As a history major at Wartburg College, you will become a better citizen and learn to shape the world for a brighter, more equitable and inclusive future as you discover the ideas, people, and movements that have impacted our world.

Discover your passion through high-impact learning experiences that include:

  • Studying abroad or traveling with faculty during May Term.
  • Undergraduate research.
  • Internships.
  • Presenting at regional or national undergraduate conferences.
  • Leading a service trip.
  • Serving in leadership positions.

Gain the skills and competencies that employers see as essential for success in a changing world. Through your course work and experiential learning, you will:

  • Enhance your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
  • Acquire the ability to assemble and organize information.
  • Improve your written and oral communication skills.
  • Learn to work well on a team.
  • Become more innovative and original as you look at the world around you.
  • Develop an awareness and appreciation for other cultures.

We are excited for you to experience history with the faculty in the Wartburg College Department of History, where we value curiosity and engagement in historical inquiry as preparation for lifelong learning. Join us as we embark on a journey through time exploring American, European, and non-Western history and culture.

Wartburg graduates find satisfying jobs and are admitted into top graduate and professional schools. Wartburg alumni can be found in all 50 U.S. states and more than 70 foreign countries. Below is only a sample of the positions Wartburg graduates from the Department of History have had in the past.

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past Five Years:

  • Librarian, Indianapolis Public Library
  • Lawyer, Public Defender, Lincoln NE
  • Football Coaching Assistant, Wayne State College, NE
  • 8th Grade U.S. History Teacher, DeWitt, IA
  • 7th Grade World History Teacher, Fountain, CO
  • Social Studies Teacher, Austin, MN
  • Lawyer

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past 10 Years:

  • Instructional Coach-Technology, Cedar Falls High School, IA
  • History Teacher & Coach, Postville High School, IA
  • Broker-Dealer-Agent, Prudential Investment Management Services, IA
  • High School Social Studies Teacher, Central Springs CSD, IA
  • Lawyer, Grefe & Sidney Law Firm, IA
  • IDOT Transportation Planner
  • Teacher and Head Wrestling Coach, Waterloo East High School, IA
  • High School Teacher, Cedar Rapids Washington High School, IA

Sample Stand-out Alumni Positions:

  • Director, Cowles Library, Drake University
  • Chief of Chaplains, U. S. Navy
  • Editor, Fort Dodge Messenger
  • Associate Dean, Honors Program, James Madison University
  • Certified Financial Planner
  • Senior Research Analyst, Iowa House Republicans
  • Senior Pastor, Nazareth Lutheran Church, Cedar Falls
  • Superintendent, Harvard Community United School District, 
  • Archivist, National Archives, Kansas City
  • Hematology Oncology
  • Head Women’s Soccer Coach, Wartburg
  • Director of Communication and Training, University of St. Thomas
  • Architect
  • Director, Missouri Town 1855
  • Associate Professor of Spanish, Whitworth University
  • Associate Professor of History, Del Mar College
  • Assistant Professor of Education, Buena Vista University

Students also pursue graduate studies in history, law, philosophy, architecture, museum studies, seminary studies, sociology, art history, student life and leadership, management, urban planning, library science, anthropology, the history of medicine, medicine, and Spanish literature at schools including the University of Iowa, Syracuse University, Vanderbilt University, Oxford University, Villanova University, University of Denver, Boston College, Marquette University, University of Kansas, University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University, Drake University, and Auburn University.

Careers for History Majors – The link, provided by the American Historical Association, demonstrates how a major in history can lead to countless careers.
Careers for Students of History – The AHA offers this online pamphlet “for those interested in continuing their studies further and entering the ranks of professional historians.”
Jobs in Public History – A searchable job and internship listing provided by the National Council on Public History.

The Department of History offers the following majors and minors. Each of the majors offers a link to a checklist to assist students in planning their major. For additional information about endorsements, visit Wartburg’s Department of Education.

