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Cultural development of a diverse history

Investigate the social and economic influences from the beginnings of civilization to the present.

With a major or minor in history at Mount Mercy, you develop the skills needed to adapt to an ever-changing workforce.

As you investigate a diverse spectrum of social, economic, political and cultural developments and make connections between historical events and our contemporary world, you’ll also refine your reading, writing, researching, speaking and critical thinking skills.

Our history program offers a broad range of courses, including both Western and non-Western history. What’s more, our faculty pride themselves on giving students highly individualized attention while ensuring students reach both their academic and career goals.


Built on interactive experiences.

The history major serves as preparation for careers in education, business, journalism, government, and historic preservation as well as entrance into graduate and law school. The history minor provides an opportunity for students to combine an interest in history with one of the institution’s other majors.

As a supplement to their classroom experiences, history students will have the opportunity to do independent study, internships, and to avail themselves of travel courses offered during Winter Term and some summer sessions.

Students in this major acquire knowledge that enables them, for example, to: demonstrate their grasp of historical methodology; gain a deeper understanding of the social, economic, political, and cultural development of diverse people; and connect major historical events to our contemporary world.

What courses will I take?

History Major

HI 140History Of Western World Since 16483
HI 114History of Early America3
or HI 115 History Of Modern America
HI 120Origins Of The Western Tradition3
or HI 130 Emergence Of The West, 800-1648
HI 400Seminar In Historical Research3
Choose six additional courses numbered HI 200 or above.18
Total Hours30

All History majors must earn at least a C or above (C- does not count) in HI 400 Seminar In Historical Research. Additionally, all History majors must take HI 400 Seminar In Historical Research at Mount Mercy.

Academic Requirements

Minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 in courses required for the major.

History Minor

Choose One of the Following:3
HI 115
History Of Modern America
HI 120
Origins Of The Western Tradition
HI 130
Emergence Of The West, 800-1648
HI 140
History Of Western World Since 1648
Choose five courses numbered HI 200 or above. 15
Total Hours18

The following is the typical sequence of courses required for the major*:

Writing Competency4Elective3HI 120 or 1303
CO 1013 Domain3
HI 114 or 1153 Domain3
Portal3 Math Competency 3
 13 3 15
HI 1403Elective3History Elective (HI 200 or above)3
History Elective (HI 200 or above)3 History Elective (HI 200 or above)3
Domain3 Domain3
Domain3 Domain 3
Elective3 Elective3
 15 3 15
History Elective (HI 200 or above)3Elective3History Elective (HI 200 or above)3
History Elective (HI 200 or above)3 Domain3
Domain3 Domain3
Elective3 Elective2
Elective3 Elective3
 15 3 14
Elective3Elective3HI 4003
Elective3 ME 4501
Elective3 Elective3
Elective3 Elective3
 12 3 12
Total Hours: 123

Note: Elective courses could be used for a second major, a minor, a course of interest, internship or study abroad experience.

Note: See the Curriculum section for more information on Portal, Competency, Domain, and Capstone courses.


The course offerings, requirements, and policies of Mount Mercy University are under continual examination and revision. This Catalog presents the offerings, requirements, and policies in effect at the time of publication and in no way guarantees that the offerings, requirements, and policies will not change.

This plan of study represents a typical sequence of courses required for this major. It may not be applicable to every student. Students should contact a department faculty member to be sure of appropriate course sequence.


HI 101 Geography of World Regions: 3 semester hours

This course examines the various physical processes which shaped the world’s economic, historical, political and social forces, and how globalization changes the world’s social landscapes and human activities. The regions covered include Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, the Middle East.

HI 102 Human Geography: 3 semester hours

This course provides an introduction to geographic perspective on human activities. This course also examines the geographical worlds in which we live, the relationship between people and the Earth, and the interdependence of people, places and resources.

HI 114 History of Early America: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on the first half of the American History; beginning with a brief overview of pre-Columbian America, and emphasizing the impact of eventual European settlements in North America. This course traces the founding of an independent United States, concluding with the consequences of the Civil War.

HI 115 History Of Modern America: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on the second half of the American history; beginning in the immediate post-Civil War era, and introducing students to major themes and events in United States history in the late nineteenth century and through most of the twentieth century. No prerequisite.

