Iowa State University Agricultural Programs in Top 4% Worldwide for 2020

May 13th, 2020

Earlier this year it was announced Iowa State University’s agricultural programs rank in the top 4 percent worldwide among other agriculture and forestry institutions, according to the 2020 QS World University Rankings.

Iowa State’s agricultural programs ranked 16 among 401 institutions worldwide in 2020. Last year, Iowa State ranked 18 among 302 universities. Iowa State has ranked in the top 10 worldwide in four of the past eight years, including No. 5 in 2014.

Nationally, Iowa State’s rank was No. 6 out of agricultural and forestry programs at 65 U.S. higher education institutions. A year ago, Iowa State ranked No. 7 out of 52 U.S. universities.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State has the third largest undergraduate student body among agricultural colleges in the nation. With 27 undergraduate majors offered, students study a diverse range of fields related to food, environment, biochemistry, animals, global resource systems and more.

The current placement rate for recent CALS graduates (students graduating 2018-2019) is 98.6 percent. Placement rates of CALS graduates have consistently been 97 percent or higher during the past 20 years, with 65 percent of graduates remaining in Iowa for their first jobs. CALS organizes the largest annual student job fair in the nation, giving students an opportunity to seek internships and jobs.

Last year, CALS and Agriculture Experiment Station-supported faculty and staff successfully brought in more than $54 million in external funding for research. Over the past five years, CALS has brought in $274.8 million in external funding, averaging nearly $55 million per year. Eighty percent of Iowa State University’s active license and option agreements are linked to CALS and Agriculture Experiment Station research.

With a presence in each of Iowa’s 99 counties, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach helped over 10,300 companies and organizations and nearly 16,000 farmers across the state last year. Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension’s network of campus-based state specialists and field specialists includes agricultural engineering, commercial horticulture, farm management, field agronomists, beef specialists, swine specialists and dairy specialists.

QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Rankings is part of a British-based organization that ranks based on academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations per paper, and H-index, which measures productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar.


Whitney Baxter, CALS Communications, 515-294-2314,