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About Iowa State University
Iowa State University of Science and Technology is a public flagship land-grant and space-grant research university located in Ames, Iowa, United States. Iowa State is classified as a Research University with very high research activity (RU/VH) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Iowa State is also a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which consists of 62 leading research universities in North America. Iowa State has also been designated an "Innovation and Economic Prosperity University," a designation awarded to only 54 public universities in the U.S.
Founded in 1858 and coeducational from its start, Iowa State became the nation’s first designated land-grant institution when the Iowa Legislature accepted the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Act on September 11, 1862, making Iowa the first state in the nation to do so.
Iowa State's academic offerings are administered today through eight colleges, including the graduate college, that offer over 100 bachelor's degree programs, 112 master's degree programs, and 83 at the Ph.D. level, plus a professional degree program in Veterinary Medicine.
Iowa State University's athletic teams, the Cyclones, compete in Division I of the NCAA and are a founding member of the Big 12 Conference. The Cyclones field 16 varsity teams and have won numerous NCAA national championships.
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Our college truly is one of the best schools of agriculture and life sciences in the world. Our students feel at home here and, with the help of excellent faculty mentors, become outstanding leaders on campus, in clubs and organizations. The preparation our students receive not only makes them leaders in their chosen fields, but also in society.
There are numerous opportunities the College is working on to provide science-based information, such as -
- biorenewable fuels and products, and what it means for the future of food, feed and fuel and fiber.
- genetic discoveries that offer insights into the potential of plants and animals.
- food and human nutrition research that improves health.
- preserving our natural resources for future generations.
Our research and extension programs provide the innovation and science-based foundation needed to make decisions for our future.
Our College has recorded 150 years of excellence in agricultural research, education and extension. As we look forward to building on that legacy for the next 150 years, we will continue to build on our traditional strengths and push the envelope of new, exciting opportunities.
College of Business
The College of Business at Iowa State University conducts and shares research to educate tomorrow’s business leaders so they are prepared to deal with multi-disciplinary, global, technological, ethical and diversity challenges.
Although business education has been taught at Iowa State University since the early 1920s, the College of Business was not established until 1984. Its fall 2016 enrollment is 4,772 — a 6.4% increase from fall 2015.
The college moved into the Gerdin Business Building in 2004. The 111,000-square foot building is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including high-tech laboratories that allow students and faculty to replicate real-world business situations, like securities trading and market research.
College of Design
Our mission is to:
Educate students to become successful designers, planners, artists and scholars who enhance human experience and improve the natural, social and built environment. Serve as a resource for Iowa and beyond through research, creative endeavors, extension and outreach.
Innovation, curiosity, collaboration, open exchange of ideas, diverse perspectives, environmental and social responsibility.
Our vision for the future:
Faculty, staff, students, alumni and partners will be leaders who imagine and respond to challenges and opportunities in a sustainable manner using innovative, interdisciplinary approaches and technologies.
This vision will be accomplished through progress on eight interrelated goals:
- Cultivate internal and external interdisciplinary partnerships to generate ideas and solutions—designs, plans, artworks, concepts—that address pressing challenges and opportunities and increase our understanding of the world.
- Promote the value of design in society.
- Continue to improve the quality of educational, research/creative extension and outreach programs.
- Promote a collegiate culture that nurtures the success and well-being of students, faculty and staff.
- Enhance opportunities for students to celebrate many peoples, cultures and places.
- Support and increase the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives represented in the college.
- Broaden access to the college’s knowledge, educational offerings and outreach programs.
- Develop the college’s resources—human, fiscal, physical—to maximize their impact by achieving a balance between enrollment, faculty, staff and program offerings.
College of Engineering
At Iowa State’s College of Engineering, we take pride in our commitment to education, research, and engagement. With a strong history that traces back to the university’s earliest days, we continue a rich tradition of leading technology development and innovation. We emphasize creativity as we work to solve real problems, collaborating with partners across the world and extending the impact of our work beyond the borders of our campus.
