Page 1

Become. Connect. Engage. Explore. Dream. Expand. Discover. Serve. Achieve. Join. Experience. Question. Collaborate. Learn. Develop. Excel. Succeed. What will you become?



In 1517 a monk and university professor named Martin Luther defiantly nailed a letter of protest to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. His actions started a dialogue that changed the course of Western civilization. Fast-forward to the present at Luther College, where we continue the tradition of exploring ideas, challenging assumptions, connecting intellect with action, and achieving the unexpected.

Embrace your future

What will you do with the rest of your life? Start a successful business? Be a global citizen? Advance scientific discovery? Educate the next generation? Finding the answer—and preparing yourself with the knowledge, skills, and experience essential for success—is what you will do at Luther College. What will you become?



your mind

Students come to Luther with a wide range of dreams, goals, and ambitions. Some have already mapped out a plan for their lives, while others are still considering many possibilities. A Luther education provides the opportunities, challenges, and support that enable you to learn more, do more, and become more.

Recognized for Excellence



 nly 10% of all colleges and O universities nationwide are designated as Phi Beta Kappa institutions. Luther is among this elite group.


 uther has graduated seven L Rhodes Scholars. This is more than the other seven Iowa Conference colleges combined.

Expand your thinking as well as your knowledge

Our interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum reveals connections between subjects. Economics influences ecology. Art affects technology. Politics spills over into business. And every course brings relevance to your chosen field of study. Learning is dynamic throughout your Luther education: n Discussion-based courses inspire new thinking. n Collaborative research with faculty adds depth and dimension. n Classroom study is put to the test through study abroad, internships, and externships. The Result

You’ll discover the value of asking questions, gain confidence in defending your own ideas, and build the skills essential for success. And along the way, you will realize not only that you have learned more than you imagined possible, but also that you’re ready to make your mark on the world in meaningful ways.

“America’s Best Colleges” guide, Luther appears in the first tier of the “National Liberal Arts Colleges” category.

In u. s . ne w s & w or l d r e p ort ’s


Chart your path Envision Luther’s curriculum as your map to the future and faculty advisors as your guides. Together, they’ll show you the possible routes between your first semester and graduation while highlighting the many worthy side trips, like internships, study abroad, and hands-on research, that will make your journey—indeed, your degree—all the more valuable.

The Questions and Choices That Matter

In the Paideia program you will read, research, discuss, debate, and write about significant questions and ideas. It begins with a two-semester course in which all firstyear students share a common reading list, lectures, and events. In the face-to-face discussions of this interdisciplinary class, you’ll find that the most important questions draw on a range of perspectives for their answers. Then, during your junior or senior year, you will put your education to work: considering ethical challenges and learning to make educated choices in a one-semester course, often in the context of your major.

Paideia (pr o no unced “ p i e - DAY- uh ” ) is a classical Greek term for “education” that refers to wide-ranging learning toward becoming an intellectually well-rounded citizen in a free society. Since 1977, Paideia has shaped the academic experience of thousands of Luther students.



Much to discover


Immersing yourself in a particular research question gives you the chance to personalize your learning and gain even greater access to faculty scholars and other experts in your field of study. Most Luther students engage in some sort of course-based, faculty-directed, or independent research, including completing a senior project. So think outside of the lab: Your research might include performing open-heart surgery on a rat, but it could also take the form of writing a guide to historic Iowa or helping to set up a loan program to fund local sustainability projects.

Intensive, focused learning n Attending London’s theatres. n Observing surgeons in Chicago. n Documenting marine life in

the Caribbean. n Rebuilding schools in Haiti. These are just a few examples of the many intriguing opportunities that you might experience during Luther’s three-week January Term. On campus or around the globe, you can earn “J-term” credit via courses, internships, study abroad, volunteer work, job-shadowing, and self-initiated projects.


Good Advice At Luther, our advising system recognizes that your needs change over time. After all, your transition to college life will be different from concentrating on a major, which again will be distinct from planning your career beyond Luther.


Explore the options and find your focus

With more than 60 majors, minors, and preprofessional programs to choose from, you will devote one-third of your coursework at Luther to developing an area of expertise in a major field of study. Add to this a foundation of interdisciplinary core courses, and you’ll still have the flexibility to incorporate electives, a minor, or even a second major.

