MS Agronomy Admission Requirements

Academic Requirements - All Applicants

  1. Obtain a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  2. Undergraduate GPA of 2.8 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  3. Successfully complete the following ISU courses or equivalent at another institution:
    • Agronomy 181: Introduction to Crop Science (3 credits)*
    • Agronomy 182: Introduction to Soil Science (3 credits)*
    • Biology 101: Introductory Biology (3 credits)
    • Chemistry 163: General Chemistry (4 credits)
    • Math 140: College Algebra (3 credits)
    • Statistics 104: Introduction to Statistics (3 credits)
    • * If you are a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) the prerequisite crop and soil courses (181 and 182) will be waived.

These prerequisites have been limited to those considered essential because many potential students for the degree program will not have majored in agronomy as undergraduates. Generally, students who have completed a 4-year degree from a College of Agriculture will have satisfied most of these requirements. Meeting the requirements mentioned above does not guarantee admission. You will go through the standard admission process of the Agronomy Department and  the Graduate College at Iowa State University. If you do not meet the requirements, we can advise you on preparing for the program.

English Proficiency Requirements - International Applicants

ISU Graduate Admission Application instructions state: For the purpose of applying to Iowa State, English may be considered your primary language if you have been raised in an environment where English is the only official language of your locality and nation, and English is the language used in your home.

Examination Types

These tests measure a student’s understanding of the English language:

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

The ISU Graduate College requires a minimum score of one the following to qualify for Admission (scores must be within 2 years of application):

  • Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) 79
  • Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT) 550
  • IELTS 6.5 

Applicants who meet or exceed the following TOEFL or IELTS scores fulfill all ISU English placement requirements:

  • Internet-based TOEFL (iBT)--105 (and above)
  • Paper-based TOEFL (PBT)--640 (and above)
  • IELTS--8.0 (and above)

After Admission:

  1. English Placement Test (EPT): is required for students who meet the minimum score for admission, but fall short of the high score necessary to fulfill the English proficiency requirement.  The EPT is a test of a student’s ability to communicate using the English language. 
    • The Graduate College requires students to take the EPT preferably before their first class, and absolutely before the end of the first semester.
      • If the EPT is not taken before the end of the first semester, the Grad College will not allow a student to register for classes. 
      • Distance students can take this online.
      • The EPT is scored by staff in the English department, and is pass/fail.
    • Students who pass the EPT fulfill ISU English placement requirements
  2. ENGLISH 101D: is required for students who fail the EPT. This class must be completed the next available semester it is offered.  There are online sections of this course.  A grade of D or above is acceptable to meet the ISU English placement requirement.


Questions about the admissions process?

If you need assistance at any time during this process, contact the MS Agronomy program office (MS).