Why study history?

At Augustana, historical study is more than just memorizing dates and battles in the Civil War or remembering who was president in 1897, but immersion in ideas, the complexity of human behavior, and lessons learned from each situation.

  • Students not only make sense of events in history but also explore their relevance to today’s issues.
  • History students are challenged in a rigorous, intellectual environment and join in personalized study and excellence in formal writing and public speaking.
  • Faculty scholars whose work is recognized from regional to international levels teach critical research and communication skills crucial to modern success.

History Class

History at AU

Course Descriptions

Major Map




Latest News

Augustana understands the value and impact that historically marginalized people have on communities all over the world — recognizing that this university would not be the place it is without these students, faculty and staff. For the month of November — Native American Heritage Month — Augustana is featuring TJ Ashes ‘27.


students in outdoor classroom


Careers in history include becoming a public policy writer, legislator, lawyer, community outreach director, nonprofit manager and archivist.

Hands-On Learning  

Internship opportunities include:

  • Capitol Hill
  • Congressional and law offices
  • Library of Congress
  • Gilder Lehrman Institute of America History in New York
  • Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in Washington, D.C.
  • Siouxland Heritage Museums, including Pettigrew Museum in Sioux Falls

Students present research at conferences across the region, including the Northern Great Plains History Conference, Dakota Conference and Phi Alpha Theta regional meeting. They have contributed to real-world projects, like an organizational history of the National Social Workers Association in South Dakota.

History students study away in:

  • Washington, D.C. — with the Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS)
  • Guatemala and Belize — focusing on tropical ecology and Spanish immersion with AU faculty
  • Argentina — focusing on Peronism and the environment with AU faculty
  • Hawaii — focusing on germ science and history with AU faculty
  • Upper Midwest Association for Intercultural Education (UMAIE
  • Peace Scholars summer travel seminar, which deepens understanding of issues related to peace, justice, democracy and human rights

Courses & Organizations

Students in this program write formal papers for every class and study American, European and Latin histories and must create a comprehensive senior thesis.

History students often participate in:

  • Augustana Student Association (ASA)
  • Anthropology Club
  • International Club
  • Augustana University Education Association (AUEA)
  • Serving and Learning Together (SALT)