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As a history major at Grand View, you pursue the wondrous complexities of the past while acquiring the skills and insight necessary to prepare for an exciting and fulfilling future. Our 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?

  • Online courses available to meet student's needs.
  • Offers some cross-listed undergraduate/graduate courses for students and/or recent graduates to get started with graduate credits that aid students in transferring into graduate programs and/or aid graduates in teaching licensure and salary.
  • Strong placement of students into graduate and law schools, often with scholarships and/or assistantships.
  • Direct contact with public history opportunities and internships, such as the Iowa State Historical Building, Living History Farms, Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge, the Grand View University Archive, and the Danish American Archive and Library in Nebraska.

Career Options

  • Museums: Curator, Registrar/Collections Manager, Museum Education, Conservator
  • Archives: Acquisitions Archivist, Processing Archivist, Reference Archivist, Preservation/Conservation Archivist
  • Editing/Publishing: Documentary Editor, Scholarly Editor/Publisher, Journal/Newspaper Editor
  • Media: History consultant to major television and online news media, dramatic films (including props, weaponry, costumes/uniforms, sites); educational programming.
  • Gaming: Game researcher and consultant on game characters, weapons, story/content.
  • Federal Government: National Park Service including historical sites from battlefields to cultural centers to historic buildings; preservation programs, federal funds analyst from roads to land management to FDIC; intelligence analyst in several branches from State Department to CIA; public relations; legislative support in House and Senate; executive support from Cabinet to White House.
  • State Government: State and/or county preservation of documents and/or sites; state agency support/management; legislative support; executive support; state and federal compliance.
  • Local Government: Community planning, economic development, grant-writing and grant management.
  • Nonprofit Organizations: Regulation compliance, lobbying/advocacy, preservation/research, public relations.
  • Law: Lawyer, paralegal, court staff, law enforcement, corrections, investigation/research including criminal background checks.
  • Military: Commissioned or Non-Commissioned officer, Warrant officer, defense contractor, security contractor; military intelligence analyst and/or consultant; public relations.
  • Corporations: Analyst, management, public relations; researcher for corporate archives, history and/or biographical information.
  • Education: Secondary education and higher education teachers/professors; academic officers; academic recordkeeping, public relations, educational grant-writing, regulatory compliance.


Course Requirements

Jensen Hall

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

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

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