HI 120 Origins Of The Western Tradition: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on a survey of the development of the Western tradition from its early roots in the ancient Middle East until the age of Charlemagne. It introduces students to the contributions of the peoples of the ancient Middle East, Greece, Rome, and the early medieval West to the formation of western civilization.

HI 130 Emergence Of The West, 800-1648: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on a survey of the socio-economic, political, and cultural forces that have shaped the West from the age of feudalism to the triumph of absolute monarchy in the mid-seventeenth century. It explores such topics as the Medieval origins of the modern state, evolving religious beliefs of the West, the intellectual ferment of the Renaissance and Reformation, and economic and social development during the era.

HI 140 History Of Western World Since 1648: 3 semester hours

A survey of the major socio-economic, political, and intellectual movements in modern western history since the Age of Absolutism. Emphasizes the rise of nation-states, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, industrialization, and the major ideologies of the twentieth century.

HI 205 Colonial And Revolutionary America: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on the history of North America from European settlement through the post-Revolutionary era, beginning with the cross-cultural encounters of Natives, Europeans, and Africans. It emphasizes the socio-cultural, political, and economic development of colonial America; the events that led to the American Revolution; and the immediate consequences of the Revolution in political and social terms.

HI 213 Recent China In Global Economy: 3 semester hours

China from the 1970s to the present. Emphasis on the economic, social, cultural, and political developments of recent China; the opening of China to the world; and the emerging of China into the global economy and market. Special attention to the intersection of Chinese and U.S. interests and trade in the global context. Satisfies global awareness domain of the core curriculum.

HI 215 The American Nation, 1789-1877: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on the history of the United States from the founding of the federal republic through the 1870s. It emphasizes the politics and diplomacy of the early republic; Jacksonian democracy and reform, national economic and territorial expansion; regionalism and sectional conflict; the institution of slavery; the Civil War; the immediate post-war society; and federal efforts to reconstruct the nation.

HI 225 History Of Iowa: 3 semester hours

The history of Iowa from pre-territorial days until the present, beginning with an emphasis on Native Iowans and their encounters with European immigrant settlers. Traces changes in the landscape and farming patterns from the nineteenth century until the present, while also considering changes in the daily lives of Iowans affected by moves from agriculture to industry and from farm to town during this era.

HI 230 Modern East Asia: 3 semester hours

This course covers the period since the beginning of the twentieth century, concentrating on the era since the Second World War. It focuses primarily on the history of China or Japan, with inclusion of the recent histories of other East Asian entities (North Korea, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) in an alternating format. This course also covers the selected East Asian countries' relationship with the U.S. in the global context. The course satisfies the global awareness domain of the core curriculum.

HI 240 History of Film: 3 semester hours

This course examines the history of film, especially the narrative film from its advent at the end of the 19th century up until the present. It will look at films from many different countries as it examines the silent era of cinema, the coming of sound and color, the growth of the major studios in Hollywood, Post World War II cinema, The French New Wave, Third World Cinema, and the New American Cinema. Cross listed with FS 240.

HI 242 Crime and Culture in America: 3 semester hours

This course explores the history of crime and the relationships between crime and culture in America. Major topics include the historical perspectives of crime and culture, cultural influences on crime and justice throughout history, and historical changes in the interpretation of crime.

HI 245 Recent American History: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on the development of contemporary America during World War II, the Cold War, Vietnam, and the civil rights and women's movements. It examines changes in political, social, and popular culture.

HI 250 Medieval Europe: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on Europe from the decline of the Roman Empire to the mid-fifteenth century, with special emphasis on the transition from the Roman World to the Early Medieval West, the rise and decline of feudal institutions, and the development of the Medieval church. It pays special focus on social and political changes, as well as intellectual and cultural developments of the era.

HI 260 Early Modern Europe 1450-1789: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on major movements in early modern European history from the end of the Middle Ages to the eve of the French Revolution. It places special emphasis on the Renaissance and Reformation, the emergence and triumph of the absolutist state, the Enlightenment, and social and economic changes during these periods.

HI 265 Latin American History: 3 semester hours

An introduction to the history of Latin America, beginning with European penetration of the region and the legacies of the colonial era. Focuses on the wave of independence movements by the early nineteenth century, followed by a specific emphasis on the recent history of selected Latin American nations since independence. (Satisfies global awareness domain of the core curriculum).

