Five departments capture 30 percent of ISU graduate students

Nearly 30 percent of Iowa State graduate students this semester are studying in one of five departments. Three of the top five departments are in the College of Engineering, with the agronomy department and School of Education also in the group.

The numbers include students pursuing a graduate certificate, but don't double-count students doing both. Certificate-only students impact the top 10 ranking in just one instance: The food science and human nutrition department, which enrolls the third-highest number of female graduate students, counts about 70 certificate-only students among 116 female students.

Not included on this list are 597 students in the College of Veterinary Medicine working toward a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine), recognized as Iowa State's lone professional program. Four out of five DVM students at Iowa State this fall are female.

The office of the registrar compiles and posts enrollment data every semester.

Male, female interest

Iowa State enrolled 2,728 male graduate students this fall (57 percent of all graduate students) and 2,046 women (43 percent), identical to the gender split in this fall's undergraduate student body.

The top 10 enrolling departments for male graduate students nearly mirrors the list for all graduate students. A high number of female students earning education degrees puts that school on the overall list, the only unit that ranks in the top 10 overall but not in the male list. Instead, aerospace engineering made the male students list (No. 8).

Six departments made all three top 10 lists for graduate enrollment, including agronomy; business administration; chemistry; civil, construction and environmental engineering; electrical and computer engineering; and statistics.

Fall 2018: Departments with highest graduate enrollments


All graduate students

Male students

Female students


Electrical and computer engineering (404)

Electrical and computer engineering (333)

Education (164)


Agronomy (279)

Mechanical engineering (203)

Food science and human nutrition* (116)


Mechanical engineering (257)

Agronomy (184)

Agronomy (95)


Education (234)

Civil, construction and environmental engineering (142)

English (78)


Civil, construction and environmental engineering (199)

Computer science (135)

Apparel, education studies and hospitality management (71)


Computer science (185)

Business administration (105)

Electrical and computer engineering (71)


Business administration (161)

Industrial and manufacturing systems engineering (105)

Chemistry (58)


Industrial and manufacturing systems engineering (151)

Aerospace engineering (91)

Statistics (58)


Chemistry (148)

Chemistry (90)

Civil, construction and environmental engineering (57)


Statistics (137)

Statistics (79)

Business administration (56)

*Includes about 70 certificate-only dietetics students



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