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History Major

Studying history in college is nothing like it was in high school. You'll find rich and challenging courses where you will learn about other worlds, eras and cultures. By understanding the past you will better understand yourself and the complex and diverse world we live in today.

Grand View's rigorous academic program stresses critical thinking, analytical reading, problem solving, careful research, effective writing and communication. Plus, our small class sizes foster interpersonal relationships among a supportive community of learners where you collaborate with other bright, ambitious students. Your professors get to know you on a one-on-one basis and take a genuine interest in your success.

Why Grand View?

  • Strong placement of students into graduate and law schools, often with scholarships and / or assistantships.
  • Small class sizes foster interpersonal relationships and encourage collaboration in a supportive community of learners.
  • Personal attention from top-notch faculty experts who take an interest in your success.
  • Opportunities to attend and present at history conferences.
  • Experience field excursions to national museums and presidential libraries.
  • Challenging and valuable internship opportunities with the Iowa State Historical Building, Living History Farms, Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge and the Danish American Archive and Library in Nebraska.
Career Options

History is relevant and applicable to many career choices. Consider your future as a:

  • Museum Curator or Exhibition Officer
  • Librarian or Archivist
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Graduate or Law School
  • Politician or Government Administrator
  • Journalist, Publisher or Editor
  • Investigator or Law Enforcement
  • Archaeologist
  • Management or Analyst
  • Military Officer or Intelligence
Course Requirements
Download Degree Checklist
Student Testimonials

Dr. Thomas LecaqueDr. Thomas Lecaque

“Dr. Lecaque makes sure that his students always feel welcome and that they are being listened to. He goes above and beyond to make sure that the material is understood but that it is also in connection with other material. He is the most understanding person on this campus, and always has great advice.” - Caitlyn Malloy

Awards and Accomplishments

Kevin Gannon • GV Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship (2010); GV Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching, 2015; Appeared in Oscar-nominated documentary 13th, directed by Ava DuVernay; Coordinator for the Council of Independent College’s Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction; Presenter on race and U.S. history at Louisiana Tech University and Grinnell College; Keynote presenter at Faculty College of the University of Wisconsin, MacEwan University in Canada, and at the State of Oregon’s Diversity and Inclusion Conference. Gannon also serves as Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Thomas Lecaque • Dr. Thomas Lecaque is a member of the prestigious French humanities research group Laboratiore d'etudes sur les Monotheismes (LEM) in Saint-Etienne, France, which happens to be the sister city of Des Moines. He presents papers at international conferences such as the Institute for Historical Research in London, the International Medieval Congresses at Leeds, England, and Kalamazoo, Michigan, as well as the International Byzantine Congress in Sofia, Bulgaria. Dr. Lecaque recently published his first peer-reviewed book chapter in the commentary series The Uses of the Bible in Crusading Sources, eds. Elizabeth Lapina and Nicholas Morton (Leiden: Brill, 2017).

Matthew Plowman • Various publications such as in the Journal of Intelligence History, the New Hibernia Review, and American Espionage: A Historical Encyclopedia; several paper presentations including at the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism at the London School of Economics; the Centre for Irish Studies at the University of Ireland-Galway; the Roger Casement Conference of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Limerick in Tralee, Ireland; the World War I International Conference at Queen Mary University of London; and a colloquium at Balliol College, Oxford University. Dr. Plowman works with students on their articles and book reviews for MUNINN: Journal of History and serves as department chair. He also received Grand View's Distinguished Faculty Service Award in 2015-16.

Katharina Tumpek-Kjellmark • Recipient of the Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities and the Iowa Governor's Volunteer award. Her research specialization is Modern European history; she has presented her work at national and regional conferences. She has also sponsored numerous study abroad trips for students to Italy, Greece, and France. Katharina serves as faculty advisor to the History Club and organizes students trips to various regional historical sites, such as the National World War I Museum.

Future Success

Our program has a strong placement of graduates into graduate and law schools, often with scholarships and/or assistantships. As such, faculty are very involved in the application and reference process.

Leaders in every industry, from business to the arts, can point to their training as history majors as the starting point for their success. Indeed, historical study plays an important part in fostering well-rounded intellectual development as well as instilling valuable career skills in research, writing, argumentation and documentation.

Interestingly (and luckily for history majors) recent trends in medical and business school admissions suggest that professional schools are looking for students with training in humanities and social sciences.

Former Student Tells All

"This History department at Grand View has supplied me the education to be a well-rounded and highly curious educator. The passion and vitality of the History professors at Grand View influenced me to love research and have a growth mindset. Thanks to professors like Dr. Matthew Plowman, Dr. Kevin Gannon, and Professor-Emeritus Evan Thomas, I feel fully prepared to hand on the love of learning to the students in my classroom."

--Michael Davenport, Des Moines Public Schools

Alum Shares Her Story

"I credit the Grand View history department, especially the faculty with preparing me, not just for graduate school and future employment, but really preparing me for life. The courses I took and the faculty I engaged with encouraged me to think for myself and question everything. I was taught to analyze history, not just regurgitate information about a person, event, or important date. I started to form my own opinions on various topics, not just history, because of the training and the critical inquiry demanded of me in my coursework."

--Lauren Haugh, Advising lead/GV Completion Coach/Adjunct

Explore More Programs Visit Campus

Jensen Hall Virtual Tour

Originally a historic residence hall, Jensen was transformed into part of Grand View’s academic facilities in 2004 and is now home to offices and classrooms for religion, history, foreign languages and English.

Virtual Tour