Top 10 Universities in Iowa

Iowa boasts several renowned universities, each offering unique academic programs and vibrant campus life. Here are the top 10 universities in Iowa along with their overviews and relevant details:

University of Iowa

The University of Iowa, founded in 1847, is a public research university located in Iowa City. It is known for its strong programs in health sciences, liberal arts, and creative writing. The university’s campus is situated along the Iowa River, providing a picturesque setting for students to pursue their academic and extracurricular interests.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #88 in National Universities (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 33,000 students

Degrees Offered:

The University of Iowa offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across various disciplines, including business, engineering, education, medicine, and the arts.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 83%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1220.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Student Government
  2. Greek Life
  3. Performing Arts Groups
  4. Intramural Sports
  5. Volunteer Organizations

Famous Alumni:

  1. Tennessee Williams (Playwright)
  2. Gene Wilder (Actor)
  3. Ashton Kutcher (Actor)
  4. Tom Brokaw (Journalist)
  5. Diablo Cody (Screenwriter)

Top Employers:

  1. University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics
  2. Principal Financial Group
  3. Rockwell Collins
  4. Transamerica
  5. John Deere

Iowa State University

Iowa State University, founded in 1858, is a public research university located in Ames. It is known for its strong programs in agriculture, engineering, and veterinary medicine. The university’s campus is characterized by its expansive green spaces and modern facilities, providing an ideal environment for learning and research.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #121 in National Universities (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 36,000 students

Degrees Offered:

Iowa State University offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across various disciplines, including agriculture, engineering, business, and the sciences.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 90%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1180.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Agricultural Clubs and Organizations
  2. Engineering Societies
  3. Greek Life
  4. Performing Arts Groups
  5. Research Opportunities

Famous Alumni:

  1. George Washington Carver (Scientist)
  2. Carrie Chapman Catt (Suffragist)
  3. George Gallup (Pollster)
  4. Grant Wood (Artist)
  5. Carrie Underwood (Singer)

Top Employers:

  1. Iowa State University
  2. John Deere
  3. Principal Financial Group
  4. Collins Aerospace
  5. Kemin Industries

Drake University

Drake University, founded in 1881, is a private university located in Des Moines. It is known for its strong programs in law, business, and pharmacy. The university’s campus is situated in the heart of Des Moines, providing students with opportunities for internships, networking, and cultural enrichment.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #132 in National Universities (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 5,000 students

Degrees Offered:

Drake University offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in various disciplines, including law, business, pharmacy, education, and the arts.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 68%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1210.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Mock Trial and Debate Teams
  2. Business and Entrepreneurship Clubs
  3. Greek Life
  4. Performing Arts Groups
  5. Community Service Organizations

Famous Alumni:

  1. Tom Arnold (Actor and Comedian)
  2. Terry Branstad (Former Governor of Iowa)
  3. Paul Morrison (Former Attorney General of Kansas)
  4. Tamara Tunie (Actress)
  5. Paul Zindel (Playwright)

Top Employers:

  1. Principal Financial Group
  2. Wells Fargo
  3. Meredith Corporation
  4. Hy-Vee
  5. UnityPoint Health

University of Northern Iowa

The University of Northern Iowa (UNI), founded in 1876, is a public university located in Cedar Falls. It is known for its strong programs in education, business, and the arts. The university’s campus is characterized by its beautiful architecture and vibrant student life.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #17 in Regional Universities Midwest (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 10,000 students

Degrees Offered:

The University of Northern Iowa offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in various disciplines, including education, business, liberal arts, and sciences.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 81%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1100.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Education and Teaching Organizations
  2. Business and Entrepreneurship Clubs
  3. Performing Arts Groups
  4. Intramural Sports
  5. Community Service and Volunteer Programs

Famous Alumni:

  1. Kurt Warner (NFL Quarterback)
  2. Bill Fennelly (College Basketball Coach)
  3. Joy Corning (Former Lieutenant Governor of Iowa)
  4. Michael Roth (Broadway Producer)
  5. Chris Taylor (Professional Wrestler)

Top Employers:

  1. University of Northern Iowa
  2. John Deere
  3. CUNA Mutual Group
  4. Rockwell Collins
  5. Principal Financial Group

Grinnell College

Grinnell College, founded in 1846, is a private liberal arts college located in Grinnell. It is known for its rigorous academic programs, commitment to social justice, and strong sense of community. The college’s campus is characterized by its historic buildings and expansive green spaces.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #12 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 1,700 students

Degrees Offered:

Grinnell College offers undergraduate programs in various disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 24%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1440.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Social Justice and Advocacy Groups
  2. Research Opportunities
  3. Performing Arts Groups
  4. Outdoor Recreation Clubs
  5. Cultural and Diversity Organizations

Famous Alumni:

  1. Glenn L. Martin (Aircraft Manufacturer)
  2. Herbie Hancock (Musician)
  3. Gary Cooper (Actor)
  4. Ann Landers (Advice Columnist)
  5. Kumail Nanjiani (Actor and Comedian)

Top Employers:

  1. Grinnell College
  2. Teach For America
  3. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  4. McKinsey & Company
  5. AmeriCorps

These universities and colleges in Iowa offer diverse academic programs, vibrant campus life, and strong connections to industries, making them top choices for students seeking higher education in the state.

