Graduate Tuition - Frequently Asked Questions

Tuition rates are set by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The rates vary by residency status (resident, non-resident, or international), level of study (undergraduate, lower/upper division, graduate, or professional), and field of study.

Tuition rates for part-time students (those taking 8 or fewer credits in a semester) are pro-rated and assessed on a credit hour basis. Students taking only online courses are assessed resident tuition rates.

Why is tuition higher for some academic programs compared to others?

Some academic programs charge higher tuition rates because the cost of delivering those programs is higher, and added revenue is needed to ensure a high quality educational experience. These higher assessments are based on the department associated with a student’s graduate degree program and their major professor of choice.

Iowa State graduate students pay higher tuition in the colleges and academic departments listed below:

College or Department

Animal Science*
Computer Science*
Ecology, Evolution & Organismal Biology *
Genetics Development & Cell Biology *
Industrial Design*
Microbiology *
Plant Pathology *
Nat Res Ecol & Mgmt *

*Differential tuition for these programs will be charged beginning with the Summer 2017 semester.

Why did the tuition rate recently increase for students in my major?

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved higher tuition rates in 2016 for specific academic programs (noted with an “*” in the table above). These rates will take effect beginning with the Summer 2017 semester.

Based on feedback from students, Iowa State plans to phase in the new higher tuition charges over three years (i.e., students will be assessed one-third of the increase in the first year; two-thirds in the second year; and the full amount beginning in the third year). For future years, the tuition rates for these programs will be adjusted by the same annual percentage increase as the university’s base tuition.

Are the higher tuition rates also assessed for the summer semester?

Yes. However, most students typically take only 1-2 classes during the summer, so in those cases the higher rates would be assessed per credit hour.

When students are charged higher tuition rates, how are those revenues used?

Iowa State programs that charge higher tuition rates use the added revenue to hire additional faculty and maintain high-quality laboratory equipment and staff.

It is important to note that, even after fully implementing the higher tuition rates, Iowa State’s overall tuition levels will remain low compared to our peers.