History Video ConferenceMajors:

History, B.A.
History-Teaching, B.A.



Certificate Program:

Public History

(Click major/minor/certificate title to see typical courses for the program)

A history major at the University of Northern Iowa offers an education for life. It is an outstanding choice for a student interested in the broadest view of past civilizations and cultures. It helps put in perspective life’s joys and sorrows, successes and failures, hopes and despairs. It is no idle cliché to say that we should study the past in order to understand the present and cope with the future. The American philosopher and poet George Santayana put it simply: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it.”

Students with a liberal arts emphasis in the history major prepare for careers in such fields as law, government service, university teaching, journalism, archival/museum work and business. Because history majors possess strong communications skills (both written and oral) along with good general knowledge of society, they enter an amazing variety of fields. In fact, occupational choices for history majors in the liberal arts are limited only by their imaginations.

The Department of History at UNI has 25 full-time faculty who offer courses in U.S., European, Asian, African and Latin American history. History faculty participate in the UNI Liberal Arts Core curriculum, as well as teaching a wide variety of departmental courses. In addition, all the UNI historians have active research programs; this helps them stay current with their subjects while at the same time adding depth to their teaching. 

Common minors pursued

The most frequently selected minors to complement the history teaching major are political science, geography, sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics and coaching. Typical minors associated with the history liberal arts major are the same as for the teaching major, as well as English, philosophy, religion, modern languages and design.


Plan of Study

Discover the courses you'll take as a history major in the Plan of Study.

Unique Features: 
  • A wide range of courses in all fields and time periods of U.S., European and non-Western history

  • Opportunity to interact with a student-oriented, diverse and professional faculty

  • Course offerings and cooperative education experiences in public history, one of the fastest growing and most exciting subfields of history

  • A chance to join the UNI History Club, an active student organization interested in promoting and enjoying history

  • A chance to attend monthly lectures by outstanding scholars in the History Club Lecture Series

  • History majors with high GPA eligible for admission to the UNI chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the international honorary history society

  • Comfortable and well-appointed classrooms, located in the beautifully renovated and historic Seerley Hall
  • All history faculty offices located conveniently on the top two floors of Seerley Hall
  • A student resources room available for quiet study for history majors in Seerley Hall

Faculty features

  • A UNI historian was selected as Iowa Professor of the Year, the only UNI faculty member ever so honored
  • A historian received UNI’s 2001 Donald N. McKay Award for outstanding research
  • Several historians have received the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence
  • Historians have won annual College of Social and Behavioral Sciences awards for teaching, research and service UNI historians serve as assistant vice president for international programs and as associate deans of the Graduate College UNI
  • Historians are campus leaders, serving on all the major appointed and elected university committees
  • Several history faculty have distinguished reputations in their scholarly fields. Among them is the editor of the professional journal, African Economic History; another has published six books on Russian and Soviet history; and another received a national award for his encyclopedia on American law.
Scholarships & Awards: 

Outstanding high school students interested in majoring in history should apply for College of Social and Behavioral Science Scholarships. To be considered for many University of Northern Iowa scholarships, you need only complete the application for admission. For additional scholarship opportunities complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after Jan. 1. Colleges and departments within the university have separate application procedures, deadlines and interviews that may be required for scholarship consideration.

In addition, the Department of History conducts annual scholarship competitions for UNI sophomores, juniors and seniors with superior academic records. These scholarships were created in memory of distinguished faculty or friends of UNI. Included among the awards are: Leland Sage Scholarships (for declared history majors); a Howard J. Thompson Award (for declared history or humanities majors); and a John L. Eiklor Scholarship (for history or humanities majors). In addition there is the Charles Ray and Ada May Hoxie Scholarship (for history or political science majors). Application information can be obtained by contacting the Department of History, Seerley Hall 319.

More information on department scholarships can found at Financial Aid.