Iowa State University

Iowa State University

2007-2009 Courses and Programs

Iowa State University Catalog

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See also Continuing Education Units (CEU)

Continuing and Distance Education

Iowa State University remains true to the land-grant tradition of extending knowledge far beyond campus borders. Faculty members provide cutting-edge information that helps people continue to learn and meet the demands of careers and society. Annually thousands of students enroll in Iowa State courses without setting foot in Ames. In addition to the traditional method of instructors traveling to classrooms off campus, Iowa State University faculty teach distance learning courses online, by video conferencing, streaming media, CD, and on the Iowa Communications Network (ICN).

Courses are the same as those offered on campus, carry residential credit, and are taught by Iowa State faculty. Credit earned becomes a part of the academic record at Iowa State University and may be used to meet degree requirements the same as credit earned on campus.

Continuing and distance education staff provides leadership in helping faculty identify the needs of Iowans and methods to reach adult learners. They also help students access services and information at the university.

For a list of courses and programs, or to request specific courses and programs, visit, or call (515) 294-6222 or (800) 262-0015. Information also is available at the Iowa State University Extension offices across the state.

Certificate and Degree Programs Offered through Continuing and Distance Education

College of Agriculture

Faculty members teach distance learning courses, combining the best traditional methods with the latest teaching and technological innovations. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-1438 or (800) 747-4478.

Master of Agriculture
via CD and online

The program helps learners address and respond to problems and challenges in agriculture and food systems. Students enroll in the program for career advancement, teacher certification renewal, professional development, and personal interests.

This is a broad-based agricultural degree which includes courses in animal sciences, plant sciences, agricultural economics, agricultural education, research design or statistics, and sociology. Up to 10 credits may be transferred into the program. The degree is 32 credits including a creative component project.

Master of Science in Agricultural Education
via CD and online

Designed for agriculture teachers in secondary and postsecondary settings, extension professionals, educators in public and private settings, and agricultural communicators, the master’s in ag education is 30 credits. The flexible curriculum can be tailored to suit student needs, interests, and aspirations. Students may choose a specialization in agricultural extension education.

The program may be completed with a creative component or a thesis. Up to eight credits may be transferred from another university. Delivery by distance learning began in 2006.

Master of Science in Agronomy
via CD and online

Designed for professionals working in industry and government, the degree emphasizes development of superior problem-solving and communication skills. It provides a diverse background in agronomy and related disciplines by integrating crop, soil, climate, and pest management information into a rigorous curriculum.

The curriculum is 36 credits of specified courses, a one-credit workshop, and a three-credit creative component. The first 31 credits emphasize technical and applied knowledge in climatology, crop production, soil and water management, and integrated pest management. The remaining credits focus on integration of knowledge and development of problem-solving and professional skills.

Master of Science in Seed Technology and Business
via CD and online

The new computer-based program is designed for professionals working in industry and government. The degree ensures an advanced knowledge of seed science, technology and basic business and problem-solving skills. It emphasizes decision making for application to practical and technical issues in all aspects of the seed business.

The program is 36 credits. The curriculum consists of 15 courses and a three or four-credit creative component. Students seeking admission to the program need a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, business or biology.

Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, Community Development specialization

Global economic restructuring and the devolution of government services have created significant challenges for communities, particularly those in rural areas. This specialization in community development provides the skills, information, and networks to facilitate sustainable and prosperous community change. The program is designed for those seeking a career in community development and practitioners who wish to augment their training.

In 2005 Iowa State joined five other universities to offer a master’s in community development. The 36-credit program has three tracks: natural resource management, working with native communities, and building economic capacity.

College of Engineering

Engineering Distance Education (EDE) and the College of Engineering have provided distance education since 1968. In 1969, Iowa State University received the National Extension Program Award for pioneering video based continuing education to working engineers. EDE offers video based educational content accessible to anyone with a computer and connection to the Internet. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-7470 or (800) 854-1675.

Master of Science in Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering
via streaming media

Study topics of emerging research and interest. Areas of emphases include communications and signal processing, computing and networking systems, electric power and energy systems, secure and reliable computing, software systems, and advanced materials and electronics. Each master’s program totals 30 graduate credits; a thesis or non-thesis option may be selected.

Graduate Certificate in Environmental Engineering
via streaming media

Environmental engineering is a rapidly growing field. Graduate courses in the certificate program help practicing professionals update and acquire new skills. The technology-based studies prepare engineers for the challenges posed by an expanding industrial base and help ensure sustainable agricultural practices and quality municipal services.

