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Luther College

United States
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Institution type Private

About Luther College

Luther offers more than 60 majors and preprofessional programs leading to the bachelor of arts degree. The college’s learning philosophy highlights connections between disciplines. Its thoughtful and rigorous curriculum moves beyond immediate interests toward engagement in the larger world. This approach to education helps Luther earn inclusion in the top tier of national liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News and World Report’s college guide.

Luther is a Phi Beta Kappa institution, an honor belonging to only 10 percent of colleges and universities, and its graduates regularly earn awards, such as Fulbright, Rhodes, Goldwater, and NCAA Postgraduate scholarships

As a liberal arts college, Luther is committed to a way of learning that moves us beyond immediate interests and present knowledge into a larger world—an education that disciplines minds and develops whole persons equipped to understand and confront a changing society.

Luther values learning beyond the classroom. Internships, externships, and opportunities to collaborate with faculty on research are vital components of a Luther education—and they help test career goals and build résumés. This experiential learning contributes to the stellar career outcomes and postsecondary education rates of Luther graduates.

Campus information

Luther’s central campus, situated on nearly 200 acres of limestone bluff country, comprises eight major academic buildings, seven residence halls, one village of townhouses, a state-of-the-art athletic complex—including a brand-new aquatic center—and a bustling student union. At the heart of it all sits Bentdahl Commons, a campus green that acts as a gathering space for the Luther community. Connected by curving sidewalks, Luther’s central campus has the distinction of reflecting historic landscape design, mapped in the early 1900s by renowned architect Jens Jensen.

The college owns nearly 800 additional acres of natural areas that include woodlands, floodplains, prairies, marshes, and the Upper Iowa River. These areas, tied together by a five-mile hiking trail, not only offer recreation; they also provide students with outdoor laboratories.

Each July Decorah is the home of Nordic Fest, a celebration of Norwegian culture. Decorah is also the home of the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. This museum is the largest Norwegian museum in the United States.

Natural features include Dunning's Spring, Ice Cave, and Siewers Spring. The city is home to several parks built on bluffs, particularly Phelps Park, Palisades Park, and Pulpit Rock. Until 2003, Decorah had a community ski area, the Nor-Ski Runs Ski Area.

Decorah is home to an operating trout hatchery as well as Twin Springs Park, the former home of the hatchery.

The Raptor Resource Center is located in Decorah. Each year they host a livestreamed webcam of a family of nesting bald eagles as they rear their young.


Residence Life
Luther is a residential college by design. We believe the best environment for learning is one where students not only study and attend classes on campus, but also live on campus.

First-Year Students
With rooms that sleep two to four students, our first-year residence halls come equipped with social and study lounges, wireless internet, computer labs, laundry rooms, and kitchens.

We want all new students, many of whom are living away from home for the first time, to feel comfortable. To this end, first-year students have the option of living on Wellness and Quiet floors. Our new student page can teach you more about your future home, including how roommates are selected.

Our residence halls are staffed by compassionate, trustworthy, and approachable upper-class students and Residence Life professionals who help you make the most of your experience.

Upper-Class Students
Students currently living on campus select next year’s housing through a room draw, with preference given to students with the highest number of credit hours completed. Upper-class student housing includes college-owned houses, apartments, or townhouses, or clusters and suites in on-campus residence halls.


Courses available 10

Applied, Pure Sciences 2 Beauty, Personal Care 1 Business, Management 1 Computer Science, IT 2 Creative Arts & Design 2 Health and Medicine 1 Humanities & Social Sciences 2 Mass Communication & Media 1


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