Transfer Student FAQs


Transfer students meeting acceptance standards for Iowa State University can immediately begin studies in engineering — there is not a separate admission process. Generally, transfer admission requirements include a transfer GPA of 2.25 or higher and a minimum of 24 academic credits. For more details on Iowa State admission requirements and process, visit our ISU Admissions webpage.
Yes, transfer students can enter at the start of a fall, spring or even summer term. The majority of students transfer in fall semesters.
No, transfer students are not required to have these scores. Transfer admission is based on transfer GPA and number of transferable academic credits.
Not during the application process (high school transcripts are not required for transfer admission). However, we may need your high school transcript simply to confirm that you have met the College of Engineering’s foreign language requirement. If you completed at least two years of a single language in high school, that meets our requirement and we will need your official high school transcript sent to Iowa State for confirmation
Students applying for admission directly after high school (with or without college credits, regardless of how many credits) should apply as a first-year student. Students who have left high school and then attended a semester or more of college elsewhere should apply as a transfer student. (Classes taken the summer after high school graduation do not count as a college semester.)
Yes, by contacting, students may request an entry term change within one year.
Yes. Orientation is very useful in gathering helpful information as you begin your studies at Iowa State University. Transfer student orientation is a one-day program offered on campus as well as online. Orientation must be completed in order to register for classes.
No, an associate’s degree is not required. Students may transfer with as few as 24 academic credits or any time following. Iowa State accepts up to 65 transfer credits from two-year institutions and an unlimited number from four-year institutions.
Iowa State has a rolling admission process, so there is no firm deadline. It is important to note that there are deadlines for scholarship opportunities and advantages in housing options — both of which would encourage application for admission 6-12 months prior to your entry term’s start date. See our Transfer Application Checklist for more details.

Transfer Credits

Iowa State accepts up to 65 transfer credits from two-year institutions and an unlimited number from four-year institutions. Each course is individually reviewed by the College of Engineering to determine how many transfer credits can be applied to a specific engineering degree. The College of Engineering will only apply applicable transfer credits completed with a grade of C or better.
Delivery method does not affect the general transfer credit limit — up to 65 credits from two-year institutions and an unlimited number of credits from four-year institutions.
Courses required for your engineering degree must have a letter grade of “C” or better — P/NP and S/U courses are not applied to engineering degree programs. EXCEPTION: due to COVID19 disruptions, the spring 2020 semester is the exception to this rule, and applicable P (passed) courses from the spring 2020 semester can be accepted and applied.
At the time you apply for admission, all official transcripts from previously-attended colleges/universities must also be submitted. Iowa State reviews transcripts upon receipt and creates your official Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) within 2-3 weeks of receipt. The official TCE will then be available to view in the student portal, AccessPlus.
Official transcripts must be submitted from all previously-attended institutions, domestic or international.
If you believe your prior course covered the material in an Iowa State course, you can work with your academic advisor early in your first semester to petition that the course be considered as a substitution. Additional materials may be required for this process (e.g., course syllabus).
If your previously completed course does not transfer in to meet Iowa State’s lab component, you can complete the lab at Iowa State without repeating the lecture (if full course/lecture credit was transferred).
Yes. Keep in mind the 65-credit limit from two-year institutions. Be sure to have an official transcript sent to Iowa State after you complete any college course.
Yes, all official transcripts are required to be sent directly from each previously attended college/university. TRANSIT is an unofficial review of transfer credits.
Each incoming transfer student’s academic record is unique. The ability to graduate in two years after transfer is based entirely on the classes/credits completed prior to transfer and the requirements remaining in the engineering degree program.

Student Life

This varies for each individual and the previous schools’ academic rigor. Many transfer students are entering higher level course work more specific to the engineering major; these classes can be more challenging and require more work.
Iowa State University has over 900 student clubs and organizations and over 90 of them are related to engineering. An easy way to connect is through ClubFest, an event held at the beginning of each semester that offers students an opportunity to get to know many of the clubs/organizations. Being involved in one or two clubs/organizations is a great way to get involved on campus and meet other students.
Yes! About 20% of the students at Iowa State transferred in from another college/university. Also, many engineering majors require a seminar/class in your first semester that is specific to transfer students.
There are so many options for living on and off campus, and the CyRide bus system (free to students) has routes throughout the City of Ames. Frederiksen Court is a popular on-campus apartment option and there are countless off-campus apartment options as well. For more details about on-campus options, visit the ISU Housing website.
If you are an Iowa community college student, consider joining our free Engineering Admission Partnership Program (E-APP) which connects you with current students, introduces you to student clubs/organizations in more detail, and allows you to utilize our Career Services resources. You will also be assigned your own engineering major-specific academic advisor while still attending your community college.

If you attend college/university outside the state of Iowa, you are welcome to connect through email ( or through our Live Chat function on the Engineering Transfer Student Resources webpage. We hope to hear from you soon!

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