Department of History & Related Fields

From Ancient Eqyptian excavation to American Political and Military history, there isn't a dull moment in the History Department!

At Northwestern, you'll cover the whole span of history—from the ancient world to current events. 

Beyond the facts, you'll learn to see history in 3-D by studying the political, social, cultural, intellectual and relgious histories of civilizations and time periods.

As a history major or minor, you can take courses in four main areas—History, Economics and Geography and Political Science.


Why Study History at University of Northwestern?

Study under full-time history professors, not graduate assistants.
All Northwestern history professors possess Ph.D. degrees and the best of the best in their specialized areas (the Ancient World, U.S. history, Russian and European history, biblical history and more).

Reflect on Christianity throughout history.
Learn to see historical events through a biblical lense. Every history student takes the class "History of the Christian Church."

Enjoy special hieroglyphics!
Northwestern is one of a few schools in the nation to offer a study of hieroglyphics! And you can learn it from a professor who found a royal tomb in Egypt!


Mission Statement

The Department of History and Related Fields aims to shape reflective human beings who possess both historical knowledge and the ability to read deeply, think historically and critically, and communicate well, qualities which equip them to provide God-honoring leadership in the home, church, community, and world.


History Students discuss a Christ-centered worldview and engaging in the world.


Austin D. Testimonial 

We love to hear the reflections of our senior students! This one comes from Austin D., who graduated in Spring 2015. It demonstrates the personal touch offered by the Northwestern History Department:

When I was visiting different schools during my Junior and Senior years of high school, I was actually really unsure if I wanted to major in history or in music composition. I visited schools in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. All of those schools were legitimately great choices for schools for music or history, but none of those schools professors ever connected with me on a personal level. Each school's professors I would either have to meet with a hand shake or through a bulletin that they had at the event. Only Northwestern's history department connected with me on a personal level. Upon my visit at UNW I was able to sit down with Dr. Aling and talk about our areas of history that we were most interested in. Dr. Aling blew my mind on his knowledge of Ancient Egypt and his passion for teaching history. After that visit, I knew that I wanted to be a history major and I knew that I wanted to go to UNW. As a freshman at UNW, I was a little worried that the friendly one-on-one time that I had at the preview day would quickly vanish once I would be in a classroom setting. However, one class of Western Civilization with Clyde Billington instantly removed all doubt of the character of the history professors of UNW. Second semester of my freshman year, I took a class on the history of Nazi Germany. This class was and still is the favorite history course that I have taken (although American Religions with Jonathan Den Hartog is a close second). As a result taking that history of Nazi Germany class, Clyde Billington quickly became my mentor. There would be times and days that I was in need of counsel about what to expect after college, and he would always make the time to help and explain what career paths are realistic and beneficial.

Where our grads are working:

  • Secret Service
  • Military
  • Law Enforcement
  • Business
  • Archaeology
  • Teaching history/social studies
  • Center for the American Experiment (a political think-tank)
  • Minnesota Statehouse
  • Intelligence Services
  • Others continue to grad school, seminary or pursue Ph.D. programs in history. 

Intern at the Minnesota State Capitol

In the past year, Northwestern has placed seven interns at the Minnesota Statehouse, where they joined several UNW alumni who are working there full-time. 

History in the News

Wondering what people in the History Department have been up to? Click over to the News page and find out!

What interesting classes might I take?

  • History of the Ancient Near East
  • The Renaissance and Reformation Era
  • The American Civil War Era
  • Old Testament Archeology
  • History of the Greek World
  • U.S. History since 1877

Interested in Law school?

Earning a history major is a great place to start. Many history majors go on to law school. 

History allows for the examination of policy and results—important categories for legal argumentation. Plus, you'll develop your critical reading and writing skills—abilities that are crucial for law students.  

UNW history alumni have gone to law school at these universities:

  • Harvard University
  • University of Minnesota
  • DePaul University
  • Hamline University Law School
  • William Mitchell College of Law

Connect with the History Department

Follow us by liking our Department's Facebook Page.

Professor Den Hartog maintains his own blog, "Historical Conversations." He also blogs monthly at the Religion in American History blog.


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