Transfer Student Guide, Engineering Undergraduate Programs

Transferring to engineering?

At Iowa State University’s College of Engineering, you can continue your college path to an amazing career! We have a wide range of resources to help you succeed.


Application for admission to Iowa State University can be completed one year prior to your transfer. Official transcripts from all colleges previously attended will be required. Our online application can be found at:

All engineering students start with our basic program

Calculus I & II (Math 165 & 166) * English 150 & 250 Chemistry 167 or 177 Classical Physics I (Phys 221) Engineering Problems (Engr 160) Engineering Orientation (Engr 101) Library 160 Complete as much of the Basic Program as possible prior to transfer. *Students will need to be proficient in algebra and trigonometry to prepare for success in calculus.

Iowa State University’s APP (Admissions Partnership Program)

A free program offered to Iowa community college students! Our engineering branch of this program (E-APP) offers you many benefits to assist in a successful transfer—including your own ISU engineering adviser and peer mentors. Email to find out more!  

Attending a community college in Iowa?

We have a TRANSFER PLAN with your current community college! The transfer plan is a clear guide to follow and stay on track with required classes to transfer. Find your transfer plan at:

Find the right engineering program for you

With some college coursework already completed, it is important for transfer students to choose a major as soon as possible. Take time now to explore our 12 engineering majors to find the best fit for you. A few differences: If you like chemistry and have an interest in a chemistry-based field—consider chemical engineering, materials engineering or civil engineering. If you’re business-minded, industrial engineering or construction engineering may be for you. Explore coursework plans to see differences among all 12 majors:

Learn more about our engineering majors

Departmental programs

Explore each engineering department’s website to find your fit in one of our 12 majors that will challenge, inspire and prepare you to create a better world.

Aerospace Engineering If it moves through the air or in space, aerospace engineers develop the technology to make it happen. That means the Boeing 787, mars rovers, space station and uninhabited airborne systems to support the farm of the future all have aerospace engineers involved. You will learn from people who have been in space and experts in every field of aerospace technology, and you’ll get a chance to develop ways to fly more efficiently and support the new and exciting area of commercial spaceflight.

Agricultural Engineering Producing and processing agricultural products into feed, fuel, food and fiber is becoming increasingly complex. That’s why agricultural engineers are advancing new technologies everyday. You could invent a next-generation off-road vehicle that drives around crops as it detects and destroys weeds, develop systems to precisely place fertilizer and seed for maximum efficiency, and even help find improved ways of reducing soil erosion and water pollution. As an agricultural engineer, you’ll be improving productivity of the agricultural industry while conserving natural resources.

Biological Systems Engineering Combining biology and a desire to improve life through technology is what biological systems engineering is all about. You’ll be creating systems that safeguard our air, soil and water while helping meet human needs for food and other renewable resources. You’ll work on the sustainable production, storage and conversion of biobased materials into useful products. Addressing all of these critical needs as a biological systems engineer means you’ll make a big difference in people’s lives.

Chemical Engineering Chemical reactions happen all around you. Chemical engineers use these reactions to develop processes and products in a range of fields, including food, pharmaceutical, biomedical, advanced materials, fluid dynamics, microelectronics, renewable energy and commodity chemicals. You’ll use your expertise to tackle pressing issues, such as creating materials to repair damage to severed nerves or developing value-added chemicals from biorenewable sources. The discoveries you make as a chemical engineer will create a better world.

Civil and Environmental Engineering Leave your mark on society by designing systems and structures that save and protect lives. Civil engineers design highways, malls, bridges, manufacturing facilities and many other components of modern infrastructure. Your creative ideas as an environmental engineer will make water safer, protect people from the elements and conserve the environment. Your work is all about service and makes a global impact.

Computer Engineering How many devices do you own that connect to the Internet? Your computer, your smart phone, even your TV; all of these things need to be protected from cyber attacks. As a computer engineer, you’ll work to make the Internet safer and more accessible to everyone in the world. You’ll build human-like robots, design blazing-fast computer chips, develop real-time systems that make GPS navigation possible, and more. Be a creative thinker who makes devices smarter, faster, smaller and cheaper.

Construction Engineering Creating and turning projects into reality takes detail-oriented people who solve problems and answer questions. Construction engineers have these skills and more, keeping them in high demand. You’ll focus on how to tackle big-vision projects like skyscrapers, transportation systems, educational facilities and industrial plants. As a construction engineer, you build the environments where people live, work and play.