College of Human Sciences
In the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University, our students, alumni, faculty, and staff are practicing the science and technology of living and learning. For instance, we’re preparing:
- Future teachers to engage young minds in scientific exploration
- Fashion designers to use sustainable fabrics
- Personal trainers to conquer the obesity epidemic
- Food scientists to discover a breakthrough in nutrient deficiency
- Investment advisers to guide families toward financial security
- College professors to teach with diplomacy
Our majors and program options focus on helping others improve their quality of life. In one way or another, a human scientist has played a part in what you’re wearing or eating, where you’re living, how you’re learning, or how you’re moving.
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University is a world-class learning and research community. Iowa State’s most academically diverse college, LAS educates students to become global citizens, providing rigorous academic programs in the sciences, humanities and social sciences within a supportive personalized learning environment.
Our college has more than 8,500 students among 22 departments, the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, and more than 20 additional programs. Our faculty members teach more than 50 percent of all student credit hours at Iowa State leading to nearly 50 baccalaureate degrees, in addition to Ph.D. and master’s degrees.
College of Veterinary Medicine
As the nation’s first public veterinary school, Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine takes pride in its heritage while shaping the future of veterinary professional practice, education, research and service.
Fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the College of Veterinary Medicine is dedicated to the enhancement of health and well-being of animals and human beings. In order for us to carry out our mission, the college focuses on students within our Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program and our various graduate programs in each of our five academic departments – Biomedical Sciences, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Diagnostic & Production Animal Medicine, Veterinary Microbiology & Preventive Medicine, and Veterinary Pathology.
The college also offers combined advanced degree programs for concurrent DVM students including the Masters of Business Administration with Iowa State University’s College of Business and the Masters of Public Health with the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health.
On a daily basis we address the health of all animals including livestock, poultry, companion animals, equine, captive and free-ranging wildlife, exotic animals and birds. Researchers in the college have a global impact on not only animal health, but human health and food safety.
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
- Oldest journalism program in the state and one of the oldest in the country, with a chair established in 1905 and the program’s centennial held in 2005.
- Longest continuously accredited program in the state and nation (among the first group of programs accredited in 1948).
- Third largest program in the largest college at Iowa State, with more than 700 undergraduate and graduate students, or about 10% of total enrollment in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a benchmark no similar program in the region can match.
- Five Pulitzer Prizes won by alumni, more than any other journalism program in the state—including a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor—in addition to a Pulitzer Prize-winner on staff.
- Home of a multimillion dollar pledge and gift campaign providing state-of-the-art technology for students and year-round professional development for faculty.
- More than $1.1 million awarded annually to our students by the institution and School in financial support with almost 400 students receiving stipends that average between $1,000-$1,300 for the academic year.
- More than $150,000 in annual scholarships, awards and financial aid each year from the Greenlee School, thanks to endowed scholarships and competitive internship grants, including ones from the White House and the Scripps Howard Foundation, honoring leadership and work ethic.
- The most professional and rigorous internship program in the nation, requiring 400 hours for majors at media and advertising outlets in addition to year-round apprenticeships at Meredith Corporation at such magazines as Better Homes and Gardens (circulation 40 million).
- More student organizations than any other similar program in addition to award-winning independent student media, with The Iowa State Daily and Ethos magazine winning or placing in every category of the Associated Collegiate Press Association and with The Iowa State Daily being named the top student newspaper in the country in 2008 by the Society of Professional Journalists.
- An active alumni base—60% of which donate to the School—with benefactors sponsoring signature events such as the Chamberlin Lecture in the Fall and First Amendment Day in the Spring. The Greenlee Alumni and Friends group also fosters networking opportunities with graduates so that more than 95% find jobs within six months of graduation.
