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Luther at a Glance



Richard L. Torgerson


An independent, coeducational, residential, liberal arts college of the Lutheran church (ELCA).


Decorah, Iowa, (population 8,100) in the northeast Iowa bluff country, 35 miles west of the Mississippi River, and 15 miles south of the Minnesota border. The Upper Iowa River flows adjacent to campus.


Founded by the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1861.


Approximately 2,500 men and women. 35% from Iowa, 88% from four-state area: Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin; remainder from 36 states and nearly 50 foreign countries.


4-1-4 fall and spring semesters divided by January term; two optional summer sessions.


178 full-time faculty; 90 percent with terminal degree; student:faculty ratio 12:1.


Library with more than 340,000 volumes, seating for 977, and access to more than 90 million volumes through interlibrary network; planetarium, anatomy lab, live animal center; KWLC Luther College radio station; 1,600-seat auditorium and a 53-rank, 42-stop, 3-manual tracker-action pipe organ in the Center for Faith and Life.

Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa


Degree Conferred

Bachelor of arts; more than 60 majors, minors, and preprofessional programs.


  • Accounting
  • Africana Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Athletic Training
  • Biblical Languages
  • Biology
  • Business (Management)
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Education (Elementary, Secondary, Special Endorsements: Mental Disabilities, Multicategorical, Prekindergarten/Kindergarten, Reading, ESL/Bilingual)
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Health
  • History
  • Latin
  • Latin American Studies
  • Management
  • Management Information Systems
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics/Statistics
  • Museum Studies
  • Music (Church Music, Education, History and Literature, Performance, Theory/Composition)
  • Nursing
  • Philosophy
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Russian Studies
  • Scandinavian Studies
  • Social Welfare
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Speech/Theatre
  • Theatre/Dance
  • Women's and Gender Studies

Preprofessional and Special Programs

  • Arts Management
  • International Management
  • Predentistry
  • Preengineering
  • Prelaw
  • Premedicine
  • Preoptometry
  • Prepharmacy
  • Prephysical Therapy
  • Preveterinary Medicine
  • Sports Management



Competitive; secondary school record most important; ACT or SAT scores required. The college accepts promising students without regard to race, creed, handicap, color, national origin, age, sex, or sexual orientation.

Cost for 2009-10

Comprehensive fee including tuition, room, and board is $37,520. Ninety-eight percent of students receive some form of financial assistance, which is based on both need and merit.

Interviews and Tours

Strongly encouraged. Appointments are available weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and most Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the academic year; weekdays only during the summer.