Colleges in Iowa

Colleges in Iowa

Known as “the land where tall corn grows,” it’s not surprising the Iowa is often known as the “Corn State.” Top industries are value-added agriculture and food production, as well as advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and fuels, and distribution and warehousing. There are 60 colleges in Iowa with Carnegie Classifications, 19 of which confer baccalaureate degrees. The oldest institution in the state is Loras College, which was founded in 1839. Sliced bread was created in the Hawkeye State, which also lays claim to the National Hobo Convention every second week in August. The “eighth wonder of the world” resides in Iowa’s jurisdiction, too, a religious monument called the The Grotto of the Redemption.
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University of Iowa

Founded in 1847, the University of Iowa is a 4-year public research institution in Iowa City and Iowa’s first institution of higher education. Iowa grants undergraduate degrees in over 200 academic majors, minors, and certificate programs....

“…U of Iowa is an institution that invites young minds to grow and develop with the help of highly educated leaders. Family values are important within the administration and add value to the environment within the grounds of the university. Service is...” – Eric from Pingrey Grove, IL

Iowa State University

Iowa State University is a public, land-grant university located in Ames, IA. The 1,813-acre campus features 6 undergraduate colleges offering 100+ majors, as well as residence hall, apartment-style, and Greek-life housing options for more than 35...

“…Iowa State is a large university with the small college feel. It has many students but everywhere I go, I see people I know, and that are in my classes. Everyone is very nice and the professors know what they are teaching.” – Grace from Vermont

University of Northern Iowa

Founded as a teacher training institution in a former orphanage, the University of Northern Iowa has grown to become one of Iowa’s public universities. UNI hosts colleges of Education, Business Administration, Social Sciences, and Humanities granting...

“…If you're looking for a small campus with a big campus feel, then UNI is the place for you! Activities are available for everyone who wants to get involved; whether you're interested in a club linked to a major or a special interest you have, the...” – Katlyn from Spencer, IA

Calling Des Moine, Iowa, its home, Drake University is a midsize, private institution of higher learning with more than 70 majors available to its undergraduate students. Cultivated over 130 years of educating, The Drake Curriculum features small,...

“…I would rate drake a 4.8. We are a one of the top best value schools, because of the low tuition price and our great academics. Drake is a prestigious college that will take you places.” – Crysta from Florissant, MO

Grinnell College

Founded in 1846, Grinnell College is a 4-year liberal arts college located in central Iowa. Grinell offers bachelor’s degrees in 27 academic majors and 13 concentrations. For environmentally-minded Grinellians, the college is home to the Conard...

“…A very progressive college. Open and accepting to various types of people. A vibrant college when it comes to eccentricity.” – from Grinnell, IA

Cornell College
Mount Vernon, IA
Cornell College

Cornell College is a liberal arts institution situated in Mount Vernon, Iowa, that was founded in 1853. Deemed “more selective,” Cornell is one of only 40 schools profiled by Loren Pope's book "Colleges That Change Lives" and also ranks as a top tier...

“…Cornell College is a fantastic, small, friendly community. The One Course At A Time model truly allows me to focus my intellectual capacities on my subject in a unique manner. At Cornell, the professors emanate a majestic aura of knowledge, wisdom,...” – Justin from CENTENNIAL, CO

Upper Iowa University

Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a 4-year private school in northeast Iowa. UIU hosts schools of Arts & Sciences, Business, and Education conferring undergraduate degrees in 45 academic programs. Additionally, UIU makes 32 bachelor’s degrees...

“…I found the faculty to be very diverse and well trained in their respective studies. The courses were well laid out. Additionally, I never had a problem with communication from any department regarding any situation.” – Austin from Kankakee, IL

Luther College

Founded by Norwegian immigrants, Luther College is a 4-year liberal arts college in northeast Iowa affiliated with the Lutheran Church. Luther confers bachelor’s degrees in more than 60 academic majors and preprofessional programs. For students...

“…Luther is an outstanding private liberal arts college. The faculty and students are friendly, and the campus is absolutely beautiful. From taking interesting classes to exploring the quaint town of Decorah, Iowa, Luther students certainly enjoy a...” – Jessica

Grand View University

Grand View University is a 4-year, liberal arts institution located in the capital city of Iowa, Des Moines. GV offers 40 academic programs on their 50-acre urban campus, where students are immersed in the university’s Viking culture. On top of...

