Graduate Admission Details


Admission is open to college graduates of institutions in the U.S. that are accredited by a recognized regional association, or of a recognized institution in another country whose requirements for the bachelor’s degree are essentially equivalent to those of Iowa State. (Students enrolled in a 3-year bachelor's program in certain locations must complete a fourth year of study to be eligible for admission; please contact Admissions if you have questions about this.)  Applicants must rank in the upper half of their classes and must have taken linear algebra and at least 3 semesters of calculus (including a full year of differential and integral calculus); for PhD applicants, at least one semester of real analysis is also required. We also require a brief statement of purpose (~500 words) and at least three letters of recommendation. Uploading a CV to your application is not required, but it is appreciated.

Application forms and information are available here.  Your transcripts and other relevant documents should be uploaded per the instructions on the application website.  

Please do not send any application materials directly to the department.

Proficiency in English is an admission requirement, but it does not guarantee admission. All international students must score at least 570 (paper-based TOEFL) or 88 (internet-based TOEFL) or  6.5 (IELTS) on a diagnostic English examination. Additional English testing and coursework may be required for students who are admitted. Students who have graduated, or will graduate before beginning your studies at ISU, from a 4-year college or university in the USA or other countries where English is the only official language, do not need to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score.

Students from other countries must normally be supported by their own universities or governments, or by personal funds. However, some financial assistance is available for outstanding international students. International students must have health insurance while enrolled at Iowa State.

Recommended submission date for applying for Fall semester: January 15

Admission to the program in terms other than the fall is very uncommon because of the way courses are scheduled, and can only be approved on an individual basis.

All applicants are automatically considered for a teaching or research assistantship, but funds are limited. We begin reviewing applications and making admission decisions in late January. In order to secure a better chance of receiving an assistantship, we encourage you to submit your application by mid-December or early January. We continue reviewing applications received after this time period, but funding may no longer be available.