University of Iowa Requirements for Admission

What are University of Iowa's admission requirements? While there are a lot of pieces that go into a college application, you should focus on only a few critical things:

  • GPA requirements
  • Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements
  • Application requirements

In this guide we'll cover what you need to get into University of Iowa and build a strong application.

School location: Iowa City, IA


Admissions Rate: 81%

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at University of Iowa is 81%. For every 100 applicants, 81 are admitted.

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This means the school is lightly selective. The school will have their expected requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT scores. If you meet their requirements, you're almost certain to get an offer of admission. But if you don't meet University of Iowa's requirements, you'll be one of the unlucky few people who gets rejected.


University of Iowa GPA Requirements

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.

Average GPA: 3.63

The average GPA at University of Iowa is 3.63.

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(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.63, University of Iowa requires you to be above average in your high school class. You'll need at least a mix of A's and B's, with more A's than B's. You can compensate for a lower GPA with harder classes, like AP or IB classes. This will show that you're able to handle more difficult academics than the average high school student.


SAT and ACT Requirements

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to University of Iowa. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.

University of Iowa SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.

Average SAT: 1705 (New: 1220)

The average SAT score composite at University of Iowa is a 1705 on the old 2400 SAT scale.

On the new 1600 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1220.

This score makes University of Iowa Competitive for SAT test scores.

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University of Iowa SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1080, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1370. In other words, a 1080 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1370 will move you up to above average.

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math640570730
Reading292533
Writing302833
Composite122010801370

University of Iowa SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)

The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1480, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 1930. In other words, a 1480 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 1930 puts you well above average.

Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math620540700
Reading540460620
Writing545480610
Composite170514801930

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

University of Iowa has the Score Choice policy of "Highest Sitting."

This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider the SAT score from your single highest test date (the sum of math, reading, and writing).

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and University of Iowa only considers your highest score on a single test date, you can take the SAT as many times as you want, then submit your strongest score. Your application readers will only see that one score.

Therefore, if your SAT score is currently below a 1480, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You don't have much to lose, and you can potentially raise your score and significantly boost your chances of getting in.


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University of Iowa ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, University of Iowa likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 26

The average ACT score at University of Iowa is 26. This score makes University of Iowa Moderately Competitive for ACT scores.

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The 25th percentile ACT score is 23, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 28.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 23 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to University of Iowa, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 23.


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SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.

University of Iowa considers the SAT/ACT Writing section optional and may not include it as part of their admissions consideration. You don't need to worry too much about Writing for this school, but other schools you're applying to may require it.


SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

We did not find information that University of Iowa requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.



Final Admissions Verdict

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Because this school is lightly selective, you have a great shot at getting in, as long as you don't fall well below average. Aim for a 1480 SAT or a 23 ACT or higher, and you'll almost certainly get an offer of admission. As long as you meet the rest of the application requirements below, you'll be a shoo-in.

But if you score below our recommended target score, you may be one of the very few unlucky people to get rejected.



Admissions Calculator

What are your chances of admission at University of Iowa?
Chances of admission with these scores:

Here's our custom admissions calculator. Plug in your numbers to see what your chances of getting in are.

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Note: This is only an estimate for the average student, based on data collected from thousands of students. Other factors in your application may come into play, such as extracurriculars and recommendation letters.

How would your chances improve with a better score?

Try to take your current SAT score and add 160 points (or take your ACT score and add 4 points) to the calculator above. See how much your chances improve?

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Application Requirements

Every school requires an application with the bare essentials - high school transcript and GPA, application form, and other core information. Many schools, as explained above, also require SAT and ACT scores, as well as letters of recommendation, application essays, and interviews. We'll cover the exact requirements of University of Iowa here.

Application Requirements Overview

  • Common Application Not accepted
  • Universal Application Not accepted
  • Electronic Application Available
  • Essay or Personal Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Interview Not required
  • Application Fee $40
  • Fee Waiver Available? Available
  • Other Notes Minimum Regent Admission Index (RAI) requirement of 245 for residents, 255 for nonresidents required for freshmen

Testing Requirements

  • SAT or ACT Required
  • SAT or ACT Writing Optional
  • SAT Subject Tests
  • Scores Due in Office April 1

Coursework Requirements

  • Subject Required Years
  • English 4
  • Math 3
  • Science 3
  • Foreign Language 2
  • Social Studies 3
  • History
  • Electives

Deadlines and Early Admissions

  •  
    • Offered? Deadline Notification
  • Regular Admission
    • Yes April 1 Rolling
  • Early Action
    • No
  • Early Decision
    • No

Admissions Office Information

Our Expert's Notes

We did more detailed research into this school's admissions process and found the following information:

You will apply to Liberal Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Nursing, Education, Pharmacy, or Medicine colleges. Application requirements vary by program. For more info on specific colleges, see this page. For the Liberal Arts and Sciences college, you must meet the minimum high school course requirements and have a Regent Admission Index of at least 245 for Iowa residents and 255 for out-of-state students. (For more on RAI and how to calculate yours, see this page.)

There are various scholarships available. Most are considered automatically, but for the Presidential Scholarship you need at least a 30 ACT (or a combined SAT Critical Reading and Math score of 1330) AND a 3.80 grade-point average (GPA) on a 4.00 scale, as well as a separate application. More on scholarships here.

For the Honors College, you will be considered automatically and admitted if you meet the following GPA/Score minimums:
For students entering in Spring 2016 or earlier:

  • a GPA of 3.8 or higher and ACT composite of 27 or higher,
  • ORa GPA of 3.7 or higher and ACT composite of 30 or higher

For students entering in Summer 2016 or later:
  • a GPA of 3.8 or higher and ACT composite of 30 or higher.

If you don't meet those minimums but want to be considered, you can submit an appeal consisting of a personal statement, letter of recommendation, and your transcript, by May 1. Learn more about honors here.

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Other Schools For You

If you're interested in University of Iowa, you'll probably be interested in these schools as well. We've divided them into 3 categories depending on how hard they are to get into, relative to University of Iowa.


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Reach Schools: Harder to Get Into

These schools are more selective and have higher scores than University of Iowa. If you improve your SAT score, you'll be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 1310 1849 28
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY 1290 1815 29
Penn State University Park University Park, PA 1270 1786 27
Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 1270 1782 27
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY 1270 1775 27
Hofstra University Hempstead, NY 1240 1178 27
Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX 1260 1762 27

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Same Level: Equally Hard to Get Into

If you're competitive for University of Iowa, these schools will offer you a similar chance of admission.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
Auburn University Auburn University, AL 1250 1742 27
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 1230 1726 26
Temple University Philadelphia, PA 1230 1719 26
Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT 1200 1677 24
Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ 1200 1670 25
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 1190 1652 27
Ohio University Athens, OH 1180 1632 24

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Safety Schools: Easier to Get Into

If you're currently competitive for University of Iowa, you should have no problem getting into these schools. If University of Iowa is currently out of your reach, you might already be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 1170 1620 24
University of North Texas Denton, TX 1160 1610 23
Pace University New York, NY 1140 1070 24
Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, FL 1150 1595 24
University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX 1120 1549 23
Washington State University Pullman, WA 1110 1535 23
California State University Long Beach Long Beach, CA 1060 984 21

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