I've read in various places that the average college student IQ is about 115, and the various estimations of IQ by college major reached by converting SAT to IQ all use 115 as the starting point for college students. However, the most recent source for this number is The Bell Curve, which was in the early 1990s. It is also just about the only source of the last 40+ years. Can anyone provide a more recent documentation of the average IQ of college students? (that isn't just a reference to an older study)


Ok I finally found the official demographic norming data from the WAIS-IV on page 104 of this book:

"WAIS-IV Clinical Use and Interpretation: Scientist-Practitioner Perspectives"

You can see a preview of this book at http://tinyurl.com/z3vr44e.

The answer to my question is: Some college: 102.28 College graduates: 110.77


If you search for "IQ students" on google scholar since 2012 you will find plenty of literature. However, the problem will be that there are many different "standardised intelligence tests", and not all of them call themselves "IQ". You might want to restrict your search to a specific test like the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale which is one of the most used. The norms for such tests are published, organised into age/socioeconomic groups, so that may be the "original" source. For Wechsler the citation is: Wechsler, D. (2008). Wechsler adult intelligence scale-fourth. San Antonio: Pearson.

For a recent other example, this paper used this scale with 42 college students and found a mean of 105 which they (reasonably) conclude is "close to national norms": http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3389807/

You don't specify, but I am assuming you are talking about average US college students.

Since you are interested in the relationship between IQ and SATs, this recent paper might also be of interest, although it focuses on grade 8 students: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/25/3/736.full



I found this article that seems to answer your question in the abstract. I didn't bother to sign up and read the whole thing though.

  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, that article is from 1958. $\endgroup$ – noeps Jan 11 '16 at 2:47

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