Des Moines Colleges and Schools

As the capital of Iowa, Des Moines is the state's largest and most populous city. Because it is the center of commerce and economic activity in the state, Des Moines is home to a slew or large businesses and employers including Principal Financial Group, Fidelity & Guaranty Life, Wells Fargo, and United Parcel Service. 

Meanwhile, Des Moines is also known for its cultural activity and its resident's love of art and theater. As home to the Des Moines Metro Opera, Des Moines Symphony, Wells Fargo Arena, and the Des Moines Art Center, the city has something to offer anyone who loves music, art, or entertainment.

Colleges in Des Moines, Iowa

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Des Moines is home to 10 institutions of higher education with a total enrollment of 10,974. Included on that list are large, public schools, community colleges and institutions that offer less-than-two-year degrees or certifications.

Des Moines Colleges and Schools

American College of Hairstyling

  • In-state tuition (2014-15): $19,767
  • Graduation rate (2011-12): 76%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of programs: 4 in various cosmetology and hairstyling disciplines

The American College of Hairstyling in Des Moines offers programs that help students prepare for careers in cosmetology and hairstyling. Only 20 students were enrolled in 2014, but each enjoyed a student-to-faculty ratio of just 7:1.

Des Moines University - Osteopathic Medical Center

  • In-state tuition (2014-15): $5,040
  • Graduation rate: not reported
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of programs: 4 doctoral, 5 master's programs

Des Moines University is an osteopathic medical center that offers doctoral and graduate degrees in various health care fields. The student population was 1,662 in 2014, and popular degrees included Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, and Master of Public Health, among others.

Drake University

  • In-state tuition (2014-15): $32,246
  • Graduation rate (2008): 78%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of programs: 70 majors, minors and concentrations, 23 graduate degrees

As a four-year, private school, Drake University offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in a number of popular disciplines. Enrollment included 5,062 students in 2014, and popular degrees were in fields such as data analytics, computer science, English, physics, and public relations.

Grand View University

  • In-state tuition: $23,426
  • Graduation rate (2008): 47%, plus 34% transfer rate that year
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of programs: 40 bachelor's degrees, 5 master's

With a prime location in Des Moines, Grand View University offers the best in undergraduate and graduate higher education. Popular undergraduate degrees in 2014 were in fields like accounting, nursing, and education, and top graduate degrees were the school's Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and M.S. in Sports Management.

Mercy College of Health Sciences

  • In-state tuition: $15,642
  • Graduation rate (2008): 41%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of programs: 5 bachelor's programs, 9 associate degrees

Mercy College of Health Sciences is a two-year school with a focus on preparing students for a wide range of health care careers. Enrollment included just 774 students in 2014, which meant that each enjoyed a student-to-faculty ratio of just 8:1. Popular degree programs were in fields like diagnostic medical sonography, medical assisting, nursing, surgical technology, radiologic technology, and clinical laboratory science.

Vatterott College - Des Moines

  • In-state tuition (2014-15): $12,745
  • Graduation rate (2011-12): 53%
  • Accredited: Y
  • # of programs: 9 career college programs

Vatterott College is a two-year, private school that offers Associate's degree and certificate programs in a number of vocational and service-oriented career fields. Enrollment included 194 students in 2014, and popular programs were found in fields such as culinary arts, automotive technology, business, and technology.

Facts for Students of Des Moines Colleges and Schools


As the state's capital, Des Moines is often considered the economic focal point of the state of Iowa. Key industries include insurance and financial services, logistics, bioscience, advanced manufacturing, and data centers. Median household income in Des Moines was $45,836 through 2013, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Meanwhile, the median housing value was just $118,200 in 2013, which is probably why 62.5 percent of Des Moines residents owned their homes.


Although Des Moines is Iowa's capital city, it was home to only 209,220 residents in 2014. Through 2013, 24.7 percent of the city's population held a Bachelor's degree and another 87.1 percent held a high school diploma. Meanwhile, only 11.1 percent of the Des Moines population was foreign-born that year, and just 17.2 percent spoke a language other than English at home.

Fun Facts

Due to low operating costs for businesses and a highly educated workforce, Des Moines was named America's "Best Place for Business and Careers" by Forbes Magazine in 2013. And in 2015, Forbes listed Des Moines as #2 on a list of "Top Cities for Jobs."


  1. City of Des Moines,
  2. College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics,
  3. Des Moines Tops List of Best Places for Business and Careers, Forbes,
  4. Key Industries, Greater Des Moines Partnership,
  5. State & County QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau, Des Moines,
  6. The Best and Worst Cities for Jobs in 2015, Forbes,
Education Institutes in Des Moines
Total Number of Educational Institutes
Total Enrollment in all institutes
Number of Public Educational Institutes
Number of Private For-Profit Institutes
Number of Private Non-Profit Institutes
Graduation Rate
Total Graduates With Bachelors Degree
On Campus and Online Programs in Des Moines
Number of Institutes Offering on-campus programs
Number of Institutes Offering on-line programs
Number of Institutes Offering both

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,
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