School of Education
The School of Education at Iowa State University is committed to engaging in rigorous and socially meaningful research, preparing leaders and practitioners across the P-20 continuum that support rich and equitable learning opportunities for all students, and supporting public education as a cornerstone of a healthy, vibrant, and just society. We strive to be a national leader in educational theory, policy, and practice, and to honor the land-grant tradition and the broader mission of the university to serve the people of Iowa.
History of Iowa State
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.
The first official class entered at Ames in 1869, and the first class (24 men and 2 women) graduated in 1872. Iowa State was and is a leader in agriculture, engineering, extension, home economics, and created the nation's first state veterinary medicine school in 1879.
In 1959, the college was officially renamed Iowa State University of Science and Technology. The focus on technology has led directly to many research patents and inventions including the first binary computer (the ABC), Maytag blue cheese, the round hay baler, and many more.
Beginning with a small number of students and Old Main, Iowa State University now has approximately 27,000 students and over 100 buildings with world class programs in agriculture, technology, science, and art.
Iowa State University is a very special place, full of history. But what truly makes it unique is a rare combination of campus beauty, the opportunity to be a part of the land-grant experiment, and to create a progressive and inventive spirit that we call the Cyclone experience. Appreciate what we have here, for it is indeed, one of a kind.
Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Year of first Accreditation - 1858
- Classified as one of Carnegie's "R1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity," Iowa State receives nearly $300 million in research grants each year.
- The university is one of 62 elected members of the Association of American Universities, an organization composed of the most highly ranked public and private research universities in the U.S. and Canada.
- In 2016-17 Iowa State university became part of only fifty-four institutions in the U.S. to have earned the "Innovation and Economic Prosperity University" designation by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
- Overall, ISU ranks 111th in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of national universities and 42nd in the Washington Monthlyrankings. In engineering specialties, at schools whose highest degree is a doctorate, Iowa State's biological/agricultural engineering program is ranked first, the mechanical and civil are ranked 9th and 16th nationally in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report. Almost all of the engineering specialities at ISU are ranked in the top 30 nationally...
- ISU's chemistry and physics programs are considered to be some of the best in the world and are ranked in the Top 100 globally and in Top 50 nationally.
- ISU's Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication is one of the top journalism schools in the country and is notable for being among the first group of accredited journalism and mass communication programs. Greenlee is also cited as one of the leading JMC research programs in the nation, ranked 23rd in a publication by the AEJMC.
- The National Science Foundation ranks ISU 78th in the nation in total research and development expenditures and 94th in research and development expenditures for science and engineering.
- Currently, ISU ranks second nationally in license and options executed on its intellectual property and #2 nationally in license and options that yield income.
Student life @Iowa State
Iowa State operates 19 on-campus residence halls. The residence halls are divided into geographical areas.
The Union Drive Association (UDA) consists of four residence halls located on the west side of campus, including Friley Hall, which has been declared one of the largest residence halls in the country.
The Richardson Court Association (RCA) consists of 12 residence halls on the east side of campus.
The Towers Residence Association (TRA) are located south of the main campus. Two of the four towers, Knapp and Storms Halls, were imploded in 2005; however, Wallace and Wilson Halls still stand.
Buchanan Hall is an upper-division hall housing graduate students that is nominally considered part of the RCA, despite its distance from the other buildings.
ISU operates four apartment complexes for upperclassmen, Frederiksen Court, SUV Apartments, Legacy Tower, and Maricopa, the latter two being leased by the university.
The governing body for ISU students is the Government of Student Body or GSB. The GSB is composed of a president, vice president, finance director, cabinet appointed by the president, a clerk appointed by the vice president, senators representing each college and residence area at the university, a nine-member judicial branch and an election commission.
ISU has over 800 student organizations on campus that represent a variety of interests. Organizations are supported by Iowa State's Student Activities Center. Many student organization offices are housed in the Memorial Union.
The Memorial Union at Iowa State University opened in September 1928 and is currently home to a number of University departments and student organizations, a bowling alley, the University Book Store, and the Hotel Memorial Union.
