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Future Undergraduate

Choose ISU

Why should you choose ISU? We’ve counted the reasons for you in our points of pride listed below:

1. Nationally Ranked Programs

Iowa State University’s undergraduate programs and faculty are nationally recognized as among the best.

  • DesignIntelligence rankings:
    • Architecture 5th Most Hired From architecture program in the country and #23 Most Admired
    • Landscape Architecture 2nd Most Hired From architecture program in the US and #11 Most Admired
    • Interior Design 2nd Most Hired From interior design program in the US and #18 Most Admired
  • Industrial Design ranked #8 in US for value and excellence by College Values Online
  • Graphic Design ranked #19 among public graphic design programs and top 6% of all graphic design programs in the US
  • Community and Regional Planning ranked #8 by Planetizen

2. Career Placement

We are proud to boast an impressive 97% job and/or graduate school placement rate within six months of graduation with several of our majors ranked in the top 5 most hired from programs for their fields in the US! A degree from one of the College of Design’s art or design programs can lead to an almost limitless array of career opportunities.

Our on-site career staff are available to help you with career exploration at any point in your education, from freshman to senior, and even after you graduate. We provide:

  • Career development opportunities
  • Annual College of Design Career Days
  • Resume preparation
  • Cover letter and portfolio reviews
  • Internship and job-search strategies.

3. Diverse Community

Diversity is a critical component of all creative processes, and in a college where creativity is essential, diversity is not just about being politically correct—it goes to the very core of our mission. Iowa State’s College of Design acts to assemble a truly diverse environment for the benefit of all the members of our community.

The college’s spring 2019 student enrollment includes:

  • 183 international students
  • 1,006 Iowa residents
  • 495 non-Iowa U.S. residents

Within this community:

  • 14% identify as African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Latino/a and/or multiracial
  • 15% are international students

Our faculty, too, represent a broad range of backgrounds and hail from a number of countries, including Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Lebanon, Mexico and Turkey as well as the U.S.

Diversity for us is not only about background. We represent a diverse array of disciplines, perspectives and interests, and embrace the opportunities this provides for innovation and collaboration.

4. Interdisciplinary studios

Where else can you find nine undergraduate disciplines under one roof? Take advantage of these unique housing of a breadth of design programs through our interdisciplinary studio options where students from multiple majors work together on complex problems- just like in the professional design world!

Design is a collaborative act that involves a wealth of knowledge and individuals. The design studio is a place where creativity, risk taking and spontaneity guide exploration and serve as a foundation for learning. Students are exposed to collaborative projects, real clients, community interaction, economic issues, and the realities of designing within constraints.

Studio work is assessed through a sequence of critiques. These occur through frequent discussions with the instructor and classmates, and during interim and final reviews.

5. Small Classes

College of Design studio classes range in size from 15 to 20 students; our average class size is 16 students. This allows for:

  • Close contact with your instructors and fellow students
  • Personal attention and creative input
  • A sense of community

Studios meet for long, concentrated periods of time, combining lecture and discussion with hands-on participation. This allows you to develop your own designs within class assignments.

Iowa State University’s College of Design is one of the most comprehensive institutions for design in the US, offering a distinctive and broad range of design disciplines under one “roof.” The exceptional breadth and depth of expertise resident in the college provides unparalleled opportunities for students to engage in all scales of design inquiry and making, from micro-level jewelry pieces to macro-level multi-state regional transportation plans.

Alumnus Tim Westrom (BFA 2017 Integrated Studio Arts) wears a respirator while he works on a mural for recreation services in a Beyer Hall fitness room. Photo by Christopher Gannon.
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