Questions & Answers
Sus Ag Programs at ISU
Basic Qualifications for Admission
For all applicants:
For MS applicants:
- an undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or better (on a 4.00 scale),
- at least 6 credits completed in the natural sciences, and
- at least 6 credits completed in the social sciences.
For PhD applicants:
- an earned Bachelor's degree and
- a demonstrated record of achievement in one of the natural, social, or engineering sciences.
- an earned Master's degree and
- either a Bachelor's or Master's degree in one of the academic majors offered through the ISU
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). For a list of these programs, please see
CALS Academic Majors below.
How to Apply
Submit an on-line Graduate College application. Official transcripts of
all previous academic work must be submitted to ISU Office of Admissions. (See on-line instructions for address.)
The links to applications for both US citizens (including permanent residents, refugees or political asylees)
and international students are located at the following page.
Submit a statement of purpose (included in on-line application).
In your statement, please describe your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your specific research interests,
your background and/or experience related to sustainable agriculture, your preference for a faculty advisor, and
any other information you wish to tell us about yourself. The statement is a particularly important tool in
helping us select a faculty advisor for you. Please be as specific as possible.
Submit a score report from the GRE General Test.
The minimum required scores are a total of 300 or higher (new test) or 1000 or higher (old test)
in the Verbal and Quantitative sections and 3.5 or higher in the Analytical Writing section.
An official score report must be sent to Iowa State (institution code 6306, department code 0199). Test
scores are valid for five years from the date the test is taken.
Applicants whose native language is not English and who have not completed
a university degree in a country where English is the official language must submit a score
report from the TOEFL or IELTS.
The minimum required scores for admission are 230 (CBT) or 570 (PBT) or 80 (IBT) for the TOEFL or 6.5 for
the IELTS. An official score report must be sent to the ISU Office of Admissions.
A recent resume or CV, including awards, honors, and publications
(if any). Please send directly to the program via the
GPSA program coordinator.
Three letters of recommendation are required and may be submitted in
one of two forms:
- on line - Enter the e-mail addresses of three referees in the on-line Graduate
- on paper - Referees may send letters directly to the GPSA program
When to Apply
Applications may be submitted at any time for any term of entry; however, the
deadlines for priority consideration
for competitively awarded fellowships, scholarships, and assistantships are
The majority of admissions to the GPSA are for the fall term (beginning in August).
All currently available ISU fellowships and many other competitive financial awards are timed to the fall
admission cycle. If you have questions about when best to apply, please contact
the GPSA program coordinator.
- 1 February for fall and summer semester admission and
- 1 September for spring semester admission.
How We Evaluate Your Application
Admission to the GPSA depends upon three key factors:
For more information about how we evaluate your application and the timing of admission offers, please
see Admission Evaluation and Offers.
- the applicant presenting competitive academic credentials,
- the identification of a faculty advisor with an open position, and
- the identification of a source of funding.
Support for the first year of study is typically provided by some combination of GPSA
and advisor and/or departmental funds. In subsequent years, support commonly comes from a student's advisor
and/or home department. GPSA students may qualify for ISU fellowships and grants and awards
from organizations external to the university.
News about financial awards is routinely posted at
Questions about the application process and any other admissions-related issue may be directed to
Charles R. Sauer
Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture
657 Ross Hall (office)
603 Ross Hall (campus mail box)
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011-1200
CALS Academic Majors
- Agricultural Biochemistry
- Agricultural Business
- Agricultural Economics
- Agricultural Education
- Agricultural Engineering
- Agricultural Meteorology
- Agricultural Studies
- Agricultural Systems Technology
- Animal Ecology
- Animal Breeding and Genetics
- Animal Physiology
- Animal Science
- Crop Production and Physiology
- Culinary Science
- Dairy Science
- Diet and Exercise
- Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
- Environmental Science
- Family and Consumer Sciences
- Fisheries Biology
- Food Science
- Global Resource Systems
- Industrial Technology
- Insect Science
- International Agriculture
- Meat Science
- Nutritional Science
- Plant Biology
- Plant Breeding
- Plant Pathology
- Public Service and Administration in Agriculture
- Rural Sociology
- Seed Science
- Soil Science
- Sustainable Agriculture
- Wildlife Ecology
Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin,
sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a US veteran.
Inquiries about this policy may be made to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 3680
Beardshear Hall, telephone 515.294.7612.