First-Year Student Admissions

To join Honors, students must have an ACT English score of at least 24 (SAT EWR score of 600), and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be in the upper 5% of your high school graduating class
  • Have an ACT composite score of 30 or higher (or 1400 SAT)
  • Be a National Merit or National Achievement Finalist or Semifinalist
  • Have completed an AP/Cambridge Capstone Program Credential

The application deadline is April 1st. Students are admitted on a rolling basis beginning in late August for the following academic year, with priority given to applications that are received first. Students typically receive a response on the status of their application within three weeks. If you are trying to apply after the April 1st deadline, or if you have any questions about the application process, contact the Honors Program office at (515) 294-4371 or honors@iastate.edu.

An orientation meeting for new FHP members is held on Day 1 of your ISU Orientation in June. Information will be mailed to new members prior to your ISU Orientation date. Information on opportunities and benefits Honors has to offer, including a list of fall term Honors courses and seminars can be found in the FHP Summer Orientation Guide which will be provided.


If you have been offered admission to Iowa State University, you can apply to the First-Year Honors Program by submitting the First-Year Honors Program Application. The form asks about your contact information, high school activities and other involvements, senior year coursework, and two 500 word essays:

Answer one question from each section. We will evaluate your essay on original thought, organization, and quality of writing.

Section 1:

  1. Select a single book, film, or video game that you think everyone in your generation should read, see, or play. Why do you think so?
  2. In your view, is it better to pursue a goal vigorously but make mistakes, or to avoid but achieve less or take longer to reach the goal? Explain.

Section 2: 

  1. If you could create a class, not in your planned major, that let you pursue a personal interest, what would it be, and why?
  2. Home or Away? Explain your reasoning.