Department of HistoryAcademics

About the History Department

Advancing Inclusive Histories

History teaches how the past has shaped society today and equips students with powerful tools to guide our future. The Gustavus History Department helps students become better citizens and leaders for the country and the world. Here, you won't be memorizing a list of dates, and you won't be passively listening to endless lectures. The History faculty builds classes to be in dialogue with the past and in conversation with students, so you are learning History in the context of current world events. Why did this happen in the past? How do historical events shape what is happening now? What are the implications of what happened in the past for us, the country we live in, and the world? And what do we do next? You will be in a self-reflective and action-oriented environment, studying world events from China in 1,000 BCE up through the global social justice movements of today.

Gustavus History trains students to thrive in a host of careers in the public and private sectors, including business, law, government, librarian and archival sciences, human resources, and public service. The major also thoroughly prepares students for graduate study in the discipline and related professional fields such as law, museum studies, library science, political science, and international relations. History majors at Gustavus are uniquely experienced in analyzing data, understanding information in a broader context, synthesizing research, and using clear verbal and written communication. You will develop essential tools for any career.

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A Great Place to Start Your Exploration

When you join the History Department at Gustavus Adolphus, you will be part of a close-knit group of passionate students and award-winning faculty motivated to make a positive change in their community. Saint Peter is a quaint town in the Minnesota River Valley that, like the state itself, has a rich history. The beautiful Gustavus campus is a perfect place to build supportive relationships with proximity to big-city cultural events and career opportunities. You're minutes away from the medium-sized city of Mankato and an hour from the dynamic and cosmopolitan Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Twin Cities themselves are home to two prominent historical research centers, the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul and the Immigration History Research Center in Minneapolis. As a student at Gustavus, you'll experience these and much more, preparing you to thrive and make an impact in the broader world.

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Discover your path:
Majors, Minors and Related Programs

As a History major, you will expand your historical knowledge through core courses and in those focused on a specialized area. You're able to study specific regions and cultures, and you will complete your journey with a capstone research project on a topic of your choosing. You will take classes in a nurturing and rigorous environment that is safe and supportive to explore new ideas, challenge perceptions, and connect with your classmates. All History classes are discussion and writing based, and all your professors are committed to student success and wellbeing. There is a robust advisor-student culture, meaning you will have a faculty mentor for class selection, research opportunities, internships, and study away.

Majors and Minors

Related Programs

Opportunities in History

Opportunities for Experiential Learning

Small class sizes and engaged faculty members are the foundation for a curious and fun community. Relationships are deepened through the regular supply of tea, donuts, seafood salad, and other foods served in class; Pizza, Profs, and the Past, where faculty members discuss their research; alumni panels for career networking; guest speakers providing expert insights to class topics; and a dinner celebration for graduating seniors.

Given the flexibility of the History major, many students are double majors and are leaders across campus. Course topics spill over to student organizations such as working with sustainability, attending "fika" at the Swedish House, leading a political group, working on LGBTQ+ awareness, or involvement in the Building Bridges Conference.

Explore all Opportunities in History

  • Study Away — History students are encouraged to study away with coursework from approved international programs that apply toward the major. Popular destinations include Japan, Scotland, and Vietnam.
  • Research — Engaging in research throughout your coursework and completing a capstone research project in your senior year allows History majors to develop a wide range of valuable skills.
  • Internships — Many History students complete an internship locally, nationally, or internationally during the school year or summer.
  • Career Preparation — The History faculty and the Center for Career Development staff provide guidance to explore diverse career paths, and it is not uncommon for History students to receive highly competitive positions such as Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships and Japanese Exchange and Teaching placements.
  • DeNault Award Winners for Outstanding Student Writing in History — Recognizes excellence in writing across a broad range of topics for students at all levels of study. This award is available to all students taking a History class.
  • Learning for Life Podcast — History professor Greg Kaster explores the intersections of liberal arts learning, current events, and real-world problem-solving from the Gustavus campus.


Gustavus' History Department is full of thoughtful, connected, socially conscious leaders. They are active on campus and in the community. Explore their incredible work.

Meet our Faculty

Bryn Archambault ’25

Bryn Archambault ’25


“History classes are an environment of open-minded discussion and debate; a place to bounce ideas off one another.” Bryn did not come to Gustavus planning to major in History, but since being at Gustavus she has found a deep interest in the content that she has explored in her history classes, and has realized that […]

Read more about Bryn Archambault ’25

Keep in Touch with the History Department

The History faculty and students at Gustavus stay involved across campus. Our students receive a high-caliber education from talented faculty and pursue other interests outside of class. History students are involved in athletics, music, theater, student government, community service, and social justice groups. Gustavus is a place where you get immersed in the full college experience and leave the Hill ready to contribute to a better world.

Contact History

Phone: 507-933-7413

Beck Academic Hall, 352
800 West College Avenue
Saint Peter, MN 56082