“…I would give Grand View University an excellent rate. They are very helpful in many ways. It has many majors to offer and the major that I was interested in.” – Brian from Des Moines, IA

Coe College
Cedar Rapids, IA
Coe College

Founded in 1851, Coe College is small liberal arts institution and national leader in producing Fulbright Scholars. The college is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and has a “more selective” admissions process. Coe College requires that 100%...

“…coe college is such an accepting college. everyone here is so nice and fun. the staff is incredible, although the classes are hard the professors really want you to succeed and they help so much. the staff here is awesome.” – gabrielle from council bluffs, ia

Wartburg College

Wartburg College is a liberal arts institution affiliated with the Lutheran Church (ELCA) located in Waverly, Iowa. Founded in 1852, Wartburg has grown to offer more than 50 academic majors and preprofessional programs for its 1,500 students hailing...

“…The Wartburg student body is very close-knit. It is very common for professors and even the president of the college to invite students to have dinner at their house. The academics are stellar, especially in the music and science departments.” – Andrea from Waverly, IA

William Penn University

Established by the Religious Society of Friends in 1873, William Penn University is a liberal arts institution in central Iowa affiliated with the Quakers. William Penn is home to seven academic divisions conferring degrees in over 20 majors. As a...

“…I attend WPU now and it is a great university to attend. The campus is clean. The living arrangements are awesome. The programs they provide is what I was looking for.” – Blair from Washington, IA

Established in 1853, Central College is a private, 4-year institution located on a 130-acre campus in Pella, Iowa. The college offers over 50 major and minor programs of study, and boasts a 76% rate of students completing internships. Central College...

“…Many students attend Central because of the friendly students that already go there. It has a full-circle effect because the students that apply are friendly themselves. Everyone, including faculty and staff, go out of their way to help students.” – Breanne from Pella, IA

Kirkwood Community College

Kirkwood Community College is a two-year institution based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The school operates eight other campuses throughout the state. The school operates its own Hotel at Kirkwood Center which is assisted by Hospitality and Culinary Arts...

“…very personable and small classes. experienced teachers. world class learning.” – Seth from Cedar Rapids, IA

Morningside College

Morningside College is a 4-year liberal arts college in northwest Iowa affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Morningside is home to over 65 undergrad degree-granting and pre-professional programs. Every school year culminates in May Term, a...

“…Morningside was my first choice in college because of the awesome people and it was perfect for my intended majors. Easily 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.” – Spencer from Sioux City, IA

University of Dubuque

The University of Dubuque was founded in 1852 and is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The school is based in Dubuque, Iowa, and follows a “Diamond” educational model that centers itself around Community and Character, Academics, Vocation, and...

“…Overall I don't have anything too negative to say about the University of Dubuque because it's been an easy transition and has a very homey feel to it. With it being a smaller campus it also makes school and classes easier to focus on because the...” – Marcus from Sun Prairie, WI

Briar Cliff University

With campus situated on a hilltop formerly covered in briar patches, Briar Cliff University is a Franciscan Catholic liberal arts college in northwest Iowa. Briar Cliff confers undergraduate degrees in over 40 academic majors. For students who wish...

“…Everyone knows everyone on campus. Teachers are very interactive and personable. BCU provides a very good education on a small campus.” – Justine from Washta, IA

Mount Mercy University is a private, Christ-centered institution established on an urban, 40-acre campus in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Mount Mercy provides more than 45 undergraduate degree and pre-professional programs and eight graduate degree programs,...

“…Mount Mercy can be intimidating when you see how much it costs, but the education that is given is well worth it. The teachers and advisors are all extremely helpful and, because it's a smaller sized school, they get to know you and really help with...” – Alexandria from Cedar Rapids, IA

Dordt College

Affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church, Dordt College is a Christian liberal arts college in northwest Iowa. Dordt grants undergraduate degrees in over 40 academic majors and all classes feature a reformed Christian perspective. As a Christian...

