Points of Pride

Among World’s Best
Iowa State ranks among the best in the world for agricultural programs. It ranks in the top 4 percent of 401 worldwide programs of agriculture and forestry programs by QS World University Rankings.

2018 CALS Fact Sheets (PDFs)

About the College
Student Experience
Agriculture Experiment Station
Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension and Outreach
Budget Overview

Enrollment Records
Five consecutive years of record enrollment took place from fall 2012 to fall 2016. CALS leads the campus in retention and graduation rates.

Third in Nation for Undergrads
CALS has the third largest undergraduate student body among agricultural colleges in the nation.

More Multicultural Students
Multicultural undergraduate student enrollment has increased 54 percent over the past five years.

From 57 Countries
International students for the spring 2018 semester come from 57 countries; 104 undergraduate students and 159 graduate students. 

98% Placement Rate
More than 98 percent of CALS graduates in last year's survey reported they were working, continuing their education or serving in the military within six months of receiving their diplomas. Placement has been 97 percent or higher for 20 consecutive years. Nearly 65 percent of graduates stay in Iowa for their first jobs.

Nation’s Largest Career Fair
CALS Career Services holds a career day in the fall and spring for students seeking internships or full-time positions. The fall CALS Career Day is the largest annual student job fair of its kind in the nation. 

Millions in Scholarships
$4 million in scholarships are offered to students annually through CALS and its departments.

Nation’s Best ABE Department
Iowa State has the nation’s #1 agricultural and biosystems engineering program for graduate students, according to US News & World Report.

National Teaching Awards
Nine faculty members have received national honors from the USDA Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Teaching Awards. The college has 39 named faculty positions. 

Top Ag Entrepreneurs
CALS students won the American Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, two business ventures developed by CALS students were national semifinalists.

Thinking Outside the Box
CALS' Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative empowers undergraduates, faculty and staff with the entrepreneurial tools needed to start their own businesses. More than 300 students participate in events each year.

Have Passport, Will Travel
CALS is a national leader in student participation in study-abroad programs, which take place on all seven continents.

Nation’s Only Student-Managed Farm
The 75th anniversary of the Ag 450 Farm, the only student-managed farm at a land-grant university in the U.S., was marked in 2018. 

External Funding Success
Over the last five years, Experiment Station scientists successfully brought in more than $271 million in external funding to address critical needs and expand scientific frontiers.

45,000 Alumni Making a Difference
CALS has more than 45,000 alumni living around the world. In 2011-2012, alumni and friends gave more than $28 million to support students, faculty and programs.

Summertime Research
For more than 25 years, the George Washington Carver Summer Research Internship Program has promoted “science with practice” by exposing high school and undergraduate students, including many multicultural students, to research opportunities.

Statewide Initiatives Touch All Iowans
CALS-led statewide initiatives were announced in 2017:  the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan and the Iowa Monarch Conservation Strategy. Both are public-private partnerships involving farmers, businesses and communities to apply science to important issues impacting Iowa. CALS scientists also are partnering with the College of Veterinary Medicine to develop the Antimicrobial Resistance Consortium. CALS leads statewide research that is informing new practices and advances in water quality and nutrient management, through the Iowa Nutrient Research Center in support of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Research Around the State
More than 130 Iowa State faculty members use the CALS' research farms around the state for teaching, research and extension. A similar number of staff members are involved as project leaders and workers. About 660 research projects are underway at the 13 farms. 

Visiting the Farms
About 15,000 people visit the research and demonstration farms every year.

Tops in Research Licensing
Eighty percent of Iowa State University’s 377 active license and option agreements are linked to CALS and Agriculture Experiment Station research.

Snapshot of Faculty Success
CALS ranks high in the following categories comparing it with 59 other agricultural colleges, from December 2017 data in Academic Analytics:

  • Number of faculty with a published article: #1
  • Total published faculty articles: #4
  • Number of faculty with a citation: #1
  • Total number of citations: #5
  • Number of faculty with federal grants: #1
  • Total number of federal grants: #2
  • Total federal grant dollars: #4
  • Number of faculty with honors or awards: #1
  • Total honors and awards: #1
  • Percentage of faculty with honors or awards: #7

Extraordinary Extension
Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension programming annually reaches more than 195,966 Iowans through educational events and field days, and more than 6.7 million visitors through its websites.