Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! Open Option students typically graduate in the same amount of time as other Iowa State students. Open Option helps you learn about yourself and think deeply about what matters to you. So, when you do choose a major, you are less likely to change it again. The classes you take while you are an Open Option student will count toward your graduation requirements.

You will have an advisor who works just with Open Option students. Your advisor will help you strategically plan a class schedule around what interests you. Be curious and open to exploring possibilities! You will also take LAS 101, which will help guide you in actively exploring your academic interests.

Yes. Your classes will count toward your general education requirements, electives, or future major requirements for graduation.

We encourage students to have a declared major by the time they earn 30-45 credits.

Make sure you get your transcripts sent into ISU as soon as you can. If you’ve done this, an advisor will be able to see what you’ve taken and help you explore classes that will complement or build upon classes for which you’ve already earned credit.

The Open Option program is an intentional path. You won’t be worrying about what to do or wandering your way through your first semester. With personalized attention and careful advising, you will be actively working toward your goals, earning credits, figuring out what you love, building your skills and preparing to make informed decisions on what’s next.

The Open Option program is designed for incoming students at Iowa State. Open Option students will go on to declare a major after a period of exploration.

The Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree is for students who have already started their college journey and have earned 60 credits. It can be a good fit for a student who has already earned credits in a wide range of areas or at multiple institutions. It can also be a path for a non-traditional adult student who wants to finish a degree online.

Yes. All incoming students should complete the Iowa State OneApp scholarship application. You’ll be considered for scholarships that recognize academic excellence, financial need, and many other factors.