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Students don't memorize dates. They learn to understand and interpret history.

If you major in history at Augustana, you’ll be in a program nationally recognized for innovative teaching of history. You’ll learn through experiencing history — it is possible — instead of just memorizing facts.

Becoming historically minded, you’ll develop skills it takes to solve contemporary problems: data analysis, empathy, information literacy, perspective-taking.

You’ll choose one of five Compass Points to fit your current passions, career goals and vision for the future:

History communication – How the public engages with the past (for museum studies, library science, digital history, journalism, documentary-making, historic preservation)

Social justice – What history tells us about current inequalities and social change (social services, human rights work, religious work and more)

Nations and global politics – Complex interactions between people and systems, local concerns and global movements (law, politics, international relations, public relations, peace studies)

History education – Learning to teach not just history, but historical thinking (for teaching in the secondary schools)

Information analytics – Tailoring your major to your particular goals (examples include civic and workplace leaders in STEM, sales, business, health fields, and more)

What you'll learn

Intellectual curiosity

Intellectual curiosity

Set yourself up for lifelong intellectual growth. Take responsibility for your own learning.

Creative thinking

Creative thinking

Combine ideas to create something new. Use imaginative ways of solving problems.

Disciplinary knowledge

Disciplinary knowledge

Gain a deep understanding of your subject and how it connects to other subjects.

Intercultural competence

Intercultural competence

Understand real and imaginary similarities and differences. Use more than one perspective to view issues.

Communication competence

Communication competence

Read and listen carefully. Express ideas (writing or speaking) suited to the audience.


• Augustana offers a major and minor in history, a history teaching major, and a history honors program for majors intending to pursue graduate school in history. This includes a foreign language, an additional 3-credit history course and a two-term honors project guided by a faculty member.

• Like other Augustana students, history majors complete a Senior Inquiry capstone project. But this experience is especially rare for students of history teaching at U.S. colleges and universities. Augustana history education majors complete Senior Inquiry under the guidance of a historian and leader in the field of teaching history, rather than a social studies educator. Learning from this role model, our students learn to teach history with precision and understanding of historical thinking.

More than 50% of history students double-major. History is ideal for combining with any study of the intersections of people, places and cultures: geography; sociology and anthropology; religion; political science; women, gender and sexuality studies, and more. Most pre-law students choose a history major.

• The seven faculty members all have a Ph.D. and are leaders in innovative education methods, published research and international programs; one was honored as the Illinois Professor of the Year.

• Augustana history professors encourage and guide students to study abroad, take internships and participate in academic conferences—and $2,000 with Augie Choice supports any of these experiences.

Recent grads

Megan Hoppe ’21 is an English teaching assistant in France with the Teaching Assistant Program in France.

Monica Thompson ’21 is attending Saint Louis University Law School in St. Louis, Mo.

Mikaela Ferrara ’20 is pursuing a master’s in museum studies with a concentration in collections management or exhibitions/visitor experience at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Francis Gow ’20 is pursuing a dual program in law and Latin American studies at the University of Florida.

Rob Williams ’19 is a social studies teacher at Sherrard (Ill.) High School.

Kristen O’Malley ’17 is a history/I&S teacher at Academy for Global Citizenship in Elmhurst, Ill.

Rob Williams
More Than I Imagined Rob Williams
“Dr. Calder generously allowed me to join his research project and let me present the work in settings that are usually closed to undergraduates.”
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Monica Thompson
More Than I Imagined Monica Thompson
“Dr. Ellis in the history department was instrumental in the law school application process and helping me choose my future path.”
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Brian Martinez
More Than I Imagined Brian Martinez
“Dr. Hammond was my first history professor at Augustana, and she taught me that studying history was more than memorizing facts.”
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Red Rocks, Nevada

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William "Nishal" Weems and President Andrea Talentino

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