Electrical Engineering Every electronic device has an electrical engineer at its foundation. You’ll create a smart electric grid, help the world “go green” with new solar and wind energy technology, improve biomedical imaging technology to treat diseases, or make cell phone signals more reliable. Work in industries from power and wireless communication to health care and avionics, and the technologies you’ll work on will connect the world.

Industrial Engineering Designing and implementing systems that make a difference is central to industrial engineering. You’ll improve processes to help people by making surgeries safer, manufacturing workspaces more productive, product quality higher, shipments timely, energy less expensive and entertainment lines shorter. Your problem solving and organizing talents ensure that complex systems operate efficiently. Whatever people do, you’ll help them do it better.

Materials Engineering Think of all the materials in biomedical devices, computer chips, sensors, automobile parts and yes, even the kitchen sink. Those are just a few products that depend on the creative solutions from materials engineers. You’ll study the relationship between a material and its atomic structure. As a materials engineer, you’ll apply that knowledge to create new or improve existing materials that perform better and are more environmentally friendly.

Mechanical Engineering Researching, designing and manufacturing products that improve people’s lives—that’s what it means to be a mechanical engineer. By applying the properties of forces, materials, energy and motion, mechanical engineers are involved in nearly every product, like sensors used in air bags, prosthetic devices for the disabled and planetary exploration spacecraft. Virtually anywhere your imagination leads you, mechanical engineering can take you there.

Software Engineering Going beyond your personal computer, software engineers develop hit video games and smartphone apps, along with creating control systems for airplanes, cars and medical equipment. You’ll manage projects through the entire development process to ensure your programs work seamlessly with technology and hardware developed by other engineers. Build software at Iowa State, and you can change the lives of others along the way.

Engineering minors and other programs In addition to our 12 undergraduate degree programs, we offer five engineering minors in biomedical engineering, engineering sales, energy systems, nondestructive evaluation and nuclear engineering; a certificate program in engineering leadership; and concurrent dual degree programs for bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Strategy for success

Your study habits will transfer with you—use study skills, manage your time and stay organized now to bring good grades and habits with you to Iowa State!

TRANSIT—an online tool STEP 1 Create your account. STEP 2 Enter the college courses you have previously completed at other colleges. STEP 3 Click ‘Transfer Evaluation’ to discover how your credits will transfer to Iowa State.

Financial Aid Chances are you, like many students, would like some financial assistance when it comes to paying for your college education. Fortunately, many types of financial aid are available for Iowa State engineering students.

Life at Iowa State Iowa State’s picturesque campus features a quiet lake and a park-like setting. Located in Ames, Iowa, the geographic center of the U.S., our university offers a pleasing mixture of urban and rural life.

2nd best college town (under 250,000 residents) American Institute for Economic Research Among the top 25 ‘Smartest College Towns’ The Daily Beast Among top 10 best places to live in America Money Magazine

Academic Success Center At the Academic Success Center our services and programs are designed to help you reach your academic goals. We offer individualized and group experiences, course-specific and general academic assistance, and credit and non-credit programs. You choose which will help strengthen your learning to earn the grades you want!

Engineering Career Services We’re committed to helping you plan, prepare for, and launch successful careers, from your first day on campus to the day you graduate and beyond! Employers recruit heavily at Iowa State, and this provides our students a significant advantage in the job search process. In a typical year, 350 to 400 companies will come to campus to engage with engineering students and attempt to identify the talent they need.

Did You Know?

  • The College of Engineering accepts transfer credit for applicable courses completed with a “C” or better.
  • A transfer student is classified as someone with 24 or more transferable college credits and is not entering Iowa State directly from high school.
  • If you have not completed 24 transferable semester hours prior to enrolling at Iowa State, you must submit a high school transcript, an ACT or SAT I score, and meet all Freshman Admission Requirements, as well as earn at least a 2.00 average in all college-level courses attempted.
  • Transfer credits from a 2-year college are limited to 65. An unlimited number of credits may be transferred from a 4-year college or university.

Campus visits

you’ve got to see it to believe it! Come see what student life is like at Iowa State. Tour the engineering buildings and hear about opportunities in different departments. To schedule a visit to Iowa State, contact the Office of Admissions at 1-800-262-3810 or find scheduled ‘Transfer Student Visit Days’ at

Apply for admission!

Ready to apply or want more financial aid details? Go to and

How can I learn more about engineering?

Visit our website at

Looking for engineering course equivalencies and transfer plans?

Find them at

Are you an Iowa community college student?

Consider Iowa State’s Admissions Partnership Program (APP). Find out more at For more information, contact our staff: 515 294-8355 or 800 262-3810 ext. 8355 E-mail: 2620 Howe Hall, Ames, IA 50011