Special Populations


Active Duty Military Status

Students who are called to active duty before a semester begins should submit a copy of their orders to the Registrar's Office, 214 Enrollment Services, Ames, IA 50011 OR fax: 515-294-1088. Arrangements for loan deferments and other issues cannot be completed until a copy of the orders are on file in the Office of the Registrar

Students who are called to active duty after a semester begins should look into: 

  • getting grades or incompletes for your courses (if approved by your instructors), or
  • receiving administrative drops with a refund for some courses and grades / incompletes for other courses (if approved by your instructors), or
  • withdrawing from all current term courses with a full refund of tuition and fees.

ROTC Programs

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences administers the officer education programs for the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. This program offers various Military Officer Education Scholarships which broadly cover tuition, most required fees, books, and some cash allowance. For more information contact:

Student Athletes

Student athletes are allowed to register early to accommodate their practice schedules. Some student athletes require schedules that allow for practice times -- for example, a student may not be able to have classes after 2 p.m.

ATH 101 allows students to earn college credit for playing a varsity sport. It is offered on a satisfactory / fail basis only. Only 4 credits may be earned for athletic participation.

Students under 18 years of age

Students under 18 often need a parent or guardian's signature on forms.

Parents are allowed to obtain information on the student without their permission if the student is under the age of 18. However, such requests should still probably be referred to the Registrar’s Office.

Multicultural Students

Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) is designed to provide leadership for the university’s mission in the area of equal educational opportunity. MSA also works to recruit, retain, and graduate ethnic minority students. 

Each college has a multicultural liaison officer (MLO) to facilitate the success of multicultural students. MLOs work to provide appropriate counseling and promote individual student responsibility.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must submit transcripts from all institutions they've attended at the time they apply for admission. Admissions office staff then evaluate whether the courses are college-level and how they will come into Iowa State. In some cases, a course will have a direct ISU equivalent; in other cases, a course may be college-level but have no direct equivalent at ISU. In the latter case, the course will show up as a generic 100-, 200-, 300-, or 400-level course on the student’s degree audit.

In some cases the non-equivalent transfer courses may be substituted for CALS requirements.  For example, Math 1T** Pre-calculus might be subbed for Math 140. Talk to your departmental advising coordinator for guidance on appropriate substitutions.

Students who believe that one of their transfer courses should be equivalent to an ISU course may fill out a Request for Department Review of Transfer Course form to have those courses reevaluated.

No more than 65 semester or 97 quarter credits earned at regionally accredited two year institutions can be applied to a baccalaureate degree from ISU. Upper level (300+) courses taken at two year institutions in most cases do not count toward the number of 300+ credits required by a college.

There is no limit to the number of credits transferred from another four year institution. However, the last 32 semester credits must be taken in residence at Iowa State. In some cases, 6 of the last 32 may be transferred to Iowa State with prior permission from the CALS Student Services Office.  The student must complete a 32 credit waiver request form (www.cals.iastate.edu/files/32creditwaiver_1_1.pdf).

International Students

About ten percent of Iowa State students are from other countries. International students must satisfy immigration and financial aid requirements in addition to the usual university requirements. 

The International Education Services (IES) Office provides a special orientation, visas, and personal / cultural assistance for international students. IES also includes the Study Abroad Resource Center (SARC) for students who wish to study abroad but feel they cannot afford it. IES offers a handbook to assist international students, staff, and faculty with orienting to the US.

The International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) also provides information to international students about driver’s licenses, housing, language reference, etc.

ISSO contact information:  3248 Memorial Union, 515-294-1120, www.isso.iastate.edu, intlserv@iastate.edu

Non degree Undergraduate Studies (AgS)

Students are allowed to take classes at ISU without seeking a degree. Most have undergraduate degrees from other institutions and have returned to acquire additional training in their professions, to add endorsement to teaching certificates, or to change career directions entirely.

Undergraduate credits earned by non-degree-seeking students may be applied later to an undergraduate degree if a student chooses to apply as a regular degree-seeking undergraduate.  However, the Graduate College generally will not allow courses taken as a non-degree-seeking undergraduate to be used in a graduate program.

Honors Students

Each college has its own honors committee. The honors committee is responsible for admissions, programs, and policies. The committee works to serve the specialized needs of students in a variety of programs of study.

The University also has a centralized Honors Committee that deals with campus-wide concerns.

Generally speaking, the honors program requires a student to have a GPA of 3.50 or higher, which must be maintained throughout the student’s time at ISU. A student may apply to the honor’s program until they have 48 credits left in their degree program. Graduation in the honor’s program is recognized both on the student’s diploma and on their permanent record.

The Honors program challenges motivated students to better themselves and society through exposure to a wide variety of courses. Advisers should assist qualified students in finding opportunities given by the honor’s program and to help them develop an educational plan that meets their educational and professional goals. 

Contact information for the College: Mary Clancy, 20 Curtiss Hall, (515) 294-5015, clancy@iastate.edu. www.cals.iastate.edu/student-services/honors

Contact information for the University: 2130 Jischke Honors Building, (515) 294-4371, honors@iastate.edu. www.honors.iastate.edu/.

Concurrent Enrollment with the Veterinary College

Students can complete all the Veterinary School requirements in three years. The remaining credits that need to be taken to complete their bachelor’s degree may be taken from their curriculum while enrolled in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Concurrent Enrollment with the Graduate College

Students may concurrently enroll in B.S. / M.S. programs after their junior year. They can complete their undergraduate coursework while starting their graduate program. Up to 6 credits of coursework can count towards both degrees.