History (click link for more information and sample course grid)
Education, training, library, management, legal occupation, sales, office and administrative support, business operations, financial services, transportation, community and social services, media

American History Education (click link for more information and sample course grid)
Middle school and high school teacher

World History Education (click link for more information and sample course grid)
Middle school and high school teacher

Digital History (click link for more information and sample course grid)
Archivist, museum curator, web designer, programmer, librarian, educator

Law  (click link for more information and sample course grid)
Lawyer, judge, government service

Library Science (click link for more information and sample course grid)
Librarian, associate editor, government records analyst, archivist, knowledge management specialist, information architect

Public History/Museum Studies (click link for more information and sample course grid)
Historic site interpreters, archivists, curators, exhibit designers, museum educators, museum and historical society directors, historic preservationists, public historians

Seminary (click link for more information and sample course grid)
Ordained ministry

Student Affairs (click link for more information and sample course grid)
Admissions officers, adult basic education managers, athletic director, college registrars, continuing education directors, directors of admissions, directors of student services (accessibility, counseling, student organizations, safety, spiritual life, facilities, career services, conduct, athletics, residence life, administrative, involvement, diversity and inclusion), deans of students


Wartburg College has partnered with Western Illinois University to offer an integrated baccalaureate and master’s degree program for students seeking a bachelor’s degree in history at Wartburg and a master’s degree in museum studies from WIU. The agreement allows students to earn their Wartburg degree in four years before going on to earn a master’s degree from WIU in one year. The master’s program, which typically requires two years to complete, is available at WIU’s Quad Cities campus. Additional information about the WIU graduate program is available at www.wiu.edu/cofac/qc/museumstudies/.


Wartburg College and the University of Iowa Law School have joined forces for the 3+3 Program. The program allows a junior at Wartburg to apply for admission to Iowa Law’s Juris Doctor (JD) Program. If admitted to Iowa Law, the students would not attend Wartburg for their senior year. Instead, they would attend Iowa Law as a first year student and would satisfy the remaining requirements for their Wartburg degree if they successfully completed their first year of law school. If they did not successfully complete their first year, they could return to Wartburg to fulfill whatever requirements remained. Details at www.wartburg.edu/law.

Ottersberg Scholar in History – This scholarship is awarded to a first year student with a major in history. The purpose is to provide a scholarship for “Scholars in Partnership” in history named after Dr. Gerhard Ottersberg. Receipt is based on merit.

Dr. G. Rudolph & Beryl Bjorgan Memorial Scholarship – Full-time students at Wartburg College who demonstrates appropriate financial need as determined by the Wartburg Financial Aid Office are eligible for this scholarship. However, special preference is given to a junior or senior majoring in history or political science, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00, with proven ability to excel in their chosen field.

Gerhard Ottersberg History Scholarship – Established in honor of Dr. Gerhard Ottersberg, professor emeritus, Wartburg College — with funds contributed by family, friends and former students — this award is granted to a junior or senior student majoring in history who has consistently demonstrated a high level of scholastic achievement.

Norheim History Scholarship – The Norheim is awarded to a student majoring in history with good academic standards.

Other Scholarships – Visit Wartburg College’s listing of nationally competitive scholarships or learn about additional scholarships, grants, and fellowships through the Wartburg Financial Aid Web site.

Alumni Success Stories

Mission Statement
The Wartburg College History Department is committed to helping students discern and prepare to live out their calling

Core Values
Honesty, trust, respect, fairness, responsibility, and the free exchange of ideas are essential for success in life.  They form the foundations of relationships and communities, which is especially important as we carry out our role as citizens in our personal and professional lives.

Intellectual Curiosity
The history department believes in, promotes, and encourages individuals’ lifelong passion for understanding the world around them – both past and present.  It is through the process of questioning and seeking answers that we can make our world a better place.

Deep Thinking
The history program provides students with opportunities to not only study the past, but also to reflect on the purposes of such study, the meaning of history in our lives, and the uses of history in our world.  We firmly believe that an understanding of history is fundamental to understanding who, what, and why we are.

We live and work in a world filled with a variety of human experiences and perspectives, as have humans in every age.  The history program explores diversity in past settings as a way of promoting understanding of and valuing of this variety and preparing students to live in a diverse world.

Working together and supporting our intellectual and physical endeavors builds respect, civility, collegiality, and understanding.  Collaboration provides models for mentorship, develops necessary skills, and enables us to reach our full potential.

Community Engagement
We are committed to engaging in our communities in a positive manner that leads to respect, growth, and mutual betterment.  Our communities are varied and encompass our personal, professional, and civic lives.


Luther Hall houses the Department of History.

Experience a tight-knit mentoring community. 



Terrence Lindell

Professor of History

Daniel Walther

Gerald R. Kleinfeld Endowed Chair in German History