Placement Information FAQ

How do I sign up for an orientation program?

Once you have accepted your offer of admission and paid your New Student Program Fee, you will receive an invitation to attend orientation from your college. Please note that you must accept your offer of admission and pay the orientation fee in order to receive your invitation to orientation.

Admissions Acceptance Form (PDF)

Am I required to attend orientation?

Many important details concerning your enrollment are covered in the orientation program and this information will be beneficial to you. We strongly encourage all entering students to attend orientation.

What if I have decided to change my major?

If you have been offered admission to Iowa State, but have decided to change your major, you should first contact the Office of Admissions. An admissions counselor can change your major for you. If your new major is in a different college than your previous one, the admissions office will notify the colleges of the change. Your new college will then send you information regarding its orientation programs. It is highly important for you to attend an orientation program for the college in which your new major belongs.

What is the difference between orientation and a campus visit?

Orientation is one of the final steps in your enrollment at Iowa State. A campus visit is an earlier step that will help you decide if Iowa State is the right school for you. An official campus visit arranged through the admissions office will include an enrollment information session, a walking tour of campus, a residence hall tour and complimentary lunch (when classes are in session), and academic information in your major of interest. For more information regarding campus visits to Iowa State, see Visit the Campus.

Should my parents, spouse, or other family members attend orientation?

Yes! We welcome and encourage other family members to attend orientation with you. Special orientation sessions are offered for family members. so they can learn about Iowa State and the college experiences you will encounter as a student here.

What if I cannot attend any of the scheduled orientation programs?

This situation arises occasionally, particularly with students serving in the military or traveling abroad. If you cannot attend an orientation program in the months prior to your enrollment, we encourage you to attend the one-day orientation session held just before classes begin for your term. Each college within the university handles class registration for its students.

If you cannot attend orientation, you should contact your college.

How do I know if I have to take placement tests?

At orientation, your academic adviser will help you register for classes that best fit your level of preparation, based on high school courses, ACT and SAT scores, and placement assessments.

Iowa State uses ACT and SAT scores to determine English course placement.

All entering students are required to take the online Math Placement Assessment through the ALEKS system.

How do I contact my college?

Specific questions concerning orientation and your academic program should be directed to your college. Iowa State is organized into nine different colleges, including seven undergraduate colleges, a College of Veterinary Medicine, and a Graduate College. For information on how to contact your college, see College Contacts.

Where can I find more information regarding credit for AP, CLEP, IB, and departmental test-out exams?

Iowa State offers credit for numerous types of exams. We recommend that you check with an academic adviser in your major of interest before registering to take these exams. An adviser can tell you if the credit awarded for particular tests will be accepted into your degree program. For more information, please see Credit by Exam.