Luther values the diversity of its students, staff, and faculty, who hail from many faith backgrounds and heritages.
Luther offers more than 60 areas of learning. The college’s learning philosophy highlights connections between disciplines. Its thoughtful and rigorous curriculum moves beyond immediate interests toward engagement in the larger world. This approach to education helps Luther earn inclusion in the top tier of national liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News and World Report’s college guide.
Luther is a Phi Beta Kappa institution, an honor belonging to only 10 percent of colleges and universities, and its graduates regularly earn awards, such as Fulbright, Rhodes, Goldwater, and NCAA Postgraduate scholarships.
Luther’s faculty are committed to their areas of expertise—95 percent of them hold the most advanced degree in their field. And because 89 percent are tenured or tenure-track and have earned a permanent position here, they’re also committed to Luther. This means that Luther students receive an education from qualified professors who are passionate about what they teach and fully invested in the college and its students.
A student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 gives students an exceptional classroom experience, and Luther’s faculty also mentor students, act as advisers, and learn and research in collaboration with students.
Luther values learning beyond the classroom. Internships, externships, and opportunities to collaborate with faculty on research are vital components of a Luther education—and they help test career goals and build résumés. This experiential learning contributes to the stellar career outcomes and postsecondary education rates of Luther graduates.
Study-away experiences are another way that students learn beyond the classroom, and they’re key to the global perspective that Luther promotes. Each year more than 400 Luther students study abroad in 41 countries. Many undergraduates take advantage of study-away opportunities during January Term, a three-week period between semesters that allows students to study a particular subject in depth.
An open-door culture is part of the Luther ethos. Faculty and staff are enthusiastic, accessible, and focused on student success. Luther professors enjoy being a part of the campus community so much that 95 percent of them live within five miles of campus, and 87 percent of students say they’ve been invited to a professor’s home.
Around 800 students participate in the school’s six choirs, three bands, three orchestras, two jazz bands, and numerous smaller ensembles, all of which combine to form one of the world’s largest, most acclaimed collegiate music programs.
Student involvement, a Luther hallmark, is also evident in more than 80 student organizations, including a campus newspaper and radio station, as well as many service and honor societies.
Luther takes seriously its mission to “practice joyful stewardship of the resources around us.” Green campus operations, partnerships with local businesses, and academic courses that incorporate sustainability have earned Luther a number of environmental leadership awards. They include being selected as a Sierra Club Cool School (on the 2020 list, #1 in Iowa and #56 among all colleges), and a Top 10 national ranking: AASHE 2020 Sustainable Campus Index.
The best way to learn about Luther is to visit in person and get a firsthand look at how you might fit into the Luther community.
The structure of Luther's education encourages students to really explore before they graduate. I was able to do summer internships, spend a semester in Ireland, a J-term in the Middle East and still complete my education in four years. The broad range of experiences helped me determine what I wanted to do when I graduated!
—Delaney McMullan '14