graduate College dean. Application
and admission deadlines for international students can be obtained
from the publication Information for International Graduate Applicants.
International students are required to show evidence
of financial support and to carry adequate health and accident insurance
while in residence.
Graduate Record Examination. The Graduate Record Examination
(GRE) is not a university-wide requirement for all applicants. However,
many programs require or recommend submission of GRE scores; individual
program statements appearing in the publication Graduate Admissions
Bulletin should be consulted for this information.
English Requirement for Native
The English requirement for native speakers is fulfilled
by taking a diagnostic English test in their first semester of enrollment
at ISU, and following the course of action recommended by their
graduate program. The requirement must be satisfied before a student
can change from restricted or provisional admission to full admission
status. Additionally, the requirement must be met before taking
a preliminary oral examination (Ph.D. students) or a final oral
English Requirements for Non-native
Applicants whose native language is not English and who
have not earned a bachelor’s or master’s in a country
where the only official language is English are required to submit
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores as part of
their application for admission. A minimum score of at least 197
on the computer-based TOEFL test is required for admission to the
Graduate College. International students may also submit IELTS (International
English Language Testing System) scores in lieu of the TOEFL. The
ISU Graduate College minimum is 6.0. Because some programs require
a higher scores, applicants should check directly with the program
to which they desire admission or see the bulletin Information for
International Graduate Applicants for this information.
Graduate students whose native language is not English
and who do not have an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University
must also take the English Placement Test at the beginning of their
first semester of enrollment. This test is administered by the Department
of English in lieu of the Graduate English Examination. Students
who do not pass this examination are assigned to one or more courses
in the English 101 series. This coursework must be completed during
the first year of study.
Graduate students whose native language is not English,
but who have an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University,
must take the Graduate English Examination for International Students,
also administered by the Department of English, at the beginning
of their first semester of graduate work. Students who do not pass
this examination must complete English 101D during their first year
New teaching assistants whose native language is not
English are evaluated for their ability to communicate effectively
in English before their assistantship assignments are made. Tests
of oral proficiency and teaching skills (SPEAK and TEACH) are given
before the beginning of each semester. A prospective teaching assistant
who does not pass is required to complete coursework in speaking
and teaching skills and must be retested.