There are two options for distance students, non-degree and degree seeking.
Non-Degree Undergraduate Student
Students who wish to attend Iowa State University to take undergraduate courses but who do not plan to seek an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University should apply as non-degree undergraduate students. Credit taken under the non-degree undergraduate classification is applicable for undergraduate degree purposes. Credit obtained under the non-degree undergraduate classification may not, however, be applied toward a graduate degree. To enroll in a course as a non-degree undergraduate student, simply register for the course through the ELO website. The ELO registration form will serve as your non-degree student application. There are currently no undergraduate engineering degrees offered online through Iowa State University.
Non-Degree Graduate Student
You may wish to reap the benefits of coursework on the Iowa State campus without declaring a specific graduate major or stating a degree objective. Non-degree graduate admission status may be appropriate if you:
- Intend to transfer graduate credits earned at Iowa State University to other institutions.
- Intend to use your graduate credits to obtain professional certification.
- Enroll for personal satisfaction.
- Enroll in graduate courses periodically.
- Want to see if online learning is for you.
At Iowa State, you can change your mind. If you enroll as a graduate student without a declared major or degree objective and subsequently decide to seek an advanced degree, you will need to apply to and be accepted by a program and the Graduate College. To enroll in a course as a non-degree graduate student, simply register for the course through the ELO website. The ELO registration form will serve as your non-degree student application.
A maximum of nine graduate credits earned under the non-degree option may be applied toward your graduate degree program. Your graduate Program of Study committee will recommend to the Graduate College which of these graduate courses (if any) should be included in your degree program of study.
ELO currently offers a variety of engineering graduate degrees and certificates online as well as programs through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. To enroll in classes as a degree or certificate seeking student, you must apply to and be accepted by a program and by the Graduate College. You may choose to apply to a program before taking classes or after you have enrolled as a non-degree student. Application procedures will vary by program, but all will require:
- A bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by a recognized regional accrediting association. If you attended a non-U.S. college or university, your degree must have been received from a recognized institution where the requirements for the bachelor’s degree are similar to those at Iowa State.
- Graduate College Application
- Official transcripts from previously attended institutions
Many programs accept applications throughout the year. The Graduate College strongly recommends that for priority consideration of financial support and other program opportunities, all applications should be submitted prior to January 1 for summer and fall and prior to September 1 for spring, prior to the term for which you seek admission. For more information on specific program requirements or deadlines, see each program’s application requirements page on the Graduate College web site or visit each individual program page on the ELO site.