Accelerated Degree Programs

Iowa State University has 64 academic degrees – including programs in every undergraduate college – that can be completed on an accelerated schedule, including in three years. These accelerated degree pathways should be considered as one of the many options students have for completing their studies at Iowa State.

There are several ways for students to pursue an accelerated degree program:

  • Enter Iowa State with early credit earned in high school, which may include specific prerequisites for their chosen degree program
  • Take a higher than average level of credit hours each semester, generally 16 or more
  • Take classes during one or more summer terms

Iowa State’s academic advisers work with students to achieve their completion goals on an individualized basis, including course planning to help students graduate at an accelerated pace. Prospective students who are interested in earning a degree on an accelerated schedule should also discuss with their high school guidance counselor the courses that must be taken to achieve this goal.

Our advisers also work with students who want to graduate in four years, but who also desire multiple internships, study abroad opportunities, or who need to return home and work during the summer.

What’s most important is that students choose the best option for their abilities and ultimate career goals. Some students, for example, may be uncomfortable and, ultimately, less successful, taking more than four classes each semester. Likewise, an accelerated program may not be desirable or feasible for students interested in internships or co-ops, Study Abroad, undergraduate research, or student leadership opportunities on campus.

A list of degree programs where accelerated pathways are available can be found below. Interested students should discuss their options with an academic advisor in the appropriate college.

Available accelerated degree pathways:                                                                        

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

  • Agricultural Biochemistry
  • Agricultural Business
  • Agricultural Systems Technology                                                      
  • Agronomy
  • Animal Ecology
  • Animal Science
  • Biology
  • Culinary Science
  • Dairy Science
  • Diet and Exercise
  • Dietetics
  • Food Science
  • Forestry
  • Genetics
  • Global Resource Systems
  • Horticulture
  • Microbiology
  • Nutritional Science

College of Business

  • Accounting
  • Business Economics
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Supply Chain Management

College of Design

  • Art and Design
  • Community and Regional Planning
  • Design

College of Engineering

  • Industrial Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

College of Human Sciences

  • Events Management (3 pathways)
  • Apparel, Merchandising and Design (6 pathways)
    • Creative and Technical Design Option (2 pathways)
    • Merchandising Option (2 pathways)
    • Product Development Option (2 pathways)
  • Child, Adult, and Family Services (3 pathways)
    • Child Programs Option
    • Youth Programs Option
    • Adult/Family Programs Option
  • Kinesiology and Health (2 pathways)
    • Exercise Science Option
    • Pre-Health Professions Option - Pre-Physical Therapy
  • Culinary Science
  • Dietetics
  • Food Science (2 pathways)
    • Technology Option
    • Food Science and Industry Option
  • Nutritional Science (2 pathways)
    • Nutrition and Wellness Option
    • Pre-Health Professional Research Option
  • Elementary Education
    • English/Language Arts Endorsement
    • Social Studies Endorsement

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

  • Chemistry
  • Communication Studies
  • Earth Science
  • Geology
  • History
  • Economics
  • Sociology
  • Meteorology
  • Psychology
  • Statistics
  • World Languages and Cultures