Why Study History at St. Ambrose?

  • Immerse yourself in history through our interactive classes that include game- and role-play curriculum.
  • As a senior, you will work closely with a faculty member on your own historical research project.
  • You can connect with peers and mentors through our active History Club and History Honors Society. These groups create historically-themed escape rooms, organize trips to historical sites and museums, screen movies, and more!
  • You can easily double-major in complementary subjects such as political science, pre-law, and criminal justice (among others).

Graduates with a Major in History

Professional historians work in many different industries as curators, researchers, consultants and more. Investigative research and writing skills are directly relevant to careers in business, teaching, political leadership, law, journalism, information science, and public administration.

  • Sara Killackey '20 (double major History and Political Science) was a legal assistant in the U.S. Attorney's office right after graduation and started the Master of Public Policy and Public Administration program at Northwestern University in 2022.
  • Ronnie Dunlap '17, '19 MOL works as a recruitment consultant in the St. Louis area with the firm of Michael Page.
  • Megan Grady '21 is an 8th Grade Social Studies teacher in the Sterling School District and Head Coach for the Sterling High School Cross Country team.
  • Rachel Wiedman '21 (triple major History, English, Philosophy) was accepted into the History PhD program at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
  • Thomas MacCullum '20 is a firearms describer for the Rock Island Auction Company. (He once helped to authenticate dueling pistols belonging to Alexander Hamilton – but not the ones used in his final duel....)
  • Madelyn Thompson '20 is a Realty Specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Learn History Through Role-Play Games and a Virtual Reality Curriculum
  • Work with Faculty on a Senior Year Research Project
  • Double Major to Make the Most Impact After Graduation

Dan in Front of Class

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 future.


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

History Department


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

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 prerequisite

Read course descriptions in the online course catalog

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)
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

Scholarships and Grants


St. Ambrose offers excellent scholarships and grants, work-study and other financial aid options! Full-time students may be eligible based on 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 2024-2025

Merit-Based Scholarships

4.0 GPA: $24,000
3.75-3.99 GPA: $22,000
3.0-3.749 GPA: $20,000
2.5-2.99 GPA: $18,000
2.0-2.49 GPA: $14,000
If GPA is 2.0-2.49, additional documents and review required for admission.

Merit-Based Scholarships

4.o GPA: $17,000
3.75-3.99 GPA: $16,000
3.0-3.749 GPA: $15,000
2.5-2.99 GPA: $14,000
2.0-2.49 GPA: $13,000
If GPA is 2.0-2.49, additional documents and review required for admission.


Ambrose Advantage Full-Tuition Scholarship
Pell-eligible Iowa residents, learn more here

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarship: $500 per year
Parent is a St. Ambrose graduate

Catholic Traditions Scholarship: $1,000 per year
Students with Catholic religious denomination or plans to graduate from Catholic high school 

Minority Scholarship: $500 per year
Ethnically diverse student

Athletic Scholarships: varies
Performance and ability

Fine Arts Scholarships: varies
Performance and ability in music, art and theatre

Faith Learning Justice Campus Ministry Scholarships: $2,000 per year
Recognition of involvement in church and community service and interest in strengthening faith and growing as a leader in campus ministry

Scholarships are determined by unweighted GPA, and are renewable for four years of undergraduate student. Increases in scholarship awards due to change in GPA will be reviewed until March 1.

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 it is available.

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.
Award: $7,500 maximum

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 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: $6,895 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
You must file a FAFSA to 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 maximum

Federal Work Study
Must secure campus employment.
Award: $2,560

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 Student Financial Services 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

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Larry Skillin, PhD

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

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