History


Whether you want to turn your passion for the past into your profession or seek the skills you need for a legal, political, or business career, St. Ambrose has the program to set you on a path to achieving your goals.

Our graduates work at Volt Information Sciences, Putnam Museum, National Park Service, Rock Island Arsenal, Tinley Park High School, and others.


Ambrose Advantages

  • Be a Citizen of the World
  • Experience and Opportunities
  • Flexible, Yet Rigorous

Dan in Front of Class

Larry and student group

Campus Clock

A major in history at St. Ambrose means you will work closely with professors and learn to analyze problems and develop solutions, skills you can apply to the past, present and your future.

Read Our History Fact Sheet (pdf)


banner

History Day at SAU


The SAU History Department hosts the annual History Day for area middle and high school students.

Learn more at the National History Day website


More Information on the History Program

What will I learn?

Courses generally focus on the religious, economic, political, social, and cultural history of countries including the U.S., Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. You can also study the history of women in the U.S., how Latin American nations have come to terms with political independence and economic underdevelopment, and the Spanish War. If you are interested in learning the history of food, or history of rock and roll, we offer those classes, too. Read course descriptions

We also have something pretty unique: our own Academy for the Study of Saint Ambrose of Milan, which promotes and supports scholarship, research, and creative work about the University's patron saint. This is a collaboration between SAU and the Academia Ambrosiana of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, Italy.

At St. Ambrose, you will learn the specific skill of historiography – which is not always taught at larger universities but is definitely needed for grad school. Here, your education will focus on both content and writing, research and critical thinking – skills you need to succeed professionally and personally.

To round out your History major, consider a minor in Museum Studies. A recently-added program, the Museum Studies minor is valuable if you want a career associated with museums, historical societies, archives, libraries, or auction houses. SAU is one of only a handful of Midwestern institutions that offer this minor. If your goal is a career in museum science, we have a partnership with WIU-QC that will allow you to earn your undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years. Learn why Devin Oake ‘18 believes the partnership is a win for students who also see their future in museum science. Read this story. 

How can I build on my experience outside the classroom?
  • Attend a lecture, activities, or study abroad. An endowment honoring Professor Emeritus Richard E. Geiger gives you all of these opportunities.
  • Dive into our Irish Studies Collection, which includes 2,200 titles on Irish, Irish American, and American Catholic life.
  • Join the History Honor Society and enjoy guest speakers, conferences, learn about professional opportunities, and participate in an annual service project. Students with a GPA of 3.1 or higher and 12 history credits can be eligible to join. We also have an active Art History Club comprised of students interested in history and art history.
  • Participate in National History Day and hone your skills in critical and creative thinking, research and analysis, communication, problem-solving, and more.
  • Explore the Quad Cities. It's a well-established, vibrant community with archives at area libraries as well as living historians through the Scott County Historical Society and German American Heritage Center. We have strong partnerships with more than 15 agencies that specialize in art, history, and heritage, and offer you practical internship experience.
What are some potential career outcomes?

Professional historians work in museums and media centers, conduct research for businesses or public agencies, or as a historical consultant in a variety of industries.

Most history majors use their education for broad professional purposes. Your investigative research and writing skills are directly relevant to careers in business, teaching, political leadership, law, journalism, information science, and public administration.

Read about Alex Cahill '08. He entered law school after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and is now an attorney with the Rock Island Arsenal. He remains faithfully committed to SAU and recently was honored by the College of Arts and Sciences. 

What have alumni from this program done?
  • Austin Carlson '16 was accepted into the University of Iowa College of Law with a scholarship and honors.
  • Breanna Neubauer '12 triple-majored in history, English, and philosophy. She is a documentation specialist at Baxter International, Inc., a healthcare company that develops, manufactures, and markets medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology.
  • Laura Craft '10 triple-majored in history, women and gender studies, and sociology, and studied abroad at the University of Hyderabad (India) and University of Botswana. After graduation she volunteered with the Peace Corps and then worked in the Philippines for Children, Youth, and Family Services. She currently is a park ranger with the National Park Service at Lassen Volcanic National Park in Mineral, Calif.
  • Anna Turner-Scott '06, '09 was a mother of two while taking classes for a bachelor's in history and a Bachelor of Education. Today she works at Digital Pathways, an archival service contractor that serves the Rock Island Arsenal.

Faculty

Larry Skillin, PhD, Professor and Chair

Ethan Gannaway, PhD, Assoc. Professor
Dan La Corte, PhD, Professor, Agnes C. Renner Chair
Keri Manning, PhD, Professor
Sandy McKinley, PhD, Professor

Degree Requirements

Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in History (34 credits)

Required:
+HIST 100 History Matters
+HIST 201 United States to 1877
+HIST 202 United States since 1877
HIST 205 Introduction to Historical Methods

Choose one:
+HIST 210 The Atlantic System
+HIST 211 Asia
+HIST 212 Modern Africa
+HIST 213 Latin America

Choose two:
+HIST 215 Classical Europe
+HIST 216 Medieval Europe
+HIST 217 Modern Europe

Two courses at the 300-level;

Choose two:
HIST 400 Senior Seminar in World History
HIST 401 Senior Seminar in American History OR HIST 410 Capstone Research Experience
HIST 415 Why History Matters to Me (1 credit)

Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History (Teaching) (34 credits)

Required:
HIST 205 Introduction to Historical Methods
+HIST 201 United States to 1877
+HIST 202 United States since 1877
HIST 415 Why History Matters to Me (1 credit)
Plus 15 credits above the first year level

Choose one:
+HIST 210 The Atlantic System
+HIST 211 Asia
+HIST 212 Modern Africa
+HIST 213 Latin AmericaChoose two:
+HIST 215 Classical Europe
+HIST 216 Medieval Europe
+HIST 217 Modern EuropeChoose two:
HIST 400 Senior Seminar in World History
HIST 401 Senior Seminar in American History OR HIST 410 Capstone Research Experience
HIST 410 Capstone Research Experience

Education courses required for certification are listed in the Education section of the catalog. Students must maintain a 3.00 GPA in History with no grade lower than a C.

