Graduate Application Process

Application Deadlines

The CCEE department has a rolling admissions process, meaning applications are reviewed throughout the year.  However, for the best chance at getting your application reviewed for your chosen term, the following preapplication deadlines apply:

  1. On-campus programs, MS & PhD, first consideration for assistantships:
    • December 15, for fall semester of the following year.
    • August 15, for the next spring semester.
  2. On-campus or online, Master of Engineering:
    • June 1 for Fall Semester
    • October 1 for Spring semester
Application Instructions & Process

CCEE utilizes the 2-phase ISU Graduate Admissions Application.

Phase 1: Submit Your Preapplication

  1. Link: ISU Admissions Graduate Application.
    • In the Additional Information section, carefully review instructions that pertain to your status.
  2. When you are ready, click CREATE ACCOUNT.
  3. Choose the Graduate Degree-Seeking Application.
    • REMEMBER: this is the official admissions application!
    • DO NOT skip any sections.
    • Enter information that best represents your background.
  4. Application choices:
    1. Degrees Sought:
  • Full Graduate Degrees: MS (Master of Science), M ENGR (Master of Engineering) or PhD
  • Certificates (not full degree program): CERT
    1. Major (for all degree programs): Civil Engineering
    2. Choose your specialization area(s), you are allowed 3.  NOTE: your application will be considered based upon your first choice
      • Civil Engineering Materials
      • Construction Engineering and Management
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Geotechnical Engineering
      • Intelligent Infrastructure Engineering
      • Structural Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
    3. Identify if you are interested in a distance (online only) or an on-campus program.
      • Note: Distance programs are M ENGR only
    4. Pay special attention to the following:
      • Name
        • Your name must be entered (spelling and order of your name) on your application exactly as it appears on your passport, driver’s license, or social security card.
      • GPA
        • Enter your GPA as it appears on your transcripts. Do not do any calculations if your GPA scale is not 4.0.
      • Transcripts
        • Upload unofficial scanned copies of academic records from your undergraduate degree, any graduate degrees, and any other diplomas or certificates.
        • International applicants:
          • Degree statements are required in addition to transcripts.
          • ISU Admissions does not accept WES credential evaluations. Please submit only transcripts and degree statements from your institutions, translated to English if necessary.
        • Exam Scores
          • Upload unofficial scanned copies of any examination results, if applicable:
            • GRE
            • English Proficiency: TOEFL, IELTS, DET

Preapplication review

  • Your preapplication will be compared to CCEE Admission Requirements.
  • If your phase 1 documentation shows that you meet CCEE admission requirements, you will be encouraged to move on to phase 2.
  • If your phase 1 credentials do not support admission, you will be notified.

If you are approved for Phase 2: finalizing the full application

  1. You will answer a few additional questions.
  2. Letters of Recommendation (LOR) are required. See LOR section below.
  3. All information & documents from Phase 1 are included in Phase 2.
    • You do not need to upload documents again.
  4. Pay the application fee. Fees are $60/US application, and $100/international application.
    • Well qualified applicants (GPA or equivalent of 3.5/4.0 or higher) may be offered a coupon code to pay the application fee.  Not all applicants will be offered a coupon code.

Letters of Recommendation

  1. You will be required to enter names and email addresses of 3 people who can submit LOR’s for you.
  2. You should inform your recommenders that they will be receiving a system-generated email request.
    • The LOR request will contain links to an LOR form and instructions to submit.
    • You must inform them of the application deadline, it will not be included in the request.
  3. It is preferable that your recommenders submit their LOR’s online.
  4. If your recommenders tell you they did not receive the LOR request, have them check junk mail.
  5. If the request for the LOR is not in junk mail, the recommender should complete the PDF LOR FORM and send it to

Complete Application Review

  • CCEE faculty review full applications only when they are complete with transcripts, exam scores and LOR’s.
  • You will be notified by email from the CCEE Admissions Coordinator when faculty have made admission decisions.
  • Should you be accepted for admission, official documents will be required.
Important Points
  1. Submitting a full application, and meeting or exceeding admission requirements, are not a guarantee of admission or an offer of assistantship.
  2. Graduate applicants preferably should have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in civil or construction engineering.
  • Applicants with degrees in associated disciplines, should they be accepted for admission, might be asked to complete undergrad background coursework to improve their academic preparation for graduate study.
  1. Applicants interested in assistantships need to specify their interest on their ISU Graduate application.
    • Consideration for assistantships will be determined from the application materials.
    • Assistantship (TA or RA) positions are very competitive, and not all applicants who want an assistantship will get a position.
If you are accepted for admission, and if you DO plan to attend ISU.

If you are accepted for admission, and you choose to become and ISU student, we can finalize your admission by taking the following steps:

  1. Accept your admission.

If you are accepted by CCEE for admission, we do not automatically admit you.  We want to be sure you will attend ISU.  You will be asked by the CCEE Admissions Coordinator if you are going to accept admission and become an ISU student.  We hope you will say YES!  You will not be required to pay an acceptance fee.

  1. Sending Official Documents

You will be required to submit official documents to ISU Admissions.  Do not send any documents to the CCEE Department.

 Official Transcripts

Official Transcripts include degree statements/diplomas (if available) and courses completed with grades.

Transcripts must be sent from your institution directly to ISU Admissions in one of the following ways:

Electronically: send to this email address from a secure transcript transfer system:


Postal mail:

Graduate Admissions

100 Enrollment Services Center

2433 Union Drive

Ames, IA  50011-2042


NOTE:  Your transcripts will not be accepted as official if:

  • Transcripts are sent directly via email – they must be transferred from a secure system to the email listed above.
  • Transcripts are handled by you in any way.

Official Exam Reports

  • GRE Report, send electronically from ETS: ISU Institution Code is 6306
  • English Exam report:
    • TOEFL: send electronically from ETS, ISU Institution Code is 6306.
    • IELTS: send by postal mail to address above (see transcripts).
    • DuoLingo: send electronically from Duolingo to ISU.


  1. Admissions approvals

Your application and supporting documentation will be evaluated by the ISU Admissions team.

  • This eval is a procedural check by Admissions of your documents.
  • If Admissions has questions or requires other documents, they will contact you directly with the email address you provided on your application.

The ISU Admissions office will make an official offer of admission only after the evaluation is complete, and they verify as valid all of your transcripts, exam scores, etc.

4. International Students: Passport Upload

Upload a copy of your passport (photo page) to your admissions account.