Enrollment numbers reflect student interest in STEM fields

A student working inside the architectural robotics lab at the Student Innovation Center

A student working in the Architectural Robotics Lab at the Student Innovation Center on campus. Photo by Matt Van Winkle

AMES, Iowa – A friend encouraged James Morrissette to add Iowa State University to the list of colleges he was considering for engineering programs. The first-year student from Illinois took his friend’s advice and found Iowa State checked a lot of boxes.

“I was looking to make sure I got some hands-on work through the mechanical engineering department or maybe in the Student Innovation Center. I was also looking to find whether or not there were clubs related to space and technological advancements,” Morrissette said. “I took a look at Iowa State and the next thing you know we checked off every box.”

Student James Morrissette standing on campus

First-year student James Morrissette on campus. Photo by Christopher Gannon

Morrissette is one of 5,387 first-year students at Iowa State this fall – an academically strong class with a grade point average of 3.7. Like many first-year students who participate in one of Iowa State’s 90+ learning communities, Morrissette joined LEAD: Leadership through Engineering Academic Diversity after participating this summer in APEX (Academic Program for Excellence), an eight-week program for multicultural students. It’s these experiences and opportunities that students value at Iowa State.

“With nearly 60% of our students enrolled in a STEM major, Iowa State continues to demonstrate its leadership as the university of science and technology,” President Wendy Wintersteen said. “Students are eager to embrace Iowa State’s innovative mindset and enhance their classroom learning with undergraduate research, learning communities and many experiential opportunities such as those offered in our new Student Innovation Center.”

Enrollment at 30,708, increases in first-year students

Iowa State’s total fall enrollment of 30,708 includes 25,808 undergraduate, 4,264 graduate and 636 veterinary medicine students, representing all 99 Iowa counties, all 50 states and 112 different countries.

While overall enrollment is down 1,117 students from last year, the university saw a 6% increase in new first-year students and a 1% increase in new graduate students. Laura Doering, associate vice president for enrollment management, says the larger incoming class is a credit to the university’s efforts to support students throughout their time at Iowa State.

“Students come to Iowa State for quality academic programs, excellent value, career placement opportunities and the support services to succeed. We are here to help them reach their potential and earn a degree that will benefit them throughout their lifetime,” Doering said.

Fall 2021 enrollment by college (undergraduate and graduate)

Agriculture and Life Sciences 4,401

Business 4,722

Design 1,925

Engineering 7,597

Human Sciences 3,679

Liberal Arts and Sciences 7,306

Veterinary Medicine 801 (professional and graduate)

Interdepartmental units and graduate undeclared 277