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, and Tinley Park High School.

Ambrose Advantages

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

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Larry and student group

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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)


History Day at SAU

March 5, 2018

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

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!

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. Many of our students also take advantage of study abroad trips.
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.

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 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.


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


+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)

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

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)
and 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 ExperienceEducation 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.CTA: Click here to read course descriptions for History

Minor in History (15 credits)

US History Minor

+HIST 201 United States to 1877
+HIST 202 United States since 1877

Plus 9 additional credits in US History above the first year level.

World History Minor

Choose two:
+HIST 215 Classical Europe
+HIST 216 Medieval Europe
+HIST 217 Modern EuropeChoose one:
+HIST 210 The Atlantic System
+HIST 211 Asia
+HIST 212 Modern Africa
+HIST 213 Latin AmericaPlus 6 additional credits in World History above the first year level.

General History Minor

+HIST 201 United States to 1877
+HIST 202 United States since 1877Choose one:
+HIST 215 Classical Europe
+HIST 216 Medieval Europe
+HIST 217 Modern EuropePlus 6 additional credits in 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

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

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

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

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 prerequisiteCTA: Read course descriptions in the online course catalog


Scholarships and Grants

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

To receive an institutional grant or scholarship students must meet specific criteria, and some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible. There is no need to apply for these; students automatically are eligible if they meet the criteria.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Awards

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Diocese of Davenport Catholic Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation to be completed by your pastor available here (pdf).

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) awards millions of dollars annually to student-athletes at more than 250 colleges and universities. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

Award Terms

FAFSA forms must be filed every year.

  • To be considered for an Iowa Tuition Grant, the filing deadline is July 1.
  • The St. Ambrose priority deadline is March 15 for some institutional funds. 
  • The Financial Aid Office has the right to adjust your award at any time due to changes in your financial, academic, enrollment, or housing status. 
  • Awards offered from State and Federal programs are contingent upon legislative allocation of funds and maximum limits allowed.
  • You must report any assistance you receive from outside sources – including assistance from your employer – to the Financial Aid Office.

Institutional Aid

Undergraduate level students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per semester to receive Institutional money. All students, undergraduate or graduate, must be enrolled at least half-time per semester to be eligible for student loans. (Half-time for Undergraduate level = 6 credits; Graduate level = 5 credits)

There is no institutional aid for summer sessions. Federal Loans may be available if you are enrolled at least 1/2 time.

You are eligible for institutional financial aid for up to eight semesters, including semesters taken at other schools, before or after time spent at the university (i.e. if you transfer in as a junior, you will receive 4 semesters of institutional aid; or you attended St. Ambrose, left to attend another school, and then returned). This means that if you continue into a fifth year of classes, you will not be eligible for any institutional funds you may have received previously. (Institutional funds are those awarded by the university, not state, federal, or outside based scholarships or grants.)


All financial aid awards, including loans, are disbursed in two disbursements: one for the fall term and one for the spring term. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. Once the loan funds have been applied to your account and if you have awards in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. Any other questions regarding your financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Work Study

If you are receiving assistance under the work study program, you must understand that the amount shown on your award letter is the amount we expect you to earn during one academic year if you work all your allotted hours. Any additional earnings must be approved by your department supervisor and taken into consideration in your financial award package.

Endowed Scholarships

Part of the financial aid funds that St. Ambrose awards come from monies provided through the generous support of St. Ambrose University benefactors. Most endowed scholarships are meant to provide financial support for St. Ambrose University's academic and need based awards. Due to this, in some cases you may see a portion of your Academic Scholarship, for example, being replaced by a named endowed scholarship. The total dollar amount you receive between the two awards, however, will remain unchanged.

Recipients are chosen based on the criteria established by the donor, which include, but are not limited to: major, class rank, GPA, performance in a fine art, or residency. You may be contacted by the Advancement Office to write a thank you letter to the donor.

What happens if I withdraw or need to drop a class?

  • If you drop a class, it may affect the amount of aid you can receive. It is very important to visit your Financial Aid counselor if you are planning on dropping a class.
  • If you are going to withdraw completely from all your classes, your financial aid awards will be prorated according to the amount of time you were actually enrolled. It is possible that you may end up owing the University for a portion of your expenses incurred.
  • More information regarding this policy is available in the University catalog.
  • Please contact your Financial Aid counselor if you are considering dropping classes or withdrawing from the University.

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Nathan Tappen

Class of 2021

Nathan Tappen was undecided on a major when he became an Ambrosian in 2017, but “undecided” is OK. We offer more than 50 undergraduate majors, and Nathan was eager to explore. “I like the academic programs SAU offers, and maybe what I want to do in the future will be inspired by a class I take.”

See My Story

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

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 50 programs and 26 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!