Areas of Study

Accounting* Africana Studies Anthropology* Art Athletic Training* Biology Business (Management) Chemistry Chinese*** Classical Studies** Classics Communication Studies Computer Science Dance Economics Education (Elementary*, Secondary**)

Courtney Meyer

English Environmental Studies Exercise Science* French German Health History Information Systems** Intermedia Arts* International Management Studies+ International Studies Italian*** Linguistics*** Management Mathematics Mathematics/Statistics*

Museum Studies** Music Nursing* Philosophy Physical Education Physics Political Science* Predentistry + Preengineering + Prelaw + Premedicine + Preoptometry + Prepharmacy + Prephysical Therapy + Preseminary + Preveterinary Medicine + Psychology

Religion Russian Studies Scandinavian Studies Social Welfare** Social Work* Sociology Spanish Theatre Wellness* Women and Gender Studies * Major only ** Minor only *** Coursework only + Preprofessional program (major chosen from among several relevant disciplines)

“I came to Luther focused on a career in public relations, but also interested in studying accounting. I’ve had faculty from both programs advising me, and their encouragement and guidance has been invaluable. They have helped me tailor the communication studies major for public relations, encouraged me to pursue accounting internships, written letters of recommendation, and shared their own professional experiences to give me a sense of what each career will be like.”

Courtney Meyer of Lakewood, Colo., is majoring in accounting and communication studies, plays intramural sports, serves on the Student Activities Committee, and is a resident assistant.

Courtney’s outlook on the future:

I am confident that my majors will provide me with several viable career paths. I’m happy knowing that I have options.


Magnify your experiences

You can glean only so much from books. It’s experience that makes learning meaningful. Luther takes this idea seriously, so you’ll find a robust academic environment that keeps you active and engaged with your education—and the world.


Among other places, Luther students gain real-world experience at:

n March of Dimes, Edina, Minn. n Aviano Air Force Base Flight

Clinic, Plano, Italy

n Great Lakes Indian Fish and

Wildlife Commission, Odanah, Wis.

n Pediatric Surgical Associates, Keep it real

Today’s employers have raised the bar, and you will need more than just the mastery of an academic subject (or two) when you graduate. Fortunately, Luther has a long tradition of augmenting classroom education with real-world learning. From internship placements in Decorah, Iowa, to Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, California—and many locations in between—you will have the opportunity to test your career goals and build your résumé. The Result

You will sharpen your written and oral communication, improve your critical and analytical thinking, and hone your problem-solving and decision-making skills. You’ll prove you know your stuff and know how to use it.

Minneapolis, Minn.

n Watari Youth, Community, and

Family Services, Vancouver, British Columbia

n The Scripps Research Institute,

La Jolla, Calif.

n Bank of East Asia, Chongqing,


n Mayo Clinic Transplant Center,

Rochester, Minn.

n The Center for Economic

Progress, Chicago, Ill.

n Vesterheim Norwegian-American

Museum, Decorah, Iowa

of Luther students participate in at least one internship, externship, or paid work experience before graduating. M or e t h a n 6 7 p e r ce nt


Learn from the masters They are well-connected professionals in their fields of study. They are top researchers, prolific authors, and celebrated artists. Foremost, however, they are teachers. Your teachers. Professors come to Luther because they are energized by the give-and-take of teaching undergraduates. Their enthusiasm for learning is obvious, whether they are advising you, working with you one-on-one in small classes, or guiding your study during J-term. Luther professors truly enjoy being part of a campus community where they can teach classes (all of them, in fact; no grad students teach classes at Luther), get to know you in meaningful ways, and help you to realize your goals and ambitions.

More than 95% of Luther’s faculty members live within five miles of campus, and 87% of students say they’ve been invited to a professor’s home. PROF ESSORS W HO F EE L LIKE FAMI LY.


Top Scholars Certainly a testament to the great teaching at Luther is the list of highly competitive scholarships that are awarded to Luther students by esteemed organizations including The Fulbright Foundation, Barry M. Goldwater Program, Jack Kent Cook Foundation, Torrison Scholarship Fund, The Rhodes Trust, and the NCAA.

A small selection of books written and edited by Luther’s faculty

n How to Win an Election: An Ancient

n n



Guide for Modern Politicians by Philip Freeman Climate Justice: Ethics, Energy, and Public Policy by James Martin-Schramm Problem Solving with Algorithms and Data Structures Using Python by Brad Miller and David Ranum Further to Fly: Black Women and the Politics of Empowerment by Sheila Radford-Hill Linka’s Diary: A Norwegian Immigrant Story by Marvin Slind and Gracia Grindal

Open Door Culture Luther professors are ready and willing to provide personalized attention, are focused on your success, and are interested in all you’re doing, not just for their class. And you’ll probably even run into them outside of class— whether it’s on campus cheering for you at your performances and sporting events or in Decorah biking the trails or shopping for groceries.


