History majors at Central have access to a wide array of courses covering all aspects of world history, including United States, European, Middle Eastern, Asian, African and Latin American. The department offers a wide-ranging curriculum covering multiple time periods, and professors bring added insight into the classroom through their personal research specialties. Graduates are thoroughly prepared for professional life and advanced study in a variety of disciplines.

A history major at Central can be combined with other majors; some students choose to minor in history, which adds depth and context to their major. As one of the most relevant majors in the liberal arts, history provides a context for understanding ourselves, our field of study and our world.

career fields include library science, law, museum studies, law enforcement, teaching, business and social work
Field trips to sites such as Shiloh and Vicksburg National Battlefields, Gettysburg and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Internships at British Imperial War Museum, Austrian Museum for Folk Life and Folk Art (Vienna) and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Central Difference

Study Abroad

All students are encouraged to study abroad with Central College to enhance their development as global citizens. History majors are particularly encouraged to study abroad because of the opportunities to visit historical sites that are otherwise only accessible through pictures in textbooks, and because of resume-building internship opportunities. Academic opportunities and internship programs also are available in Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Mark Barloon

Title: Senior Lecturer of History
Passion: American military history
Fun Fact: His classes often travel to American battlefields like Gettysburg and Antietam

Experience History

You'll have many opportunities to experience the past firsthand. Central students have toured Civil War battlefields in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Mississippi, and  enjoyed behind-the-scenes access at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum and the National WWI Museum. Students have also toured, studied and worked at the State Historical Society of Iowa and Living History Farms.

Research Opportunities

You'll be invited to investigate the past by participating in Honors seminars and regional undergraduate research conferences. Recent topics have included the Colorado Gold Rush, Hawarden World War II veterans, Chinese politics and American-Japanese relations. You'll also have opportunities to conduct original research in capstone classes.


History classes meet in historic Jordan Hall, which has been updated to meet the needs of today’s students.


Central College student

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

  • National Park Service, Murfreesboro National Military Park, Tenn.
  • Executive Director, Sarpy County Historical Museum, Neb.
  • Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Appalachian State University
  • Judge Advocate General (JAG) – U.S. Air Force
  • Historian, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Historic Preservationist, Mead & Hunt (architectural firm), Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Information Technology Specialist, University of Minnesota
  • Business Development Strategist, Brokers International, Ltd., Des Moines
  • Editor-in-Chief, The Pella Chronicle
  • Attorney at law
  • Federal, state and local law enforcement
  • Teachers
Central College student


No matter what your interests, Central has a student group or organization for you. Student groups of interest for history majors include History Club and Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society.

Graduate Placement

  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Northern Iowa
  • Ball State University
  • Western Illinois University
  • Duke University Medical School
  • University of Iowa Law School
  • Creighton University Law School
  • Drake University Law School


  • American Gothic House, Eldon
  • Austrian Museum for Folk Life and Folk Art, Vienna
  • British Imperial War Museum, London
  • Victoria and Albert House, London
  • Living History Farms, Urbandale
  • Iowa State Historical Society
  • Pella Historical Village and Scholte House
  • American Gothic House, Eldon
  • National Czech and Slovak Museum, Cedar Rapids
  • Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Knoxville
  • US Congress, Washington D.C.
  • US Department of Defense, Washington, D.C.
  • Victoria and Albert House, London
Central College student

Courses & Faculty

The research interests of Central’s history faculty create breadth and depth across courses including military history, political history, popular culture, migration and refugees, inter-ethnic relations and more.

Central’s history major also exposes students to museums, archives, academic and corporate libraries and other fields that utilize the work of historians. An internship is strongly recommended in this program.

Learn more about History in the course catalog.

Meet the faculty:

  • Mark Barloon, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Senior Lecturer of History
  • Chia Ning, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Professor of History
  • Timothy Olin, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History
  • Lori Witt, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor of History

Sample Schedule

First Year

  • Early Western Civilization
  • Modern Western Civilization
  • U.S. History to 1877
  • U.S. History 1877 to present
  • Core courses and/or electives

Sophomore Year

  • Latin American Civilization or
  • Early East Asian Civilization or
  • Modern East Asian Civilization or
  • Modern African Civilization
  • 200 and 300 level electives

Junior Year

  • History seminar
  • Public history seminar
  • History electives
  • Core courses and/or electives

Senior Year

  • Public history seminar
  • History electives
  • Core courses and/or electives


Learn More

Want to find out more about History at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.