Applicants must have achieved above-average academic performance in their previous education. We have outlined the minimum academic requirements by country. Please note that these are minimum requirements, not guarantees of admission. We may impose more rigorous requirements to meet the university’s enrollment needs.

Iowa State operates on rolling admission for international student applicants. However, we strongly recommend that you apply at least six to eight weeks in advance if at all possible in order to have plenty of time to complete the admission process, issue the form I-20 and make visa application and travel arrangements. 

Applications may be submitted up to one year in advance and supplemental documents may be added to the application as they become available after the submission of the online application.

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
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 score of 6.0 with a minimum band score of 5.5
DET 100 overall score on Duolingo English Test (DET)
PTE Score of 48
SAT 460 Evidence-Based Writing and Reading subscore (EWR)
ACT 19 English subscore
International Baccalaureate (IB) 5 on any of the four IB English courses (SL or HL)
Advanced Placement (AP) 3 on English Language and Composition, or 4 on English Literature and Composition
IGCSE (O Levels/AS & A Levels) D in First Language English, or C in English as a Second Language

Students may upload a scanned copy of results to apply to Iowa State University. If you are admitted we will then need official scores directly from the testing agency sent to Iowa State University.

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

The SAT and ACT examinations are not required of applicants educated abroad, nor of transfer applicants. However, such scores do assist us in our admissions decision as well as helping us place you into appropriate first semester courses. Our School Codes for reporting SAT results is 6306 and 1320 for ACT.

Investigations of examination results

Iowa State reserves the right to have test results investigated if we have reason to suspect they are not accurate reflections of an applicant’s abilities. This includes results that show a wide divergence in scores from one test to another, or from one subscore to another. Such investigations require at least 12 weeks, and admission review will be delayed until the investigation is complete.

In order to save you the time, effort, and expense of mailing supporting materials such as official academic records, examination results, and financial documentation, we allow you to upload those materials via our online application website. (Official and final academic records will have to be submitted if you are later admitted.)

Your application account

When setting up your online application account, you are asked to enter your name. Do not use a nickname. Please use the same format and spelling of your name that appears on your passport, as that name will be used to issue your I-20 visa eligibility form. If the name on your passport and the I-20 form are different, the U.S. Embassy will refuse your visa.

Application fee

The online application requires a credit card payment. The nonrefundable application fee is $65. We regret that we are unable to offer any fee waivers.

Your address

The US government requires international students requesting student visas to provide residential addresses, so do not use a P.O. box address. Also, we send overseas admission letters by express mail, and couriers will not deliver to P.O. boxes.

Previous college/university attendance

If you are currently attending or have attended a post-secondary institution, you must list it on the application, regardless of whether you want it to be used in our admission or transfer credit decisions. Omitting such information is considered fraud, and will result in denial of your application or dismissal from Iowa State.

Summary of required supplemental materials

Academic records, financial documents, official test results, and copy of passport.

Academic records

Freshman applicants should upload copies of their official high school academic records. Transfer applicants should upload copies of official academic records from all colleges or universities attended. Transfers who have been at a college/university for less than one year of full-time study should also upload their official high school records.

Do not upload:

  • Web-based advising reports or online transcripts
  • Transcripts labeled “unofficial” or “grade report”

English translations

If your academic records are not in English, please include a certified English translation.

Other materials

Iowa State uses only your academic records and test scores to determine your admissibility. We keep required materials to a minimum to increase our efficiency, so do not upload essays, letters of recommendation, merit certificates or other materials.


An estimate of annual educational and living expenses is available. This amount that will be listed on the I-20 form, so your sponsor(s) must certify that they are willing and able to provide that amount annually for the duration of your study.

Your financial sponsors should complete the Financial Statement by indicating the total amount money they will make available to you annually and how many years it will be provided. For example, if they will support you for 4 years, they should check the box beside the 4. (If you are transferring credits to Iowa State, it would be wise to plan for one year longer than you expect.) Your sponsor must also include a statement from their bank(s) showing that they have the first year’s funds in the bank. Both the Financial Statement Form and the bank documents should be uploaded together as “Financial Statement.”

Managing your scanned documents

If you do not have all the required documents available when you apply, you can go back to your account at a later time to upload additional documents. You will see a link to “Managing Your Documents.” Click on that to return to the upload screen.

Difficulty in uploading/scanning

We understand that not all applicants have the ability to prepare scanned legible documents for upload to the online application system. Your application will receive full consideration as long as all required materials are received by the deadline. (Your official English proficiency examination results may reach us no later than 30 days after the deadline.)

Our mailing address is:
Iowa State University
Office of Admissions
2433 Union Drive
100 Enrollment Services Center
Ames, IA 50011-2042 USA

We will review your application for admission on the basis of your uploaded documents. Depending on the time of year you submit your application, a decision may require several weeks. (Applications submitted right before the deadline require a much longer processing time due to the volume of applications received then.) If you are admitted, we will send you an admission offer letter and the I-20 Form. Your admission will be conditional upon our receipt of official hard copies of your final academic records by the deadline indicated in the letter of admission.

In the interest of efficiency, we ask that you keep your e-mail inquiries to a minimum. Please include your name (as written on your application) and your date of birth in all messages. Also, please send your email only to Do not send duplicate messages to multiple staff members.

Iowa State has contractual agreements with a limited number of educational agents in India, China, Brazil, Nigeria, and Mongolia. If you would like to verify that an agent you are working with has a contracted agreement with Iowa State please email for verification.

Note: Please instruct your agent to enter your unique and personal email address when completing your application. Our application cannot be completed using an email address that is also on another student’s applications, as our online system will not accept it. We send important information to you, as the incoming student, via email. If you do not provide your personal email address on the application, please ensure that your agent is forwarding all of our email correspondence to you.