Widen your worldview What does it mean to become a global citizen? For some, it’s increasing their awareness of international economic and political influences. For others, it’s developing a deeper understanding of cultures and traditions different from their own or becoming fluent in another language. With this in mind, Luther features an impressive number of international living and learning options to facilitate your journey toward global citizenship.


Argentina • Australia Austria • Bahamas Belgium British Virgin Islands Canary Islands Chile • China Czech Republic Denmark • Ecuador Egypt • England Sh aring Perspectives Each year, over 400 Luther France • Germany students study abroad, intern overseas, or pursue academic, Ghana • Greece creative, and service interests on another continent. India • Ireland


Luther Study Abroad Program Destinations Since 2010

Laura harney

“While I had always been interested in other cultures and travel, it wasn’t until coming to Luther that I was able to live a global perspective. During a semester in Ecuador, I lived with a host HIGHLY RANKED

Among all baccalaureate colleges in the nation, Luther ranks 8th in the number of students who participate in study abroad.


Italy • Jamaica Jordan • Malta Namibia A MIX OF EXPERIENCES Netherlands Campus conversations and activities integrate the experiences of students New Zealand who have studied abroad, as well as reflect the cultures of the Northern Ireland international students who come to Luther from more than 50 Norway • Peru different countries. Poland • Russia Scotland Slovakia South Africa Spain • Sweden Switzerland Tanzania • Turkey U.S. Virgin Islands

family, took one-on-one coursework with native Spanish speakers, volunteered in a local school, and traveled on many excursions, including to the Amazon and Peru. I’ve always had an adventurous spirit, but Luther has kindled that to encourage me to really act. Now I hope to teach abroad, do global service, and continue getting to know more people and places around the world.”

Do Some Good

Many study abroad courses have a service learning component, allowing you to do volunteer work in the community where you live while abroad.

Laura Harney of Rochester, Minn., is majoring in biology and Spanish with a secondary education minor.

Laura’s greatest lesson learned abroad:

No matter where I am or what I am doing, learning more about the lives of others—and reflecting on this to gain a better sense of how we can move toward social justice—is of the utmost importance to me.



your community

Where you attend college and whom you spend time with influences your educational experience. At Luther, warm smiles, deep friendships, and a feeling of mutual respect pervade the campus and local community, creating an ideal place to live, work, play, and learn.

Favorite things to do in the area: n n n n n n


 ycle the 12-mile town trail c kayak, canoe, or float the Upper Iowa River sample the ice cream at the Whippy Dip and Sugar Bowl watch movies at the town cinema ski or hike the nearby trails enjoy a range of cafĂŠs and dining options in Decorah: Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Italian, vegetarian, and traditional American cuisine

An inviting location

You might be surprised by the scenery when you visit for the first time. Limestone bluffs, winding rivers, pristine ponds, shady woodlands—and yes, a few obligatory cornfields!—all come together to create an area of incredible natural beauty and the setting for Luther College. Historic downtown Decorah (pop. 8,500) includes an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, a co-op specializing in organic and local products, book stores, art galleries, and museums. With a thriving and lively town center and residents who are friendly, down-to-earth, and active in their community, it’s no wonder Decorah is regularly named one of “America’s Best Small Towns.”





The Result

You will feel just as comfortable and welcome in the local community as you will on the Luther campus. With dining, shopping, and cultural amenities just steps from your residence hall, you’ll find that Decorah makes an MN ideal college home. 94

EAU CLAIRE: 145 miles MPLS./ ST. PAUL: 160 miles


ROCHESTER: 70 miles


WATERLOO: 90 miles

IA DES MOINES: 210 miles

MADISON: 145 miles


3 hour drive from Chicago

ROCKFORD: 190 miles

CEDAR RAPIDS: 110 miles IOWA CITY: 140 miles

Luther College is located in Iowa, 15 miles south of the Minnesota state line and 40 miles west of the Wisconsin border.






Your home away from home

Most of Luther’s 2,500 students live on campus for all four years. As individual as they are, Luther students definitely share some key attributes: a desire to be involved, a responsibility to the common good, and a penchant for balancing the rigor of academic life with a healthy dose of fun. To this end, you’ll find a nonstop schedule of concerts, theatrical productions, lectures, and other events at Luther. Add to this more than 110 student-run clubs and organizations, a landscape that beckons you to enjoy the outdoors, and a hugely popular recreational and club sports program. Soon it becomes clear why students rarely leave Luther for the weekend.


Paul Esker

“From organizing a clothing drive for disaster relief to representing my class in the Student Senate to starting a new student investment organization— every one of my activities has helped to shape me as a leader. I have learned to work with others to achieve a goal and enhanced my communication skills. These qualities will help me in whatever field I go into, whether teaching, law, or politics.”