The original building was designed by architect, William T. Proudfoot. The building employs a classical style of architecture reflecting Greek and Roman influences. The building's design specifically complements the designs of the major buildings surrounding the University's Central Campus area, Beardshear Hall to the west, Curtiss Hall to the east, and MacKay Hall to the north. The style utilizes columns with Corinthian capitals, Paladian windows, triangular pediments, and formally balanced facades.
Designed to be a living memorial for ISU students lost in World War I, the building includes a solemn memorial hall, named the Gold Star Room, which honors the names of the dead World War I, World War II, Korean, Vietnam, and War on Terrorism veterans engraved in marble. Symbolically, the hall was built directly over a library (the Browsing Library) and a small chapel, the symbol being that no country would ever send its young men to die in a war for a noble cause without a solid foundation on both education (the library) and religion (the chapel).
Renovations and additions have continued through the years to include: elevators, bowling lanes, a parking ramp, a book store, food court, and additional wings.
ISU is home to an active Greek community. There are 50 chapters that involve 14.6 percent of undergraduate students. Collectively, fraternity and sorority members have raised over $82,000 for philanthropies and committed 31,416 hours to community service. In 2006, the ISU Greek community was named the best large Greek community in the Midwest.
The ISU Greek Community has received multiple Jellison and Sutherland Awards from Association for Fraternal Leadership and Values, formerly the Mid-American Greek Council Association. These awards recognize the top Greek Communities in the Midwest.
The first fraternity, Delta Tau Delta, was established at Iowa State in 1875, six years after the first graduating class entered Iowa State. The first sorority, I.C. Sorocis, was established only two years later, in 1877. I.C. Sorocis later became a chapter of the first national sorority at Iowa State, Pi Beta Phi. Anti-Greek rioting occurred in 1888. As reported in The Des Moines Register, "The anti-secret society men of the college met in a mob last night about 11 o'clock in front of the society rooms in chemical and physical hall, determined to break up a joint meeting of three secret societies." In 1891, President William Beardshear banned students from joining secret college fraternities, resulting in the eventually closing of all formerly established fraternities. President Storms lifted the ban in 1904.
Following the lifting of the fraternity ban, the first thirteen national fraternities (IFC) installed on the Iowa State campus between 1904 and 1913 were, in order, Sigma Nu, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Beta Theta Pi, Phi Gamma Delta, Alpha Tau Omega, Kappa Sigma, Theta Xi, Acacia, Phi Sigma Kappa, Delta Tau Delta, Pi Kappa Alpha, and Phi Delta Theta.Though some have suspended their chapters at various times, eleven of the original thirteen fraternities were active in 2008. Many of these chapters existed on campus as local fraternities before being reorganized as national fraternities, prior to 1904.
In the Spring of 2014, it was announced that Alpha Phi Sorority would be coming to Iowa state in the Fall of 2014, with Delta Gamma Sorority Following in the near future.
The Iowa State Daily is the university's student newspaper. The Daily has its roots from a news sheet titled the Clipper, which was started in the spring of 1890 by a group of students at Iowa Agricultural College led by F.E. Davidson. The Clipper soon led to the creation of the Iowa Agricultural College Student, and the beginnings of what would one day become the Iowa State Daily. It was awarded the 2016 Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper by the Society of Professional Journalists.
88.5 KURE is the university's student-run radio station. Programming for KURE includes ISU sports coverage, talk shows, the annual quiz contest Kaleidoquiz, and various music genres.
ISUtv is the university's student-run television station. It is housed in the former WOI-TV station that was established in 1950. The student organization of ISUtv has many programs including Newswatch, a twice weekly news spot, Cyclone InCyders, the campus sports show, Fortnightly News, a satirical/comedy program, and Cy's Eyes on the Skies, a twice weekly weather show.
