Welcome to the History Department!

We hope that you share our enthusiasm for the study of past societies and cultures.  History unlocks important insights into the world we inhabit. But we also find intellectual satisfaction, and wisdom, in understanding the past on its own terms.

Students of history develop an understanding of change that enables them to engage the world they inhabit. Because of the geographical breadth of our courses, history students develop a global consciousness. Employers value history students’ ability to analyze human and social behavior, to research pressing problems, and to express themselves clearly. And graduates of the UI History department occupy prominent positions in government, private industry, journalism, law, entertainment, education, the non-profit sector, and more. 

In addition to teaching, our faculty members do cutting-edge research in their fields of specialization. That research finds its way into teaching materials, professional journals, books for scholarly and popular audiences, digital collections, news reporting, legal briefs, policy-making, museum exhibits, film and TV documentaries, and more. We’re often called upon to advise journalists or policy makers who want to make sure they’re getting their facts right–and who also want to make sure they’re analyzing and contextualizing those facts correctly.

We see our mission as serving students, the State of Iowa, and the public sphere more broadly.