The curriculum explores the theory of environmental chemistry and biotechnology, methodologies of environmental engineering, and applies conceptual and technical knowledge to real-world applications. The certificate is 12 credits including four courses and a seminar program.

Graduate Certificate in Human Computer Interaction
via streaming media

Human computer interaction is the study of the relationship between humans and increasingly powerful, yet portable computers. The accelerating integration of technology into every aspect of society demands professionals who employ novel solutions are needed to integrate usefulness and usability while minimizing intrusiveness.

The curriculum in human computer interaction provides an understanding of emerging interface technologies; explores human cognition, behavioral methods, and usability techniques; and highlights the latest research. The interdisciplinary program draws courses from industrial, computer, and mechanical engineering; psychology; computer science; and management information systems. The certificate program is four graduate courses.

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering
via streaming media

The industrial engineering program combines business and engineering. Engineers learn advanced concepts, theories, and methods for the design and analysis of complex systems. The program focuses on fundamental issues that relate directly to the economic health of industry, namely productivity, cost, quality, and lead time. Areas of specialization available by distance learning are enterprise computing and information engineering, manufacturing systems engineering, and applied operations research. The degree is 30 credits.

Master of Science in Information Assurance Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance
via streaming media

Faculty members from six academic departments contribute to securing information in application areas ranging from software to networks to electronic democracy. Computer engineering is the home department for the distance learning graduate programs which meet the needs of information system security specialists in government, the private sector, and educational institutions. The master’s program is 30 credits. The certificate is four computer engineering courses.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
via streaming media

The graduate program offers study in manufacturing and materials, controls and robotics, combustion, fluid mechanics and dynamics, heat transfer, refrigeration, energy systems, and microelectromechanical systems. Instrumentation, design of experiments, and computational methods may be applied to any of these areas. The program is 30 credits. It has a thesis and non-thesis option.

Research at Iowa State covers a broad range from thermal systems to mechanical systems, plus virtual reality applications and micro/nano systems. The department’s faculty has attracted support for research at the cutting edge of technology from federal, state and industrial sources.

Graduate Certificate in Power Systems Engineering
via streaming media

Iowa State University has a long-standing international reputation for education and research in electric power engineering. The electrical and computer engineering department designed the 12-credit graduate certificate for power engineering specialists in government, private sector, and academia.

Upon completion of the program, power engineering specialists will be proficient in theory and modeling plus have the tools to perform engineering tasks related to planning and operating electric power generation, transmission, and distribution systems, plus knowledge of related public policy.

Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering
via streaming media

The systems engineering program develops the management capabilities needed in today’s work environment. Engineers, regardless of undergraduate discipline, develop the analytical abilities needed to design, evaluate, and build complex systems involving many components and demanding specifications. The degree is 30 credits, including 27 credits of courses distributed among four broad groups: systems engineering core courses, elective engineering courses, area of specialization courses, and elective non-engineering courses. The final three credits are a creative component. The certificate is 13 credits.

College of Human Sciences Master of Education or Science Principal licensure Preparation for Leadership (PreLEAD)
via a combination of methods at various sites around the state with some work online and via the Iowa Communications Network (ICN)

A master’s program of 36 credits leads to licensing as a school administrator. Courses are structured to build leadership skills in organizational processes, scope and framework of schools, and interpersonal dimensions. Students are paired with practicing administrators, experiencing leadership roles firsthand. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-9734.

Doctor of Philosophy Superintendent licensure (Certificate of Advanced Studies)
via a combination including online, the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) and video conferencing

A post master’s curriculum of 30 credits provides training for the school superintendent license. The program emphasizes leadership skills, child and adolescent development, curriculum and instruction, school law and ethics, resource management, community relationships, and data-driven decision making. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-9734.

Master of Education with specialization in curriculum and instructional technology
via blend of online and on campus

Designed to meet the needs of K-12 teachers and other educational practitioners, the three-year program is 32 credits offered in a learning community environment. The program is designed for those who want to earn a master’s and are seeking leadership positions for infusing technology into teaching and learning environments. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-5926.

Master of Family and Consumer Sciences

Delivered off-campus since 1994, the non-thesis master’s is designed for working professionals to enhance skills in a current position and increase chances for promotion. The comprehensive degree requires a minimum of 18-21 credits from two or more family and consumer sciences departments. With electives, the degree program totals 36 credits. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-0211 or (877) 891-5349.

