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List of colleges and universities in Iowa

An exterior shot of a silver, uneven building
An exterior shot of a limestone, rectangular building
Advanced Technologies Laboratory at the University of Iowa (left) and Alexander Dickman Hall at Upper Iowa University (right)

There are sixty colleges and universities in the U.S. state of Iowa that are listed under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.[note 1] These institutions include two research universities, nine master's universities, and nineteen baccalaureate colleges, as well as twenty-one associate's colleges. In addition, eleven special-focus institutions and three baccalaureate/associate's colleges operate in the state. The Iowa Board of Regents, a governing board, oversees the state's three public universities – the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa.[1]

Ashford University, a national for-profit online school based in Clinton, is Iowa's largest post-secondary institution; it had a spring 2012 enrollment of 74,596. Iowa State University is the state's largest public institution of higher education; [2]it had 33,241 students in attendance as of fall 2013. With 5,713 students, Upper Iowa University is the state's largest private not-for-profit school. The Des Moines campus of the University of Phoenix, a national institution, has the smallest enrollment in Iowa. The state's oldest post-secondary institution is Loras College, a private Catholic school in Dubuque that was founded in 1839,[3][4] seven years before Iowa became a state.[5]

The state's only two law schools, the multiple agencies, such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National League for Nursing (NLNAC).


  • Institutions 1
  • Defunct institutions 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


