Learn more about the admissions process, how to apply, and how your application is processed with these frequently asked questions—
Please read this information carefully if you are applying or have already applied to our program. We respectfully ask that you refrain from calling or sending e-mail unless it is absolutely essential. The time we spend responding to these inquiries greatly slows our applications processing.
If you have more questions after exploring our website, contact our graduate programs assistant, Amy Carver, at firstname.lastname@example.org. She also can be reached via instant message at ISUmegradinfo on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m.
- Complete your Iowa State Graduate Application online (paying by credit card).
Contact the institution(s) you have attended and have them send your official transcripts to
Office of Admissions
100 Enrollment Services
Iowa State University
Ames, IA, 50011-2011 USA
Note: Once you click the Submit button on your online application, you have officially completed the process and will receive a confirmation page.
- Select three people with whom you have worked, either professionally or educationally, to complete letters of recommendation for you.
- Submit a current résumé and a one-page statement of purpose that highlights your ability, motivation, and experience related to your chosen research field as well as your career goals. Submit these documents electronically to email@example.com.
- Submit your official GRE scores directly to us through the Educational Testing Service. Our school code is 6306. If you need more information about taking the GRE, visit www.ets.org. You can submit all application materials prior to submitting your GRE scores.
Iowa State has a shared application process, which means certain items are sent to the Iowa State Office of Admissions and other items are sent to the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Programs Office. Get more information regarding the application process.
- Application fee
- Official GRE scores (sent by testing services)
- Official TOEFL scores (sent by testing services)
- Letters of recommendation
We prefer you use the online letter of recommendation process. Include your recommenders’ names and e-mail addresses on the application form, and they will be sent instructions on how to submit their letter electronically.
Submit these materials by mail:
- Include your name and admission term in the subject line as it appears on your application form (for example: Firstname Lastname, Fall 2011).
- A short résumé or vita (two pages or less) that describes your related project or work experience, honors, awards, publications, membership in professional societies, and extracurricular activities.
- A 500-700 word statement of purpose that highlights your ability, motivation, and experience related to your chosen research field as well as career goals.
Note: If completed as part of the electronic application, you do not need to submit a second copy to the department.
Graduate Programs Office
Department of Mechanical Engineering
2025 Black Engineering
Iowa State University
Ames, IA, 50011-2161 USA
Note: Individual faculty cannot comment on an applicant’s chances for admission, so we ask that you do not contact faculty directly regarding your admission status.
Note: If you are a U.S. citizen AND are a member of an underrepresented minority group, please contact our graduate programs assistant, Amy Carver, at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about fee deferral options. She can also be reached via instant message at ISUmegradinfo on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m.
Due to the high volume of applications received in the Office of Admissions and our Graduate Programs Office during December through February, you may not receive acknowledgement that we have received your applications or supporting materials.
However, if we do not receive the necessary academic records (and graduate examination scores, if required) within a reasonable time after your application is received, we will send you an e-mail notifying you that your application is incomplete and prompting action. If you receive this e-mail, you must complete this action to be considered for admission into our program.
- TOEFL score: Guideline is a minimum of 570 (paper-based) or 230 (computer-based) or 79 (iBT).
- GRE score: Guideline is a minimum of 700 (quantitative) and 3.5 or 700 (analytical).
Note: For the purpose of applying to Iowa State, English may be considered your native language if you have been raised in an environment where English is the only official language of your locality and nation and English is the language used in your home. If your native language is not English, you must submit scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
This requirement is waived if you have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a country where English is the only official language.
Note: All official GRE and TOEFL scores come to the Office of Admissions, so you do not need a department code.
Note: The Office of Admissions uses only official scores to process your application. Copies of scores will not be considered.
Note: The Office of Admissions uses only the official scores to process your application. To expedite your application’s processing, we request that you send photocopies of your official GRE and TOEFL results.
For example, most U.S. schools have a 4-pt. grading system where A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, F = 0. If your GPA score on that scale was 3.00, you would list it as 3.00/4.00. Other examples of GPAs on grading scales used in other countries are 80/100; 8/10; 2nd Division, Upper/1st Division; etc.
A simple conversion to the 4.0 scale would be useful for application processing—it does not have to be exact; an estimate is acceptable. Note that while the department committee will use this estimate to review applicants, the Admissions Office will evaluate your grades based on the information on your official transcript.
The Graduate Studies Committee begins reviewing applications shortly after the application deadline. You will receive a notification when review begins to verify that your application is under consideration. Depending on the number of applications received, the review process can take up to two weeks. Once we have reviewed all the applications, you will be informed via e-mail as to the committee’s decision (qualified or denied).
The application packages of applicants who are deemed qualified for admission by the committee will be forwarded to the faculty for admission and assistantship consideration. Offer letters will be sent electronically around the first two weeks of March for fall semester applications and around the first two weeks of October for spring semester applications.
Note: Your application is valid only for one year.