Key Performance Indicators

The College of Engineering continually measures its progress in reaching important goals through its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which are aligned with indicators of the university and the Board of Regents. These measures track students and their success, and faculty and their accomplishments in teaching, research, and engagement.

ISU Engineering Enrollment chartEnrollment has grown over the past five years to record levels. Demand at the undergraduate and graduate levels has increased as a result of initiatives to recruit students and efforts to improve retention and the academic success of students once on campus.


one-year-placementThe success of engineering students arises from strong academic preparation, proactive advising, and an emphasis on learning communities. Of the students who enter the college as freshmen, 75% study engineering in the second year, while an additional 14% pursue other majors on campus, for cumulative retention of 89%.
six-year-placementSlight progress has been made in increasing the percentage of engineering students who graduate within six years, a commonly used time frame that accounts for such value-added factors as internships/co-ops, studying abroad, research, and on-campus leadership experiences. Of the students who enter the college as freshmen, 55% graduate in engineering, while an additional 20% graduate in other majors on campus, with a cumulative graduation rate of 75%.

Student Residency chart

Resident enrollment from Iowa has increased steadily the past five years. Non-resident enrollment from other states and international markets is also growing, signaling diversification and broadening of the engineering college’s scope.


diversityNew recruiting, advising, and bridge programs have led to modest increases of female, international, and underrepresented minority students. This measure is based upon enrollments at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

freshmanThe academic preparation of incoming engineering students is strong and steady. Students enter the College of Engineering with ACT composite scores at the 86th percentile, the highest among all colleges at Iowa State.

degrees-conferredThe college ranks among the top dozen programs in conferring bachelor’s degrees and the top 25 in doctoral degrees, and is among the top 20 in bachelor’s degrees awarded to women.

phd-degreesRepresenting mastery of technical subject, the doctorate is the highest degree conferred by the engineering college. The number of doctoral degrees has increased recently, a sign of quality and the college’s prestige and external reputation.

Student Placement chart

This indicator measures the percentage of graduates that are employed, attending graduate school, or in the military service. Graduates are surveyed at the time of graduation and six-months after graduation. The placement rate generally reflects the strength of the job market and economy.

Research Expenditures

Sponsored research is a measure of faculty scholarship, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Research activity is expected to continue growing as outstanding faculty members are recruited and advanced within the college and new interdisciplinary programs are established.

online-learningOnline courses represent a growing market for the engineering college. Online courses serve practicing engineers, corporations, students in industrial co-ops, and increasingly, on-campus students.
tenured facultyFaculty numbers are on the rise as record-enrollment continues in the college. Current efforts to recruit and advance engineering faculty are expected to continue in the coming years.