Student Resources

Experiential Learning

Lakeside offers students a unique educational experience: small, full-immersion, field-oriented courses. Most courses meet all day (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Monday through Friday. Course enrollments are usually limited to 11 students. Weather permitting, students normally spend at least part of each day doing fieldwork.

Students from any college or university can take classes at Lakeside. If you are a student at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, or Drake University, your credits and grades are recorded at your home school. If you attend another college or university, your credits and grades are recorded at the University of Iowa.

Before registering, please check with your academic adviser to determine if specific courses can be used to satisfy major, minor, college or university requirements at your institution.

Lakeside students may reside on or off campus. We strongly encourage independent study by undergraduates and thesis and dissertation research by graduate students.

Tuition and Fees

Students at Iowa Lakeside Lab pay tuition, room and board. 

The University of Iowa will send you an email notification of these charges, which you will pay online. Billing at The University of Iowa

A nonrefundable $100.00 deposit must be paid to the Iowa Lakeside Lab Administrative Office before your registration will be processed. This will be credited to your Ubill.

Summer 2023 tuition is $364.00 per credit hour for undergraduate students and $605.00 per credit hour for graduate students (rates are subject to change based upon tuition adjustments made by the Iowa Board of Regents).

Room and board costs $225.00 to $425.00 per week, depending on the housing you select.


aquatic ecology students
General Scholarships

For the summer of 2023, Lakeside Lab and the Friends of Lakeside Lab are offering a limited number of $225/week (4 week max.) room and board scholarships to qualified students who register for a Lakeside Lab course and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above. In exchange, students provide 3 hours of service each week at the campus. To apply, please follow the instructions contained in the on-line registration form when you register for your Lakeside Lab course.

Life at Lakeside

Find a map of our campus PDF icon here

Housing Information

We have several housing types on campus and each have different bathroom, bedding types, and room styles. The following is a list of our housing styles and units. We suggest finding the type that was assigned to you and pack your belongings based on the amenities that are included.  Housing is available for check-in the Sunday before classes start.

Stone Cabins

  • Most rustic living quarters, generally shared with up to three occupants
  • Twin sized beds
  • No heating or air-conditioning
  • Shared bath house located nearby
  • Sink with running water inside cabin
  • Small closet space with drawers for limited belongings
  • Closest housing to the dining hall and lakeshore

Cedar Cabins

  • Generally shared with up to two occupants, but limited single occupancy units are available upon request
  • Twin or full-sized beds
  • No heating or air conditioning
  • Shared bath house located nearby
  • Stand up dressers for clothing
  • Some units feature a shared screened-in porch area

What to Bring: Suggested Items Packing List

Lakeside encounters all kinds of weather and classes take place in the field. Below is a suggested packing list. Please come prepared.   

  • Sheets and bedding *if you are residing in a cabin, please bring towels, a blanket, pillows, and pillowcases/sheets (twin XL).
  • Towels, washcloths, and any other linens  
  • Shower shoes and shower caddy 
  • Sleeping bag and/or thick blanket *for cold nights in early summer
  • Personal fan *for hot nights in mid to late summer
  • Bug/Mosquito/Tic protection: hats, spray, lotion, etc. 
  • Sun protection: hats, sunscreen, sunglasses   
  • Bandages: regular bandages and a flex bandage-type wrap *VetRap has proven to be very effective and reliable, students often get blisters while in the field 
  • Water bottle  
  • Laundry detergent: coin operated laundry facilities are available on campus
  • Clothing items: rain jacket/gear-sturdy, close-toed shoes-long pants and long sleeves  *for cold weather as well as harmful plants that may come in contact with the skin
  • Clothes in general that you don’t mind getting dirty or torn
  • Swimwear: We are located right on West Lake Okoboji!
  • Additional items for Aquatic Ecology students: field notebook and wader/rubber boots

What to Expect Living on Campus

On campus, we have limitless ways for you to enjoy yourself both indoors and outdoors. We offer outdoor recreational equipment available for all students to use at any time you are not under class obligations. Most of the outdoor recreational equipment, as well as indoor common areas, on campus are signified on the campus map as “Recreational Areas”.

While you are welcome to bring your own recreational equipment if you choose to do so, the following are some of the outdoor equipment we have on campus for student use:

  • Canoes
  • Kayaks
  • Paddleboards
  • Road bicycles
  • Hammocks
  • Slackline

We have a fire pit east of the dining hall which students are welcome to use for bonfires safely and responsibly. There is also a sand volleyball court near the bike trail on the west side of campus.