HI 270 Nineteenth Century Europe: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on Europe from the outbreak of the French Revolution to the end of the nineteenth century. It places special emphasis on the causes and effect of the French Revolution, the Napoleonic period, the Industrial Revolution, the conflict between liberalism and conservatism, the rise of labor and socialist movements, the impact of nationalism, and diplomatic relations in Europe.

HI 278 History Of US Environmentalism: 3 semester hours

The course covers the period from the 1900s to the present, focusing primarily on the social, economic, technological and scientific environmental developments in the United States. It examines the roles these developments played in changing the U.S. environment and environmental policies in the contemporary period, and how the American public's view of their environment has changed over time. Students will also learn about the U.S. government's role in shaping policies that affect the environment, especially since 1900. Students who are interested in environmental study will find the course significantly enhances their knowledge of the historical development of environmentalism in the United States.

HI 280 Twentieth Century Europe: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on Europe from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. It palces special emphasis on the pre-1914 World War I era, the Great War and its impact, the Russian Revolution, the emergence of the Soviet Union as a world power, the inter-war fascist development, the origins and events of World War II, and the Cold War.

HI 285 US And The Vietnam War: 3 semester hours

A study of the Vietnam War, with special emphasis on the reasons for American involvement in the conflict, the consequences of that involvement, reactions to the war, and an assessment of its legacy in American history.

HI 306 20th Century American History of Race and Gender: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on the history of race and gender in the twentieth century. Special attention to social, political, and economic developments among Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Mexican Americans, with emphasis on the changing relationships among these groups and mainstream Americans. Concentration also on gender issues, such as relationships between men and women, as well as the changing economic, political, social, and cultural roles of women in a historical perspective.

HI 365 20th Century Revolutions in Latin America: 3 semester hours

This course will focus on revolutions that have shaped the history of several Latin American nations during the last century, providing an historical overview and analysis of the consequences of such revolutionary events in the evolution of each nation's development. Particular attention will be paid (in a variety of configurations in different semesters, often depending on current events in specific nations) to revolutions in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Cuba and Central America.

HI 369 Hispanic Culture & Civilization: 3 semester hours

The course surveys Hispanic civilizations and links them to cultural developments over time. Course meetings will integrate art, film, history, music, and literature to familiarize students with cultural contexts that evolved in Spain and Latin America. Nations of emphasis vary. Course materials in English translation and subtitles. No prerequisite. (Students seeking credit in Spanish should check for cross-listing as SP 369.).

HI 380 Imperial Russia and the Soviet Era: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on Russian and Soviet history from the accession of the Romanovs to the present. Emphasis on the reforms of Peter the Great; the shaping of the Russian autocracy; the socio-economic, political, and cultural ferment of the nineteenth century; the Russian Revolution and the Bolshevik seizure of power; the age of Stalin and the Great Purges; post World War II Soviet society; and the breakup of the Soviet Union.

HI 400 Seminar In Historical Research: 3 semester hours

This course is an introduction to the concepts and methods of historical investigation. It emphasizes evaluation of historical documents through the preparation of major research paper on a selected topic in history. (Capstone course for History majors. Recommended for the senior year. Must be taken at Mount Mercy).

HI 445 History Independent Study: 3 semester hours

Directed readings and research in history. Topics to be determined by the student and instructor.

HI 450 History Internship: 3 semester hours

Internship in a cultural institution, business, or non-profit organization. Emphasis on linking academic content and methodologies of the liberal arts with the practicalities of the workplace. Students will select internship site and determine objectives, with approval by the History faculty. (For history majors of at least junior standing).

Careers in history

The diverse curriculum opens doors to many career paths.

The history major serves as preparation for careers in education, business, journalism, government, library science, and historic preservation, as well as entrance into graduate and law schools. Recent graduates from Mount Mercy currently work in a variety of fields, including:

  • Secondary History Education
  • Law
  • Business and Marketing
  • Historic Preservation

What are the next steps?

Mount Mercy offers competitive tuition and generous scholarships.

We also encourage all students to apply for federal, state, and other kinds of financial assistance.

Learn more about:

We make it easy by accepting applications year-round! No deadline, no fee, no pressure.

  1. Create your application
  2. Apply under standard admissions criteria or go "test optional"
  3. Request official transcripts from all institutions previously attended. Mail to:

* Mount Mercy University Admissions
  1330 Elmhurst Drive NE
  Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402

* If you are applying for an accelerated program, please mail to "Accelerated Programs"

For more detailed instructions on how to apply, see our Admissions page.