Accredited Online Colleges in Iowa

Accredited colleges and universities have had their educational programs and faculty evaluated by an outside agency. Those agencies ensure that the school provides a high-quality education to its students, so to have your degree recognized by employers, it’s critical to attend an accredited institution. Below you’ll find information on higher education in the state and helpful resources on online colleges in Iowa.

Scholarships Available
  • Accreditation Agencies
  • Education Links
  • Notable Schools

Accreditation Agencies

The follow agencies accredit schools in Iowa. Keep in mind that these agencies only offer institution-wide accreditation, not program-specific. If you’re looking for information on particular programs, refer to our subject pages.

Higher Education Links

For further information on higher education, state legislation, or educational policies in Iowa, see the agencies below. These organizations can also provide general information to help in your school search.

Notable Schools

Picking a school can be a daunting task, especially when considering the sheer number of institutions there are in the state. Our database below can help with narrowing down your options for online colleges in Iowa. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most notable accredited online and campus-based schools in the state to help you begin your school search.


Iowa has several outstanding public universities, each with its own particular character. Learn more about the best of those institutions below.

Iowa State University


As the state’s largest public university, Iowa State is provided an education to 30,748 students during the fall of 2013. The school is noted for its research facilities and especially for the U.S. Department of Energy laboratory on campus. Students dominate the small population of Ames, Iowa, but the school offers more than enough on-campus activities and NCAA Division 1 sporting events to keep everyone busy. Adding to the school’s list of achievements, faculty member Daniel Shechtman won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2011.

University of Iowa

Iowa City

The University of Iowa rivals Iowa State in numerous categories: the two schools compete fiercely in athletics, academics, and school pride. UI has 30,129 students, but it counteracts that with a low student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1. Students benefit from high quality medical, dental, and educational programs: the school provides 79% of the state’s dentists, 50% of its physicians, and educates teachers that go on to work in districts across Iowa. In addition, George Gallup, the founder of the famous Gallup Poll, is a UI alum.

University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls

With 12,273 students during the fall of 2013, the University of Northern Iowa offers a smaller campus experience than either of the previous two universities. The school began as the Iowa State Normal School for teachers, in 1876, but now offers students more than 90 majors. It’s primarily a liberal arts institution, but also offers master’s and doctoral degrees to approximately 2,000 students.


In addition to its public universities, Iowa is home to a number of exceptional private schools. Learn about a few standouts below.

Drake University

Des Moines

Iowa’s largest private school, Drake University, houses its 5,270 students in the state’s capital city. The school was founded in 1881 and named after Civil War general Francis Marion Drake. With six different colleges on its campus, there’s a niche for nearly any interest. Outside of class, students can hone their leadership skills by participating in the the school’s impressive Donald V. Adams Leadership Institute.

Grinnell College


Grinnell is No. 17 on US News’ list of liberal arts colleges and No. 9 on Forbes’ list of midwest colleges. The small school, which had only 1,674 undergraduate students in the fall of 2013, is one of the most selective schools in the country. Grinnell is known in particular for its social responsibility programs and its creative writing department. Notable alumni include Ian Roberts, the founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade, and Robert Noyce, the co-founder of Intel.

Coe College

Cedar Rapids

Another small school, Coe enrolled 1,367 students during the fall of 2013. Coe is proud of its low, 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio, with almost 70% of its classes containing fewer than 20 students. The school’s mascot, the Kohawk, is a combination of the state’s hawk mascot and the Native American word “ko,” meaning “like the.” In addition, Grammy-winning musician Michael Boddicker and former Iowa Writing Workshop director Paul Engle both graduated from Coe.