Top 10 Universities in Iowa

Iowa has achieved a local and international reputation for its academic excellence. Its educational diversity is undoubtedly unmatched because it aims to fulfill the state’s employment demands.

The best institutes in the state focus on educating leaders, professionals, and technicians who can confidently uphold Iowa’s future. With its world-class education system, Iowa offers valuable education that helps its students become successful in their careers.

Are you looking for a vibrant and friendly campus with various student activities in Iowa? Then, you have landed at the right place. Here, we have listed the top universities in Iowa that provide bachelor and doctoral programs. 

Best Colleges and Universities in Iowa

10. University of Dubuque

Founded in 1852, it is a private university situated in Dubuque. As a Presbyterian university, the University of Dubuque comprises religious affiliations to the Presbyterian Church. It’s Charles C. Myers Library is well-furnished with books, magazines, journals, periodicals, and research materials.

The university offers undergraduate degrees in aviation, business, computer studies, digital art, education, economics, fine arts, history, health, language and literature, nursing, philosophy, wellness, and exercise science.

Aviation leadership, business administration, communication management, diversity and inclusion leadership, and physician assistant studies are the areas where graduate degrees are offered. Its Heritage Centre caters to the staff, faculty, students, and even the public.

9. Graceland University

Sponsored by the Community of Christ, Graceland University was founded in 1895 to provide exceptional higher education. It is located at Lamoni in Iowa, about an hour south of Des Moines.

Its beautiful campus spans 170 acres in the rolling hills of southern Iowa. Among its specialties, the Helene Center for the Visual Arts and the Resch Science and Technology Hall are the envy of other institutions.

Graceland also offers distance learning in several programs like a Master of Science in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and a Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Management.

In addition, the university extends its learning environment to residential and also non-residential students. Focusing on human dignity, social responsibility, and mutual respect, Graceland promotes justice and world peace through practical action.

8. Clarke University

Situated in Dubuque, Clarke University boasts a famous nursing program for hosting an annual evening with quality music and gourmet food. Its most popular course of study is nursing which has received the Iowa Board of Nursing’s approval. Students get the opportunity to receive training within doctoral programs.

More than 17% of its students major in nursing, and 90% of the majors receive a job before graduating. Though Clarke is relatively small, it offers more than thirty courses, including a BA and a BFA in several subjects. Its sports teams are known as Crusaders.

Clarke has nine men’s and ten women’s teams participating in varsity competitions through the Hart of America Athletic Conference.

7. Briar Cliff University

Situated in Sioux City, IA, the university has a suburban setting. Its facilities attract students for easy commutation. Since 1930, Briar Cliff has been a private institution offering academic programs in undergraduate, graduate, and professional streams.

Briar Cliff University is reputed among the top universities in Iowa for its commitment to higher education from a Catholic perspective.

With its focus on quality education, Briar Cliff works through a combination of broad intellectual background and career development. In addition, the University targets to make its students grow in self-awareness and their relationships with each other and the Almighty.

6. Mount Mercy University 

A private institution founded in 1928, Mount Mercy University is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Sisters of Mercy established the university in 1928 to offer affordable education for the solid preparation of students.

It is centered around a co-educational and residential environment rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition. The university has more than 1,600 students from various corners of the globe.

Such a vibrant, diverse, and welcoming campus community arrangement imparts a distinctive look to Mount Mercy University among several universities in Iowa. Its academic coursework is based on service, social responsibility, and ethical leadership. 

5. University of Northern Iowa

Established in 1876, the University of Northern Iowa lies in Cedar Falls, Iowa. It holds consistent rankings for being one of the best institutions in the mid-west. The university’s foundation lies in a solid liberal arts curriculum that targets to provide excellent education to its students in a personalized learning environment.

Having accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, it offers over 150 fields of study with more than 90 undergraduate majors. In addition, it provides a plethora of online undergraduate and master’s degree programs.

One of its notable features is that UNI offers resources to make its campus accessible to learners with special needs. Its campus also boasts a wellness and recreation facility that extends programs like personal training and intramural sports.

4. Dordt University

Situated in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt University was founded in 1955. Having an affiliation with the Christian Reformed Church in North America, it enrolls around 1,500 students.

Dordt’s faith is foundational to its athletic competitions, coursework, and music rehearsals. Besides its vibrant spiritual life, students can find other ways of engaging themselves, like sports and outdoor activities.

In addition, the University offers good entertainment in dances, talent shows, and mock shows. Life at the university lies in a pleasant Christian atmosphere with a rural setting. 

3. University of Iowa

UI is situated in Iowa City, 25 miles south of Cedar Rapids. The architecture of its sprawling campus ranges from historic buildings to classical collegiate and contemporary styles.

It is known to be the first university to use television in education. The institution offers graduate and undergraduate education, professional education, and training in health sciences.

UI has an ongoing tradition, the ‘Iowa Challenge’, which started as an attempt to build expectations for its students. Its culture is based on a collaborative decision-making community fostering open communication.

UI’s seven interdependent commitments that help execute its priorities are excellence, learning, diversity, integrity, community, respect, and responsibility. 

2. Iowa State University

One of the three best universities in Iowa, it has received the recognition of a ‘Medallion Site’ from the American Association of Landscape Architects in their centennial listings. ISU is situated in Ames, Iowa.

With the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation, ISU awards bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and other professional degrees.

According to its mission of identifying, developing, spreading, and preserving knowledge, the university operates agricultural extension courses as non-credit programs for farmers, students, gardeners, and others interested in horticultural activities.

The university is well-known as an agricultural school for its focused research on soil, agriculture, and food preparation. With more than 500 student organizations, ISU caters to each student’s choice for personal and professional interests.

1. Drake University

Located in Des Moines, the Disciples of Christ founded Drake University in 1881. It is a private institution that offers several student activities, including club and intramural sports teams. A unique feature of the university is that its students can design their majors or create an academic plan according to their discretion.

Drake consists of a sizeable Greek community with a dozen fraternities and sororities. The majority of its students live on campus in its residence halls. Its students can participate in undergraduate research, leadership, and ESL programs.

Moreover, the university also provides 175 study-abroad programs held in more than 60 countries. The most popular undergraduate majors at Drake University are Marketing/Business, Education, and Journalism/Communications. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should you study in Iowa?

Besides its remarkable educational opportunities, Iowa is suitable for studying due to its natural environment and affordable cost of living.

Which is the best institute in Iowa for studying agriculture?

Iowa State University is one of the finest universities in Iowa to get a degree in agriculture and agricultural operations. 

What are the tuition costs for Iowa universities?

$19,809 is the tuition cost for public in-state universities. Contrariwise, a private university costs an overall tuition fee of $44,850.

What is the process to apply to universities in Iowa?

The initial step is to visit the official website and apply for a degree program. Here, you will find the precise requirements to gain admission. After providing the necessary documents, you should pay the application fee to complete the procedure.

What is the minimum score required to get into a university in Iowa?

The minimum GPA score required to get into an Iowa university is 3.0.

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