Published Date

January 1, 2014

Resource Type

For Departments, Program of Study

AHA Topics

Academic Departmental Affairs, Teaching & Learning, The History Major, Undergraduate Education

This resource was developed as part of the AHA’s Tuning project.

Institution: Augsburg College
Degree Name: Bachelor of Arts in History
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Year: 2014


Purpose of the Degree

History courses explore the past in order to better understand the present. They engage students in the work of explaining change and continuity, exploring context, determining causality, engaging contingency, and embracing complexity. The curriculum fosters empathy, equity, and equality, preparing students for complicated lives. Graduates think critically, speak clearly, and write well. Able to articulate what they know and what they can do, they succeed in for-profit as well as non-profit careers.

Characteristics of the Program

Distinctive features include:

  • an award-winning commitment to undergraduate teaching and learning
  • faculty committed to interdisciplinary thinking and work
  • international study-abroad opportunities led by department faculty
  • an emphasis on public history
  • a search for meaning, one that connects our lives and worlds to past events
  • opportunities to explore digital history
  • Social Studies Secondary Education certification (in conjunction with the Education Department)
  • internships for credit at a wide range of organizations and companies
  • opportunities to inquire, gather, reflect, analyze, synthesize, and present their own research

Career Pathways for the Graduate

Graduates pursue careers in a wide range of for-profit and non-profit venues. In every case, they read critically, manage and analyze information, build logical arguments, write persuasively, conduct research, envision themselves as global citizens, and display intercultural competency. As the American Association of Colleges and Universities suggests (2010), employers of every sort prize these skills.

Over fifty percent of graduates continue their education in professional and graduate programs. Twenty percent work in corporate and business settings. Another twenty percent work in K–12 education. A growing number pursue careers in public history. Others work in law, medicine and public health, government, higher education, ministry, and non-profits.

Educational Style

Students encounter a wide range of teaching and learning in the department. They experience discussions, seminars, independent research, authentic hands-on work, lectures, and group projects. The coursework especially emphasizes reading and writing. An emphasis on civic engagement and the city as a classroom insures that students understand the broader context for their learning.

The sequence of courses offers both flexibility and breadth. Introductory students exposed to surveys of world, U.S., and European history then turn to historical methods and historiography in their sophomore year. They build on that experience during their junior year by taking a wide range of courses that span the globe and time periods. In their senior year, students complete a capstone project that requires extensive research in primary and secondary sources to develop an original piece of scholarship. They also formally reflect on where their talents and interests meet the world’s needs.

Program Competencies and Outcomes

Graduates know how to develop thoughtful inquiry, gather evidence, reflect on their approach, analyze closely, synthesize findings, and present their work in a wide range of forms to multiple audiences. As students they practice and then demonstrate their proficiency at these competencies by posing research questions, engaging a wide range of sources representing multiple perspectives, determining appropriate methodologies, ascertaining the way sources and perspectives relate to each other, articulating a clear thesis and a subject’s significance, and conveying a compelling narratives in a variety of formats.

Michael Lansing
Michael Lansing

Augsburg College