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Iowa State University- Admissions, Courses, Fees, and More
Basic Information:
Iowa State is an international university with a friendly welcoming personality. Students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries come to Ames, Iowa, to choose from 100 majors, study with world-class scholars and hone their leadership skills in 800-plus student organizations. Iowa State offers a great environment where students can enjoy reaching their potential and discovering their passions.

Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm (now Iowa State University) was officially established on March 22, 1858, by the legislature of the State of Iowa. Story County was selected as a site on June 21, 1859, and the original farm of 648 acres was purchased for a cost of $5,379. The Farm House, the first building on the Iowa State campus, was completed in 1861, and in 1862, the Iowa legislature voted to accept the provision of the Morrill Act, which was awarded to the agricultural college in 1864. Iowa Agricultural College (Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts as of 1898), as a land grant institution, focused on the ideals that higher education should be accessible to all and that the university should teach liberal and practical subjects. These ideals are integral to the land-grant university.

Undergraduate Programs:
The Biological Sciences department at Iowa State University offers many different biotechnology majors. Students can major in Biochemistry, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Biological Systems Engineering, Genetics, and others.

Outstanding faculty and facilities in the biological sciences provide opportunities that students won’t find anywhere else. The biochemistry faculty received federal funding for research in such areas as nutrition, x-ray crystallography of proteins, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and modern biotechnology procedures. The Lawrence H. Baker Center for Bioinformatics Biological Statistics computational, graphical, and algorithmic methods to interpret data from biological studies.

The Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology (BBMB) offers a combined program that allows students to obtain two separate degrees, both the Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science, in as few as 5 years. The combined degrees can be useful to students entering various career tracks. For those considering careers as research specialists, entry positions with higher-level responsiblities, and a higher-level salary, are made possible with the M.S. degree. For those considering careers as research directors, which require advanced study, the M.S. degree provides an advantage for admission into Ph.D. programs at the most competitive and prestigious graduate schools. Similarly, the M.S. degree can be a competitive advantage for admission in to medical, dental, law, veterinary medicine, or other professional schools. The M.S. thesis requires intensive experience in original, independent laboratory research, which is a significant benefit in any of these career tracks.

The best preparation for studying at Iowa State University continues to be a strong college preparatory program of study, which includes courses in English, mathematics, laboratory science, social studies, and foreign languages. Freshman students can elect to live in BEST housing (Biology Education Success Teams) to be near other students studying similar subjects. There is also a wide variety of student clubs for those studying biological sciences.

Undergraduate tuition: $6408/year in-state; $18,280/year out-of-state. Need-based financial aid is available to students by filling out the FAFSA. Iowa State also offers scholarships, grants, and loans for financial aid. Undergraduate students may also participate in faculty sponsored research.

Graduate Programs:
The Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology at Iowa State University offers a variety of graduate degrees. They offer a PhD in Biochemistry or Biophysics. The program requires about 5 years on average of graduate level study to complete. The majority of a student’s time is spent doing research on his or her dissertation project, although considerable time also is devoted to advanced coursework and professional seminars. The dissertation research project is undertaken in the laboratory of a faculty mentor, under her or his close supervision. The program also offers training in the teaching of biochemistry at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Almost all students receive financial support in the form of a research assistantship. A thesis-based master’s degree in science is also available.

The Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Graduate Program provides an interdisciplinary research environment where successful collaborations between life science researchers and computational scientists have developed over its 12 year history. PhD study in ISU's BCB Graduate program gives students a vibrant learning community supported by world class resources. Entering students enjoy full tuition and health insurance credits, as well as a yearly stipend which can range up to $25,000 depending on the fellowship received.

The College of Veterinary Sciences department of biomedical sciences offers graduate programs to students. Areas of research include: Fundamental neuroscience; Neurotoxicology; Immunology; Vaccine development; Infectious diseases; Cell biology; Nutrition; Development and mechanisms of learning and memory; Auditory processing; and Aquatic biology. Students can attain a non-thesis master’s degree, a thesis master’s degree, or a PhD.

Iowa State University established the first graduate program in biorenewable resources and technology in the United States. While other universities offer certificate programs or minor programs related to biobased products and bioenergy, ISU offers M.S. and Ph.D degrees in this new field, as well as a minor for students obtaining degrees in other majors and a certificate.

The Immunobiology program emphasizes interdisciplinary education with specialization appropriate to the student's interests. The master's degree requires 30 credit hours, and the doctoral degree requires 72 credit hours. The Graduate College requires that Ph.D. candidates pass preliminary examinations. A master's degree is not a prerequisite to a Ph.D. Research is an integral part of the curriculum in Immunobiology at Iowa State University. A student will select a major professor from the faculty participating in the program. The role of the major professor is to act as a mentor and will guide the student's professional development. Both M.S. and Ph.D. candidates must prepare and defend a thesis.

Graduate tuition: $7476/year in-state; $19,192/year out-of-state. Tuition and health insurance are covered by most PhD programs.


Applied 15,066
Admitted 12,135 81%
Enrolled total 4,552
Full Time: 4,528
Part Time 24

Test 25th % 75th %
SAT Reading 460 640
SAT Math 530 670
SAT Writing 0 0
ACT Composite 22 28
ACT English 21 28
ACT Math 22 28
ACT Writing 0 0

Retention / Graduation:
Retention rate 88%
4-year graduation rate 36%
6-year graduation rate 70%

Other Information:

8 Colleges, 2 Schools, and 57 Academic Departments
More than 100 undergraduate majors
Iowa State University recently has been designated as a Collaborating Center for the
World Health Organization in the area of food safety and research.
Enrollment: 31,040 (fall 2012)
Faculty & staff: 6,300
Alumni: 227,022

Undergraduate Programs and Majors:
Biochemistry (BS)
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BS)
Biological Pre-Medical Illustration (BS)
Biological Systems Engineering (BS)
Biology (BS)
Biophysics (BS)
Environmental Science (BS)
Food Science (BS)
Genetics (BS)
Microbiology (BS)

Graduate Programs:
Biochemistry (MS/PhD)
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (PhD)
Biomedical Sciences (MS/PhD)
Biophysics (MS/PhD)
Biorenewable Resources and Technology (MS/PhD)
Genetics (MS/PhD)
Immunobiology (MS/PhD)
Microbiology (MS/PhD)
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MS/PhD)

Dual Degree Programs:

Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology (BS/MS)

Application Deadlines:
Undergraduate: Students should apply fall of their senior year of high school.
Graduate: Varies by department, but generally January 15th

Applications are completed online.
Graduate: Applications are available through each independent department.

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