Click here to read course descriptions for History

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a degree in History. This plan assumes the student has not fulfilled the foreign language requirement (three years of high school foreign language).

Year One

FallCreditSpringCredit
HIST 101 History Matters 3 HIST 205 Historical Methods 3
ENGL 101 English Composition 3 HIST 201 U.S. History to 1877 3
MATH 171 Elementary Functions 3 Gen. Ed. Oral Communication 3
Foreign Language 101 3 Foreign Language 102 3
NSS 101 New Student Seminar 1 IL 101 Information Literacy 1
KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1 KIN Activity 1-2
Total Credits 14 Total Credits 14-15

Year Two

FallCreditSpringCredit
HIST 202 U.S. History from 1877 3 HIST 215/216/217 European History 3
HIST 215/216/217 European History 3 HIST 210/211/212/213 World History 3
Gen. Ed. Creative Arts 3 Gen. Ed. Social Science 3
Gen. Ed. Humanities (non-History) 3 Gen. Ed. Natural Science 4
Philosophy/Theology 3 Philosophy/Theology 3
KIN Activity 1-2
Total Credits 16-17 Total Credits 16

Year Three

FallCreditSpringCredit
HIST 300 level 3 HIST 300 Level 3
Philosophy/Theology 3 HIST 400 Capstone Research Experience* 2
3 Electives (consider minor/double major) 9 Philosophy/Theology 300 level 3
3 Electives (consider minor/double major) 9
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 17

Year Four

FallCreditSpringCredit
HIST 410 Capstone Writing Experience* 3 HIST 300 Level 3
4 Electives (consider minor/double major) 12 HIST 300 Level 3
3 Electives (consider minor/double major) 9
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

*Needs prerequisite

Read course descriptions in the online course catalog

Scholarships and Grants

First-Year

St. Ambrose offers excellent scholarships and grants, work-study and other financial aid options! Full-time students may be eligible based upon your strong academic performance in college, your talent in fine arts or athletics or your demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code for the FAFSA is 001889.

First-Year Scholarships and Institutional Aid 2022-2023

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Please note, while St. Ambrose University has a test-optional admissions policy, standardized test scores are required for both admission to specific programs and/or eligibility for top academic scholarships. Scholarships and grants are renewable for four years of undergraduate study. 

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies - up to four years - as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, achieve certain GPA requirements (see below), and remain a full-time student. 

Download helpful PDFs of this information here: First-Year Iowa Resident or First-Year Out of State Resident


IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Iowa Resident On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $15,000-$21,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Iowa Resident On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Iowa Resident Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000-$16,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Iowa Resident Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Out of State On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $17,000-$23,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Out of State On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Athletic Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Out of State Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $14,000-$17,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Out of State Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

State and Federal Grants, Work Study

Grants are money that you don't repay, and they can come from government or private sources. SAU receives all financial aid funds directly - including loans and grants - then applies them to your account: once in the fall term and once in the spring term. Grants can be used to cover your tuition, books, and housing costs. You must apply for grants each academic year. If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. For all of these grants, you must complete the Free Application Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1.


Iowa Tuition Grant
To be eligible for the Iowa Tuition Grant, you must be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents and currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible Iowa college or university (SAU is eligible). Iowa College Aid administers need-based college financial aid for Iowans, such as the Iowa Tuition Grant. FAFSA deadline is July 1.
Award: $6,800

Federal Pell Grant
Awarded to students of the highest need based on how much your family can contribute to your education. The U.S. Department of Education sets a Expected Family Contribution (EFC) threshold. Then, when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it computes where you land within that threshold and determines if you qualify for the grant and for how much.
Award: $6,345 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
To qualify, you must file a FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 15 and you must qualify for a Pell Grant. This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have submitted all required documents for review and in time for the review to be complete. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG, the awards will appear on your financial aid award letter. Award: $400 maximumFederal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $1,850

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 
Provides aid to students intending to teach in a high-need field at a school that serves low-income families (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education or a state education agency). Review criteria and all details here.
Award: up to $4,000

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.


Sarah Heffron '19


"I love St. Ambrose so much and I don't want to leave, but I'm excited for the next steps in my life that SAU prepared me for. Without knowing yourself, you can't help other people. Without knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you can't succeed."

Read Sarah's Story
Rachel Wiedman Headshot Mobile Picture Rachel Wiedman Headshot

Rachel Wiedman

Bachelor of Arts degree, majors in Psychology and History,Class of 2021


Rachel became an Ambrosian in 2017 because we provide the remarkable university community she requires: a supportive environment; opportunities for academic, artistic and spiritual growth; collaboration and discussion; and a collective mission for social justice.

See My Story

Apply Visit Info

Contact


History Department
Ambrose Hall
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? Click on the visit button below to learn more about our virtual and in-person visit options.