Best Undergraduate Business Schools in Iowa for 2024

Updated: May 7, 2024

By: Colleges of Distinction Staff

Jump to: Cornell College | Drake University | University of Iowa | Frequently Asked Questions

Every school on this list has already gotten our stamp of approval for the way they enrich every students’ education through the Four Distinctions. And with the addition of the business badge, you can be sure that these institutions offer hands-on business programs that produce experienced, responsible leaders for the booming corporate world.

We have thoroughly researched the business programs at these Iowa Colleges of Distinction and verified that they exhibit all of the following characteristics:

  • Multidisciplinary exposure across all aspects of business
  • Real-world experience through internships and other forms of engagement with actual firms
  • Industry connections that help students build their network and access to professional growth
  • Business ethics that emphasize how a firm’s obligations extend beyond its shareholders
  • Collaborative learning, in both business and general education courses, that stress the nuances of an efficient team
  • Dedicated advisors and counselors who have a clear understanding of students’ academic and post-graduate milestones

Student success is the primary focus of our Colleges of Distinction, and these business degree-granting CoDs are no exception. With different types of business degrees to help students pursue their desired industry, the 2024 Iowa Business Colleges of Distinction provide a stable foundation for entrepreneurial minds.


Cornell College

Mount Vernon, IA ‧ Private ‧ 4-year

Perched above the splendid Cedar River Valley in Eastern Iowa, Cornell College graduates students with strong backgrounds in the liberal arts—students who can write, think, and communicate effectively. With its One-Course-At-A-Time calendar, Cornell offers a unique opportunity for students to learn through in-depth and focused study, which minimizes distractions, increases flexibility, and helps students better retain their knowledge.

Located in Mount Vernon, Iowa, a rural town of four thousand in eastern Iowa, Cornell is twenty miles southwest of Cedar Rapids and twenty miles north of Iowa City. The Cedar Rapids metro area has urban amenities typical for its size, including Eastern Iowa Airport, and calls itself the City of Five Seasons. Iowa City has a metro population of one hundred and twenty thousand, and the combined eastern Iowa corridor of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City offers numerous entertainment and cultural options for students.

Mount Vernon, Iowa—30 minutes from Iowa City, 20 minutes from Cedar Rapids, 2 hours from Des Moines, and 3-4 hours from Chicago.

Acceptance rate 82%      •      Net price $25,028      •      SAT Range 1068-1280      •      Students submitting SAT scores 36%
Total Undergrad Population 999      •      Setting Town      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 67%      •      Retention rate 74%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 12:1

Click here for available majors

Business Majors Offered

Business/Managerial Economics
Finance and Financial Management Services
Human Resources Management and Services
Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods

drake university logo

Drake University

Des Moines, IA ‧ Private ‧ 4-year

At Drake, students are actively involved in their educations. They interact with their subjects and draw conclusions that they can apply to the bigger picture—one that extends far beyond the academic environment of the campus. Students are given the opportunity to work with their professors, meet with visiting ambassadors, and participate in service-learning initiatives, all within the liberal arts-based framework that Drake gives all its students.

Drake is located near the city of Des Moines, affording students a number of social and professional opportunities that extend beyond the campus. Students are encouraged to venture into the city and enjoy the food, shopping, and cultural events that make the city thrive.

Drake offers its students plenty of opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom. The University encourages all of its students to get take part in extracurriculars, recognizing the social and academic benefits that active involvement can bring them. There are over 160 clubs and organizations to choose from, the interests of which span from media clubs to governing organizations. Students can immerse themselves in the arts by seeing a play or going to an exhibit, or, for those interested in athletics, they may join one of several intramural and club sports teams. Students can also get involved in service-learning projects or participate in the Leadership Development Program.

Acceptance rate 68%      •      Net price $30,321      •      SAT Range 1110-1340      •      Students submitting SAT scores 26%
Total Undergrad Population 2,848      •      Setting City: Midsize      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 77%      •      Retention rate 86%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 10:1

Click here for available majors

Business Majors Offered

Business Administration, Management and Operations | Accounting and Related Services | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Finance and Financial Management Services | International Business | Management Information Systems and Services | Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods | Marketing | Business Management Marketing and Related Support Services

the university of iowa logo

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

Succeed in your personal and professional life with an education from The University of Iowa. Iowa is a Public school in Iowa City, Iowa with many undergraduate degrees to choose from.

Acceptance rate 84%      •      Net price $17,452      •      SAT Range 1110-1310      •      Students submitting SAT scores 27%
Total Undergrad Population 22,304      •      Setting City: Small      •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 72%      •      Retention rate 88%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 16:1

Click here for available majors

Business Majors Offered

Business/Commerce General
Business Administration, Management and Operations
Accounting and Related Services
Finance and Financial Management Services
Human Resources Management and Services
Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods Marketing

What it’s like to attend business schools in Iowa and other FAQ:

What are average tuition costs in Iowa?

The average undergraduate tuition & fees for colleges in Iowa is $6,259 for in-state students at public institutions, $21,549 for out-of-state students at public institutions, and $25,394 for students at private institutions.

Most popular business degree programs in Iowa

Business Administration, Management and Operations – 1,497 degrees awarded in 2020
Finance and Financial Management Services – 842 graduates
Accounting and Related Services – 730 graduates
Marketing – 729 graduates
Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods – 253 graduates

Cheapest business degree program in Iowa

University of Iowa has an average net price of $17,452, making it the least expensive business degree program in Iowa that made our list.

Easiest business degree program to get into in Iowa

University of Iowa has an acceptance rate of 84%, with an SAT range of 1110-1310, making it the least exclusive college with a business program on our list.

Business degree program with lowest student debt in Iowa

University of Iowa has a median total debt after graduation of $22,500. This is the typical debt for a student who completed their undergraduate degree.

See The Top Business Colleges of Distinction

Best Undergraduate Business Schools by State

Alabama | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Texas | Florida | Indiana | Kansas | Kentucky Louisiana | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Missouri | New York | New Jersey | North Carolina | Oklahoma | Oregon | Tennessee | Pennsylvania | Virginia | Illinois | Georgia | Ohio | South Carolina | Washington | Wisconsin