Transfering to Iowa State - Recommended Courses

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

For the Biology Program

  • Principles of Biology I and II (plus labs).  Most institutions offer a full year, college-level overview of biology intended for biology majors that covers a broad range of subjects including biodiversity, cell biology, genetics, ecology, and evolution.  Principles of Biology is a pre-requisite for upper-division biology courses, and is therefore the most important pair of courses to complete prior to transferring to Iowa State.
    • You should plan to take both semesters of this full year biology overview at the same institution if at all possible.  This is required in order for the classes to transfer in as our Principles of Biology in many cases, most notably for all Iowa community colleges.  
  • General Chemistry (plus lab).  We require one semester of college-level general chemistry for our program.  Because many professional schools require a full year of general chemistry, you may want to take a full year 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 lab).  We require one semester of college-level organic chemistry for our program.  As with general chemistry, many professional schools require a full year of organic chemistry, therefore you may want to take a full year of college-level organic chemistry instead.
    • If you opt for the full year of organic chemistry, take both semesters at the same institution if at all possible.
  • Mathematics and/or Statistics.  We require two semesters of math and/or statistics.  For most students, taking one semester of calculus and an introductory statistics course will suffice.  
  • General Physics (plus labs).  One semester of physics, including a lab, will satisfy the requirements for our biology major.  Some professional schools require a full year, so plan accordingly and take the full year if you need to or want to.  
    • If you opt for the full year of physics, take both semesters at the same institution if at all possible.

 

For General Education

  • 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.  

 

If you are attending one of Iowa's community colleges, we have transfer plans available that provide additional recommendations.  If you are attending a community college outside of Iowa, or a 4-year public or private institution, TRANSIT can be used to check course equivalency at Iowa State.