What Makes the College of Engineering Unique?

October 2016

The College attracts students who want to become engineers — and something more, through studies in such areas as music, art, foreign languages, theater, health sciences, and business.  In addition to rigorous core engineering courses, the College also concentrates on developing teamwork, leadership, communication, entrepreneurship, global awareness, and creativity among its students.

No "Weed Out" Philosophy

  • The College has no "weed out" philosophy. It puts energy and resources into seeing every first-year student becomes a successful graduate.

Ties to Other Colleges

  • All six engineering programs have close teaching and research ties with the five health sciences colleges on one campus.

Student Statistics

  • In Fall 2014, the College experienced the 10th straight year of undergraduate student growth and a record year of freshman enrollment.  Total College enrollment (undergraduate and graduate) is now 2,490.

  • Engineering students (7.6% of total University enrollment) are awarded many of the top first-year student merit scholarships.

  • More than 70% have graduated with a second major, a minor, or a certificate.

  • In the past 40 years, 25 Engineering students have earned the prestigious University of Iowa Hancher-Finkbine Medallion for leadership, learning, and loyalty upon graduation.

  • 22% of undergraduate students are women — above the 17% national average for engineering.

  • Students entering the College have ACT scores that are in the top 10% nationally (28 average on a 36 scale, with both high math and verbal scores).

Technological Entrpreneurship Certificate

  • The College is the first in the U.S. to offer a Technological Entrepreneurship Certificate with an engineering degree.

Grand Challenges Scholars

  • The nation's seventh program of its kind—the first in the Big Ten—it awards scholarships to engineering students who commit to addressing priority issues identified by the National Academy of Engineering through research, interdisciplinary study, entrepreneurship, global experience, and service.

Hanson Center for Technical Communication

  • Designed to integrate writing-to-learn strategies and project presentation skills into curriculum; teach students efficient ways to conduct research, gather evidence, and identify audiences; and help students gain confidence as speakers and writers. It also creates opportunities for summer short courses in improved technical communication for industry.

NEXUS Engineering and Arts Initiative

  • A creative challenge for art and engineering students and faculty to achieve great outcomes collaborating with one another.


  • The College has 15,000 alumni worldwide. 

  • Eight alumni are members of the National Academy of Engineering.


  • The College excels internationally in several specialty and interdisciplinary research areas, including computer-aided design and simulation, human factors, environmental health solutions, biotechnology, medical imaging, hydraulics and water/air resources, photopolymerization, sustainability, and nanoscience and nanotechnology, among other areas.

  • Each faculty member generates about $568,000 in collegiate and interdisciplinary research funding. Total annual expenditures for both college and interdisciplinary research amount to $51 million.

Nationally Ranked Programs

  • The College ranks among the top 20% engineering graduate and undergraduate programs nationally by US News & World Report.


  • 100% of undergraduate courses are taught by tenured and tenure-track faculty.