“…Its been a great experience. The atmosphere is fun and the teachers care about how you do in their classes. There is lots of people to help you out if needed.” – Dylan from Canada

Simpson College is a private, 4-year institution established in Indianola, Iowa. Simpson features a unique Engaged Citizenship core curriculum which includes the Simpson Colloquium for first years as well as a Senior Capstone project. The college is...

“…Simpson College is a great school to attend if you are going for a small community or a student-teacher connection. The classes range from 15-40 students (and there is always an open spot in class). Simpson provides their students with the education...” – Tori Caddell from Idianola, IA

Loras College

Founded in 1839, Loras College is a liberal arts school affiliated with the Archdiocese of Dubuque. Loras is the first college created in Iowa and is rated as having “selective” admissions. All first-year students are required to complete a January...

“…Loras is a small school offering many opportunities to get involved. Having a smaller campus allows close contact with professors. It is also very easy to get involved in almost anything desired.” – Kristina from Sumner, IA

Iowa Western Community College is a public institution located in the city of Council Bluffs. Each student attending IWCC is assigned to an academic advisor with knowledge of specific careers to guide their academic progress. Along with vocational...

“…Community college with a small, private school feel. Not your typical community college!” – Stacy from Council Bluffs, IA

Iowa Central Community College is a public, 2-year institution established in the city of Fort Dodge. Along with the main campus, the college also maintains satellite locations in Webster City, Storm Lake, and Eagle Grove. Iowa Central offers over 90...

“…i rate iowa central community college a 5 star school in terms of community colleges. the facilities and campus atmosphere is great. also, all of the faculty care for each student and strive to accompany each student's best interest.” – Jacob from BURNSVILLE, MN

Northwestern College Iowa is a private, Christ-centered institution established on a rural, 100-acre campus in Orange City. Students are required to complete 28 chapel credits out of the 62 offered per semester. Northwestern maintains over 50 major...

“…This college has a great and friendly community life. Each professor takes the time to get to know their students. Students like to get everyone involved in lots of activities.” – Tracey from Lakefield, MN

Hawkeye Community College is a public, 2-year institution established in Waterloo, Iowa, with satellite facilities in Cedar Falls, Iowa City, Dubuque, Des Moines, Davenport, and Sioux City, as well as in four other states. HCC offers over 40 career...

“…So far I think it is a great school., I love the atmosphere and after one week of school it seems like we have very caring teachers that want to help you succeed” – Jesse from Bellevue, IA

Clarke University is a private, 4-year institution established on urban, 55-acre campus in Dubuque, Iowa. Clarke offers over 40 undergraduate major and minor areas of study, as well as six graduate programs, and Adult & Continuing Education programs...

“…Clarke University is a great school for students who want a small school feeling. It is a very community based college so all the students, faculty members, and professors get involved with each other. It is also a school based on the students needs,...” – Allison from Dubuque, IA

Southeastern Community College is a 2-year college with two campuses and two extension sites in Iowa’s Great River Region. SCC is home to seven academic departments hosting 34 degree and certificate-granting programs. The college’s IT & Multimedia...

“…The North campus is small and inviting with many student activities available to enjoy. The teachers are excellent with an understanding for one on one education. SCC is very affordable for all types of students.” – Trista from Keokuk, IA

Buena Vista University is a private, 4-year institution established in Storm Lake, Iowa. The college offers over 50 academic programs and 90 majors and minors, with primary focus given to their Science, Education, and Business programs. As the...

“…I transfered from a community college to Buena Vista University. The college advisors have been so helpful in setting up my classes. I would suggest this college to anyone.” – Katrina from Emmetsburg, IA

Indian Hills Community College is a 2-year community college with three campuses serving 10 counties in southeast Iowa. In addition to over 70 academic programs, IHCC offers more than 250 online courses and three degrees are attainable entirely...

“…IHCC is a very affordable college which is very helpful. They offer a variety of programs which all have great scholarships. There is no school on Friday so this is a real perk. ” – Caitlyn from Albia, IA

Founded in 1882, Saint Ambrose University is a private institution that provides a liberal arts curriculum in the “Catholic Intellectual Tradition.” Admissions are rated as “selective” and the campus is home to several buildings listed on the...

