Undergraduate Admissions - The University of Iowa

The University of Iowa

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Engineering

Major(s) 

Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
Chemical Engineering (BSE)
Civil Engineering (BSE)
Electrical Engineering (BSE)
Industrial Engineering (BSE)
Mechanical Engineering (BSE)

Certificate(s) 

Technological Entrepreneurship
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan
Selective Admission

Engineering students have the opportunity to make a difference in the world in many ways. Students who accept this challenge tend to be bright, dedicated, and attracted to a field that offers future employment opportunities with high salaries, prestige, and respect. In the working world, an engineering degree provides a competitive advantage.

Engineering Majors

Iowa's College of Engineering offers an undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree in six majors:

Certificate Program

The college also offers a Certificate in Technological Entrepreneurship for students in any of the engineering degree programs.

Five-Year BS/MS Degree

Every engineering major at Iowa offers a "fast-track" program that allows students to earn a bachelor's and a master's degree in engineering in five years.

Undeclared Major in Engineering

First-year students who aren't sure which engineering major they want to choose can apply to the College of Engineering as "undeclared" engineering majors and spend up to three semesters exploring the options.

Why Study at Iowa? 

Students choose to study engineering at Iowa because of the college’s academic excellence, individual attention, small-college environment, camaraderie, and tremendous opportunities. U.S.News & World Report ranks Iowa’s undergraduate engineering program in the top 20 percent of engineering programs nationwide.

The University of Iowa admits incoming first-year students directly into engineering. It does not have a pre-engineering year or the “weed-out” philosophy that many other programs have. About 425 first-year students and 100 transfer students enroll each year. Women account for over 21 percent of Iowa’s engineering students; the national average is 17 percent.  

Iowa admits students who have math and science talent and great potential to become engineers, then immerses them in an environment focused on student success and teamwork. As you work to achieve your goals, the college’s faculty and staff will work alongside you, providing you with resources, guidance, and encouragement.

You may be involved in significant research projects with your professors or do individual honors research. You’ll also pursue additional learning opportunities in your major field, such as co-ops, internships, study abroad, and group leadership.

You might decide to earn a second degree or a minor in business or in a liberal arts and sciences discipline—more than 75 percent of Iowa’s engineering students do. The college's Certificate in Technological Entrepreneurship is designed for engineering students who plan to start and operate their own business after graduation or for students interested in business and innovation.

The college will encourage you to get involved in activities outside academics; Iowa engineering students include varsity athletes, musicians, student leaders, and Homecoming royalty. Outside activities will help you stay well-rounded, a quality that potential employers look for.

Course Work 

Course work for each of the engineering BSE degree programs is organized into four stems: mathematics and basic sciences, engineering topics, general education (humanities and social sciences), and an elective focus area suited to your interests.

Students work with an adviser to plan the elective focus area, which could be a specialty area in your major (pre-medicine is a popular choice in the biomedical and chemical engineering majors); a minor in business or in a liberal arts and sciences discipline; or an interdisciplinary certificate, such as the Certificate in Technological Entrepreneurship or the Certificate in Sustainability.

Certificate in Technological Entrepreneurship

The Certificate in Technological Entrepreneurship is available only to students enrolled in an engineering degree program.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities 

In addition to nearly 500 student organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple living-learning communities, study abroad programs, and undergraduate research opportunities.

Engineering students may enjoy the People in Engineering Living-Learning Community or the Be WISE: Women in Science and Engineering Living-Learning Community.

The College of Engineering's Student Services will provide you with comprehensive admissions, scholarship, advising, mentoring and tutoring, student records, professional development, and career placement services. It will also help you with co-op and internship placement and study abroad.

Engineering student support services include free tutoring for your first two years of math, science, and engineering courses.

The Hanson Center for Technical Communication helps undergraduate students develop and polish their writing and presentation skills. The center is staffed by professional writing consultants and peer tutors.

Engineering student organizations, fraternities and sororities, and national honorary societies will offer you many opportunities to develop your leadership abilities.

Faculty, Facilities, and Resources 

Iowa’s nationally and internationally renowned faculty members—including physicians and practicing engineers—teach all of the college's engineering classes, including those for first-year students. No engineering classes are taught by teaching assistants. Faculty members also encourage undergraduates to work in their research labs.

The Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences offers everything you'll need under one roof. It houses all of the college’s departments and most faculty offices.

You’ll be able to study in the John Deere Plaza and the Student Commons, which is next to the Lichtenberger Engineering Library. The commons features a two-story atrium and is designed to replicate a real-world engineering work center, with team study areas for students who are working on projects together.

The Seamans Center’s six large computer labs offer access to state-of-the-art computer equipment 24 hours a day, and the building has wireless technology. Classrooms also feature the latest technology.

The college is home to four major research centers: IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering; the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology; the Center for Computer-Aided Design; and the Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging.

The college’s location at a major research university enables its scholars and scientists to collaborate easily with those in many other disciplines. For instance, the university’s Carver College of Medicine and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics provide numerous opportunities for research partnerships in the health sciences.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Advanced Driving Simulator, the most technologically advanced simulator in the world, also is located at Iowa.

These partnerships and facilities provide a wealth of research opportunities for engineering students.

Careers 

Engineering@Iowa graduates have a job placement rate above 96 percent.

Engineering is a well-respected degree that is used as a foundation for a wide variety of careers in industry, medicine, law, and consulting. Of the top 10 best-paying bachelor’s degrees, seven are in engineering, according to a 2010 edition of The Consumerist.

Internships and co-ops are a critical part of an engineer’s education. The college hosts two engineering career fairs each year, featuring over 100 companies.

The Engineering Professional Development office helps students with all aspects of a job search:  researching job opportunities, developing résumés, practicing interviewing skills, connecting with companies that use the online recruiting system, and evaluating job offers.

Scholarships 

Apply early for scholarships. The college offers Engineering First-Year scholarships as well as many other scholarship opportunities for sophomore, junior, and senior students.  Learn more at College of Engineering Scholarships.

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are other great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

Apply to the College of Engineering. If you are not sure which engineering major you will choose, specify that you are "undecided" on your application for admission.

Application Process Tabs