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Luther College - IowaSchools.net

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Luther College


Luther College is a four-year liberal arts coeducational school located in Decorah, Iowa. Affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the school was founded by the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1861 as a seminary school. The college’s first class had 16 students. It wasn’t until the Great Depression, though, that women were allowed to join. Approximately 75 percent of the school’s 2,500 students study abroad. The college also has one of the highest Peace Corp participation rates in the nation. Notable alumni include Cheryl Brown, Drew Curtis, and Callista Gingrich.

Educational Programs

Luther College has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, Washington Monthly, and the Princeton Review for its outstanding educational programs. The school has 181 full-time teachers – 90 percent of whom have doctorate or terminal degrees – educating students in the school’s 60 majors, minors, and pre-professional programs. Many of these courses of study terminate in a Bachelor of Arts degree. Here is a sample of programs you can enter at Luther College:


  • Accounting
  • Anthropology
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Health
  • Nursing
  • Political Science
  • Social Work
  • Spanish
  • Women and Gender Studies

Pre-Professional Programs

  • International Management
  • Dentistry
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Seminary
  • Veterinary Medicine


  • Art
  • Classical Studies
  • Economics
  • History
  • Information Systems
  • Museum Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Social Welfare
  • Theatre/Dance

The off-campus educational opportunities are administered by the Center for Global Learning department. Students can expand their worldview, develop a greater appreciation for the human condition, gain real-world, hands-on experience, and earn college credit by participating in an off-campus study program. Study abroad opportunities include programs in China, Tanzania, Japan, and Norway. Students can also stay close to home by taking advantage of programs in Chicago or Washington, D.C.


Freshman students can begin applying for admission during their last year of high school. They are expected to have completed college preparatory coursework consisting of 4 years of English, 3 years of math and social science, and 2 years of natural science. Completing 2 years of a foreign language is recommended but not required. Students must also submit ACT or SAT scores.

Applications from transfer students are reviewed on a case by case basis. The admissions department considers the student’s college academic performance, high school grade point average, and ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students must also submit references from an educator. A maximum of 64 credit hours can be transferred from another accredited college and only classes graded “C” or above will be accepted.

International students must submit two letters of recommendation, certified copies of transcripts for all school work completed, TOEFL scores of 550 (paper based) or better, SAT or ACT scores, and proof of financial support.


Estimated tuition and fees for the 2012-2013 schools years at Luther College are:

  • Tuition: $35,950 per year
  • Room: $2,890 per year based on double occupancy
  • Books: $1,040 per year
  • Technology fee: $150 per year

Students can pay their expenses using several methods. Most students apply for federal financial aid by submitting a FAFSA form. Private loans, scholarships, and grants are also available. The school allows students to make monthly payments to pay their tuition. There is also a work-credit program that allows 90 percent of the student’s earning to be applied to their educational expenses.

Campus Life

Luther College is a residential institution. All full-time students under the age of 23 must live on campus unless they are married, have children, or the live in the local area with their parents or guardians. First-year students typically live in traditional residence halls while upperclassmen have the option of staying in college apartments, single-room clusters, or townhomes. All college housing is furnished and wireless Internet is available.

Men and women can compete in several intercollegiate sports including baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, wresting, softball, and volleyball. College clubs and organizations are another way students can interact with and get to know each other. Some of the clubs you will find on campus include:

  • Chips Student Newspaper
  • Student Activities Council
  • Student Senate
  • The Friends Organization
  • Alpha Phi Omega
  • Choir
  • Band

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