Recreational and Club Sports Have a bit of a competitive streak? Or just enjoy staying fit? In either case, Luther’s exceptional recreational facilities and sports programs may be a great outlet for you. The 35 intramural or club-level sports are popular, with more than three-quarters of students participating in them.


regularly competes at the U.S.A. Ultimate College Championships in Boulder, Colo.


Paul Esker of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is majoring in political science and philosophy with a minor in economics. He serves as Student Activities Council leadership co-chair, Student Senate class representative, a resident assistant, Phonathon cochair, and Students Helping Our Community vice president, and is a member of Student Philanthropy Council, Launching Luther Leaders, Mock Trial, Cathedral Choir, Alpha Phi Omega, and Luther College Student Investment Group.

Paul’s unexpected benefit of being involved at Luther:

These activities have given me the opportunity to enjoy the company of some of the most genuine, conscientious, driven, and downright hilarious people that I have ever met.


Make some music Luther has one of the best-known collegiate music programs in the world, which contributes significantly to the pleasure and enjoyment of the campus community. And you are welcome to participate even if you don’t major in music.

Luther musicians travel the world The Nordic Choir has performed in Eastern and Western Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The Concert Band has toured Europe and Japan several times. The Luther College Symphony Orchestra makes regular trips to Vienna, Austria.

play in ensembles or sing in choirs at Luther, with only one-third being music majors. Many more enjoy the music they make.

Mo r e than 1,000 stud e nt m us i ci a ns


Take your pick: Six choirs. Three bands. Three orchestras. Two jazz bands. Not to mention numerous smaller ensembles, theatre productions, and untold impromptu gigs. Really, the options to study, play, and enjoy music at Luther are limited only by your imagination. So whether music is your first choice for entertainment or your go-to creative outlet, know that you will be in good company at Luther.

Environmentalism in action Leading the way in green Luther College has been recognized for its commitment to sustainability with numerous awards. Luther was one of two baccalaureate colleges nationwide to receive a Second Nature Climate Leadership Award and one of only eight colleges in the country to earn an “A” on the College Sustainability Report Card.

Inspired by our natural surroundings, commitment to community, and sense of civic duty, Luther takes seriously the issues of climate change, protecting the environment, and preserving the resources around us. Our efforts include incorporating sustainability throughout the curriculum, expanding environmental studies, partnering with other local organizations, and fostering green practices across campus: n W  e’ve made great strides toward eliminating our net greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint. n O  ur wind turbine produces a third of the college’s electrical energy. n A  field of solar panels generates all of the electricity consumed by the Baker Village residential complex. Because of these efforts, you will come to see sustainability is not just a topic we discuss at Luther, but a lifestyle we embrace.

Luther sources over 20% of its food locally, including from our own gardens across campus. We also compost most dining hall waste and run a fleet of campus utility vehicles with leftover cooking oil. 19

Develop meaning As a college founded in the Lutheran tradition, Luther welcomes students of all faiths to engage in a way of learning that shapes lives of meaning and purpose. Since Lutherans believe that faith is large enough to include questioning and debate, we encourage meaningful dialogue so that you can gain insight into what is important to you, discover your unique talents, and connect to the larger world. Moreover, you will be encouraged to put your faith into action. The majority of Luther students volunteer regularly in service initiatives that include outreach ministries, mentoring children, adopting “grandparents” at the local nursing home, translating for Spanish and Russian immigrants at a free health clinic, raising money for disaster relief, teaching kids with disabilities to swim in the college’s pool, and maintaining Decorah’s public parks.

Ab o ut 70 per cent o f Lut h e r s t ud e nt s volunteer locally and around the globe, while nearly 25 percent of Luther graduates go into service, ministry, or helping professions.


Projects for Peace

n Creating an early education program

for war orphans in Angola

n Building a central market in war-torn

and economically depressed Uganda

n Constructing classrooms to protect

children from the elements in South Sudan

Classes, student-organized worship services, Bible study, discussion groups, and optional chapel services are among many opportunities for learning and fellowship at Luther College.


Run, jump, swim, compete For students who want to stay on top of their game, Luther College’s athletics program offers the perfect balance of competition, camaraderie, and commitment to excellence. Trained by accomplished coaches and supported enthusiastically by dedicated students, faculty, and staff, Norse student-athletes are encouraged to do their best on the field as well as off. And, they do just that.


