Carey Stansbury

Written by Carey Stansbury

Modified & Updated: 31 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Iowa State University, located in Ames, Iowa, is a renowned public research institution with a rich history dating back to 1858. As one of the largest universities in the United States, it boasts a diverse and vibrant campus community, offering a wide array of academic programs and extracurricular activities. From its impressive agricultural research to its cutting-edge engineering initiatives, Iowa State University has continually demonstrated a commitment to excellence in education and innovation.

In this article, we'll delve into 15 fascinating facts about Iowa State University, shedding light on its unique heritage, notable achievements, and the distinctive elements that make it a standout institution in the realm of higher education. Whether you're a prospective student, an alumnus, or simply an admirer of academic excellence, these intriguing insights will give you a deeper appreciation for the dynamic and influential role that Iowa State University plays in shaping the future. So, let's embark on a journey to uncover some captivating aspects of this esteemed university!

Key Takeaways:

  • Iowa State University is a vibrant public research university with rich history, strong agricultural programs, and a commitment to sustainability, offering diverse educational pathways and a thriving campus culture.
  • With over 800 student organizations, a renowned football team, and a dedication to environmental stewardship, Iowa State University provides a dynamic and enriching learning environment for students and faculty alike.
Table of Contents

Iowa State University is a Public Land-grant Research University.

Located in Ames, Iowa, Iowa State University (ISU) stands as a prestigious public land-grant research university. With a rich history dating back to 1858, it has continually exemplified excellence in education, research, and innovation.

The University's Official Colors are Cardinal and Gold.

The distinctive cardinal and gold colors proudly represent Iowa State University's identity and are prominently featured in its sports teams' uniforms, campus decorations, and academic regalia.

Iowa State University is Home to Over 800 Student Organizations.

From academic and professional clubs to cultural and recreational groups, Iowa State University offers a diverse array of student organizations that cater to a wide range of interests and passions.

The University's Mascot is Cy the Cardinal.

Cy the Cardinal, the beloved mascot of Iowa State University, symbolizes the university's spirit and pride, cheering on the Cyclones at various athletic and campus events.

Iowa State University is Known for its Strong Agricultural Programs.

As a leading institution in agricultural research and education, Iowa State University has made significant contributions to the advancement of agricultural practices and technologies.

The University's Library Houses Over 3 Million Volumes.

The extensive collection at the Iowa State University Library provides students and faculty with a wealth of academic resources, including books, journals, and digital materials.

Iowa State University is a Member of the Big 12 Conference.

Iowa State University's athletic teams compete in the prestigious Big 12 Conference, showcasing their talent and sportsmanship on a national stage.

The University's Campus Spans Over 1,900 Acres.

The sprawling campus of Iowa State University encompasses a diverse range of academic buildings, research facilities, and green spaces, offering an enriching environment for learning and exploration.

The Iowa State University Cyclones Football Team Has a Rich History.

The Cyclones football team has a storied legacy, captivating fans with thrilling games and remarkable achievements throughout its history.

Iowa State University Hosts the Largest Student-Run Career Fair in the Nation.

The Iowa State University Career Fair, organized by students, provides a platform for networking and career opportunities, attracting numerous employers and students each year.

The University's Alumni Include Nobel Prize Winners.

Iowa State University boasts a distinguished alumni community, with several individuals who have been honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize for their remarkable contributions to society.

Iowa State University Offers Over 100 Bachelor's Degree Programs.

With a wide array of academic disciplines and majors, Iowa State University provides students with diverse educational pathways to pursue their passions and career aspirations.

The University's Reiman Gardens Showcases Spectacular Botanical Collections.

Reiman Gardens, located on the campus of Iowa State University, features stunning botanical displays, educational programs, and captivating events for visitors of all ages.

Iowa State University is Committed to Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship.

The university's initiatives and practices reflect a dedication to sustainability, encompassing energy conservation, recycling programs, and environmental education.

The University's Jack Trice Stadium Honors a Historic Figure.

Jack Trice Stadium, the home of the Cyclones football team, pays homage to Jack Trice, the first African American athlete at Iowa State University, whose legacy embodies courage and resilience.

Iowa State University, a renowned public research institution, continues to uphold its legacy of excellence in education, innovation, and community engagement. With a vibrant campus culture, diverse academic offerings, and a rich history of accomplishments, Iowa State University stands as a beacon of learning and discovery for students, faculty, and the broader community. Whether through groundbreaking research endeavors, spirited athletic competitions, or impactful outreach initiatives, Iowa State University remains dedicated to shaping the future and making a positive difference in the world.


Iowa State University is a remarkable institution with a rich history, diverse academic offerings, and a strong commitment to research and innovation. By exploring these 15 fun facts, you've gained a deeper understanding of the university's unique culture and contributions to academia. Whether it's the iconic Campanile, the renowned agricultural programs, or the vibrant student life, Iowa State University continues to stand out as a leading educational hub. As you consider your academic journey, remember that Iowa State University offers a wealth of opportunities for personal and intellectual growth, making it an exciting destination for students from around the world.


What makes Iowa State University stand out?Iowa State University stands out for its strong emphasis on research, extensive academic offerings, and vibrant campus life. With a focus on innovation and a diverse community, it provides a dynamic environment for students to thrive.

How can prospective students learn more about Iowa State University?Prospective students can explore Iowa State University's official website, attend virtual campus tours, connect with current students and faculty, and participate in admissions events to gain valuable insights into the university's programs and campus life.

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