Third Straight Year of Record Enrollment in ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

September 12th, 2014

AMES, Iowa – For the third consecutive year, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University has set a new enrollment record.

The college’s fall-semester enrollment is 5,205, which is 222 students more than the previous year. The total includes 4,475 undergraduates, an increase of 184 students from a year ago, and 730 graduate students, which is up 38 from fall of 2013.

The college’s undergraduate enrollment has grown 25 percent since the fall of 2011 and 83 percent over the past 10 years.

Overall, Iowa State University’s fall enrollment is 34,732, a new record that includes 28,893 undergraduates and 4,950 graduate students. It’s the sixth year of record enrollment for Iowa State and the eighth consecutive year of growth.

In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the percentage of men and women undergraduates is nearly equal. Women make up 49 percent of undergraduate enrollment, an increase of 2 percent from a year ago and 9 percent higher than in 2004. The percentage of women undergraduates has been steadily rising for the past three decades.

The college’s enrollment reflects a continuing high demand for graduates in agricultural and life sciences careers. The college's placement rate for recent graduates has been 97 percent or higher for 17 consecutive years. More than 70 percent of graduates begin careers in Iowa. Last year, 76 percent of the college’s undergraduate students were Iowans.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will hold its annual career fair on Oct. 14, with another record or near record number of employers expected. Last year, more than 225 employers attended — the largest number ever. Nearly 780 job interviews were conducted with students the following day — another record. The fall event is the largest agricultural career fair in the nation. The college also holds a spring-semester career fair.

Entry-level salaries for agriculture and life sciences graduates have remained strong, with positive average salary increases in most sectors of the industry, according to a national composite summary from fall 2013 and spring 2014 undergraduates.

The number of students enrolled in online courses also continues to climb. Last year, the college’s online course registrations reached nearly 3,800 — up 16 percent from the previous year and 43 percent higher than two years ago.

Diverse majors. Students have 25 majors to choose from including traditional majors in agronomy, animal science, animal ecology, horticulture and forestry. The curriculum also reflects broader areas in agriculture, food, natural resources, science and business with majors in biology, culinary science, genetics, agriculture in society, global resource systems, microbiology, dietetics, environmental science and an agricultural communications option in agricultural education.

World-ranked college. Earlier this year, Iowa State’s agricultural programs were ranked fifth in the world among universities in a British organization’s annual university rankings, which measure academic reputation, employer reputation and citations per scientific journal papers.

Scholarships. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and its departments offer over $2 million in scholarships each year.

Award-winning instructors. Since 2006, eight faculty members in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have received honors in the USDA Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Teaching Awards Program.

Global perspectives. This year, the college will offer study-abroad programs on all seven continents. Last year, more than 400 students participated in study-abroad programs and internships.

Student leaders. Award-winning clubs and teams help students become outstanding leaders. This year, the Agricultural Business Club was named the nation’s outstanding student chapter for the eighth time in nine years. The National Agri-Marketing Association student chapter placed second in the national marketing team competition. The Food Product Development Team placed second in the national Nutritious Foods for Kids Competition. In both 2012 and 2013, the only students in the nation to be chosen to work at the Super Bowl were horticultural students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.


David Acker, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, (515) 294-6614,

Brian Meyer, Communications Service, (515) 294-5616,