Coe College

Coe College, founded in 1851, is a private liberal arts college located in Cedar Rapids. It is known for its rigorous academic programs, strong sense of community, and emphasis on experiential learning. The college’s campus is situated in a residential neighborhood, providing a safe and supportive environment for students.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #134 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 1,400 students

Degrees Offered:

Coe College offers undergraduate programs in various disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 65%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1200.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Student Government and Leadership Organizations
  2. Performing Arts Groups
  3. Research Opportunities
  4. Volunteer and Community Service Programs
  5. Outdoor Recreation Clubs

Famous Alumni:

  1. Paul Engle (Poet)
  2. Ashton Kutcher (Actor)
  3. Michael Emerson (Actor)
  4. Nathan Twining (Air Force General)
  5. Delbert Mann (Film Director)

Top Employers:

  1. Coe College
  2. Transamerica
  3. Collins Aerospace
  4. Rockwell Collins
  5. Quaker Oats Company

Luther College

Luther College, founded in 1861, is a private liberal arts college located in Decorah. It is known for its strong programs in music, education, and the sciences. The college’s campus is nestled in the bluffs of northeast Iowa, providing a picturesque setting for students to pursue their academic and extracurricular interests.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #112 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 2,000 students

Degrees Offered:

Luther College offers undergraduate programs in various disciplines, including music, education, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 66%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1200.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Music Ensembles and Performance Groups
  2. Education and Teaching Organizations
  3. Outdoor Recreation Clubs
  4. Volunteer and Service Programs
  5. Research Opportunities

Famous Alumni:

  1. Grant Woods (Artist)
  2. Deborah Birx (Medical Doctor and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator)
  3. Craig Oldham (Basketball Coach)
  4. Evan S. Connell (Author)
  5. Richard J. Ferris (Former CEO of United Airlines)

Top Employers:

  1. Luther College
  2. Mayo Clinic
  3. Target Corporation
  4. IBM
  5. Mayo Clinic Health System

Simpson College

Simpson College, founded in 1860, is a private liberal arts college located in Indianola. It is known for its strong programs in business, communication, and the arts. The college’s campus is situated in a charming small town setting, providing students with a close-knit community and ample opportunities for engagement.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #134 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 1,300 students

Degrees Offered:

Simpson College offers undergraduate programs in various disciplines, including business administration, communication studies, psychology, and music.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 89%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1120.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Business and Entrepreneurship Clubs
  2. Performing Arts Groups
  3. Greek Life
  4. Volunteer and Service Organizations
  5. Intramural Sports

Famous Alumni:

  1. Jim Leach (Former U.S. Congressman)
  2. Leonard Boswell (Former U.S. Congressman)
  3. Grant Gershon (Conductor)
  4. Bill Bryson (Author)
  5. Patrick Kennedy (Former U.S. Congressman)

Top Employers:

  1. Simpson College
  2. Wells Fargo
  3. Principal Financial Group
  4. Nationwide
  5. MercyOne

Cornell College

Cornell College, founded in 1853, is a private liberal arts college located in Mount Vernon. It is known for its distinctive One Course At A Time curriculum, which allows students to focus intensively on one subject for three and a half weeks before moving on to the next course. The college’s campus is characterized by its historic buildings and scenic surroundings.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #103 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 1,100 students

Degrees Offered:

Cornell College offers undergraduate programs in various disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 64%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1220.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Research and Academic Clubs
  2. Performing Arts Groups
  3. Outdoor Recreation Clubs
  4. Volunteer and Community Service Programs
  5. Greek Life

Famous Alumni:

  1. Paul Engle (Poet)
  2. Robert Wadlow (Tallest Recorded Person in History)
  3. Doug Swift (NFL Player)
  4. Kerry Boustead (Rugby Player)
  5. Jim Leach (Former U.S. Congressman)

Top Employers:

  1. Cornell College
  2. Transamerica
  3. Rockwell Collins
  4. United Fire Group
  5. Alliant Energy

University of Dubuque

The University of Dubuque, founded in 1852, is a private university located in Dubuque. It is known for its strong programs in aviation, business, and the sciences. The university’s campus is situated on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, providing students with stunning views and a peaceful environment for learning.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #47 in Regional Universities Midwest (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 2,000 students

Degrees Offered:

The University of Dubuque offers undergraduate and graduate programs in various disciplines, including aviation management, business administration, criminal justice, and nursing.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 62%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1050.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Aviation Clubs and Organizations
  2. Business and Entrepreneurship Clubs
  3. Outdoor Recreation Clubs
  4. Volunteer and Service Programs
  5. Performing Arts Groups

Famous Alumni:

  1. Forrest Crandall (NFL Player)
  2. Shirley Brown (Singer)
  3. David Leitch (Film Director)
  4. Ronald J. Gibson (Judge)
  5. Reggie Roby (NFL Player)

Top Employers:

  1. University of Dubuque
  2. John Deere
  3. Dubuque Community School District
  4. MercyOne
  5. IBM
Best Universities in Iowa
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