List of active institutions
School Location[note 2] Control[note 3] Type[note 4] Enrollment[8]
(spring 2012)
Founded Accreditation[8]
AIB College of Business Des Moines Private not-for-profit Special-focus institution 862 1921[9] NCA
Allen College Waterloo Private not-for-profit Special-focus institution 500 1925[10] NCA, CCNE, JRCERT, NLNAC
Ashford University Clinton Private for-profit Master's university 74,596 1918[11][note 5] NCA
Briar Cliff University Sioux City Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 1,185 1930[13] NCA, CCNE, NLNAC
Buena Vista University Storm Lake Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 2,555 1891[14] NCA
Central College Pella Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 1,604 1853[15] NCA, NASM
Clarke University Dubuque Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 1,232 1843[16] NCA, APTA, CCNE, NASM
Clinton Community College Clinton Public Associate's college 1,700 1946[17] HLC
Coe College Cedar Rapids Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 1,378 1851[18] NCA, CCNE, NASM
Cornell College Mount Vernon Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 1,197 1853[19] NCA
Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny Public Associate's college 25,425 1966[20] NCA, ABFSE, ADA, NLNAC
Des Moines University Des Moines Private not-for-profit Special-focus institution 1,815 1898[21] NCA, AOA, APTA, APMA, CEPH
Divine Word College Epworth Private not-for-profit Special-focus institution 126 1931[22] NCA
Dordt College Sioux Center Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 1,407 1955[23] NCA, CCNE
Drake University Des Moines Private not-for-profit Master's university 5,384 1881[24] NCA, ACPE, ABA, NASAD, NASM
Eastern Iowa Community College District Davenport Public Associate's college 9,839 1965[25] NCA
Ellsworth Community College Iowa Falls Public Associate's college 1,044 1890[26] NCA
Emmaus Bible College Dubuque Private not-for-profit Special-focus institution 249 1941[27] ABHE, NCA
Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary Ankeny Private not-for-profit Special-focus institution 348 1921[28] ABHE, NCA
Graceland University–Lamoni Lamoni Private not-for-profit Master's university 2,320 1895[29] NCA, TCATE
Grand View University Des Moines Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 2,229 1896[30] NCA, CCNE
Grinnell College Grinnell Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 1,693 1846[31] NCA
Hamilton Technical College Davenport Private for-profit Special-focus institution 250 1969[32] ACCSC
Hawkeye Community College Waterloo Public Associate's college 6,290 1966[33] NCA, ADA, APTA
Indian Hills Community College Ottumwa Public Associate's college 5,033 1969[34] NCA, AOTA, APTA, JRCERT
Iowa Central Community College Fort Dodge Public Associate's college 6,298 1966[35] NCA, ADA, JRCERT, NLNAC
Iowa Lakes Community College Estherville Public Associate's college 3,102 1967[36] NCA
Iowa State University Ames Public Research university 29,611 1858[37] NCA, AAMFT, ADA, APA, AVMA, NASM
Iowa Wesleyan College Mount Pleasant Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 741 1842[38] NCA, NLNAC
Iowa Western Community College Council Bluffs Public Associate's college 7,176 1966[39] NCA, NLNAC, ADA
ITT Technical Institute–Clive Clive Private for-profit Associate's college 257 1969[40] ACICS
Kaplan University–Davenport Davenport Private for-profit Master's university 56,606[note 6] 1937[41] NCA
Kaplan University–Cedar Falls Campus Cedar Falls Private for-profit Baccalaureate/associate's college 520 1937[41] NCA
Kaplan University–Cedar Rapids Campus Cedar Rapids Private for-profit Baccalaureate/associate's college 687 1937[41] NCA
Kaplan University–Des Moines Campus Urbandale Private for-profit Associate's college 905 1937[41] None
Kaplan University–Mason City Campus Mason City Private for-profit Baccalaureate/associate's college 329 1937[41] NCA
Kirkwood Community College Cedar Rapids Public Associate's college 17,625 1966[42] NCA, ADA, AOTA, APTA
Loras College Dubuque Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 1,555 1839[43] NCA
Luther College Decorah Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 2,471 1861[44] NCA, CCNE, NASM, TCATE
Maharishi University of Management Fairfield Private not-for-profit Master's university 1,134 1971[45] NCA
Marshalltown Community College Marshalltown Public Associate's college 2,026 1927[46] NCA, ADA
Mercy College of Health Sciences Des Moines Private not-for-profit Special-focus institution 2,026 1995[47] NCA, APTA, CCNE, JRCERT, JRCNMT, NLNAC
Morningside College Sioux City Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 2,047 1894[48] NCA, CCNE, NASM, TCATE
Mount Mercy University Cedar Rapids Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 1,824 1928[49] NCA, CCNE
Muscatine Community College Muscatine Public Associate's college 1,800 1929[50] HLC
North Iowa Area Community College Mason City Public Associate's college 3,557 1918[51] NCA, APTA, NLNAC
Northeast Iowa Community College–Calmar Calmar Public Associate's college 5,051 1967[52] NCA
Northwest Iowa Community College–Sheldon Sheldon Public Associate's college 1,544 1966[53] NCA
Northwestern College Orange City Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 1,211 1882[54] NCA, CCNE, TCATE
Palmer College of Chiropractic Davenport Private not-for-profit Special-focus institution 2,198 1897[55] NCA, CCE
Saint Ambrose University Davenport Private not-for-profit Master's university 3,567 1882[56] NCA, AOTA, APTA, CCNE, TCATE
Scott Community College Bettendorf Public Associate's college 5,000 1966[57] HLC
Simpson College Indianola Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 1,866 1860[58] NCA, NASM
Southeastern Community College West Burlington Public Associate's college 3,341 1967[59] NCA
Southwestern Community College Creston Public Associate's college 1,762 1966[60] NCA
St. Luke's College Sioux City Private not-for-profit Associate's college 193 1966[61] NCA, JRCERT, NLNAC
University of Dubuque Dubuque Private not-for-profit Master's university 2,003 1852[62] NCA, ATSCA, CCNE
University of Iowa Iowa City Public Research university 31,498[63] 1847[64] NCA, ACPE, ABA, ADA, APTA, APA, ASHA, ACPE, CAHME, CCNE, CELPA, AANA, CEPH, JRCERT, LCME, NASD, NASM, NAST
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls Public Master's university 13,168 1876[65] NCA, ASHA, NASM
University of Phoenix–Des Moines Campus West Des Moines Private for-profit Special-focus institution 33 1976[66] NCA
Upper Iowa University Fayette Private not-for-profit Master's university 5,713 1857[67] NCA, CCNE
Vatterott College Des Moines Private for-profit Associate's college 391 1969[68] ACCSC, ABHES, ADA
Waldorf College Forest City Private for-profit[69] Baccalaureate college 817 1903[70] NCA
Wartburg College Waverly Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 1,805 1852[71] NCA, NASM, NAST
Wartburg Theological Seminary Dubuque Private not-for-profit Special-focus institution 137 1854[72] ATSCA, NCA
Western Iowa Tech Community College Sioux City Public Associate's college 6,789 1966[73] NCA, ADA, APTA, NLNAC
William Penn University Oskaloosa Private not-for-profit Baccalaureate college 2,104 1873[74] NCA
Abbreviation Accrediting agency
AAMFT American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
AANA American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
ABA American Bar Association
ABFSE American Board of Funeral Service Education
ADA American Dietetic Association
AOA American Osteopathic Association
AVMA American Veterinary Medical Association
ACICS Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
ACPE Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
ADA American Dental Association
ABHES Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
ACCSC Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
AOTA American Occupational Therapy Association
APTA American Physical Therapy Association
APMA American Podiatric Medical Association
APA American Psychological Association
ASHA American Speech–Language–Hearing Association
ABHE Association for Biblical Higher Education
ACPE Association for Clinical Pastoral Education
ATSCA Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
CAHME Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
CCNE Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
CELPA Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
CCE Council on Chiropractic Education
CEPH Council on Education for Public Health
JRCERT Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Radiologic Technology
JRCNMT Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology
LCME Liaison Committee on Medical Education
NASAD National Association of Schools of Art and Design
NASD National Association of Schools of Dance
NASM National Association of Schools of Music
NAST National Association of Schools of Theatre
NCA North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
NCATE National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
NLNAC National League for Nursing

