Soar in 4 Graduation Guarantee

Students enter Iowa State University with diverse abilities, interests, and educational goals. Many students are interested in minimizing the costs of their education by graduating in a timely manner. That's why Iowa State developed the Soar in 4: Four-Year Graduation Guarantee - to ensure that students who want to graduate with a bachelor degree in four years are able to do so. The guarantee applies to all bachelor degrees offered at Iowa State (with the exception of Architecture and Landscape Architecture which are five-year programs).

As a part of the Soar in 4: Four-Year Graduation Guarantee, students accept responsibility for monitoring their own progress toward degrees, and for making choices that will allow them to graduate within four years. Iowa State is responsible for providing academic advising, tools for monitoring degree progress, and making sure students get the courses they need to graduate. Students who fulfill the Student Expectations below have a commitment from the university that they will be able to enroll in the courses they need to graduate with their bachelor degree in four years.

Student Expectations

First-year students pursuing four-year bachelor degrees are automatically enrolled in the Soar in 4: Four-Year Graduation Guarantee. To remain eligible for the benefits of Soar in 4, students will:

  1. Begin as a full-time, first-year student with the appropriate academic preparation to enroll in the first semester courses specified in the four-year plan template for the intended degree.
  2. Select any four-year bachelor degree program/major (excludes Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and concurrent Bachelors/Masters programs).
  3. Stay on track by remaining a student in good standing at the University and earning a minimum of one quarter of the applicable credits, in the prescribed sequence, for the degree program each year. Students may choose to include summer session(s).
  4. Meet with their academic advisor prior to the assigned registration time as required by their program, to discuss course plans and progress toward graduation as well as any options for additional experiences (e.g. study abroad, service learning, or internships).
  5. Accept responsibility for monitoring their degree progress, through regular review of the four-year templates available in the Catalog, degree audits available in AccessPlus, and any other degree planning tools provided by their department.
  6. Accept responsibility for clearing all holds affecting registration prior to their assigned registration start time.
  7. Register for classes at their assigned registration time.
  8. Accept any available section that can be accommodated in their course schedule for courses required for their degree program.
  9. Enroll in additional minors, certificates, or majors, only if the additional requirements can be met within the original four-year period.
  10. Notify their advisor during the registration period that graduation may be delayed due to the unavailability of a course(s) required for the next semester.
  11. Work with their advisor to determine if graduation in four years is still the best path should they be placed on academic probation or change their major.

The University's Commitment

As part of the Soar in 4: Four Year Graduation Guarantee, Iowa State University will:

  1. Provide a knowledgeable academic advisor at initial registration and before registration each subsequent semester to review course selections with the student.
  2. Provide tools that allow students to monitor their degree progress.
  3. Ensure the availability of courses that enable students to complete their degree in four years.
  4. Allow students to extend their graduation timeline to eight semesters (non-consecutive) and still be covered by the guarantee, if a student participates in an optional semester (or longer) full-time internship/co-op as a registered student.

If a student meets all the expectations of the Soar in 4: Four-Year Graduation Guarantee but is unable to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years (eight semesters) due to the unavailability of a course, the student’s department/college will provide one of the following options:

  1. Allow the student to graduate with a substitute course or independent study course.
  2. Allow the student to graduate in four years by waiving the requirement to be met by the unavailable course.
  3. If the department/college, determines that neither of the above options is possible, Iowa State University will pay the tuition for the student to take the course required to complete the degree program within the next year at Iowa State.


Group of graduates throwing their mortar boards in the air