Campus and Ames

An award-winning campus in a top-ranked city

As a world-class institution, Iowa State offers a variety of opportunities for students and employees alike to advance within their chosen fields, experience a supportive community, and engage in their hobbies and interests.

Our outstanding faculty and staff are regularly recognized for their dedication and contributions to Iowa State that impact our campus, community, and beyond. These include our University Honors and Awards, which recognize achievements in a variety of disciplines including teaching, research, and leadership as well as college and departmental awards. Additionally, several of our faculty and staff have received national awards celebrating excellence within their fields.

Our award-winning campus is located within the heart of Ames, a charming town with activities for every season, including museums, sculpture gardens, live music, shopping, sporting events, theatre, and much more. Just 45 minutes north of Iowa’s capitol, Des Moines, and a few hours from Minneapolis, Omaha, and Kansas City, Iowa State’s location is the ideal spot for those who like to stay local and those who are called to explore.

The City of Ames offers safe neighborhoods, many local parks, nationally recognized schools, and an abundance of family-friendly activities.  You can also enroll your kids in Ames’ youth recreation activities, Iowa State's summer learning camps, after-school programs, and much more. Check out all there is to DO, EAT, SHOP, and STAY with the Visitors Guide to Ames and Iowa State.


  • Museums

    Delight in the visual arts

    University Museums encompasses two art museums, a National Historic Landmark historic home museum, a sculpture garden, and one of the largest campus public art collections in the nation. Enjoy world-class exhibitions with educational programming, a permanent collection of more than 30,000 objects, and a commitment to diversity in the growing Art on Campus collection.

    Ames Main Street is a cultural and entertainment district, an official designation from Iowa Cultural Affairs, and is a great way to get involved with the community.

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    Best college town in the nation

    From the Wall Street Journal to Forbes Magazine, the city of Ames continually ranks among America's best cities to live, work, play, and, of course, go to college. From live music and shopping to outdoor activities and arts and culture, there is something for everyone in Ames.

    Take in a live event for one of Iowa State's 16 varsity athletic teams. Iowa State competes in the Big 12 Conference, a premier athletic conference. There is always something exciting happening in Cyclone Nation! Discover more about Iowa State!

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    An enchanting escape

    Bring your family or take a break at Reiman Gardens, a 17-acre oasis on campus open year-round. The public garden includes a tropical conservatory and a butterfly wing with hundreds of exotic butterflies taking wing. Be sure to get a photo with Elwood, the world's largest concrete gnome at 15 feet tall.