Iowa State University - Overview & Background

A public research University, Iowa State University was founded in 1858. The first electronic digital computer was born at this University and it has consistently been counted amongst the top 50 Universities in Engineering, Science and Agricultural programs.

The University offers more than 100 major programs to its students. The College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Engineering offer some highly ranked programs.

Some of the most popular majors at this University include

  • Engineering
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Education and Business, Management, Marketing

Related Support Services.

Former Name

Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm (1858–1898),Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts(1898–1959)


March 22, 1858


The legislature of the State of Iowa

Also Known As


University Motto

Science with Practice

University Type

Public Research University

University City

Ames, Iowa

Student to Faculty Ratio


Campus Size

1,813 acres


$1.44 billion (2021)

Acceptance Rate


Graduation Rate


Employment Rate


Total Enrollment


Official Website Link

Iowa State University, United States

Contact Detail

+1 515-294-4111


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Iowa State University Virtual Tour


The campus of Iowa State University is spread across 1,813 acres and is quite magnificent. The old buildings have been revamped and they boast of the latest facilities. The campus is dotted with various works of art – more than 2000 to be precise – and has an enchanting Reiman Gardens too. a research center for the U.S. Department of Energy - The Ames Laboratory is another milestone in the campus.

Residing Options

Though the University offers on-campus accommodation, many students prefer to live off-campus. Students end up paying between $150 and $300 per month for off-campus accommodation and the rent largely depends on the distance from the main campus, the kind of accommodation as well as the number of roommates it is shared with.

Most popular areas for off-campus accommodation are:

  • Polo Run
  • Sterling University Plains
  • Alpine

Faculty and pedagogy

Being a research University, Iowa State University has a lot of professors who are widely known in their respective fields. Most professors, though involved in their own research, are also ready to help out the students – though it might take some effort to get used to their accent.

Financial aid

The University does offer scholarships. However, getting one of these scholarships is quite difficult and the competition for these is very tough. Students can, however, apply for teaching and research-based assistantships in case they are in the lookout for financial help.

Jobs and placements

The top recruiters employing students from the university are :

  • Rockwell Collins Inc. ($56,431 - $108,986)
  • Principal Financial Group ($44,321 - $77,564)
  • Cargill ($50,009 - $82,665)
  • The Boeing Company ($61,864 - $96,668)

The most popular job profiles amongst the alumni of the university include:

  • Project Engineer
  • Project Manager
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Design Engineer

In the case of Bachelors of Science graduates, the salary range is $42,203 - $85,880. The salary pack for a MS graduate student of the ISU ranges $47,658 - $96,270. The average salary of ISU graduates is about $67K.

The ISU alumni who make the most are Electrical Engineers; they report a median pay of $74K. Software Engineers and Veterinarians draw in a fair amount as well — approximately $72K and $70K respectively.
Male graduates of ISU earn slightly more than the female students, earning an average of approximately $69K as opposed to $54K for women.

The graduates are highly satisfied with the salary packages that they acquire each year through the placements. The students rated their job satisfaction as 4 out of 5 on Payscale. 48% of the Alumni felt that their job makes the world a better place. 

Notable Alumni

Some famous alumni from Iowa State University include:

  • Oshoke Pamela Abalu, Co-founder of The Love and Magic Company and former Chief Architect at MetLife,
  • Jeremy Caniglia, Fine Arts B.F.A. 1993, illustrator of book covers for fantasy and horror genres.
  • Joey Kirkpatrick, Glass artist, sculptor, wire artist, and educator.
  • Chris Soules, Agriculture B.S., actor, contestant on season 10 of ABC's The Bachelorette and Season 19 of The Bachelor
  • Shawne Kleckner, Founder and owner of The Right Stuf International
  • Edward C. Droste, CEO and founder of Provident Management Corporation, co-founder of Hooters restaurants
  • Sehat Sutardja, Co-founder and CEO of Marvell Technology Group
  • Todd Snyder, Founder of Todd Snyder clothing company and co-founder of Tailgate Clothing Company
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Iowa State University is a good University for students with an above-average profile.

Iowa State University Location 

Iowa State University is located in Ames, Iowa. Ames is located roughly 30 miles north of the state capital Des Moines. Beneath the small town charm of Ames, Iowa, beats the heart of a much larger city; a city that has become a player in developing the world’s bio-economic future and which is also home to hundreds of acres of parks, numerous bike paths, and cultural festivals and celebrations.

The city has also been ranked the 2nd most livable small city in the US.

Some of the major attractions of the town include :

  • The Reiman Gardens
  • Main Street Cultural District
  • Furman Aquatic Center
  • Ada Hayden Heritage Park
  • Grand Avenue Center Grove Orchard. 

Nestled on a land more than 1,900 acres, Iowa State University is one of the most beautiful college campuses in the US. Iowa State’s central campus is one of the only three colleges to receive the American Society of Landscape Architects medallion award given to outstanding landscape sites.

The City of Ames and Iowa State University work together to ensure that the students’ needs are met. One facility which is provided to the students is CyRide, the Ames public transportation system. CyRide is recognized as one of the safest and most effective systems in the country and provides fare-free bus service to students on campus and throughout the Ames community.

Iowa State University Map Location

Address: Ames, IA 50011, United States


Frequently Asked Questions about Iowa State University

Is Iowa State University prestigious ?

Among the 146 Top Public-National Universities in the 2020 U.S., Iowa State tied for 55th place as the "Best Colleges" according to News and World Report. AAU-affiliated Iowa State University has almost 6,500 highly qualified faculty and staff members working there.

What GPA do you need to get into Iowa State ?

You need to have a GPA of 3.68 and be above average in your high school class to apply to Iowa State University. It can have both A and B grades, ideally with more A than B. Harder coursework, such as AP or IB courses, might be helpful.

What is Iowa State University famous for ?

The largest research university in the state, Iowa State University, offers more than a hundred majors, with a concentration in science and technology. It also boasts an engineering department and more than 100 majors in total. The aerospace program, the media and design schools, and other programs stand out as well.

Is Iowa State better than Iowa university ?

The UI and Iowa State respectively placed 89th and 119th overall out of more than 250 national public and private colleges, according to the most recent rankings. Iowa State was ranked 115th while UI was ranked 78th a year ago.

Is Iowa State an Ivy League school ?

Yes, Lowa State is an Ivy League school. In terms of Best Business Schools and Part-time MBA, Iowa State University (Ivy) is ranked 57 (tie) and 151 (tie), respectively.

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