International Freshman Admission Requirements

Academic Requirements

Minimum performance requirements have been determined for students educated in most countries.

If your country is not listed, please send us an email with the name of your country, whether you are applying as a freshman or transfer, and we will send you the admission requirements separately.

Evaluation of International Transfer Credit

Transfer Credit Evaluation Procedures from colleges and universities outside the U.S.A

English Proficiency Requirement

For the purpose of applying for admission to Iowa State University, English may be considered your primary language only if you have been raised in an environment where English is the ONLY official language of your locality and nation, and English has been the primary language used in your home.

Applicants whose primary language is not English must meet the English proficiency requirement by any one of the options listed below.

Option Minimum Score or Grade Required
TOEFL Internet-Based TOEFL (IBT) score of 71 with a minimum score of 17 in both the Writing and Speaking sections
Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT) score of 530
IELTS Overall band score of 6.0 with no sub score below 5.5
PTE Score of 48
SAT If test was taken prior to March 2016, Critical Reading (CR) score of 420
If test was taken in March 2016 or later, Evidence-Based Writing and Reading (EWR) score of 460
ACT English sub score of 19

Scores from any of the exams above must be sent to Iowa State University directly from the testing agency. Scanned copies, photocopies, and web results are not accepted. Below is the Iowa State University reporting code used by each testing agency:

Testing Agency Iowa State University Code
TOEFL 6306
SAT 6306
ACT 1320
IELTS IELTS does not utilize institutional codes
PTE PTE does not utilize institutional codes

For international students transferring from a U.S. College: The English Proficiency Requirement can be waived if a student completed a course equivalent to Iowa State University's English 150 or English 250 with a grade of B or better from an accredited US two-year or four-year college or university (note: grade must be earned prior to enrollment at Iowa State).

Conditional Admission

If you apply for conditional admission, you will be asked on the application form if you wish to apply for Iowa State's Intensive English and Orientation Program (IEOP). If you would like to enroll in IEOP, please answer "Yes" to that question. IEOP is a full-time English language training program that offers classes at the same time as our regular classes.

If you meet the other admission requirements, a conditional admission letter for the bachelor's program will be issued along with the I-20 for IEOP. Please note that you must pass one of the required English proficiency examinations before you can begin regular classes.

If you prefer to improve your English proficiency on your own, please select "I do not meet this requirement yet or choose not to apply for IEOP." Your application will be held until you can submit your official examination results.

Secondary School Preparation

If you are applying directly from high school or transferring with fewer than 24 semester credits, you should have completed the following high school courses:

  • 4 years of English or your first language
  • 3 years of mathematics (one year each of algebra, geometry, and advanced algebra)
  • 3 years of science (including one year each of two of the following: biology, chemistry, or physics)
  • 2 years of social studies

Additional entrance requirements for the Colleges of Engineering and Liberal Arts and Sciences

In addition to the high school course requirements listed above, students applying for admission to the College of Engineering must complete two years of a single foreign language. (English is counted as a foreign language for nonnative English speakers.) Engineering applicants are also strongly encouraged to have taken trigonometry. Students applying for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must complete a third year of social studies and two years of a single foreign language.

Entrance Examinations (SAT and ACT)

Undergraduate students with good English skills may wish to take a standardized aptitude test, such as the ACT or SAT. Scores should be reported directly to Iowa State University by the testing agency. Iowa State's codes are 6306 for the SAT and 1320 for the ACT. There is no minimum composite score requirement.

Although the tests are not required of students who have been educated outside the U.S., strong results on either test could favorably affect the admission decision. Some U.S. Consulates require the results of a standardized examination as part of the visa application process to show the applicant's seriousness of purpose.