Introducing Luther College

Founded in 1861, Luther College is a four-year, university-level, residential institution of 2,500 students. One of the outstanding colleges in the Midwest, Luther offers more than 60 majors, minors, and preprofessional programs leading to the bachelor of arts degree.

A Phi Beta Kappa chapter—the most prestigious academic honors society, found on only seven percent of American college and university campuses—attests to the academic excellence of the college.

Originally founded by Norwegian immigrants, the college is affiliated with the Lutheran church (ELCA) and welcomes students of all beliefs and backgrounds to its 1,000-acre (405 hectare) campus.

Decorah, Iowa

Luther College is located in Decorah, Iowa, a picturesque community of 8,500 people situated in the American heartland. Decorah has an abundance of clean air, clean water, and a very low crime rate. The town was recently recognized as one of the 120 best small towns in the United States.

Decorah is the county seat for the area and includes a vibrant downtown, a beautifully restored residential historic district, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum (the largest museum in the nation dedicated to a single ethnic group), and 14 city parks. In many ways, it's the perfect college town.

The Upper Iowa River flows through the lower portion of the Luther campus. Miles of trails located on or adjacent to campus are used for hiking, skiing, and biking. Northeast Iowa offers beautiful scenery and fewer urban distractions, enabling students to focus fully on academics, preparing for graduate/professional schools, and discovering the ways in which they will serve in the world.

Although Luther is located a bit off the beaten path, the college is also widely known in larger circles; it annually receives visitors of regional, national, and international prominence in politics, the arts and sciences, and entertainment. Every fifth year, Luther even hosts the Nobel Peace Prize Forum on campus, bringing together influential individuals in the world of peacemaking, including Nobel laureates.

It's not surprising, then, that Luther College has a long commitment and history in educating international students. Nearly 140 international students from 50 countries study on campus each year. In addition to students from around the world, Luther is pleased to welcome students from 40 of the 50 states in the country.

International students thrive at Luther. The campus community is welcoming and eager to learn from and with students from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. The residential nature of Luther fosters a sense of life in community that is rather special. Almost all Luther students live in one of nine residence halls. The residence life staff helps students in the transition to college and supports them in their personal and social growth and academic success.


As an international student, you will be housed with one or two roommates in the residence halls. We believe living and interacting with students in the residence halls at Luther will assist you in your education and will help you form lasting friendships and unforgettable memories. At Luther, the college community is large enough to provide you with rich living and learning experiences, yet small enough so that you will be known and valued.

Study Abroad

For both international students and U.S. students, Luther's vibrant study-abroad programs provide opportunities for students to pursue their education in locations around the world. By the time students graduate, 75 percent have studied abroad, ranking Luther nationally among the top 10 baccalaureate colleges in the country.