Prospective Students

Design's New Student orientation

Orientation is a program for students who have accepted their offer of admission to Iowa State University, paid the acceptance fee and plan to enroll the following term. An invitation will be sent to you to participate in an orientation session.

During orientation, you will increase your knowledge of Iowa State, including important policies and procedures. In addition, you will register for your first-semester classes. Orientation will also help prepare you for the personal and social adjustments you will make upon entering ISU.

At orientation you will have the opportunity to

  • Learn more about your desired major
  • Meet with an academic adviser
  • Register for classes
  • Obtain your ISUCard (permanent identification card)
  • Sign up for your free Iowa State email account
  • Consult with a financial aid adviser, if needed
  • Learn about resources such as tutoring, counseling and student clubs
  • Become familiar with the campus
  • Register for Destination Iowa State

Find out more on the university's orientation web page

English Placement Information
English placement is based on your ACT-E or SAT-V scores. For more information see

Math Placement Information
All new students who enroll in a math course at Iowa State University must take ALEKS, an online math placement assessment. Six credits of math and science courses are needed to apply to any of the College of Design's degree programs after completing the Core Program. You cannot be registered for a MATH course at orientation if you have not completed ALEKS.

Specific program application requirements:

  • Architecture: MATH 145 (usually taken in the fall term) and PHYS 111 (usually taken in the spring term)
  • Landscape Architecture: MATH 145

Please plan to take ALEKS at least one month before orientation, which allows you time to retake it if you are not satisfied with your initial score. The ALEKS assessment is online, and make sure to prepare for it. Start the assessment early in the day and allow at least two hours in order to complete it.  For more information on the ALEKS assessment, see

Note: you can still sign up for classes at orientation without having taken ALEKS; however, you will NOT be allowed to register for a MATH course without it.