- English — 4 years
- Mathematics — 3 years (1 year each of algebra, geometry, advanced algebra)
A fourth year of study involving analytic geometry, trigonometry, linear algebra, and/or calculus is strongly recommended for students who will major in mathematical or scientific disciplines.
- Science — 3 years (Including 1 year each of two of the following: biology, chemistry, physics)
- Social Studies — 3 years
- World Language — 2 years
Three years or more of a single world language are strongly recommended for students who wish to continue their work in that language.
Required courses of all students at Iowa State:
- English 150 and English 250: If you scored less than or equal to 23 on the English portion of the ACT, you will be placed in English 150; if you scored 24 or higher you are exempt from English 150 and will be placed in English 250; if you scored 23 and have a high school rank of 75% or higher, you will also be exempt from English 150 and will be placed in English 250.
- Library 160: This is a one credit, half semester course that is completed almost entirely online. Students are encouraged to take the class their freshman year, before taking English 250.
- U.S. Diversity: Helps students to prepare to meet the challenges of responsible citizenship and effective professional roles in the multicultural society of the United States.
- International Perspectives: Helps students to meet the challenges of responsible citizenship and effective professional roles in a culturally diverse and global community.
- World Language: Students who declare a major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are required to complete at least one year of college level world language study unless he/she has had three or more years of a single world language at the high school level.
There are different requirements for students transferring from an accredited two or four year institution.