General Advice

Completing your undergraduate degree in four years is one of the best ways to keep college affordable, and Iowa is committed to helping you reach this goal. Here’s some general advice:

  • View requirements for Iowa’s Four-Year Graduation Plan listed below
  • Work with your advisor to create a plan of study that maps out what courses you’ll take in each semester.
  • Consider enrolling in courses during the summer. This may offer you more flexibility in creating your plan of study. Some students take courses from institutions close to home and transfer the credits back. Others enroll in summer courses at the University of Iowa. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Iowa’s support services can help you to boost your academic performance.

The University of Iowa's Four Year Graduation Plan

Nearly all students who enter the University as first-year students are automatically eligible for the University’s Four-Year Graduation Plan. Students who fulfill the Student Responsibilities outlined below have a commitment from The University of Iowa that they will be able to enroll in the courses they need to graduate in their primary major in four years.  

Students wanting to stay on track for four-year graduation need to work closely with their advisors to make sure they understand the requirements that must be met, as well as the appropriate sequences in which to take courses.

Student Responsibility

To remain eligible for the benefits of the Four-Year Graduation Plan, you must:

  1. Begin at the University as an entering first-year student.
  2. Understand that this plan covers primary majors only.
  3. Stay on track with your semester hours so that you earn 90 s.h. prior to the beginning of your senior year. Summer school is a great way to catch up or get ahead on hours or requirements.
  4. Meet with your advisor at least once each semester to discuss progress toward graduation and identify courses needed in the following semester.
  5. Meet the checkpoints (a sequence of required courses) outlined for your major.  If you should fall behind the timetable for the checkpoints, see your advisor to determine if it is possible for you to restructure your academic plan in order to stay on a four-year path to graduation.  
  6. If you are an Open major, or if you are working to get into a competitive admission major, or if you change majors once you are at the University, consult your advisor once you are in your new major to see if it still possible to meet the new checkpoints.
  7. Accept responsibility for monitoring your own progress so that you stay on track for graduating in four years.
  8. If you should be placed on academic probation, work with your advisor or collegiate office to see if a four-year graduation plan is still the best path for you.
  9. Accept responsibility for timely annual application for financial assistance.
  10. If graduation may be delayed due to the unavailability of a required course, notify in writing the executive officer of the department offering the course as soon as you recognize that the course is unavailable.

The University's Commitment

The University assures Four-Year Graduation Plan participants who fulfill the student responsibilities that they will be able to enroll in required courses that permit graduation in a single major in four years. The Plan does not apply to second majors, minors, or certificates.

In the event the you would be unable to graduate due to the unavailability of a course (or courses), the Department and College offering the major will choose one of the following remedies:

  1. Allow you to graduate in four years by substituting a different course (or courses) or independent study assignment, as determined by the Department and College offering your major.
  2. Allow you to graduate in four years by waiving the requirement, as determined by the Department and College offering your major.
  3. If, for some reason, neither of these two remedies are available to you, the University will pay the tuition and fees for you to take the unavailable course(s) at The University of Iowa in a later term.

There are a few majors that are not part of the Four-Year Graduation Plan:

  • Applied Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Elementary Education
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Informatics
  • Nuclear Medicine Technology
  • Nursing majors who are not admitted to the College directly out of high school
  • Radiation Sciences
  • Science Education

Although these departments do not participate in the program, with careful planning students may still be able to complete some of these programs in four years. 

For further questions, please contact the Academic Advising Center
C210 Pomerantz Center
(319) 353-5700