The "Cyclones" name dates back to 1895. That year, Iowa suffered an unusually high number of devastating cyclones (as tornadoes were called at the time). In September, Iowa Agricultural College's football team traveled to Northwestern University and defeated that team by a score of 36-0. The next day, the Chicago Tribune's headline read "Struck by a Cyclone: It Comes from Iowa and Devastates Evanston Town." The article began, "Northwestern might as well have tried to play football with an Iowa cyclone as with the Iowa team it met yesterday." The nickname stuck.
The school colors are cardinal and gold. The mascot is Cy the Cardinal, introduced in 1954. Since a cyclone was determined to be difficult to depict in costume, the cardinal was chosen in reference to the school colors. A contest was held to select a name for the mascot, with the name Cy being chosen as the winner.
The Iowa State Cyclones are a member of the Big 12 Conference and compete in NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), fielding 16 varsity teams in 12 sports. The Cyclones also compete in and are a founding member of the Central States Collegiate Hockey League of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.
Iowa State's intrastate archrival is the University of Iowa with whom it competes annually for the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series trophy, an annual athletic competition between the two schools. Sponsored by the Iowa Corn Growers Association, the competition includes all head-to-head regular season competitions between the two rival universities in all sports.
Football first made its way onto the Iowa State campus in 1878 as a recreational sport, but it was not until 1892 that Iowa State organized its first team to represent the school in football. In 1894, college president William M. Beardshear spearheaded the foundation of an athletic association to officially sanction Iowa State football teams. The 1894 team finished with a 6-1 mark. The Cyclones compete each year for traveling trophies. Since 1977, Iowa State and Iowa compete annually for the Cy-Hawk Trophy. Iowa State competes in an annual rivalry game against Kansas State known as Farmageddon and against former conference foe Missouri for the Telephone Trophy.
The Cyclones play its home games at Jack Trice Stadium, named after Jack Trice, ISU's first African-American athlete and also the first and only Iowa State athlete to die from injuries sustained during athletic competition. Trice died three days after his first game playing for Iowa State against Minnesota in Minneapolis on October 6, 1923. Suffering from a broken collarbone early in the game, he continued to play until he was trampled by a group of Minnesota players. It is disputed whether he was trampled purposely or if it was by accident. The stadium was named in his honor in 1997 and is the only NCAA Division I-A stadium named after an African-American. Jack Trice Stadium, formerly known as Cyclone Stadium, opened on September 20, 1975, with a win against the Air Force Academy.
Hopes of "Hilton Magic" returning took a boost with the hiring of ISU alum, Ames native, and fan favorite Fred Hoiberg as coach of the men's basketball team in April 2010. Hoiberg ("The Mayor") played three seasons under legendary coach Johnny Orr and one season under future Chicago Bulls coach Tim Floyd during his standout collegiate career as a Cyclone (1991–95). Orr laid the foundation of success in men's basketball upon his arrival from Michigan in 1980 and is credited with building Hilton Magic. Besides Hoiberg, other Cyclone greats played for Orr and brought winning seasons, including Jeff Grayer, Barry Stevens, and walk-on Jeff Hornacek. The 1985-86 Cyclones were one of the most memorable. Orr coached the team to second place in the Big Eight and produced one of his greatest career wins, a victory over his former team and No. 2 seed Michigan in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Under coaches Floyd (1995–98) and Larry Eustachy (1998–2003), Iowa State achieved even greater success. Floyd took the Cyclones to the Sweet Sixteen in 1997 and Eustachy led ISU to two consecutive Big 12 regular season conference titles in 1999-2000 and 2000–01, plus the conference tournament title in 2000. Seeded No. 2 in the 2000 NCAA tournament, Eustachy and the Cyclones defeated UCLA in the Sweet Sixteen before falling to Michigan State, the eventual NCAA Champion, in the regional finals by a score of 75-64 (the differential representing the Spartans' narrowest margin of victory in the tournament). Standout Marcus Fizer and Jamaal Tinsley were scoring leaders for the Cyclones who finished the season 32-5. Tinsley returned to lead the Cyclones the following year with another conference title and No. 2 seed, but ISU finished the season with a 25-6 overall record after a stunning loss to No. 15 seed Hampton in the first round.
