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Applying to a Degree Program

Application Process

Follow this process to complete your application into our enrollment-managed programs after completion of the Core Design Program. Students with a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher who have passed DSN S 110/115 are eligible to apply.

Please note: The Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Planning is an open-enrollment major. The BSCRP degree is not part of the enrollment-management process in the College of Design and does not require completion of the Core Design Program. Students in any Iowa State college may enroll directly in Community and Regional Planning as a primary or secondary major at any time. If you’re interested in CRP as a major, contact academic adviser Marina Reasoner,

Application Form

The applicationĀ process begins with completion of the online application form. You will need your Iowa State NetID and password to log into the secure website and access the form. You may choose to apply to more than one program and may do so all on the same form.

Academic Integrity

By completing the online application form, you are entering into an agreement with the College of Design regarding the integrity of your application materials. Submitting this form verifies that all work included in the application materials is your own.

Iowa State University and the College of Design have zero tolerance for plagiarism and cheating. Any form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Violators will be disqualified from the admission review and will be reported to the university. Please refer to the “Academic Dishonesty” section under “Academic Conduct” in the university catalog for a description of what constitutes academic dishonesty and possible university actions against violators.

Grade Point Average

Beginning with fall 2020 pre-majors, we can guarantee your first choice of major/degree program if you earn a B to B+ average (3.20 out of a possible 4.00 GPA) in your graded Design Studies (DSN S) Core courses. You must also pass DSN S 110/115.

Even if you don’t achieve a 3.20 GPA, you’re likely to be admitted to your top choice. Based on past years’ data, we’ve determined that students with a 3.20 GPA (B to B+ average) will account for no more than 60% of seats available in our degree programs. The remaining seats will be filled in descending order of DSN S Core GPA (remember that a minimum of 2.00 cumulative GPA is required for admission).

Select students whose Core work is strong but whose GPA is lower may also be admitted to their first choice. See information on the final exhibition below.

Final Exhibition

At the end of your Core year, you will be asked to choose your five best works to display in a final exhibition. You will also be asked to provide your prioritized major ranking (first choice, second choice, etc.). Every department will review the work in the exhibition, and will be able to make admission offers to their programs based on the quality of these five pieces alone. This will allow us to reward high-quality work that is not reflected in the DSN S Core GPA.

Notification of Admission

After your application materials are reviewed by faculty in each program to which you apply, you will be contacted with an admission decision. In this anonymous process, a match is made between the rankings resulting from the admission review and your preferential ranking of the programs to which you apply. Of the programs that accept you, you will be invited to enroll in the program that ranks highest on your list. If you are not accepted into any of your selected programs, you will also be notified at this time.

Admission decisions and notification are completed in mid-June. Notifications will be sent via email and paper mail. Following receipt of the notification letter, you have two weeks to accept or reject the offer.

Once you enroll in a program, you will enter that program in Fall 2021. You may not switch programs during Fall 2021 or Spring 2022. If you decide not to continue in a program, you should discuss options with your adviser.

If you decide you would like to move to another enrollment-managed program in the College of Design, you may re-submit your materials during the next enrollment-management cycle. In a very few cases, depending upon resources, program criteria and qualifications, special arrangements may be made in consultation with advisers and department faculty.

Key Dates

Dates for the 2021 application cycle will be posted here by the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester.

  • Submit application: TBA
  • Install work for final exhibition: TBA
  • Receive admission decision: TBA
  • Accept/reject offer by: TBA


Please contact your academic advisers or one of the Core instructors who teach DSN S 102, DSN S 131, DSN S 183 or DSN S 110/115. All the best!

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