Before Arrival at Iowa State

Before you arrive .........

The International Students and Scholars Office provides international students with much information. Be sure to visit their Fall Orientation webpages for information on:

  • Before Entering the U.S.
  • Entering the U.S.
  • Transportation from the Des Moines Airport
  • Temporary Housing upon Arrival

and information on many other important topics !!  You will not be sorry you took the time to read these pages of information.

International students might find it helpful to contact a student organization for some arrival assistance: The Indian Student Organization information is here: and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association is here:

On-campus housing - The University offers housing options to students which you can view here.

Off-campus housing - Available apartments or homes may be located through realtors, the Ames Tribune, the Ames Advertiser, the Iowa State Daily, and online at or

Cy-Ride is the bus system in Ames. If you are without a car, it is quite convenient to travel around Ames in most locations. As you search for an apartment in Ames, you may want to check Cy-Ride routes and schedules to make sure you can easily access Cy-Ride from where you choose to live.

AccessPlus Information

AccessPlus is a secure and confidential campus information system available online. You need your university ID and password to view your information. Once you log into the system, you will see only those menu options that are appropriate for your profile. For more information about how to login, see AccessPlus Frequently Asked Questions.

Immunizations - Please check with the Thielen Student Health Center to make sure you have fulfilled the requirements for Immunizations.

BCB core course content,  and some materials to refresh or prepare for them (BCB 567, 568 and 570).

First semester courses will be bridge coursework to help with any academic preparation students do not have in their background.  In the past, Stat 430 and BCB 567 were taken by most students during their first semester. Now, some students take two Statistics courses: Stat 587 (which used to be Stat 401) and Stat 588 (which used to be Stat 447).

Concepts described in the following two courses are helpful for students to prepare for Stat 430 or Stat 587 and 588:

Stat 330. Probability and Statistics for Computer Science. Topics from probability and statistics applicable to computer science. Basic probability; Random variables and their distributions; Elementary probabilistic simulation; Queuing models; Basic statistical inference; Introduction to regression.

Stat 341. Introduction to the Theory of Probability and Statistics I. Probability; distribution functions and their properties; classical discrete and continuous distribution functions; multivariate probability distributions and their properties; moment generating functions; simulation of random variables and use of the R statistical package. Credit for both Stat 341 and 447 may not be applied toward graduation.

BCB 567 has used Cormen's Introduction to Algorithms, 3rd edition. For your review, Chapters 2, 3 and 4 are most helpful.