“…Saint Ambrose University is friendly. Saint Ambrose University has low class size for more individual attention. Saint Ambrose University cares about their students success.” – Catherine from Davenport, IA

Iowa Wesleyan University

Iowa Wesleyan University is a private, liberal arts institution established in the city of Mount Pleasant. IW’s campus embraces its rich history, featuring the Harlan-Lincoln House museum, the Belle Babb Mansfield Symposium, the PEO Memorial Building...

“…I am having a great experience at Iowa Wesleyan. The town has that small town feel and everyone is friendly. The pass rate of the NCLEX-RN exam is what brought me to IWU, it is awesome!” – Krista from New London, IA

Des Moines Area Community College is Iowa’s largest and most diverse 2-year community college. In addition to the numerous academic programs DMACC offers on its various campuses, distance learning students can also earn four different degrees...

“…DMACC is a very good school for both part and full time students. Most of the teachers are very good and want to see you succeed. The school and teachers are willing to work with you to see that you have the best education possible. ” – Samantha from Missoula, MT

Graceland University Lamoni is a private, 4-year institution established in Decatur County, Iowa. The Lamoni campus offers programs in over 50 major and minor fields of study, including a number of paraprofessional programs. All undergraduate...

“…Graceland is a beautiful campus. Everyone I have spoken to has been honest, respectful, encouraging and motivating. Instead of making me believe that I won't be able to complete their nursing program, they have explained to me that it is difficult,...” – Shelbi from Independence, MO

Iowa Lakes Community College is a 2-year college serving five counties in northwest Iowa. ILCC is home to seven academic departments offering over 40 degree and certificate programs. As a rural institution, ILCC features programs in Agriculture...

“…great one on one classroom attention. teachers know what they are doing. good learning atmosphere.” – Jessica from Spencer, IA

Founded by the Sisters of Mercy as a nursing school in 1899, the Mercy College of Health Sciences is a Catholic health science institution in Des Moines. Mercy College offers five bachelor’s degree programs in Healthcare Administration, Health...

“…The faculty is very helpful and knowledgeable. Clinical sites give a lot of different experiences and the clinical instructors are always willing to try to get you to the area you are interested in. Classes can be a little disorganized and...” – Amber from Des Moines, IA

Ellsworth Community College is a 2-year college with two campuses in northern Iowa. While most academic courses are held on the main Ellsworth campus, ECC’s Agricultural and Animal Sciences department is headquartered at the college’s Robert & Arlene...

“…ELLSWORTH IS DIVERSE ” – DJ

Founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Maharishi University of Management is built on the idea of “consciousness-based education,” which encourages students to gain deep self-knowledge while earning undergrad and advanced degrees. MUM has programs in...

“…Maharishi University of Management is a small University that is very rich in Vedic knowledge and culture. The University features one class at a time with an emphasis on consciousness based education, and also using meditation to help reduce...” – Kristopher from West Richland, WA

Palmer College of Chiropractic

Palmer College of Chiropractic is a private, medical institution primarily located in Davenport, Iowa. The college has two additional campuses in San Jose and Port Orange, both of which offer only doctorate degrees. Students can finish their Bachelor...

“…Palmer is the oldest, biggest, and best chiropractic school in the world. So much history, that influences the practice and philosophy of chiropractic. Palmer pride. ” – Jane from Davenport, IA

Marshalltown Community College is a public, 2-year institution with two campuses located in Grinnell and Marshalltown, Iowa. MCC offers over 50 academic programs throughout eight fields of study, awarding diplomas, certificates, and associate’s...

“…Marshalltown Community College has an amazing student life. The minute you walk into the college, you will be greeted by the amazing students and staff. I highly recommend it.” – Rachel from Marshalltown, IA

Allen College is a school of healthcare and nursing in northern Iowa affiliated with UnityPoint Health. In addition to its bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in Nursing, Allen also confers bachelor’s degrees in Health Science, associate degrees...

“…The instructors are great and the ratio of students to teacher gives me plenty of individual instruction time. The campus is clean and the buildings and facilities are up to date. The educational program is comperable to other schools with higher...” – Kimberly from North Liberty, IA

Western Iowa Tech Community College is a 2-year institution in Sioux City. WITCC offers degrees and certificates in over 70 academic fields of study and the college’s Culinary Arts program includes a demonstration kitchen for students to practice...

