At Iowa Lakes, we prepare students for careers in the health and beauty industry as licensed cosmetologists and professional stylists. Future beauty professionals are guided by skilled and experienced instructors, many of whom bring years of practical, on-the-ground salon experience to the classroom. Through the two-year Associate in Applied Science 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 and styling and are supported by practical education in communication, math and overviews in anatomy and physiology. Students gain an education that will prepare them for their state license.

As students progress through the cosmetology program, classroom lectures and demonstrations move to the most important part, hands-on training, including advanced haircutting for men and women, color mixing and application and more. Additionally, Iowa Lakes’ comprehensive program covers communication skills, human resources and salon management that teach skills and performance strategies that are necessary for a successful career.

You will take courses such as:

  • Practical Cosmetology Skills
  • Chemical Services
  • Legal Aspects of Cosmetology
  • Care of Skin and Scalp
  • Haircutting and Styling Techniques

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

Board of Cosmetology Arts and Science
IDPH/Bureau of Professional Licensure
5th Floor, Lucas State Office Building
321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319
Email: PLPublic@idph.iowa.govcreate new email
Phone: 515-281-0254
Fax: 515-281-3121
Bureau Website:  opens in a new
Online Licensure Services:  opens in a new window

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 Instructor/Coordinator
712-852-5277 Ext: 5277 | lpearson@iowalakes.educreate new email

Program Details


DEGREE: Associate in Applied Science (72 credits)

CAMPUS: Emmetsburg

Did You Know?

Starting Salary: $18,202

Average Salary: $28,359

Projected Employment Growth: 1.2%


Term 1

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. Students will develop skills relating to haircutting, haircoloring, hairstyling, nail techniques, and personal growth. Students will cultivate their passions within the field of 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.

Corequisites: COS 110 – Basic Principles in Cosmetology

Credits: 4

Structure and function of the human body with emphasis on cells, tissues and all major organ systems. Anatomy and physiology are integrated at the cellular level and at the organ/system level. Lecture and laboratory.

Term 2

Credits: 5

Theory II continues to build student knowledge and abilities in the salon. Students will develop 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.

Credits: 6

This is the second practicum in Cosmetology. Students will practice skills in haircutting, haircoloring, hairstyling, nail techniques, sanitation, and facials. Students will cultivate their passion within the field of cosmetology. Students will also engage with clients, developing the necessary skills to be a successful cosmetologist.

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.

Term 3

Credits: 5

Credits: 6

Provides basic theory and practical cosmetology applications with an emphasis on skin care fundamentals. Learners will continue to demonstrate and build on the skills related to the cosmetology profession.

Credits: 2

A review of whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages, linear and angular measurements and common formulas used in each particular industry.

Prerequisites: Appropriate placement score

Credits: 3

This is a general survey course which includes sets; number systems; elementary algebra; exponents; equations and inequalities; fractions; ratios; proportion and variation; probability and statistics; elementary graphing; consumer mathematics; and an introduction to geometry.

Prerequisites: Appropriate placement score

Choose either MAT 770 or MAT 110

Term 4

Credits: 6

Credits: 4

Credits: 2

On-the-job training experience provides the opportunity to apply cosmetology concepts and procedures in a business setting and to practice proper work attitudes.

Credits: 3

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

Credits: 3

Emphasis on expository and argumentative writings including a review of usage and mechanics.

Prerequisites: Satisfactory score on the ACT, Accuplacer, ASSET,COMPASS as determined by Iowa Lakes policy

Choose either COM 723 or ENG 105

Term 5

Credits: 3

Credits: 6

Provides knowledge and an understanding of basic business principles designed for the cosmetology profession. It continues to build on previous practical skills needed to be a successful cosmetologist.

Credits: 2

An overview of all previous classes required and successfully completed. Preparation for state board examination and for becoming a successful cosmetologist.

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.