Iowa Lakes operates on the semester system. The academic year for liberal arts programs consists of two semesters, 16 weeks each. The first semester begins in August/September and the second semester begins in January. There is also an eight week summer session. The academic year for vocational and technical students normally consists of two semesters plus a summer term.
The academic calendar is subject to change. Fast Track, and other special course schedules differ; beginning dates and refund dates vary. Some exceptions are noted above under Calendar. Fast Track course drops are cancelled with refund only before second class meeting starts. A student who registers but later is unable to attend must notify the college before the last date to cancel the course(s) or program to avoid charges and/or grades.