Master of Family and Consumer
Sciences with specialization in family financial planning
Graduate Certificate in Family
Financial Planning

Financial planners are increasingly in demand as Americans seek help managing their income, assets, and debts. Iowa State joined other universities to create an inter-institutional program. After being admitted to one of the participating universities, students take online courses from all the universities.

Courses cover financial counseling, personal taxation, insurance, retirement planning, and employee benefits. The non-thesis program is 42-credits. The graduate certificate is 18 credits. Completing either the master’s or the certificate meets the educational requirements for the Certified Financial Planner™ examination. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-2731 or (877) 891-5349.

Master of Family and Consumer Sciences with specialization in gerontology
Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

Gerontology is the multidisciplinary study of the aging processes and individuals as they grow from middle age through later life. People enter gerontology from many areas such as social work, nursing, counseling, recreation, public policy, long-term care administration, medicine, architecture, psychology, adult education, and rehabilitation therapy.

The program is inter-institutional. Topics include adult development, family relations, economics and public policy, environmental considerations, and health and nutrition. The 36-credit master’s program includes 12 elective credits to tailor the program. The certificate is 21 credits. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-5186 or (877) 891-5349.

Leadership Academies

via blend of online and several intensive summer weeks on campus

Master of Science or Master of Education or Doctor of Philosophy in Family and Consumer Sciences Education

The leadership academy for a longstanding, prestigious graduate program was begun in 2002. Visiting professors from across North America teach. Either master’s degree is 30 credits. The doctorate is 72 credits. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-5307 or (877) 891-5349.

Doctor of Philosophy in Foodservice and Lodging Management

The Child Nutrition Program Leadership Academy is a new delivery format for the longstanding and prestigious graduate program in Foodservice and Lodging Management (formerly Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management). The Leadership Academy is designed to meet the needs of professionals employed in the school foodservice industry. The doctorate is 78 credits; up to 30 credits may be accepted from a master’s degree.

For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-8474.

College of Business

Master of Business Administration
in Des Moines

Students progress through the core curriculum in a cohort, allowing camaraderie with colleagues from a variety of businesses and industries.

The program is 48 credits. The first four semesters help build a strong foundation of core business knowledge; the final four semesters are tailored to academic and career goals.

Students may concentrate on a general management MBA or specialize in finance, information systems, or marketing. A double degree, MBA and Master of Science in Information Systems, is also offered. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-8118 or (877) 478-4622.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Liberal Studies at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), Ankeny

The Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) is a general studies degree in the liberal arts. It provides the flexibility to choose courses based on interests and goals. Course work is selected from three of the following five distribution areas: humanities, communications and arts, natural sciences and mathematical disciplines, social sciences, and professional fields.

The BLS degree is offered with similar requirements by all three Iowa public universities, and provides a framework to assemble the educational opportunities locally available. Up to three-fourths of the degree requirements may be transferred from accredited institutions. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-4831.

Master of Public Administration Graduate Certificate of Public Management
via videoconferencing and streaming media

Prepare for public service leadership in public administration, whether with government, nonprofit agencies, or private organizations working with governments. The public administration programs are designed to prepare or improve the performance level of mid-career public managers and administrators.

Iowa State’s Master of Public Administration is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The degree program is 37 credits. Select an area of concentration from eGovernment and management of information technology, public management, and policy analysis. The certificate is 15 graduate credits. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-3764.

Master of School Mathematics
via distance learning

The program is designed for secondary mathematics teachers. The degree is built on three objectives: enhanced knowledge of algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and discrete mathematics; effective strategies for creating a student-centered classroom emphasizing problem solving; and computing technology in learning and teaching mathematics.

The program is 33 credits and includes a creative component. The degree fulfills the ‘master’s degree in an area of endorsements’ requirement listed under the certification rules for a professional teacher’s certificate. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-0393.

Master of Science in Statistics
via distance learning

The statistics department offers courses and the degree to employees of companies who sign a letter of agreement with Iowa State. The degree is the same as on campus; the program requirements are the same including the written master’s exam, creative component, and a final oral exam.

In 1994, the statistics department signed an agreement with General Motors Corporation to deliver a master of science to GM employees. Since then, 3M, Mayo Clinic, Wells Fargo, John Deere, and Metro Health have signed agreements with Iowa State. For more information, send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-3440.