Freshman enrollment climbs 6% from last fall

Students take in ClubFest at outdoor tents

Students take in ClubFest along Morrill Road west of the Memorial Union Wednesday afternoon. Several hundred of Iowa State's 900+ clubs and organizations recruited new members at the semi-annual back-to-school tradition -- held in and around the MU this semester. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

A friend encouraged James Morrissette to add Iowa State to the list of colleges he was considering for engineering programs. The first-year student from Illinois took his friend's advice and found Iowa State checked a lot of boxes.

Freshman James Morrissette

James Morrissette

"I was looking to make sure I got some hands-on work through the mechanical engineering department or maybe in the Student Innovation Center. I was also looking to find whether or not there were clubs related to space and technological advancements," Morrissette said. "I took a look at Iowa State and the next thing you know we checked off every box."

Morrissette is one of 5,387 first-year students at Iowa State this fall -- an academically strong class with a grade point average of 3.7. Like many first-year students, Morrissette participates in one of Iowa State's 90+ learning communities. He joined LEAD: Leadership through Engineering Academic Diversity after participating this summer in APEX (Academic Program for Excellence), an eight-week program for multicultural students. It's these experiences and opportunities that students value at Iowa State.

Top 5 undergraduate majors

Mechanical engineering
Electrical and computer engineering
Animal science
Aerospace engineering

"With nearly 60% of our students enrolled in a STEM major, Iowa State continues to demonstrate its leadership as the university of science and technology," said President Wendy Wintersteen. "Students are eager to embrace Iowa State's innovative mindset and enhance their classroom learning with undergraduate research, learning communities and many experiential opportunities such as those offered in our new Student Innovation Center."

Enrollment at 30,708, increases in first-year students

Iowa State's total fall enrollment of 30,708 includes 25,808 undergraduate, 4,264 graduate and 636 veterinary medicine professional students representing all 99 Iowa counties, all 50 states and 112 countries.

While overall enrollment is down 1,117 students from last year, the university saw a 6% increase in new first-year students and a 1% increase in new graduate students. Laura Doering, associate vice president for enrollment management, said the larger incoming class is a credit to the university's efforts to support students throughout their time at Iowa State.

"Students come to Iowa State for quality academic programs, excellent value, career placement opportunities and the support services to succeed. We are here to help them reach their potential and earn a degree that will benefit them throughout their lifetime," Doering said.


Fall 2021: Enrollment by college

Agriculture and Life Sciences








Human Sciences


Liberal Arts and Sciences


Veterinary Medicine (graduate and professional)


Interdepartmental units and graduate undeclared