Why Study History?

History invites you into the study of the human experience in all its richness and complexity across different times and places. It teaches you how people and societies have functioned in the past and how those experiences continue to impact the present. Our courses offer you a vast array of topics, and we encourage you to dig deeply into the stories you discover. We seek to foster in our students skills of critical thinking, clear writing, and evidence-based argumentation, which will be beneficial in many ways throughout their lives. History is a foundational discipline of the liberal arts. By majoring in history, you can deepen your understanding of the world and your ability to function as informed, well-rounded citizen within it.

Why Study History at Luther?

The department of history at Luther College offers courses from a wide array of time periods and places around the globe. These include

  • the history of the United States (from before its founding through the present)
  • European History (ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern)
  • African History (early modern and modern)
  • African American History
  • Asian History
  • Middle Eastern History

We are increasingly offering trans-regional courses that are arranged by topic and cover multiple geographic areas, such as courses on World-War Two, Atlantic Pirates, and the African Diaspora. History faculty often offer off-campus courses, in which students are able to study history in the places where it actually happened.

Our courses also range from broader, survey courses to specialized topics courses, taught by experts in their respective subject areas. Our departmental requirements ensure that you, our history majors, complete your degrees with a broad understanding of various regions of the world and a deeper knowledge of the area(s) in which you are most interested.

A history major at Luther College provides you with insights applicable to many other disciplines. No matter what questions you want to answer in your life and career, knowing the history of your passionwhether it is the environment, medicine, business, policy, or popular culturewill give you greater insights into how to make a difference in the world. The history major is flexible in that it can easily be paired with another major or minor. We currently offer courses connected to other programs such as Nordic Studies, Russian Studies, Africana Studies, International Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and Environmental Studies. We also administer the Museum Studies minor. The History Department works closely with education majors to ensure that they are able to satisfy state accreditation regulations in their chosen field, have the knowledge to walk confidently into the classroom on their first day, and have the tools to seek out the answers to new questions as they arise.

We all know history majors get asked what they will do after they graduate. When you hear that question feel confident in answering "anything I want!" The goal for all history majors at Luther College is that they graduate with well-honed skills in research, writing, oral presentation, and critical thinking. These skills are the ones employers of new college graduates frequently state as their highest need and the ones they don’t see often enough in new graduates.

Distinguish yourself from other graduates by majoring in history.

Being a history major at Luther College has given me such an enriched view of the world around me. The classes I have taken present a clearer and deeper understanding for why events occurred and why certain people acted the way they did. The professors are extremely insightful and always facilitate intriguing discussions that continuously make me think outside the box.

— Kailee Keyser '18