With an unparalleled tradition of excellence, the Norse teams have won more championships than any other school in the Iowa Conference. Likewise, individual Luther athletes have been named to all-conference academic teams more often than any other college in the league. This commitment to excellence in academics and athletics extends well beyond their four years here; more than 30 Luther student-athletes have earned NCAA postgraduate scholarships.

Congratulations are in order

In the past five years, Luther has sent teams to NCAA Division III post-season competition in baseball, basketball (men and women), cross country (men and women), golf (men), soccer (men), softball, tennis (men and women), and volleyball. In 2010, the women’s cross country team finished 6th in the nation, and the softball team has made three consecutive appearances in the national tournament, finishing 5th, 7th, and 5th in 2010, 2011, and 2012, respectively.

As part of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Luther has 19 NCAA Division III varsity sports:

Tyler Wedemeier

Baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, wrestling

the Norse basketball team has reinforced that.


Basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball


“Luther has made me aware of the greater community, and being a three-year starter on Surrounded by a group of guys who share the same love of basketball and are motivated to give their all, I’ve learned to set priorities for all the things competing for my time: my studies and activities, my team and my coaches, and my community. One day I hope to share these lessons with other students as a teacher and coach.” Tyler Wedemeier of Westgate, Iowa, is majoring in elementary education with an endorsement in middle school math and science and is a basketball player.

Tyler’s highlights of Norse basketball:

“ During the past five years, individual Luther student-athletes have qualified for NCAA Division III competitions in men’s and women’s track, wrestling, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s cross country, and men’s tennis. COMPETING AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL.

I’ve enjoyed being a starter on the team with the best three-year span in Luther’s history, including playing in two rounds of the NCAA national tournament and traveling for games to Hawaii, Texas, and California.



At Luther, you will develop the self-confidence that gives you the freedom to try new things. You will hone the problem-solving abilities that help you to meet challenges. And you will gain a broader perspective on yourself and the world to help you find your place in it. Ready for such a journey? Become a Luther student, and discover what more you will become.

96% Typically, 96% of Luther graduates are employed, attending graduate school, or engaged in an internship or volunteer work within eight months of graduation.


Come see for yourself

The best way to understand how Luther can help you develop your full potential is to come visit us. Tour campus, meet students and professors, and see for yourself how academic thinking, real-world engagement, and fun campus living all go hand-in-hand to enable you to explore what you can become.

2 0 - 2 5 % of Lut h e r s t ud e nt s

or professional school.


Schedule your campus visit To arrange your visit to campus, simply call 800-458-8437 or go to


immediately go on to graduate 25 25

Luther at a Glance Heritage

Academic Program

Campus Life




n Founded


by Norwegian immigrants in 1861 Affiliated with the Lutheran church (ELCA) Undergraduate liberal arts college with a mission that emphasizes faith, leadership, and community service

n More


than 60 majors, minors, and preprofessional programs Curriculum focused on exploring ideas and values, integrating knowledge with firsthand experiences, and connecting intellect with action Phi Beta Kappa chapter




n n n

n In


northeast Iowa 15 miles south of the Minnesota border and 40 miles west of the Mississippi River In Decorah (population 8,500), which is cited as one of “America’s Best Small Towns” 200-acre main campus, with an adjacent 800 acres for year-round academic research and outdoor recreation

n 96%

of full-time faculty hold the highest degree in their field 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio Average class size: 20 All classes taught by faculty (not teaching assistants)


n 2,500 students n 38% from Minnesota,


31% from Iowa, 12% from Wisconsin, 5% from Illinois, 9% from 30 other states, and 5% international students 7% American students of color

n 90%

n n

of students live on campus all four years More than 95% of faculty live within five miles of campus More than 110 student organizations 15 music ensembles

Intercollegiate Athletics n Compete


at NCAA Division III level in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) 19 teams: baseball, basketball (M/W), cross country (M/W), football, golf (M/W), soccer (M/W), softball, swimming and diving (M/W), tennis (M/W), track and field (M/W), volleyball, and wrestling

Admission n Selective,



with the admissions committee analyzing applicants with the sole purpose of determining a student’s ability to be successful in an academically rigorous liberal arts environment Average ACT test score for the most recent class of admitted students was 26 62% ranked in the top 25% of their high school graduating class

Financial Aid n 98% n

of students receive financial assistance Awards include merit-based scholarships, need-based aid, work-study, and loans

It is the policy of Luther College to provide equal educational opportunities and equal access to facilities for all qualified persons. The college does not discriminate in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other basis protected by federal or state law.

700 College Drive, Decorah, Iowa 52101-1042 | 800.458.8437, 563.387.1287 | |


Luther College overall information booklet