At Iowa Lakes, we prepare students for careers in the health and beauty industry. Future professionals are guided by skilled and experienced instructors, many of whom bring years of practical, on-the-ground salon experience to the classroom. Throughout our four semester program, students take on more advanced techniques and build not only real-world skills, but the confidence to succeed in their career.

Foundational courses focus on the fundamentals of cutting, coloring, styling and barbering and are supported by practical education in communication, math and overviews in Psychology. Students gain an education that will prepare them for their state license as well as receiving an Associate in Applied Science degree.

As students progress through the program, classroom lectures and demonstrations move to the most significant portion: hands-on training.

You will take courses such as:

  • Salon Management
  • Practical Barbering and Cosmetology Skills
  • Chemical Services
  • Legal Aspects of Barbering and Cosmetology
  • Care of Skin and Scalp
  • Haircutting and Styling Techniques
  • Manicuring and Pedicuring
  • Color Theory and Formulations

The Barbering and Cosmetology AAS Degree Program, Emmetsburg Campus, is accredited by the Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences, IDPH/Bureau of Professional Licensure.

Board of Barbering and Cosmetology Arts and Science
Dept. of Inspection, Appeals, and Licensing
6200 Park Avenue
Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50321
Phone: 515-281-0254
Fax: 515-281-3121
Bureau Website:
Online Licensure Services: Cosmetology Licensure

This program prepares the student for licensure in Iowa. Iowa Lakes Community College Cosmetology Program has not made a determination as to whether the program curriculum meets all other state’s educational requirements for licensure or certification. If you wish to work outside the state of Iowa please contact the state agency in which you hope to work for details about licensure or certification.

Faculty Contact

Laurie Pearson
Cosmetology Program Coordinator & Instructor
712-852-5277 |

Program Details


DEGREE: Associate in Applied Science (62 credits)

CAMPUS: Emmetsburg

Did You Know?

Starting Salary: $18,202

Average Salary: $28,359

Projected Employment Growth: 1.2%


Term 1

Credits: 3

This course will enable you to build a loyal customer base by understanding the importance of professionalism, both personally and in the workplace. You will also learn as a beauty professional to use proper and effective infection control methods to protect yourself and clients from harm.

Credits: 6

This first course, also known as basic training, is required before advancement in Cosmetology.

This course is designed to introduce and develop an understanding of the various realms of Cosmetology and barbering. Students will develop skills relating to hair cutting, hair coloring, hair styling, nail techniques, and personal growth. Students will cultivate their passions within the field of barbering and cosmetology.

Credits: 6

This first practicum in cosmetology is required before advancement in the program.  The student will demonstrate proper hygiene, good grooming, sanitation techniques, and basic cosmetology procedures.  Protection of the student and public are emphasized.

Credits: 3

An introduction to the scientific study of behavior; a brief history of psychology as a science, and topics fundamental to human behavior including developmental issues, sensory abilities, cogni­tive performance, social and emotional factors in behavior, and abnormal behavior and therapies.

Term 2

Credits: 5

Concepts II continues to build student knowledge and abilities in the student salon. Students will continue skills relating to hair cutting, hair coloring, hair styling, nail techniques, facials, and makeup application. Students will also engage with clients, developing the necessary skills to be a successful barber and cosmetologist. Prerequisite: COS 101

Credits: 6

Skills II continues to build student knowledge and abilities in the student salon. Students will continue skills relating to haircutting, hair coloring, hairstyling, nail techniques, facials, and makeup application. Students will also engage with clients, developing the necessary skills to be a successful cosmetologist. Prerequisite: COS 159

Credits: 3

Students are given the opportunity to apply human relations concepts and evaluate experience and observations. Social skills required in various occupational settings will be developed, emphasizing how appropriate personal attitudes lead to social and business success.

Credits: 3

Developing skills in reading, writing and listening as they apply to students’ vocational needs.

Term 3

Credits: 4

Barbering and Cosmetology Concepts III continues to build mastery of student knowledge related to cosmetology and barbering services. The study of salon management and developing partnerships through a student preceptorship will propel students forward in their career with preparedness for employment. Prerequisite: COS 102

Credits: 5

Practical Cosmetology Skills III builds student skills related to salon services, understanding the scope of practice, proper sanitation procedures, and the experience of salon management. Prerequisite: COS 162

Credits: 3

A course in elementary mathematical skills for technicians. Topics covered include fundamental operations with whole numbers, fractions, decimals and signed numbers; percents; geometric figures and basic constructions; area and volume formulas; English/Metric systems; measurements; and basic algebraic equations and applications.

Prerequisites: Appropriate placement score

Term 4

Credits: 6

Cosmetology Concepts IV prepares students for employment and state board licensing. Prerequisite: COS 103

Credits: 6

Cosmetology Skills IV is the final semester in the ILCC Cosmetology Program where basic practical skills are mastered to ensure a competitive advantage in the workplace environment. Prerequisite: COS 163

Credits: 3

Techniques and procedures used in determining profits, pricing of goods, inventories and merchandise control. Typical problems faced by merchandisers are presented, analyzed and solved.

Credits: 4

A study of the principles and elements of design and their relationship to an effective display. Hands on experience in creating effective displays and planning a visual merchandisers schedule. The students learn about display materials and store layout in relation to effective selling.


Licensure and Certification Disclosure Requirements

State of Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences – Iowa exclusively uses the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) examinations. Provide, Inc. administrators the NIC exam.

Iowa Exam information