North Central College - Naperville, IL

History of Ideas

Why choose history of ideas at North Central College?

This may be the perfect minor for you if you like to discuss great ideas and classic texts, from cultures and traditions all over the world, and want to get a good grasp of “the big picture”—the ideas and trends that mark major world religions, art, philosophy, literature and the social sciences. You will discuss great ideas in small, seminar-style classes that focus on discussion of some of the greatest texts from a wide variety of diverse cultures. This is an excellent minor if you expect to attend graduate school.

You can also:


North Central College and Shimer College have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding with the intention of North Central acquiring and integrating Shimer.
North Central gains momentum in growth, reputation, value.
North Central College’s Science Center reached a construction milestone with the placement of a ceremonial final beam in Topping-Out Celebration March 14.


Graduate Schools

Recent graduates in history of ideas have been accepted at:

  • University of Chicago
  • Chicago Theological Seminary
  • University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science
  • Vanderbuilt University
  • Southern Illinois University


Recent history of ideas minors:

  • Application analyst, Navistar, Warrenville, IL
  • Staff accountant, Borhart Spellmeyer & Company, Elgin, IL
Religious Studies major, History of Ideas minor

“I think every new student should take a history of ideas course. You get a great picture of how all education ties together, learn to think critically and how to study.”

Caitlyn added the history of ideas minor because, “I loved the course material and mix of students in my classes. They’re from all majors and had different approaches to the same things. I learned so much that way.”

Caitlyn wasn’t all study. She traveled to Greece and Germany for two D-Terms, joined many service projects, worked for Campus Safety, and was a resident assistant and co-director of United Methodist Student Organization and New Visions summer camp.

“A lot of socializing happens naturally at college, but faculty...

Political Science, History of Ideas minor

Sidra already knew she wanted to study international environmental issues and political science when she stumbled upon the history of ideas minor. "When I was a freshman College Scholar I was placed in a history of ideas course called 'Greek and Hebrew Thought,'" she says. "I liked it so much! I enjoy studying primary texts instead of textbooks, and really great discussions." Sidra decided to make history of ideas her minor to complement her interest in envrironmental justice issues. She plans to attend graduate school in international relations at the University of Chicago and ultimately wants to teach. "I learned how to read with depth and breadth and my career has been influenced by how passionate my...

Philosophy major, History of Ideas and History minors

“History of ideas combines the best literature and history classes you’re ever had,” says Bethany. “I didn’t realize a discipline like this existed until I came here.”

A philosophy major with minors in history of ideas and history, Bethany says,  “A strength of the program is its mix of students from different areas like math, chemistry and psychology. They contribute so many different perspectives and ways of learning.”

Bethany’s studies sparked her interest in research. A College Scholar, her honors thesis and presentations at the National Conference for Undergraduates (NCUR) and North Central conferences about her research findings were inspired by primary texts. “My presentation at the...

Religious Studies major, History of Ideas minor

After majoring in religious studies and minoring in history of ideas, Tyler is much closer to realizing his goal of becoming an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church.

“The opportunity to study the phenomenon of religion from a global perspective will complement my focused graduate work in the Christian tradition.”

Tyler appreciated the relationships he formed as a result of his studies at North Central. He had ample opportunities to gain mentors and have individual conversations with professors.

“I was blessed with faculty who truly cared about me as a person.”

Tyler felt supported by his professors and peers in any challenges or opportunities he encountered as a student...