An instructor assists a female student in the salon as she trims a patron's hair.


Subject Area: Education, Human and Public Services

Award: Associate of Applied Science

Minimum Credits: 74

Location: Calmar

Entry: Fall, Spring

Contact email:


The Cosmetology program prepares you to work in a full-service salon and/or allows you to work towards salon ownership and professional management. It provides a strong foundation in cosmetology with theory and clinical experience directed and guided by cosmetology professionals in combination with general education courses that support the core curriculum. Graduates will be qualified to pursue a baccalaureate degree at a four-year college or university in an area of interest such as management or business.

This program equips students to enter the workplace in a variety of settings and features trichoanalysis (the study of hair), shampoo sets, permanents and chemical hair relaxing. Graduates can become make-up artists, estheticians (skin care), cosmetic chemists, hair colorists, retail specialists and educational specialists. Equipment, supplies and courses are up-to-date, accurate and based on current cosmetology practices.

Cosmetology students are required by the State of Iowa to complete a minimum of 2,100 hours in a Cosmetology program. Northeast Iowa Community College students finish the program when they complete the state hour requirements and meet individual course requirements.

Students are required to wear black slacks, shoes and socks and an approved lab coat in the salon.

Admissions Requirements
  1. Apply for admission.
  2. Complete ACCUPLACER® admission testing. Testing may be waived based on previous college coursework or submission of valid ACT®, ACT Compass® or ALEKS® test scores. Scores are valid for three years.
  3. Submit official high school, high school equivalency and/or college transcripts to the Admissions Office of the campus you plan to attend.

In addition to the college admission requirements outlined, applicants to this program, prior to the Mentorship Experience, may be required to complete a criminal background check. The Cosmetology Iowa Board of Arts and Science will no longer review criminal history prior to application to licensure. You will need to show proof of high school graduation or equivalent prior to taking the State Licensure Exam.

Students enrolled in health occupations programs must pass all required course work with a minimum of a C- grade. However, a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA (C grade average) is required to graduate from the program and the College.

Academic Requirements

View the printable Ed Plan (AAS - Fall Entry).

View the printable Ed Plan (AAS - Spring Entry).

Term 1
COS:110 Basic Principles in Cosmetology 4.0
COS:159 Practical Cosmetology Skills I 6.0
PSY:112 Psychology of Human Relations 3.0
SDV:179 The College Experience 3.0
* Communication Elective 3.0


Term 2
COS:114 Chemical Services II 2.0
COS:119 Practical Cosmetology Skills II 7.0
COS:156 Chemical Serivces I 3.0
COS:160 Practical Cosmetology Skills III 7.0
* General Education Elective 3.0


Term 3
COS:116 Salon Management 2.0
COS:121 Practical Cosmetology Skills IV 7.0
COS:157 Legal Aspects of Cosmetology 1.0
* Math/Science Elective 3.0


Term 4
COS:112 Care of Skin and Scalp 2.0
COS:123 Practical Cosmetology Skills VI 7.0
COS:155 Haircutting and Styling Techniques 1.0
COS:158 Comprehensive Cosmetology Review 3.0
COS:161 Practical Cosmetology Skills V 7.0
COS:170 Cosmetology Mentoring 1.5


Communication Electives: COM:723, ENG:105, SPC:112
General Education Electives: ART, ASL, COM, ENG, HIS, HUM, PHI, PSY, SOC, SPC
Math/Science Electives: Transfer-level BIO, CHM, ENV, MAT

Note: Students enrolled in health occupations programs must pass all required course work with a minimum of a C- grade. However, a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA (C grade average) is required to graduate from the program and the college. First Aid/CPR is required prior to beginning lab in the second semester and can be taken through NICC Business and Community Solutions.

Employment Information

With an annual income range of $17,555 - $36,088 and a projected growth of 8.5%, the career outlook for Cosmetology graduates is growing.

Salary Source: Institutional Effectiveness; Salary range represents 10th-90th percentile earnings for related occupations in the NICC district. Growth rate based on projections from 2010-2020.

Employers of NICC Alumni

Appearances, Decorah, IA
Eclips Salon & Day Spa, Decorah, IA
Edge FX Salon, West Union, IA
Genna Walsh, McGregor, IA
Inside Story Salon and Day Spa, Waukon, IA
Leah's Salon & Spa, Postville, IA
Razor's Edge, Calmar, IA
Shear Magic, Waukon, IA
Sheer Confidence, Fayette, IA
Smart Styles, Decorah, IA
The KoKoMO, Oelwein, IA

Additional Information

All services at the Northeast Iowa Community College Cosmetology Salon at the Calmar campus are performed by students in cosmetology training under the supervision of licensed instructors.


Jeff Murphy, MA
Dean of Arts and Science-Calmar
800.728.2256, ext. 235

Marilee Mai
Lead Cosmetology Instructor
800.728.2256, ext. 275