This is the first version of the 2022-23 General Catalog. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Iowa Biosciences Academy (IBA) is a competitive undergraduate research and academic enrichment program funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The program identifies academically talented underrepresented junior and senior college students who aspire to research careers and gives them first-rate training that facilitates entry into doctoral programs in biomedical, behavioral, and biophysical sciences.

Students have opportunities to work in research laboratories with faculty mentors during the course of their undergraduate careers. The program's faculty represents a broad range of disciplines in the basic and biomedical sciences. IBA students also benefit from specialized coursework, career counseling, and academic advising for biomedical and bioscience careers.

Undergraduate Program

Students selected for the Iowa Biosciences Academy must maintain good standing in academics and research. Good academic standing requires a g.p.a. of at least 3.00 and is evaluated at the end of each semester. Good research standing is determined by each student's research mentor. Students work with their mentors throughout the academic year and summer. 

Students at a table in the Iowa Memorial Union handing out products to other students photo.

Each semester, IBA students enroll in IBA:1041 IBA Student Development Seminar (1 s.h.), which is a professional development course designed to help them navigate their laboratory work, mentor/mentee relationships, apply to graduate school, and distill scientific research. They also enroll in IBA:3992 IBA Research in Biomedical Science (0 s.h.) to denote research done in a laboratory. 

Students may choose to remain on campus for the eight-week summer session. They earn pay for laboratory work with their research mentors and may participate in IBA events.


Faculty members from the University's broad range of basic and biomedical science disciplines serve as teachers and mentors to IBA students. They represent many departments, including anatomy and cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, biology, biomedical engineering, chemistry, health and human physiology, microbiology and immunology, molecular physiology and biophysics, neuroscience, nursing, physics, and psychological and brain sciences.

Application Process

Applications are accepted from current University of Iowa undergraduate students majoring in the sciences as well as students transferring to the University of Iowa. Students interested in research and graduate school are encouraged to apply. Those who are accepted into the program and maintain good academic standing earn pay for their laboratory work during the summer and academic year.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must:

  • be a junior or senior college student;
  • have a strong interest in pursuing a research career;
  • have a qualifying academic major;
  • be in good academic standing;
  • submit an Iowa Biosciences Academy (IBA) application, including short essays; and
  • submit one letter of recommendation from a science/math instructor or research mentor.

Admission requires an interview. Admission decisions are generally made in March, July, and October. For more information, including an online application form, see the Iowa Biosciences Academy website.

Iowa Biosciences Academy Courses

IBA:1041 IBA Student Development Seminar 1 s.h.

Academic and professional development; presentations by faculty researchers, admissions representatives, or students in graduate bioscience programs; discussions about succeeding at the University; talks by professional educators on topics such as effective study skills.

IBA:3992 IBA Research in Biomedical Science 0 s.h.

Registration in a section taught by student's research mentor. Requirements: enrollment in IBA.