Bucksbaum Early Entrance Academy

The University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Center has offered early entrance to university programming since 1999. Research shows that students who enter and graduate from college early report more career and life satisfaction. Our program is the only early entrance program at a public research intensive institution, accepting students from across the country and around the globe. We create a residential community for our students as they leap from their sophomore year in high school to the stimulation of university research and course work.

Students entering through our academy are regular University students—taking classes, using libraries and labs, living in residence halls, and planning their studies. Like all other first-year students, our students choose majors from any of the University’s undergraduate colleges. Yet our early-entrance students have the advantage of living together in the honors residence hall, supported by meetings with the professionals at the world-renowned Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education, right next door.

The Bucksbaum Early Entrance Academy includes the following structure and support:

  • A first-year weekly seminar with Belin-Blank Center staff. Topics in this seminar include study skills, learning styles, time management, communicating with faculty, study abroad opportunities, preparing for graduate school, and many other issues and topics associated with the successful transition to college.
  • A second-year seminar for students who enter two years early.
  • First-year students all live in Daum Hall, the honors residence hall. Daum is attached to the Blank Honors Center, which houses the Belin-Blank Center, through a skywalk. Also located in the Blank Honors Center is a computer lab, library, commons lounge, classrooms, and study rooms. Second-year students may live in any university residence hall.
  • During their first year, students have individual weekly meetings with a Belin-Blank Center graduate assistant to discuss any issues or questions they have as they begin their studies at Iowa.
  • The staff of the Belin-Blank Center provide advocacy for our students across campus. This advocacy continues throughout their time on campus. Advocacy comes in many forms from the B-BC, including letters of recommendation and connections to other offices across campus.
  • The Belin-Blank Center staff plan field trips, cultural and social events throughout the year. These events, which include theatre productions, dinner salons with university and Iowa city community members, and our annual graduation luncheon, provide opportunities for students to get to know our upperclass students as well as interact with each other and the staff of the Belin-Blank Center.
  • The Belin-Blank Center, students, and parents work together. Communication is open between all parties, and all are working towards a shared goal: the success of the student.


Students’ origins map
  • Inaugural class in 1999
  • 175 students since 1999
  • Average class: 10-12 students
  • 65% Female; 35% Male
  • 71% Iowa; 29% Out of state
  • 77% are 17 years old at entry