In 2011-12, Hoiberg's Cyclones finished third in the Big 12 and returned to the NCAA Tournament, dethroning defending national champion Connecticut, 77-64, in the second round before losing in the Round of 32 to top-seeded Kentucky. All-Big 12 First Team selection Royce White led the Cyclones with 38 points and 22 rebounds in the two contests, ending the season at 23-11.
The 2013-14 campaign turned out to be another highly successful season. Iowa State went 28-8, won the Big 12 Tournament, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen by beating North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Cyclones finished 11-7 in Big 12 play, finishing in a tie for third in the league standings, and beat a school-record nine teams (9-3) that were ranked in the Associated Press top 25. The Cyclones opened the season 14-0, breaking the school record for consecutive wins. Melvin Ejimwas named the Big 12 Player of the Year and an All-American by five organizations. Deandre Kane was named the Big 12 Tournament’s most valuable player.
Of Iowa State's 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, the Cyclones have reached the Sweet Sixteen six times (1944, 1986, 1997, 2000, 2014, 2016), made two appearances in the Elite Eight (1944, 2000), and reached the Final Four once in 1944.
Iowa State is known for having one of the most successful women's basketball programs in the nation. Since the founding of the Big 12, Coach Bill Fennelly and the Cyclones have won three conference titles (one regular season, two tournament), and have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen five times (1999–2001, 2009, 2010) and the Elite Eight twice (1999, 2009) in the NCAA Tournament. The team has one of the largest fan bases in the nation with attendance figures ranked third in the nation in 2009, 2010, and 2012.
Coach Christy Johnson-Lynch led the 2012 Cyclones team to a fifth straight 20-win season and fifth NCAA regional semifinal appearance in six seasons, and leading Iowa State to a 22-8 (13-3 Big 12) overall record and second-place finish in the conference. The Cyclones finished the season with seven wins over top-25 teams, including a victory over No. 1 Nebraska Cornhuskers in Iowa State’s first-ever win over a top-ranked opponent in addition to providing the only Big 12 Conference loss to the 2012 conference and NCAA champion Texas Longhorns.
In 2011, Iowa State finished the season 25-6 (13-3 Big 12), placing second in the league, as well as a final national ranking of eighth. 2011 is only the second season in which an Iowa State volleyball team has ever recorded 25 wins. The Cyclones beat No. 9 Florida during the season in Gainesville, its sixth win over a top-10 team in Cyclone history. In 2009, Iowa State finished the season second in the Big 12 behind Texas with a 27-5 record and ranked No. 6, its highest ever national finish.
Johnson-Lynch is the fastest Iowa State coach to clinch 100 victories. In 2011, she became the school’s winningest volleyball coach when her team defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders, her 136th coaching victory, in straight sets.
The ISU wrestling program has captured the NCAA wrestling tournament title eight times between 1928 and 1987, and won the Big 12 Conference Tournament three consecutive years, 2007-2009. On February 7, 2010, the Cyclones became the first collegiate wrestling program to record its 1,000th dual win in program history by defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils, 30-10, in Tempe, Arizona.
In 2002, under former NCAA champion & Olympian Coach Bobby Douglas, Iowa State became the first school to produce a four-time, undefeated NCAA Division I champion, Cael Sanderson (considered by the majority of the wrestling community to be the best college wrestler ever), who also took the gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Dan Gable, another legendary ISU wrestler, is famous for having lost only one match in his entire Iowa State collegiate career - his last, and winning gold at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, while not giving up a single point.
In 2013, Iowa State hosted its eighth NCAA Wrestling Championships. The Cyclones hosted the first NCAA championships in 1928.
The current head coach is former Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Champion Kevin Jackson, in his fifth season as Iowa State’s head wrestling coach.