Defunct institutions

List of defunct institutions
School Location Control Founded Closed Ref(s)
Algona College Algona Private 1868 1875 [75]
Charles City College Charles City Private 1891 1914
Merged into Morningside College
Des Moines College Des Moines Private 1865 1929 [76]
Highland Park College Redfield Private 1890 1929 [75]
Western College/Leander Clark College Toledo Private 1857 1918
Merged into Coe College
Lenox College Hopkinton Private 1859 1944 [75]
Marycrest International University Davenport Private 1939 2002 [75]
Midwestern College Denison Private 1965 1970 [75]
Ottumwa Heights College Ottumwa Private 1864 1980 [77]
Parsons College Fairfield Private 1875 1973 [75]
Sioux Empire College Hawarden Public 1965 1985 [78][79]
Tabor College Tabor Private 1853 1927 [75]
Westmar University LeMars Private 1890 1997 [75][80]
Wilton German English College Wilton Private 1894 1904
Vennard College University Park Private 1910 2008 [75][81]

See also


  1. ^ Kaplan University operates six campuses in Iowa.
  2. ^ School location is based on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
  3. ^ School control is based on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
  4. ^ School types are based on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
  5. ^ Bridgepoint Education purchased Franciscan University of the Prairies in 2005 and renamed it to its present title.[12]
  6. ^ This is a distance learning campus.


  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions about the Board of Regents, State of Iowa". State of Iowa. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Welcome to Loras College!".  
  4. ^ "College grad takes post at alma mater".  
  5. ^ "The Path to Statehood". Iowa Public Television. Retrieved September 21, 2012. 
  6. ^ "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year".  
  7. ^ "The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association".  
  8. ^ a b "College Navigator".  
  9. ^ "AIB History".  
  10. ^ "About Allen College". Allen College. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Our History".  
  12. ^ Kirkham, Chris (July 19, 2012). "For-Profit College At Risk Of Losing Accreditation And Access To Federal Student Aid".  
  13. ^ "Welcome to Briar Cliff University!".  
  14. ^ "History".  
  15. ^ "About Central College".  
  16. ^ "Mission & History".  
  17. ^ "Clinton Community College".  
  18. ^ "History of Coe College".  
  19. ^ "Our History & Traditions".  
  20. ^ "College History".  
  21. ^ "History".  
  22. ^ "About Divine Word".  
  23. ^ "About Dordt College".  
  24. ^ "History and Traditions".  
  25. ^ "History".  
  26. ^ "IVCCD History".  
  27. ^ "Our Heritage".  
  28. ^ "Welcome".  
  29. ^ "History".  
  30. ^ "Grand View Mission and Overview".  
  31. ^ "College History".  
  32. ^ "Hamilton Tech History".  
  33. ^ "History of Hawkeye".  
  34. ^ "Mission and History".  
  35. ^ "About Iowa Central".  
  36. ^ "General Information". Iowa Lakes Community College. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
  37. ^ "History of Iowa State".  
  38. ^ "History".  
  39. ^ "About Iowa Western".  
  40. ^ "About Us".  
  41. ^ a b c d e "Kaplan University History and Facts".  
  42. ^ "College History". Kirkwood Community College. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
  43. ^ "History of Loras College".  
  44. ^ "About Luther".  
  45. ^ "Founding and History of the University".  
  46. ^ "IVCCD History".  
  47. ^ "History". Mercy College of Health Sciences. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
  48. ^ "About Morningside".  
  49. ^ "Mount Mercy Through the Years".  
  50. ^ "Muscatine Community College".  
  51. ^ "History".  
  52. ^ "History of Northeast Iowa Community College".  
  53. ^ "NCC Through the Years".  
  54. ^ "About NWC".  
  55. ^ "Who We Are: FAQS".  
  56. ^ "History".  
  57. ^ "Scott Community College".  
  58. ^ "About Simpson".  
  59. ^ "College History".  
  60. ^ "College History".  
  61. ^ "Our History". St. Luke's College. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
  62. ^ "Bibliography On Christianity and Higher Education" (PDF).  
  63. ^ "UI Enrollment Reaches Record High".  
  64. ^ "About Iowa".  
  65. ^ "A Brief History of UNI".  
  66. ^ "About University of Phoenix".  
  67. ^ "The University's History".  
  68. ^ "About Us".  
  69. ^ Jaschik, Scott (May 6, 2009). "The Sale of Waldorf".  
  70. ^ "History".  
  71. ^ "Mission and History".  
  72. ^ "About Us".  
  73. ^ "About WITCC".  
  74. ^ "The History of William Penn University".  
  75. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Iowa Colleges that have Closed, Merged, Changed Names".  
  76. ^ "Des Moines College".  
  77. ^ "Ottumwa Heights College".  
  78. ^ Odell, Mary Jane; Triggs, Michael L. (editor) (1985). 1985–86 Official Register, Volume Sixty-One. Iowa Secretary of State. p. 290. 
  79. ^ "Three officials of failed college indicted for fraud".  
  80. ^ "Westmar University marks 105 years". The Daily Reporter. October 31, 1995. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  81. ^ Masterson, Kathryn (November 13, 2008). "Vennard College, in Iowa, Announces It Will Close".  

External links

  • U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics listing of accredited institutions in Iowa
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