Home » Iowa State University

Graduate Programs Office,1360 Gerdin
Ames, IA 50011-1350
p. (877) ISU-4MBA
f. (515) 294-2446

College of Business

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The College offers the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science in Accounting (MSA), Master of Science in Information Assurance (MSIA), and Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) as well as a joint degree in architecture (MBA/MArch), community and regional planning (MBA/MCRP), and statistics (MBA/MS). Other programs include interdisciplinary programs in information assurance, internship programs, and work-study programs in Australia and Great Britain. The strongest areas of study are finance, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. The most popular courses are finance, marketing, and management information systems. Regular programs bring distinguished speakers and visiting professors to campus, including an Executive-in-Residence program.

Forty-eight total credits are required to complete the MBA, including 24 elective credits. Required courses include:

  • Strategy Formation
  • Survey of Financial and Managerial Accounting
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Marketing
  • International Business
  • Applied Business Statistics
  • Financial Valuation and Corporate Financial Decisions
  • Operations Management Strategy
  • Management Information Systems
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • Strategic Management
  • Business Economics

Business students may take relevant nonbusiness courses in other departments. The minimum time permitted to complete the master’s degree program attending full time is 2 years; maximum, 2 years. For students attending part time, the minimum is 3 years; maximum, 5 years.

There are 70 total full-time graduate business faculty, all of whom hold a doctorate. Faculty salaries are rated average for Category I institutions, based on the AAUP rating system. Average number of credit hours faculty teach is 12; average business class size is 30.


A bachelor’s degree is required. The formula for using the GPA and GMAT scores is (200 x GPA) + GMAT. Most important admissions factors are academic accomplishments and ability, GMAT results, and work experience. A strong mathematics background is not required.

Transfers are accepted. Minority students are actively recruited by the Office of Minority Student Affairs, which has a minority student recruiter.

Students may begin the MBA program in the fall, spring, and summer. To apply, students must submit an application form, a transcript, GMAT scores, a nonrefundable application fee of $30, 3 letters of recommendation, personal essays, and a resume. The application deadlines are June 1 for fall entry; December 1, spring; April 1, summer. Students are notified of the admissions decision 2 to 3 weeks after the application is completed. Once accepted, students may defer admission for up to 1 year.

Financial Aid

Stipends and programs available for minority students include assistantships arranged by the Office of Minority Student Affairs. The FAFSA is required. Check with the school for current application deadlines.

Tuition for in-state residents is $5936 per year. Nonresidents pay $16,350 per year. On-campus room and board costs approximately $6600. Graduate student housing consists of a graduate residence hall, university apartments, and off-campus housing. There is a referral service to help procure off-campus housing.


Thirty-seven percent of a current graduate business school class were enrolled full time; 88% have had an average of 6 years of full-time work experience prior to entering graduate school, a factor preferred by the school. The greatest percentage of students are from Iowa (73%). Thirty-five percent are women, 2% are minorities, and 20% are foreign nationals. The average age at entrance is 29; ages range from 21 to 47. Fifteen percent enter directly from undergraduate school; 14% already have a graduate degree. Students’ undergraduate majors were as follows: 27%, business; 24%, liberal arts; 20%, math and science; 16%, engineering; 9%, social sciences; and 4%, economics. About 10% of entering students leave by the end of the first year due to academic or personal reasons; 73% remain to receive their degree.

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