College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Public Accountability

Welcome to the Greenlee School’s transparency page. Here you will find the 5 Ws and H to select a college and a degree:

  • Where you’ll spend your next four years—at Iowa State University, a world-class institution of higher learning and home to Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winning professors.
  • Whom you’ll be working with—some of the most accomplished journalists, practitioners and researchers. Two of our faculty members have won Pulitzer Prizes, the most prestigious award in journalism.
  • What you’ll be studying—news, new media, social media, broadcast journalism, magazine journalism, science journalism, photojournalism, advertising, public relations, risk communication.
  • When you can expect to start your career—we place 99% of our graduates in jobs, graduate school or military within six months of commencement.
  • How long it will take to graduate—46% of our students graduate in four years. More than 60% graduate in 4 and 4 1/2 years because they take their internship the summer after commencement.
  • Why we are publishing transparency data:

We do everything possible to graduate you without student debt, including giving out more than $150,000 in scholarships each year, with as much as $50,000+going to incoming freshmen. Before you enroll in any other degree program, ask if it has a transparency page. Show them ours. Ask them to provide the data. Ask them why those metrics aren’t public.

This is the Greenlee School. This is journalism. This is public relations. This is advertising. This is research.

We make a difference. You can, too.

Student Retention Rates

 First YearSecond YearThird Year


  • Retention rates show the percentage of students who remain at an institution or in a major after they begin coursework. They are based on incoming freshman cohorts each fall. High retention rates indicate student satisfaction with an institution or program.
  • Percentages include all Greenlee School majors including: pre-advertising, pre-journalism and mass communication, advertising and journalism and mass communication. Public relations will be included in 2014 entering class. 
  • The Greenlee School and Iowa State University lose about one percent of students to early graduation during the third year.

Graduation Rates

 Third YearFourth YearFifth YearSixth Year
20061.20%1.7%0.00%38.60%39.9%46.23%65.60%61.5% 64.15%70.4%65.9%67.9%
20071.50%2.2%1.00%37.60%38.8%46.50%63.20%57.8% 61.60%68.0%61.8%65.7%
20081.60%1.3%1.00%39.50%40.4%47.10%64.5%61.5% 66.7%68.9%65.1%70.6%
20091.60%2.8%3.40%40.7%44.2%60.7%67.7% 64.1% 70.8%    
20102.20%2.8%6.10%43.2% 47.0%50.0%       


  • Graduation rates are calculated by dividing the number of graduating students by the number of students in a cohort. They are based on incoming freshman cohorts each fall. Graduation rates reflect a commitment to ensuring students successfully complete their degrees. 
  • Percentages include both advertising and journalism and mass communication majors.

Entry Level Salaries in Advertising, Journalism, Public Relations

AdvertisingJournalismPublic Relations

*journalism salaries include: television, radio, weeklies and dailies.











Midwest median salary

Note: Starting-salary estimates reported in the 2013 Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The starting-salary estimates are based on 2013 bachelor's degree recipients with full-time employment. 

Entry-level pay in a desired field should at least equal average student debt so that graduates pay off loans in about 10 years. For 2014 graduates, the average student loan debt for Iowa State University is $27,940. Among students who graduate with student loan debt, the average debt for journalism majors is $30,661; for advertising, $31,945; for public relations, $25,899. Among Iowa residents, the average student debt for journalism is $27,804; for advertising, $26,582; for public relations, $24,635. Our goal is to reduce average student debt to $24,000 within three years.

Professional Media Internship

All Greenlee majors are required to complete a professional media internship as their capstone course. While students secure their own internships at a professional outlet of their choice, the School strives to help all students secure paid internship opportunities and provides financial support to offset the cost of unpaid internships. In 2014, Greenlee students completed more paid internships than unpaid internships for the first time since the School began collecting data in 2007.


Greenlee School Placement, 2010-2012*

*All degree programs, all majors

Greenlee School Placement In Iowa*
55% 64%72%64%66%

*All degree programs, all majors

  • Placement rates are calculated six months after graduation. They include all placement both inside and outside of the field.
  • Occupied includes employment, education, military service and those not seeking employment. 

Greenlee School Scholarships

Undergraduate ScholarshipsFY16FY15FY14FY13FY12FY11
 $197,775 $172,275$193,500$175,400$192,483$146,704


Graduate Student AssistantshipsFY16FY15FY14FY13FY12FY11

Undergraduate Enrollment by Major*, 2010-2015

 Fall 2015Fall 2014Fall 2013Fall 2012Fall 2011Fall 2010
Pre-Jl MC******238202233
Public Relations258190    

*Includes double majors **Pre-major classification was eliminated in Fall 2013
Public Relations established as a major Fall 2013 - official numbers first reported in Fall 2014

Student Course Evaluation Data 

Overall effectiveness of instructor
Spring 2016*4.3
Fall 2015*4.4
Spring 2015*4.13
Fall 2014*4.4
Spring 2014*4.31
Fall 20134.52
Spring 20134.57
Fall 20124.44
Spring 20124.47
Fall 20114.47
Spring 20114.35
Fall 20104.34
Overall effectiveness of course
Spring 2016*4.11
Fall 2015*4.18
Spring 2015*3.96
Fall 2014*4.2
Spring 2014*4.11
Fall 20134.30
Spring 20134.42
Fall 20124.3
Spring 20124.28
Fall 20114.31
Spring 20114.16
Fall 20104.19

*As of spring 2014 course evaluations are only conducted online.
Mean scores include data for instructors and courses (ADVRT, JL MC and P R).
Scores are based on a five-point scale.

Greenlee School Senior Exit Interview