Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for the program?
First-year engineering students in the top one-eighth of their class are eligible for participation in the program. Up to three students from each of the eight departments within the College of Engineering will be selected for the program.

How do I know if I’m eligible?
Tau Beta Pi will contact all eligible students by e-mail over winter break to give them more information about the program and encourage them to apply.

How can I apply?
The application for participation in the program is part of the College of Engineering online scholarship application form. The form is available online at https://www.engineering.iastate.edu/scholarships/current-students/ during January and early February. There is a special section of the form specifically for the Tau Beta Pi – Iowa Alpha Scholars Program, and you need is to mark “yes” where it asks if you are interested in participating. The College of Engineering Scholarships and Awards Committee will select the program participants during the spring semester.

How much time commitment is involved in participating in the program?
Required participation will be about 2-3 hours per month. In addition, there will be a number of optional activities related to the Iowa Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Pi that scholars can participate in.

Does being a scholar make me a member of Tau Beta Pi?
Being a Tau Beta Pi—Iowa Alpha Scholar does not automatically qualify you for membership in Tau Beta Pi. You will still need to meet the requirements for membership when you become a junior or senior. However, we hope participation in the scholars program will help you and other engineering students to gain an appreciation of Tau Beta Pi and want to become active members when you become eligible. We also hope to provide the opportunity for you to share a good time with the other scholars and Tau Beta Pi members from all of the departments within the College of Engineering.

What are the acceptance rates for the scholars program?
Acceptance into the Tau Beta Pi—Iowa Alpha Scholars program is quite competitive, and it is a great honor to be selected for this program. Though acceptance rates vary by department, generally about 180 engineering students are eligible, about half of these students apply for the program and 30 are selected (an acceptance rate of about 33% of the eligible students who apply).