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Transfer Students

Transfer Students

Information for Prospective Transfer Students

Today, it is not uncommon for students to begin their undergraduate education at a community college or other institution prior to arriving at Iowa State University.  Transferring into our Environmental Science Program can be made easier with advanced planning.  We recommend discussing your transfer credits and your transfer plan with one of our environmental science advisors, and you can set up an appointment with us by contacting our main office (515-294-1064).  

Recommended Courses

If you intend to transfer to Iowa State University as an environmental science major, the following courses are recommended prior to your arrival:

For the Environmental Science Program

  • Environmental Science Courses.  If your institution offers them, plan to take some introductory environmental science courses.  These will help you explore the field to make sure it is a good fit for you and provide valuable experience that will be useful when you begin the environmental science core at Iowa State.
  • Introductory Biology (plus labs).  Most institutions offer both a single semester and a two semester overview of biology that covers a broad range of subjects including biodiversity, cell biology, genetics, ecology, and evolution.  Environmental scientists with a life-science focus should take two semesters of college-level introductory biology prior to transferring to Iowa State.  
    • If you plan to take a two semester introductory biology, do so at the same institution if at all possible.  Due to curricular differences, this is required in many cases in order for the classes to transfer in as our two semester introductory biology, most notably for all Iowa community colleges.
  • General Chemistry (plus labs).  We require one semester of college-level general chemistry for our program.  Environmental scientists with a physical-science focus or considering graduate school should consider taking two semesters of college-level general chemistry instead.
    • If you opt for the full year of general chemistry, take both semesters at the same institution if at all possible.
  • Organic Chemistry (plus labs).  We require one semester of college-level organic chemistry for our program.  As with general chemistry, students should consider taking two semesters if they wish to have a physical-science focus.
    • If you opt for the full year of organic chemistry, take both semesters at the same institution if at all possible.
  • ​Calculus and Statistics.  One semester of calculus and one semester of statistics are required by our program and are readily available at other institutions.  It is a good idea to complete our math requirements prior to transferring to Iowa State.  One semester of calculus and one semester of introductory statistics will meet our requirements.  
  • Physics.  One semester of algebra-based or calculus-based physics will satisfy our program requirements.  Environmental scientists with a strong physical-science emphasis may want to take a full year of physics.
    • If you opt to take the full year of physics, take both semesters at the same institution if at all possible.

General Education - University and College Requirement

  • College-level Composition and Speech.  Iowa State University requires a year of English (sometimes called composition I and II at other institutions) for all majors, and an advanced communications component such as a speech class.  Completing these before transferring here is recommended.  
  • World Language.  If you plan to enroll through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State and you don't have 3+ years of a world language from high school, you may want to complete your 101/102 level language before transferring to our institution.  
  • Arts and Humanities.  Take one to four classes in subjects like classical studies, cultural studies, history, literature, philosophy, and religion.
  • Social Sciences.  Take one to three classes in subjects like anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. 

Transferring Credits

As a prospective transfer student, one of the biggest questions on your mind is probably "how will my credits at another institution transfer to Iowa State and apply to the Environmental Science Program?"  Although official transfer credit evaluations won't be done until you apply and send transcripts into Admissions, there are many tools available that will give you an idea of how your credits will apply.  

If you have taken courses at community colleges in Iowa, Illinois, or Minnesota, we have course equivalency guides available.  If you have taken courses at other institutions, or want to run a preliminary degree audit to see how courses you have taken will apply to our program, TRANSIT is an excellent resource.  

Perhaps you want to make a plan for the courses you'll take at another institution before coming to Iowa State?  The resources described above, as well as our advisors, can assist you with developing a plan.  If you are planning to transfer from a community college in Iowa, we have developed the following transfer checklists.  If you are interested in creating a semester-by-semester plan, you can set up an appointment with an advisor in our program.