In addition to outdoor activities, we also have a few indoor common areas where students often choose to spend their down time and enjoy the air conditioning. The upper level of the dining hall building, called the loft, has a television, bean bag chairs, and plenty of comfy seating where students usually lounge and watch movies together. The lower level of the dining hall, called the cellar, has a full kitchen, living area, and ping pong table where students enjoy getting together on the weekends to play games and decompress after a week of class.

International Students

Lakeside Lab welcomes participation by international students and scholars. Our staff is happy to help you plan your study here.

If you are already in the United States on a student visa your current I-20 should be valid for your summer study at Lakeside Lab (as long as your I-20 does not expire before your Lakeside course ends).

If you are not currently studying in the United States on a student visa, you have the option to participate in study at Lakeside Lab as an international scholar. You will not earn academic credit for your study but you will receive a certificate for your participation. You will need to obtain a US visitor visa to participate at Lakeside Lab. You will be billed the equivalent of undergraduate tuition for this option, as well as room and board.


Submit the online registration form and non-refundable deposit as soon as possible to reserve your space in the course you’d like to attend. $100 deposit for Undergraduate, Graduate and Audit Credit. $500 deposit for International Scholar Registration


If you are currently in the US on a student visa, The University of Iowa International Admissions Office will contact you to verify your student visa status.

If you are currently outside of the US, you will need to obtain a visitor visa to enter the US and participate at Lakeside Lab as an international scholar.


If you are attending Lakeside as an international student on a student visa from another university, be sure to have the Lakeside staff help you check in with the University of Iowa International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). Please have the following documents ready: passport, visa, I-94 card (issued when you enter the US), and stamped I-20 form.


If you are currently in the US on a student visa you will enroll at your current level of study (undergraduate or graduate student). Transcripts of your bachelor’s degree are required to earn graduate credit. You will also be billed $225-$425 per week for room and board depending on your housing choice. If you have a GPA of 3.0 you may apply for a room and board scholarship. You will pay your bill (tuition, room and board) through The University of Iowa’s online billing system.  

If you attend Lakeside as an international scholar you will pay the undergraduate tuition rate per credit hour for the course(s) in which you participate. You will also be required to pay $225-$425 per week for room and board depending on your housing choice. You will pay $100.00 for a round trip shuttle from the Sioux Falls, SD airport (SFD). You also need to factor in the cost of your flight to the U.S. and additional spending on snacks and entertainment while at Lakeside Lab. You will be invoiced for the conference tuition, room and board, and airport shuttle (if applicable) via email and will be required to pay your bill online with a credit card.

Resources for International Students

Student Disability Services

Courses at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory are facilitated by the University of Iowa. Therefore, Lakeside students work with Student Disability Services (SDS) at the University of Iowa to arrange for accommodations needed due to a disability. SDS facilitates academic accommodations and services for students with disabilities to ensure everyone has equal access to course materials and activities. 

To receive academic accommodations for coursework at Lakeside and through the University of Iowa, students need to register with SDS. For more information on how to register with Student Disability Services, please visit the Student Disability Services website. 

Additional information for reference or use:
Disability-Related Absence and Deadline Modification (DRADM) 
DRADM Request Form (opens as .pdf)

Okoboji Area Attractions

Lakeside Laboratory is situated in a lush landscape among a forest of trees, plant life and water in a part of northwest Iowa fondly referred to as the Iowa Great Lakes Area. The Iowa Great Lakes include Iowa’s largest natural lake, Spirit Lake and five interconnected lakes: West Okoboji, East Okoboji, Upper Gar, Lower Gar, and Minnewashta. In addition to all of the water and natural beauty, the area is filled with attractions that can add to your adventure at Lakeside Laboratory!

Arnolds Park Amusement Park
Bridges Bay, Waterpark & Zipline
Central Emporium
Clark Museum of Okoboji Area and Iowa History
Dickinson County Nature Center
Extreme Water Sports
Goodies Handmade Candies
Gull Point State Park
Higgins Museum of National Bank Notes
Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Museum
Maritime Museum, Arnolds Park
Okoboji Classic Cars
Okoboji Summer Theatre
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
Ranch Okoboji, Minigolf

Student Code

Iowa Lakeside Lab adheres to the University of Iowa Code of Student Life.  Our goal is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all students and visitors.  Questions about the policies can be director to the Lab's Executive Director at