“…The campus is really beautiful, it's got a full frisbee golf course and the building itself is gorgeous. The faculty are all very kind and helpful, all of them are willing to go the extra mile to help you if you need it. The classes are taught in...” – Gabrielle from Sioux City, IA

Located just off the banks of the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa, Emmaus Bible College is a 4-year Christ-centered private school. Emmaus is affiliated with the Open Brethren, so attendance at daily chapel is mandatory, and all classes utilize...

“…Emmaus Bible College can only be described in a few words. Lives changed, character shaped, purpose found, is the key phrase that is said about Emmaus Bible College. You will go beyond what is required of you as a Bible scholar or in any other degree...” – Josiah from Plymouth, WI

North Iowa Area Community College is a 2-year institution and the oldest community college in Iowa. NIACC offers over 35 academic programs and its Agriculture Division features a Farm Lab, which includes livestock facilities and 260 acres of land for...

“…I love how small it is. I feel like they care for me more and I'm not a number. Want you to succeeded ” – Kaitlyn from Osage IA

Northeast Iowa Community College is a 2-year institution with two main campuses and 11 learning centers. NICC offers degrees and certificates in 67 areas of study within nine academic departments. The college’s Agriculture and Dairy Science programs...

“…If you're fresh out of high school or are trying to get back into school then NICC is a great place to look at. It's not too big or too small of a school with a wide array of classes you can take. I chose to attend here not only because it's...” – Luis from Postville, IA

Established in 1966, Northwest Iowa Community College is a public, 2-year institution located in Sheldon. NCC offers nearly 40 career-oriented and academic programs on-campus, online, and in hybrid formats, awarding associate’s degrees and...

Established in 1966, Southwestern Community College is a public, 2-year institution located in Creston, Iowa, with satellite centers in Osceola and Red Oak. SWCC offers over 80 associate’s degree and college transfer programs, as well as diploma and...

“…Swcc is a good school teachers are great and so are the students. The town is too small for my taste. But even after the tornado we are back to school in less than 2 days, its a great place to be!” – Krystal from Indianola, IA

St. Luke’s College is a healthcare studies institution and the only hospital-based health sciences college in western Iowa. St. Luke’s offers bachelor’s degrees in Nursing and Health Science as well as three healthcare-based associate degree programs...

The Eastern Iowa Community Colleges consist of three 2-year institutions along Iowa’s Mississippi River border: Clinton, Muscatine, and Scott Community Colleges. EICC are home to 20 academic career clusters conferring associate degrees as well as 32...

“…Scott Community college is fantastic. The staff is very helpful and down-to earth. I am so glad I started my education here.” – Mary from Davenport, IA

Divine Word College is a private, Christ-centered institution located in Epworth, Iowa. DWC offers associate and bachelor-level degrees in Intercultural Studies and Theology & Religious Studies, along with an associate’s degree in Interdisciplinary...

“…A place here you can deepen your understanding of your vocation. You will find many friends in a short amount of time. You will learn to enjoy the little things in life.” – Zachary from Oak Park, MI

Des Moines University is a graduate school of health sciences and Iowa’s largest medical school. DMU offers five master’s degrees and three doctorates through the university’s Colleges of Health Sciences, Osteopathic Medicine, and Podiatric Medicine....

Established in 1921, Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary is a private, Christ-centered institution located in Ankeny, Iowa. Faith offers 13 one- to four-year undergraduate programs, as well as a Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry...

Affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wartburg Theological Seminary is a Christian graduate school in eastern Iowa with a focus on mission work. Wartburg grants master’s degrees in Divinity, Arts, and Diaconal Ministry. As an Evangelical...

Established in 2006, Shiloh University is an online, Christ-centered institution based in Kalona, Iowa. The college offers eight undergraduate and seven postgraduate degree and certificate programs, as well as two feature areas: Chaplain Education...

The UnityPoint Health-Des Moines School of Radiologic Technology is a medical imaging academy in Iowa’s state capital. UnityPoint Health-Des Moines offers a 2-year certificate-granting program in Radiologic Technology featuring classroom sessions and...

Formed by the merger of two radiologic technology schools, Mercy-St. Luke’s School of Radiologic Technology is a medical school in eastern Iowa. Mercy-St. Luke’s hosts a 24-month academic program and confers a certificate in Radiologic Technology....

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