Iowa State University

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Updated August 6, 2020

Iowa State University was founded as Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm in 1858. Story County was chosen as the location for the new school and trustees purchased 648 acres of land for $5,379. The first building on campus, known as the Farm House, was finished in 1861. In 1862, Iowa agreed to establish an agricultural college as part of the Morrill Act and Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm accepted the designation as the state's agricultural college becoming the state's first land-grant institution.

The first classes were held in 1869 and the first graduation held in 1872. The first veterinary school in the country began at the school in 1879. In 1898, the school became known as the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts. It became Iowa State University of Science and Technology in 1959 as the school had begun to focus on technology. This has led to many patents and inventions from the school, including the first binary computer, Maytag blue cheese and the round hay baler.

Today, more than 36,000 students attend Iowa State University and there are more than 248,000 alumni. The school has been named the fifth best college town in America by Best College Reviews and the eighth best places to live in America by Money Magazine. It is also located in what has been named the number one healthiest city in the country according to 24/7 Wall Street.

Accreditation Details

Iowa State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Accreditation indicates that programs at the college meet or exceed standards set forth by the agency. Specific programs at Iowa State University are also accredited by industry-focused organizations and agencies as well to further confirm that students receive outstanding education and that the college strives to improve in any areas they may be found deficient.

Application Requirements

Entering freshman who wish to attend Iowa State University must submit an online application and provide official transcripts as well as official ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students must have earned a "C" or better in all academic college-level courses. Students who have not completed more than 24 semester or 36 quarter hours must submit a high school transcript as well as ACT or SAT scores. Requirements for admission to graduate programs vary with each programs. Students are encouraged to speak to an admissions counselor before completing the application for admission.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition for full-time students is $8,219 per year for Iowa residents and $21,583 for non-residents. Full-time graduate tuition is $9,549 per year for Iowa residents and $22,096 for non-residents. Iowa State University is committed to helping all students who wish to attend achieve their goals regardless of their financial situation. Financial aid is available in the form of student loans, scholarships, grants and work-study programs. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for any financial aid.

Online Degree(s) Available

Human Computer Interaction Master of Science Degree Program Online

The Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction degree at Iowa State University is offered in a fully online format. The program focuses on the relationship between humans and computers, a growing field in technical investigation. It is an interdisciplinary degree and prepares students for careers in the private or public sector. Students develop an understanding of the necessity to train researchers to meet the challenges today's rapidly growing technology presents. Courses required for the program include:

  • Cognitive Psychology Technology and Social Change
  • Communication Technology and Social Change
  • Computational Implementation and Prototyping
  • Computational Perception
  • Computer Graphics and Geometric Modeling
  • Design and Ethics
  • HCI Design, Implementation & Implications
  • User Interface Implementation for Web Application

In order to apply for the program, students must hold a bachelor's degree or higher in a scientific, business or artistic discipline. Students must have a GPA that places them in the upper half of their graduating class and must possesses demonstrable computer skills. Students must provide official transcripts and test scores and have maintained a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate study. Students must be able to write software competently. Applicants must provide a current resume, a statement of professional goals and a statement of software development proficiency as well as one letter of recommendation.

Computer Engineering Master's Degree Online

The Master's in Computer Engineering at Iowa State University is offered in a completely online format. Students can complete the program in five years, taking one class each semester. Research areas in the program include:

  • Advanced Electronics and Materials
  • Communication, Controls and Signals
  • Computing and Network Systems
  • Energy Systems
  • Secure and Reliable Computing
  • Software Systems

In order to complete the program, 30 credit hours must be taken at Iowa State University and at least 24 of the 30 credit hours must be in electrical and computer engineering with 12 of those credits from a single area of focus and six from outside that area of focus.

In order to apply for the program, students must hold a bachelor's degree or higher and provide official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Students must also provide three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and the general application. Students with a GPA of 3.0 or who have been employed less than two years must provide GRE scores.

Information Assurance Master's Degree Online

The Information Assurance Master's Degree at Iowa State University is offered in a completely online format. The program prepares computer science experts, engineers and information systems specialists for information security. It is designed to prepare leaders in the information security industry. The program requires students to be creators of knowledge and inventors of processes rather than users of information. Students develop an understanding of the nation's infrastructure and how to protect data, information and the networks that contain that information from attacks. Courses include:

  • Advanced Computer Networking
  • Computer Security
  • Cryptography
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Computer Security
  • Forensics
  • Information Warfare
  • Steganography
  • Wireless Security

Students should contact a graduate admissions counselor before applying for the program.

Iowa State University offers a wide variety of degree programs to help students advance in a current career or move into a new career. Iowa State University also offers online programs that allow working professionals to achieve their higher education goals.

Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Online Master's in Information Technology

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