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Iowa State University

Iowa, United States

Est. 1858

Ranked among top 100 universities in US

About Iowa State University

Iowa State University is a public research university located in Ames, Iowa. Founded in 1858, the university has consistently been ranked among the Top-50 in the United States for its engineering, science and agricultural programs. It also holds the distinction of being the birthplace of the first ever electronic digital computer. Pretty cool, eh?

It ranks #212 according to U.S. News' 'Best Global Universities Ranking' list.

Iowa State's School of Engineering


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Engineering graduate courses offered at Iowa State

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Ames isn’t exactly the bustling-with-life big city that you may have hoped was on your menu, and to be fair, there isn’t much around it to be too excited about either. Omaha, Lincoln, Minneapolis and Kansas City are all within driving distance, but are by no means nearby. All in all, it gets pretty boring here.


For a university that was born as early as 1858, ISU still looks magnificent. Of course, they have constantly revamped the buildings and added newer forms of architecture, and the latest technologies to their research centers, but somehow even the old buildings (which are still the cornerstones of the campus) have weathered a million storms and still come out strong. In a nutshell, the campus is brilliant.

Residing Options

Now, at ISU, you’ll probably be living off-campus if you’re a grad student, and fortunately for you, there are a million options. And it’s pretty easy to sort through options too – put simply, the closer you are to campus, the more you pay as rent. But whatever option you choose, you can rest assured that it’ll be cheaper than living in a dorm, and significantly more luxurious. Expect to spend anything between $150-300 per person per month, provided you get yourself a couple of roommates, of course. Most students settle for a place in Polo Run, Alpine, or Sterling University Plains, but just about anywhere on the bus route should do fine, to be fair.


If Iowa was a person, it wouldn’t be too proud of its climate. While it does have four nicely demarcated seasons, the entire problem lies in the fact that they’re, well, too demarcated. Summers are hot and humid while winters are terribly cold, with heavy snowfall. It rains across the year, and the rainfall (like just about everything else) is tremendously unpredictable. Spring and Fall highlight the natural beauty of ISU, and are really the only times of the year students look forward to.

Faculty and pedagogy

ISU is primarily a school of technology, and so has a host of professors who are pioneers in their respective fields. However, students often complain about the language/accent barrier coming in their way, and the teaching methods not always being up to the mark. But for every student who has ‘issues’, there are at least five others who are thoroughly pleased with the academics at ISU. What we can make out of this is that it’s probably pretty good.

Financial aid

Well you don’t get scholarships too easily. In fact, there’s a very tiny chance that you’ll get one. However, teaching and research based assistantships are available.

Jobs and placements

Well, ISU hosts a number of career and job fairs, so if you’re in touch with the career center, getting a good, well-paying job should really not be an issue. Some top, top firms like Accenture, Boeing, Cargill, etc hire in numbers from here.


  • Subra Suresh - President of CMU and Former Dean of Engineering at MIT
  • Jerry Junkins - Chairman and CEO of Texas Instruments
  • Vance D. Coffman - Retired Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin


Although Iowa State University may be categorized under 'ambitious' if you have an average profile, you'd had better make sure you're up to the weather before you land up here.

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