Northeast Iowa Community College Logo


Campus Location: Calmar

Program Entry: Fall, Spring

Award: Associate of Applied Science


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. You can become a make-up artist, esthetician (skin care), cosmetic chemist, hair colorist, retail specialist and an educational specialist. 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. NICC 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:

  • Submission of your official high school transcript with ACT score.
  • Submission of transcript from any college or university previously attended.
  • Completion of ACCUPLACER assessment if necessary.

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:

Minimum Credits: 74

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

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

Term 1
BCA:112 Intro to Data Processing OR 3.0
BCA:212 Intro to Computer Business Apps 3.0
COS:110 Basic Principles in Cosmetology 4.0
COS:159 Practical Cosmetology Skills I 6.0
PSY:112 Psychology of Human Relations 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
* 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:157 Legal Aspects of Cosmetology 1.0
COS:158 Comprehensive Cosmetology Review 3.0
COS:161 Practical Cosmetology Skills V 7.0


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:

Iowa Workforce Development Estimated Salary

$17,213 - $23,233

Iowa Workforce Development Estimated Annual Openings (Statewide)


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

Sample Job Titles



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