History is the study of change over time and, as such, students of History are ideally placed to comprehend not only the mechanisms of change but also its inevitability. Change arrives at varied paces, from the glacial (such as the slow development of gender norms or the emergence of consumer societies) to the dramatic (wars, political crises, economic collapses).

We also study contingency and uncertainty, continuity and the unexpected, providing excellent preparation for the world after university. As a habit of mind, History teaches us to understand how and why human societies and individuals are altered within circumstances not of our own making but subject to our actions. We retain our collective memories of the back roads and dead ends of the past, some of which might be signposts to possible futures. And, as Humanists, we are guardians of the collective experiences of the human past.

We encourage you to join us at Iowa State University for this exciting adventure!

Undergraduate Study

The History Department offers curricula leading to either a B.A. or a B.S. degree in History. Want to be a teacher? You can earn a secondary-education endorsement at Iowa State. Learn more, learn better.

Graduate Study

Graduate program options include a Master of Arts degree (MA) in history and a Ph.D. in Rural, Agricultural, Technological, and Environmental History. Learn more


The Consortium for the History of Technology and Science promotes interdisciplinary study, hosts speakers, and organizes seminars. Directed by Prof. Amy Bix, the Consortium also supports graduate study and cooperates with organizations outside of ISU. Follow this link for more information.


Department of History: Updated Instructor Office Hours
Research Fellow Profile: Lindsay Bell
Research Fellow Profile: Michael Belding
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About the Department of History

The History Department at Iowa State University was established as a separate department in 1969, having been for many decades before that time a part of the joint Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy. Since 1969, the Department has continued to offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees over a variety of national, chronological, and specialized areas of historical study. It is possible for undergraduate students to both major and minor in History, and for graduate students to seek the MA and the PhD degrees.

Additional Resources