Welcome to the History Department website at Drake University.

We want to introduce ourselves as a department and invite prospective and enrolled students to consider the History Major and the 27 + 12 Track History Double Major. This track enables students majoring in another discipline to count 12 credit hours from that discipline toward a 39-hour major in history.

The History Department is composed of nine full-time faculty members and approximately 90 majors. This ratio of one faculty member to ten student advisees promotes meaningful faculty-student interaction. Every faculty member in the department has earned the Ph.D., the highest degree awarded in the field. Every student majoring in history works closely with our accomplished teacher-scholars. We are committed to providing exceptional learning experiences for students that combine knowledge and skill acquisition with pre-professional training and career development. Our graduates become scholars and teachers, lawyers and doctors, writers and journalists, politicians and public servants, small business owners and community organizers. In recent years, Drake University history majors have gained admission to pursue advanced graduate and law degrees at Harvard, Georgetown, Baylor, Michigan, Connecticut, Minnesota, Marquette, and Washington University, St. Louis. Their success owes much to the distinctiveness of their Drake history education.
The discipline of history lies at the core of liberal education. Knowledge of the past is key to understanding the present. To think historically is to think critically but with the advantage of contextualizing and interpreting the present in light of the past. It is what every informed citizen does when formulating an opinion or facing an important life decision, especially in times of profound change. 
At a time when the average college graduate will work in four or more different professions during their lifetime, our program prepares and empowers students with modular and transferable skills. Mastering the information of the “information age” requires students to read, write, think, speak, and analyze data proficiently, but students must also possess the flexibility and adaptability to function in an ever-changing global economy. This is, in part, why even famous history majors, Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, W.E.B. Dubois and General John Abizaid, Ed Norton and Steve Carell, Conan O-Brien and Lauryn Hill, Chris Berman and Wolf Blitzer, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, all pursued different career paths. They were all history majors before they won their presidencies, commands, Emmys, Grammys, Oscar nominations, Olympic medals, and national championships.      
Please explore our home page and contact us for additional information.

Glenn McKnight
Chair of the History Department
Meredith Hall 221B